Robert Scott, Broward Circuit judge, dies at 90

 

acave@MiamiHerald.com

Robert Clement Scott, a Broward County Circuit Judge from 1982 through 1993, and local lawyer, died Wednesday. He was 90.

Scott, born in April 1923, and raised in Chicago, was “a man of extraordinary interests,” according to Mary Scott, his wife of 60 years. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame law school, and went on to serve in World War II. The Bronze Star veteran then practiced law in Chicago for three years before moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1951.

According to his son Patrick, he was one of the first 150 legal practitioners in the Fort Lauderdale area. His South Florida résumé also includes 60 years with The Florida Bar, three terms with the Florida Bar Board of Governors and a fellow position with the American College of Probate Counsel.

Beyond his more than 45 years of law experience — 34 as a lawyer and 11 as a judge — Scott served as a voice for women and minorities. Mary Scott said he did not mind telling other people what he believed in, even if they did not agree. According to his wife, he was the first lawyer to attend a local women’s lawyers association meeting.

“He had a foot in each door,” she said. “He was that kind of a person.”

In a nomination letter to the Broward County Circuit Court, dated March 2, 1983, Fourth District Court of Appeals judge Hugh Glickstein commended Scott on his focus toward oppressed groups.

“It was so refreshing to find in Mr. Scott an individual who was part of the establishment, but who championed the individual rights of minorities,” he wrote in the letter. “Although socially prominent, he elected not to belong to a restricted club in Fort Lauderdale which catered to the establishment.”

Longtime friend and historian William Crawford said Scott mainly practiced family law, but he never took himself seriously.

“He was a tremendous jokester, he always enjoyed a good joke, he could always tell a good joke,” Crawford said.

Crawford, former chair of the Broward County Historical Commission, recalls Scott’s vast library of books and one particular collection — stamped envelopes. Scott collected stamped envelopes addressed to various people throughout Florida, before the territory became a state in 1845. The envelopes dated back to 1822.

Patrick said his father had wide ranging interests, pointing out that he did crossword puzzles that had “no diagrams.”

In addition to his wife Mary and son Patrick, Scott is survived by son Gregory, daughter Julie, grandchildren Austin, Brian, and Mary, brother Charles, sister Arlene and multiple nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the Baird-Case Jordan Fannin Funeral Home, 4343 N. Federal Hwy., Fort. Lauderdale. A burial mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 4595 Bayview Drive, Fort Lauderdale. The family asks that any donations be made to their favorite charity.

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