Prominent Lawyer Opposes Naming Courtroom After Lobbyist Instead Of Judge

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

The seemingly non-controversial naming of a courtroom after the late lobbyist/lawyer Michael Moskowitz has suddenly become controversial.

 

 

Mike Moskowitz

 

Gaylord Wood, the veteran downtown Fort Lauderdale lawyer  and property appraisal expert who for years was a fixture in the property appraiser’s office, is complaining about the move.

 

Gaylord Woods

 

Wood says courtrooms should only be named after late judges. His letter to the Broward County Commission states:

 

“I live in Broward County since 1946 and have been a practicing lawyer in Broward County since 1962. I am a Life Member of the Broward County Bar Association. Naming to honor is good for dead judges who toil for years in the judicial system. For example, Judge George W. Tedder Sr. honored the short stretch of S.E. 6th. Street where he was a Judge for 36 years. Another was his son, former Broward Chief Judge George Tedder Jr. There are many, many deceased lawyers whose names are in the Southern Reports and should never be named in a courtroom because they were not judges. Pioneering Black lawyer W. George Allen? No, but the BCBA building? Absolutely. Long time Broward County Attorney John U. Lloyd? No, but the County Attorney suite, absolutely. Mike Satz and Howard Finkelstein their names should never be affixed to a courtroom. The north wing of the Broward County Judicial Complex is now known as the Judge Thomas J. “TJ” Reddick, Jr. North Building in honor of the former judge and founder of the TJ Reddick Bar Association is a worthy honor.

“It is bad business for the name of anyone who was not a judge to have his or her name affixed to a Courtroom. Mike Moskowitz was never a Judge.

“One of the dangers of engaging in this practice is if a firm still uses the lawyer’s name. If I were representing a client in a case against the firm of Moskowitz Mandell Salim & Simowitz, and the Courtroom was affixed as “THE MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ COURTROOM”. If I had any proceeding scheduled in that room against that firm, I would immediately move to change the room.

“Mike Moskowitz was a mensch – but never a judge.

“I respectfully request that the Commission find some other way to honor Mr. Moskowitz’ many accomplishments, other than naming a courtroom after him.”

 

The idea that the courtroom should be named for Moskowitz comes from County Commissioner Mark Bogen.

You can read my views on Moskowitz published shortly after his death through this link.

Bogen said in his resolution naming Courtroom 15150 that Moskowitz deserves the recognition because of his “decades of contributions by Michael Moskowitz to the County and the Broward County community.”

Moskowitz was definitely an excellent lawyer, an outstanding advocate for his clients including many lobbying clients. But he was also a dedicated fund raiser for many community charities and a Democratic Party stalwart. His son is Jared Moskowitz, who is about to win a seat in the U. S. House from Broward.

Commissioners will now have to consider whether Moskowitz’s many achievements should be rewarded with the naming of a courtroom.

The resolution naming the courtroom is on the November 15 agenda.

One suggestion to limit controversy in the future: Perhaps guidelines should be established to determine just who would qualify in the future for this honor.

 

 

 

 



9 Responses to “Prominent Lawyer Opposes Naming Courtroom After Lobbyist Instead Of Judge”

  1. Old Timer says:

    Mike Moskowitz was also a political operative and his political legacy excluded the Republicans. The naming of a courtroom is inappropriate because he tilted the scales of justice, rather than seeking balance.

  2. Kathy DiBona says:

    Agreed!

  3. Wisdom says:

    I agree. Judges who passed only. Otherwise we will have every building named after whoever threw the most money at the Commission .

  4. Kevin Bolling says:

    First Mike Moskowitz was a democratic politician builder. He has a great son Jared Moskowitz, who started as a Parkland Commissioner and worked next to Presidents, Governors, and community leaders that shaped Broward. If you were on Mr. M.Moskowtz’s side you were a winner. He did shape the political fabric of Broward. Anyone that knows me knows I’m not a fan of lawyers, but a huge supporter and fan of judges. They are on fixed budgets and earn every penny. Most Judges are put in a position of being loved or hated daily. I believe that if they do what they believe to be correct, God blesses them. Naming a courtroom
    after an honorable Judges who served Broward County and went on to service the people of Broward like the Honerable B Butterworth, G. Brescher. Leaders of integratiy and good moral standing should be remembered.

  5. Tell the Truth says:

    Only in Broward.

    Don’t do it.

  6. Bad Idea says:

    While I mean no disrepect to Mr. Moskowitz or his family, this sounds like a horrible idea. To the point made @1, Mr. Moskowitz would be first one to admit that he was a political operative and, of course, there is no shame in that at all. However, one has to wonder what is motivating Commissioner Bogen to make such a suggestion. Whole thing makes less than no sense and is just a slippery slope … soon enough the politicians will be naming courtrooms for themselves !

  7. Davie Blvd Lawyer says:

    The entire thought process of wanting to name something after a person is a ridiculous idea. Almost all politicos in S. Fla are not universally liked and many have nothing to do with the location that is being named for them, i.e. Ronald Reagan Turnpike, Moscowitz Courtroom. Many times history will find a way to attack the person, i.e. John Lloyd, or worse, he/she turns out to be a criminal. Usually, the facility being named after a person was the result of the hard work of many people who contributed to the project more than the person it is named for, i.e. Clay Shaw Bridge. The idea reeks of cronyism. We don’t need names on everything. Politicians are supposed to do good for the community. That is why they ran for office. Only an egomaniac wants their name plastered on a park or building.

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Come on, where outside banana republics would n NON JUDGE get a Courthouse or Courtroom named after them? Remember trying to name part of North Federal Highway after Lauren Book to ingratiate people with her Father’s fundraising prowess? I believe South Florida acts like the Third World sometimes

  9. Broward Guy says:

    Mike Moskowitz was widely admired, liked, and respected. He was an important figure in Broward County for many years. But a courtroom should not be named after him, for reasons many here have already described. Mark Bogen shouldn’t have suggested it. He should know better but he lacks the ability to analyze anything holistically or deliberately. He operates in the emotion of the moment and will either try to punish or please, whatever he thinks will make him look best. I’m guessing he just wanted to suck up to the Moskowitz family, especially since Jared Moskowitz is a Commissioner, and soon to be Congressman.

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