Services are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Sunday for acclaimed Miami criminal defense attorney Richard Sharpstein, who committed suicide at his Miami Beach home.
The funeral will be held at Temple Beth Shalom, 4144 Chase Ave., Miami Beach.
An outpouring of tributes continued to flow from the legal community Thursday for Sharpstein, 63, who was widely considered one of South Florida’s best trial lawyers. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko honored him with a moment of silence and prayer at the start of an annual judicial reception conducted by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers in Miami.
“He was a mentor and a friend, and we miss him,” the judge said after the lunch. “He would light up a room. There are a lot of talented people in town, and not everybody was such a friend.”
Most notably, she said “he treated me as an equal” when she served as a young prosecutor for the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.
On the Daily Business Review’s website, former Third District Court of Appeal Chief Judge Juan Ramirez Jr. wrote: “I admired Richard as an attorney and later as a judge when he appeared in front of me. He was colorful but ethical and trustworthy. His arguments were well thought out and incisive. As a human being, he was a great guy. We will miss him.”
Sharpstein’s death Tuesday was ruled a suicide by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department and police. Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said the conclusion “was based on evidence on the scene as well as statements made by those that were close to him to investigators.”
Akerman, which hired Sharpstein as a partner last year, announced it will honor him with a donation to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Foundation for Criminal Justice in support of its education and training programs to improve indigent defense in federal and state courts.
“Richard’s passing has triggered an outpouring of emotion and sorrow for the loss of a truly exceptional man with a charismatic and engaging personality, a warm and generous spirit and a tremendous sense of humor,” said Andrew Smulian, chairman and CEO of Akerman. “Renowned for his uniquely animated style and spirited way with words, Richard’s skills as a trial lawyer were quite extraordinary as was his commitment to his clients.”
Sharpstein is survived by his parents, Sid and Marilyn Sharpstein of Boca Raton, and three children, Jessica, Catherine and Michael.