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Thursday, January 04, 2018

JUDGES KRAVITZ AND PHIL BLOOM HAVE PASSED AWAY

UPDATED: Judge Shelly Kravitz and Judge Phil Bloom have both passed away this week. Judge Kravitz was not someone we knew well. Here is the Herald Obit for her.
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



11 comments:

Rumpole said...

I didn't know her. But I love the fact she named her dog Lenny. Lenny Kravitz. Showed she had a sense of humor about her life. Seems like the type of person I'd like to hang out with- except for the veggie thing. It's steakhouses for me. But still, she seems like she was a very warm and caring judge. I just don't work in her milieu. I truly hope this post brings lots of positive remembrances about her. I'm guessing there are many many wonderful stories.

Ric Margolius said...

Shelley was indeed one of a kind. Bright, attractive and committed to do the right thing always. She will be missed by so many. Rest in peace my beautiful friend.

Anonymous said...

I did know both rather well and liked them both. Both were kind and friendly. Both treated everyone with respect and kindness. Both made hard decisions but, made the litigants feel they had their position full considered. Both, outside of court were funny and nice. I will miss both of them.

David Deehl said...

Judge Kravetz and I were in a study group while at UM Law in 1979. She was hard working, and enthusiastic about learning. She had a winning smile, and was able to conduct her work with dignity. She was a kind person who was a friend to my father, fellow judge Robert M. Deehl. She will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I wish we could find out what the funeral plans are going to be for Shelly.

Nobody is talking.

Anonymous said...

The answering machine when she was married to Pepe was worth a million bucks, only Shelley! The intro was the theme "Cuba Cuba Cubanito", only a girl from Hialeah!

Anonymous said...

Phil Bloom, those of us who practiced before recall his early "dawn" motion calendar and him asking those in attendance to raise their hands to indicate whether a continuance should or should not be granted. He was indeed a good Judge, grounded on decency and common sense. Those were different days. One of my memories of Phil Bloom was as a first year associate when I was arguing an important motion against a very experienced lawyer. I though I was going to loose and have to report the lose to the Senior Partner, when Phil Bloom looked at my opposing counsel and asked "so you want me to rule in your favor on a technicality not on substance?" He ruled in my favor. That was Phil Bloom. I have to say, that goes for a lot of the Old School Judges, their rulings reflected reality, not technicalities!

Anonymous said...

Good thing for you he didn't rule based on spelling.

the trialmaster said...

Phil was a great guy. Very funny and an early riser. Always well dressed and loved to stay after work and go to heat games. His humor sometimes would hurt if you were a plaintiff with a serious case before a jury. His baliff, John Brotherhood, an English chap was always a pleasure to deal with unlike some of today like Jeff with Judge Rodriguez. I tried quite a few cases in front of him, both civil and criminal and he was a pleasure on the bench. Although some called him "Bloomin Idiot" I loved the guy. Saw him in airport a few years ago and he looked bad then. May he rest in peace

Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly!

Anonymous said...

Judge Kravitz was a class act. She gave the same time, attention, and respect to young lawyers arguing before her as she did with veterans. She was fair and I always felt like I had a fair shot in front of her.