Michael Juviler
Michael Juviler ()

Michael Juviler, a retired Brooklyn judge who was known for his commitment to fairness, died Jan. 20 at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Juviler was born in London in 1936 and became a U.S. citizen in 1945. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1960 and began his legal career with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which was under the leadership of DA Frank Hogan.

While with the office, Juviler helped prosecute music “payola” cases, in which radio DJs were accused of taking payments from record companies to play certain tracks.

Juviler also helped lead investigations exposing the so-called quiz show scandals, in which it was found that game show producers were providing assistance to contestants, and later worked for as chief of the Manhattan DA’s Appeals Bureau.

Through his career, Juviler argued five times before the U.S. Supreme Court and was able to submit an amicus brief in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), a landmark case involving searches and seizures by police.

Juviler went on to serve in the mid-1970s as the first counsel for the nascent Office of Court Administration. In 1979, he joined the bench on Brooklyn Criminal Court and later became a state Supreme Court justice.

Justice L. Priscilla Hall of the Appellate Division, Second Department, who knew Juviler during their time together on the bench, described Juviler as a “gentleman” who treated those before him in court with respect.

Additionally, Juviler was an expert on the law regarding search and seizure and said she often looked to him for guidance on the issue. “I just liked his perspective on things—his judgment, his discernment and his level of law,” Hall said.

Juviler retired from the bench in 2001 and moved to Florida.

“A student last year asked me why I became a judge,” he told the New York Daily News for a June 2001 article about his impending retirement. “I responded three things: I believe in fairness. I love the law and I like to make decisions.”

In 1999, Juviler was appointed to the court system’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, a role he held until a month before his death.

George Marlow, co-chair of the committee, said that committee meetings tend to have a “lively” atmosphere, but that Juviler was so respected by other members that “you could hear a pin drop in the room when he spoke.”

“He was just a beloved, brilliant person,” Marlow said.

Juviler is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Elizabeth and Adam; stepdaughter Julie and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday in Delray Beach, Florida.