A life lived to the brim: remembering Bob Floyd.

AuthorHarkness, Jr., John F.
PositionFlorida - Testimonial

'Cheerful whistling" began the president's profile of Robert L. Floyd in the June 1978 Florida Bar Journal, and while many of us will remember this distinctive announcement that a friendly, outgoing man was coming our way, there is so much more to the legacy of Bob Floyd, who passed away on May 14.

His career is an impressive one: special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, mayor of Miami, Dade County representative to the Florida House of Representatives, circuit court judge, North Miami city attorney, and for 37 days in 1966, Dade County sheriff. He was also a senior law partner with Frates, Floyd, Pearson, Stewart, Richman and Greer, P.A., and a graduate of the Washington College of Law, now The American University.

So why, at 60 years old, did he want to be president of The Florida Bar? "When you become older and the list becomes narrower, you evaluate the circumstances and the timing. I had devoted 33 years of my life as a member of the Bar, so one of my goals was to serve as its president."

"He never gets angry, and he never makes anyone else angry," said C. Harris Dittmar of Jacksonville, who served on the Board of Governors during Floyd's presidency. "He brings about a cooperative effort. Bob is able to see a need for change and work for it, but he wants to know where we are going before he acts."

Floyd did not approach his term "to proliferate programs" that would "be nothing more than bigness for its own sake." His "reassessments," as he labeled them, for his term were addressing delays in attorney discipline that he considered to be unfair to the lawyer and the public; enhancing Bar communication/internal relations with its membership; and improving the quality of its CLE programs.


Floyd oversaw a substantial augmentation of the disciplinary program with the opening and expansion of branch offices to handle complaints and the hiring additional full-time staff attorneys. "The ultimate result" of the expanded program, Floyd believed, would be when "we have convinced the public that the lawyers of Florida meant what they said when they pledged to police our own ranks without the use of public funds."

Because of the adversary nature of the legal...

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