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Martin G. Zilber’s investiture makes three a charm

DEREK-3Martin G. Zilber’s investiture makes three a charm

Judge Martin G. Zilber (second from left) his son, Michael, wife Cindi, and daughter, Leigh.

By Derek Joy

     There was more than the usual pomp and circumstance of formality at the investiture of Miami Dade Circuit Judge Martin G. Zilber.

Stories and quotes, some from famous historical figures.  Humor and more.  Interestingly enough, all in the once proud landmark, now decaying Dade County Courthouse at 73 W. Flagler St., Miami.

Rev. Carl Johnson, pastor of the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church, set the tone for the investiture with an inspiring invocation.

“As always on this special day, we have special guests,” said Chief Judge Beth de la Soto, acknowledging Miami Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez, Harvey Ruvin, Clerk of Courts and the Miami Dade county Commission, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Miami Commissioners Marc Sarnoff and Willy Gort and a cadre of some 50 sitting and retired judges on the 11th Judicial Circuit, among other prominent members of the community.

The oath of office was administered by Zilber’s uncle, retired Chief Judge Joel Brown, who said:  “The expression collective wisdom of a jury is appropriate.  You have no better resource than the collective wisdom of your colleagues.”

Martin G. Zilber’s investiture makes three a charm

While its counterpart in Bro-ward County is well on the construction path of a new, state of the art, 22- story structure, the Dade County Court-house is currently in the midst of some modest renovations after voters last November failed to approve a bond issue to fully restore this once magnificent structure.

“We have some renovation contracts ongoing,” Ruvin, who is the only elected official to have served more than 20 years in two different public offices.

In the interim, Zilber, like other newly elected Miami Dade County and Circuit Court Judges, conduct investiture ceremonies in the 24-story building that, when constructed in 1926, was the tallest structure in the Southeastern United States.

“Today is really not about me,” Zilber said, thanking his wife, Cindi, children, Michael and Leigh, mother Linda and countless other family, friends, elected officials and supporters. “I had a lot of time to talk about myself over the past year and a half.

Retired Judge Israel Reyes,

as featured speaker, took a page quote from Teddy Roosevelt:  “No man can be a  citizen unless he is a good husband, a good father, faithful to his friends with honesty, integrity and a sound heart.”

Reyes continued:  “What I like most about Martin is that he doesn’t try to hide things.  He’s very humble guy. You al-ways know what you’re getting from Martin.  It’s far and away the best prize to work at work worth doing.”

Prominent Miami Attorney Alan Diamond, a partner in the law firm Greenberg Trauwig, added:  “You’ve achieved your long held dream to be a judge.”

Steven W. Davis, another past president of the Dade County Bar Association, went a step further.

“Public service has always been in Judge Zilber’s life,” Davis said, citing Zilber’s experience as a Magistrate, member of the Public Health Trust Board of Trustees and other notable public service experiences.

Zilber’s son, Michael, who is entering law school, offered some poignant thoughts.

“We never really had a campaign victory celebration because we went so late into the night waiting on the final vote count.  So, thank you everyone,” said Michael Zilber.

“This is not the first time he ran for judge.  He ran in 2000 and tried to get appointed in 2011.  I’m glad you didn’t run in those other 11 years so you could be with us (mother Cindi and sister Leigh).  If you’re half the judge as you are a father, you’ll be a great judge.”

Zilber  intends to work hard to ensure access to the courts and make concerted efforts to treat everyone fairly and make sure everyone leaves court knowing they were heard and understood and given a to ex-plain their side of what happened.

“Where I am now (Juvenile Justice Center) in Dependency, to me it is all about the best interest of the child, make sure we protect the most innocent (the children), who do not always have their own voice.

“They are our future and every child deserves a safe and loving home,” said Zilber, who then added a quote from Sir Winston Churchill:  “You make a living by what you get.   You make a life by what you give.”

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