The Herald obituary mentions that she was Miami's longest serving County Court Judge-25 years and counting, and that her dedication to the election canvassing board, which is in charge of supervising recounts, was legendary.
Retired Circuit Judge Phil Bloom is someone we did know well. Here is the Herald Obit for him. Judge Bloom was known for his humor and humanity. As the Herald recounts, Bloom once drove to the backyard of litigants suing over the loud noises from Parrots. Bloom heard nothing and dismissed the case, not before noting that there were more important issues in the world. We knew Judge Bloom as a Judge who when presented with a first time offender, especially a young one, was open to a sentence that gave the defendant a second chance. Judge Bloom was the type of Judge you wanted as a Judge- a man guided by humility, love of humanity, some humor, and a solid knowledge of the law. Judge Bloom was named a legal legend in 2011 by the Miami Court's Historical Society. He was Judge at a time Miami was a different community, and Judges had more leeway to treat criminal defendants. Click on the Obit and read what Judges Moreno and Ward had to say about this remarkable, caring man.
As to Judge Kravitz, We received two remembrances so far, which we list below:
She was a kind, sweet and fun loving person. She loved her dad and her best friend who more like her child Lenny Kravitz (her dog). She was a great daughter, sister, friend, and judge. For me, she was always there for any question I had. We became friends about six years ago. She always told me she had an connection with us Cubans not only because she married one (her ex husband) but also because she was born in Hialeah. She joked about that often. Lastly she was a true animal lover. Many years ago she became a vegetarian not for the health benefits, but for her love of animals. She will be truly missed by all, including me.
It's really surreal and horrible. Judge Kravitz had an impressive career and background before and while a judge. She was President of the County Judges for Florida. She was always an effective advocate for the courts. She was an exceptional educator for Florida judges. She held a position on the Canvassing Board for every election for as long as we can remember. Not a task for the faint of heart. When she saw anything wrong or amiss, she would work to fix it. Small case in point -- when she spotted a pedestrian endangerment in front of the civil courthouse, she lobbied the commission to put in a crosswalk and traffic light. If you go to her chambers, there are articles and proclamations adorning every wall (including the bathroom). Someone should review them before they just get taken down and given to family because she should be publicly recognized for all the things she has done. We all struggle with the concept of relevance and just because you did incredible things more than a year ago does not strip your deeds of meaning. To us, Shelley was the most collegial of judges. She took an interest in all of us. Though a veteran, she treated us all as her equal and friend. Shelley and I shared a love of dogs and could talk about anything together. She was just the most generous and lovable woman. We can't register this as real because it seems so unjust.
From the 11th Judicial Circuit Website:
Throughout her 25 years on the County Court Bench, Judge Kravitz served in the Domestic Violence and Criminal Divisions, and most recently in the Civil Division.
In addition to her work on the Bench, Judge Kravitz contributed to the legal community through the Conference of County Court Judges, where she served as past president and legislative chair for 15 years. She received the Harvey Ford Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Conference. Judge Kravitz also served as past president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
“Judge Kravitz was not only a dedicated judge but a very caring person who devoted her time to this community and to the legal profession through her many years on the Miami-Dade County Canvassing Board and her extensive contributions to the Conference of County Court judges. Prior to becoming an attorney and judge, she was a school teacher and she continued to show her love for children by being involved in the court’s educational activities for visiting school groups. She will be greatly missed by all of us here,” said the Honorable Bertila Soto, Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit
Here's what we get from what we are reading: A judge who delighted in her job; who was always ready to help her colleagues, and who worked tirelessly for our community. A woman who loved animals, made friends easily, and was adored by those who knew her. What a tragic loss for our community.