Monday, October 16, 2017


There's a new Hawaiian shirt in heaven today. 
We received some very sad news that long-time Assistant Public Defender Roy Gonzalez, who had retired, has passed away. 
Below is the obituary that we received from his wife.

Roy was a wonderful man and a great and dedicated attorney. And, as legions of young assistant public defenders learned, he was one of the go-to guys in the office when you needed help on a case. And if he wasn't in court, then he wasn't hard to find- just look for the guy wearing a brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt. 

Roy loved reading our blog.  His reading our blog and participation was a source of pleasure and pride  for us.  

None of these are easy, and these last two- George and Roy, have hit hard because they were good men, and their passing was so unexpected. 

Hang in there folks and make every day count. 

Roy Gonzalez, Jr., went to be with his Lord on October 14, 2017, after a short battle with cancer.  He was born July 10, 1944, to Rogelio (Roy) and Margarita (Casanueva) Gonzalez, in Miami Beach, Florida.  He attended Miami High, graduating Class of '62; the University of Florida (Go Gators), graduating Class of '66; and the charter class of the Florida State School of Law, graduating Class of '69.  He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army like his father before him, serving at Camp Howze near the DMZ in South Korea as a 1st Lieutenant with the 2nd Infantry Division during the Vietnam Era.  He worked in the Florida legislature and practiced criminal defense law in Miami, both in private practice and with the Public Defenders Office of the 11th Judicial Circuit, where he was famous for wearing Hawaiian shirts when not in court. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Robin (Ledee) Gonzalez, who he cherished and loved to spoil.

Luke 10:15 says there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents, and what a party the angels had in 1994 when Roy found Jesus and was born again into the Christian faith. He lovingly served his Lord by becoming a choir member and moderator of the Key Biscayne Community Church from 1995 until 2006, when he moved to Highlands County, where he continued his service as deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid and where he also continued to make a joyful noise to the Lord by singing in their choir.

A celebration of life will be at First Presbyterian Church, 118 N. Oak Avenue, Lake Placid, FL,  on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  Visitation with the family will be at 1 p.m. with the service at 2 p.m., with Rev. Raymond Cameron officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Genesis Center Building Fund, P.O. Box 326, Lake Placid, FL, 33862, or Heartlandcatrescue.com in honor of the beloved cats Roy and Robin had adopted through their years together.


Anonymous said...

Roy was a gem. A wonderful man who was a very good lawyer and was just the type of public defender you wanted. Someone who cared about his clients and worked tirelessly for them. He has been missed since he left.

PD said...

Roy was a PD with me back in the days of the cocaine cowboys and the McDuffie riots when we were overwhelmed with cases and losing lawyers every day to private practice. We held the line when it was thin and fought the good fight and now I've lost a brother in arms. Peace and via con dios mi amigo.

Anonymous said...


When someone passes away and it makes this blog, can you please post a photo of him or her so, we know who it is?

Anonymous said...

I'm scared to read this blog ...but continue to honor these late lawyers

Anonymous said...

Roy was nice and funny. This really sucks.

Anonymous said...

I regret that I never had the opportunity to try a case with Roy.

From 1991 as a non-certified CLE until I left the office in 1997, Roy was an enigma. He reminded me of Hawkeye Pierce, gifted and committed beyond measure, not keen to attachments, titles or positions.

In the "old days," we had three weeks off to prepare for trial, and one week to try our cases. Other than Edith Georgi and Rodney Thaxton, no one at Roy's level tried as many cases.

Roy was unorthodox. While not appropriate for a eulogy, this is a remembrance. Roy never lost his boyhood affinity for flatulence. He would walk into your office, pass gas and leave, without saying a word. It didn't matter if you knew him, if you were Bennett Brummer or if it was your first day on the job as a lawyer.

But when you had the worst case, the most difficult factual scenario, the most challenging ethical dilemma, when no "training attorney" was around, when there was no one to lean on, Roy would take you in, close his door and work it out, no matter how long it took.

Paul Calli

Anonymous said...

I was a pd with Roy after he came back from private practice. He was a savage.

Lucian Ferster said...

Does it strike anyone else as odd that people pay their respects to a departed colleague or friend and sign off as "Anonymous." This seems to be the emptiest of meaningless gestures. Why bother?

Roy Gonzalez and I worked together. He was a major goof. We had our differences. Who doesn't? But he was ALIVE! Funny, iconoclastic, irreverent, boyishly happy with his car and trains, unreservedly in love and lust with his young wife. And now Roy is gone. I hope he squeezed every bit of pleasure, joy, and excitement out of his brief life. Go well into the night Roy....

Lucian Ferster

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Roy. A tremendous lawyer, with great compassion for his clients, he was a credit to his profession and to this community. Tough in the courtroom, he always fought the spirited fight. Outside the courtroom, few had a better semse of humor or a better laugh than Roy. May he RIP.

Theodore Mastos said...

Roy was one of the old school guys who always played by the rules. His word was his bond. We grew up in an era before cell phones, computers, and emails where an old fashioned phone call was all it took to settle a case. If not settled, Roy was always ready to do battle in the courtroom. I worked with Roy both as a prosecutor, judge and defense lawyer. Whatever the occasion, he always had a smile on his face.

The problem with getting old is that I am seeing more and more brothers and sisters of our profession passing on. I saw Roy a few years ago when I had a grow house case in Sebring and he was still practicing.

I am truly sorry to hear of his passing, but have comfort to know that he is in a better place

rick freedman said...

Hi Rick, "I'm Roy the Goy". And that's how I met Roy Gonzalez. I first knew Roy as a fraternity brother from the University of Florida. Although Roy was much older than me, I was working on the Alumni Directory and found out that a Roy Gonzalez was a TEP Fraternity brother of mine - he was from the 1963 pledge class. I made contact with him, and he proudly explained to me that, he was affectionately known as Roy the Goy back then. (TEP is a predominantly Jewish fraternity at UF). And I also found out that he was a criminal defense lawyer.

I never had a conversation with Roy that did not end in me laughing and smiling. That chuckle, that deep hilariously funny chuckle, well it just can't be replicated. He loved life, he enjoyed sharing with his friends, and he would joke on anybody, given the chance. But he was also one hell of an attorney. He would go to bat and battle in the courtroom and fight like hell for every one of his clients.

After Roy moved North to central Florida I spoke with him a few times, even referred some matters to him, but we mostly just talked and he did a lot of chuckling.

I will miss my friend and fraternity brother Roy Gonzalez.

Rick Freedman

Carlos Maury said...

I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see Roy in the last few years and express my gratitude to him and to tell him how much of an impact he had on my career. I'll remember Roy for his great sense of humor, his effusive contagious laughter, for his generosity, and for his storytelling. Even now, I can hear Roy's laugh. I'll also remember Roy for being a great lawyer and advocate. The old guard knows what I'm talking about, you could see it in their eyes when in Roy's company. Roy was a born litigator and he had the magic. I'll never have the talent that he had, but he taught me how to fight, how to prepare every aspect of a case, down to the minutiae which sometimes meant the difference in a case. Thank you Roy, may God bless you, RIP.

Anonymous said...

As a former PD with Roy I was unfortunate enough to share an office with him. He was never a kick ass trial lawyer but did a good job getting pleas for his clients. He did have an affinity for passing gas and not caring who was around to hear and smell the wind he broke. He would laugh and move on. He was always in favor of a good time. Today he is probably passing gas with the Holy Ghost and laughing about it. RIP old PD/.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That 10/18 11:30 am comment is just terrible.

Sour grapes. Typical disgruntled PD lifer left that comment.

Anonymous said...

11:48...Not disgruntled at all. In fact not a lifer or sour grapes. In fact I loved my time with the PD and would not trade it for anything. But Roy could break wind at will. I marveled at his ability to do that. He was a great guy and I attended many a party he threw when he lived at Tanglewood, aka Tangleweed.....