Judge Philip Bloom (1930 - 2018)

Obituary
  • "To The Bloom Family: It is with great sorrow that the Isaac..."
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  • "Dear Elaine, Anne and David, Our deepest condolences on..."
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  • "Dear Elaine, Anne, David and family. Our sincere..."

One of South Florida's most respected and honored judges, passed away on January 4, 2018, from the complications of Parkinson's disease. He was a man of integrity, kindness, and wit – devoted to his family, his community, and to the highest standards of the legal profession.

Born June 14, 1930 (Flag Day, which he loved to celebrate) in New Rochelle, New York to Anna and Sam Bloom. As the son of immigrants, he revered American history and its justice system. He was an outstanding leader at Isaac E. Young High School (Chief Judge of the Student Court). At Columbia College (AB, 1952) he was City Editor of the Spectator Newspaper. At Columbia Law School (JD, 1954) he was elected President of the First-Year Class.

He was appointed as a Trial Attorney in the Anti-trust Division of the US Dept. of Justice (1954-1958) and later served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of New York State (1960-1962) in the Anti-Monopolies Bureau.

He married Barnard student Elaine Bernstein in December 1955. The Blooms moved to Miami in October 1962 with their baby daughter Anne. Son David was born in Miami.
Judge Bloom practiced commercial law in Miami with several law firms including Brickman, Male and Bloom, before joining the national firm Finley, Kumble, Wagner, in 1978, where he was Litigation Chief of their Miami office.

In 1984 he was elected a Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, a position he held without opposition for 18 years.

He created the Summer Court Observer Program which over 25 years provided more than 5000 law students the opportunity to see what goes on in a courtroom before they finished law school. He was a frequent and popular lecturer on Practicing with Professionalism at Dade County Bar programs for new lawyers. The Litigation Skills course he taught at the University of Miami School of Law was filled despite the 7am start time. He mentored hundreds of young lawyers, always urging them to respect each other and the law.

Judge Bloom was known for his 7:00 am hearings, which he offered to lawyers who needed to see him right away. Often, those intractable issues would then resolve. His 7 am motion calendar sessions were also famous. He was thorough, and always read the pleadings before the lawyers appeared in front of him. His sense of humor was legendary – in the courtroom as well as in private life.

Judge Bloom was named Most Outstanding Jurist in Florida by the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Section in 1997, received the prestigious David Dyer award of the Dade County Bar in 2003, and was designated a Legal Legend by History Miami's 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society in 2011, among many other honors and accolades.

He loved to play golf and tennis with his buddies for more than 40 years. He was always an optimistic person, even during his battle with Parkinson's disease. Above all, he loved his family and friends.

He enjoyed traveling around the USA and in Israel, where he visited with his many sabra cousins and their families. He was a supporter of the arts in Miami and particularly loved attending concerts. He read the Miami Herald and the New York Times every day – and enjoyed listening to audiobooks when driving. He loved life!

He always encouraged women professionally and was very proud of his wife, Elaine, who was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1974 and was a highly acclaimed legislator, later chosen as Speaker Pro-Tempore. She served a total of 18 years with his complete support.

Judge Bloom is survived by his wife, Elaine, daughter, Anne Bloom, her husband David and their children Eitan, Assaf (wife Jessica and baby Freya) and Segall; and by his son David Bloom, his husband Damian McNamara and their sons Dawson McNamara-Bloom and Donovan McNamara-Bloom, He also leaves many cousins, including closest cousin Martin Rubin, nieces and nephews including Marlene Bloom, Martin Bloom and Jonathan Bloom, brother-in-law Hirshel Bernstein (wife Gloria) and some cherished ""almost-relatives"" including Helene Berger (who has been like a sister for over 60 years), Ron Lowy (who was like a son for over 25 years) and many very close friends whom he loved dearly.

Special thanks must go to Gina Milfort, his wonderful caregiver, who, for almost 4 years took loving care of Philip. Gina, along with Elaine, kept him alive to see his grandson Dawson begin college at Brandeis U, and Elaine enjoy her position as President and CEO of the Plaza Health Network.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the National Parkinson's Foundation, www.parkinson.org/southflorida or the Philip and Elaine Bloom Family Supporting Foundation at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, 4200 Biscayne Blvd.,
Miami, FL 33137, or to the .

Services will be held Sunday, January 7, at 10:30 AM at Temple Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. Arrangements by Blasberg-Rubin-Zilbert (305) 538-6371

Published in the Miami Herald on Jan. 5, 2018
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