Norm Gerstein has dedicated his life to the interests of justice and to the needs of the South Florida community. On January 31, 2010 he retired from the Circuit Court after twenty nine years of service as a Judge, and is now a highly successful Mediator, Arbitrator, Receiver, Special Master and Umpire in Insurance disputes.
In 1981, Governor Bob Graham appointed him to the County Court at the age of 31. Following a successful career as a County Judge, Norm was appointed to the Circuit Court in 1986. He consistently earned extremely high ratings in the Dade County Bar Association’s annual Judicial Bar poll every year since his appointment in 1981. He has literally been assigned to every division of the court including general jurisdiction, probate, Criminal, Family, and Juvenile.
Norm was a highly respected and admired judge throughout his judicial career, and presided over numerous celebrated and high profile trials. He has been recognized as a lifelong advocate for the rights of children and persons with disabilities.
Judge Gerstein has remained a full time neutral and has been actively involved in mediations and arbitrations. He has extensive trial and mediation experience in virtually all areas of the law. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and has mediated over 700 cases in the last 6 years, He is also is a member of the American Arbitration Association and has presided over 70 arbitrations.
Norm’s service on the court has only been a part of his service to our community. After graduating from the University Of Miami School Of Law, he served with the Dade Public Defender’s Office. Norm represented and advocated on behalf of over one thousand developmentally and mentally ill children and adults committed to State institutions. Many of these institutions were considered very inhumane, overcrowded and understaffed. For his efforts on behalf of persons with disabilities, he was appointed to the State Wide task for implementation of the Bill Of Rights for Retarded Persons, and received numerous awards, which included the Friend of the Retarded Award from the Association for Retarded Citizens and the Humanitarian award from the Sunland Center for Retarded Persons.?
Norm Gerstein has been awarded numerous community and humanitarian awards throughout his career including the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Community Service Award and their lifetime Achievement Award, the Guardian Angel Award from the NFL YET center at Gwen Cherry Park, the Justice Harry Lee Anstead professionalism award, The Judge Wilkie Ferguson Advocacy Award, The Heart Award from the Boys and Girls Club of Miami and the Community Service Award from both the City of Miami and the City of South Miami
He has worked with many community organizations, and has served on numerous boards, including The Children’s Trust, Children’s Home Society, and the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention, the Florida Bar’s Committee on the legal needs of Children, The Supreme Court’s Committee on Court Related Needs of Children, Hands on Miami, and most recently the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews.