A few months ago, I had the almost pleasure of presiding over a trial where Mr. Carhart was lead counsel. Like everyone else, I was in awe of Mr. Carhart since I first came to the building almost 30 years ago. Needless to say, I was nervous as hell. All I prayed for was to not do anything too stupid in his presence. Because of Mr. Carhart's special needs in communicating, everything was taking a little longer than usual. I didn't care. I could have sat there for weeks. After every pre-trial argument I almost wanted to ask him if I'd ruled correctly, even when I ruled against him. His client plead after my portion of voir dire but Mr. Carhart paid me the two greatest compliments that I've received as a judge. They are brag-worthy but I'll keep them to myself. What an honor to have witnessed him in action. A great loss.
Update: This comment says it all:
This one hurts. We have a lot to say about Mr. Carhart. We will let those who knew him best speak for us by reprinting their comments on FACDL, Suffice to say that there are a few generations of lawyers who never knew that Ed was the best; the best prepared, the best cross examiner, the best criminal defense attorney that there was in our profession. Period. A legend in the SAO. A legend in Miami. A real gentleman. A lawyer's lawyer. We lost the best this weekend folks, and we will start the comments with his close friend, Jim Woodard:
We have lost one of the finest lawyers of our time. Ed Carhart, former Chief Assistant to Richard Gerstein and long-time member of the criminal defense bar, died. His knowledge of the law was unsurpassed and his skill with juries legendary. More importantly, his ability to deal with adversity reminded all that knew him that regardless of how bad things may seem at the moment, he had it much worse. He continued to practice with a smile when he could not stand, turn a page by himself or speak much above a whisper. Through it all, his intellect was undiminished. Those who knew Ed will miss him terribly. Those that didn't, will never know what they missed. No services are planned at this time.James Woodard
From: "Shohat, Edward"
My heart is broken at this news Jim. Not only was Ed among the best lawyers I ever knew but one of the best people too. I know how close you were to him for what seems like forever now and that there are many like you, both friends and family, who will feel the loss of Ed with particular pain. To all of you who also happen to be our brothers and sisters at the Bar, Maria and I send our heartfelt condolences.
From: C. Michael Cornely
I worked with Ed when I was a young prosecutor, knew him as a member of the bar and I thought he was one of the Best Trial lawyers in Miami. He was a humble and gracious man who never not let his handicap hold him back. I am much better to have known him. God bless his soul.