Lawyers organize new courthouse push

Dade County Courthouse
Dade County Courthouse

South Florida’s legal hotshots are hoping to convince voters to fund construction of a new home for civil litigation. They argue that the Dade County Courthouse is crumbling, mold-infested and termite-riddled.

“If this building had a private owner, the county would shut it down,” said attorney Eugene Stearns, a founding partner at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, a Miami law firm at the forefront of the courthouse planning, according to the Daily Business Review.

Stearns and fellow attorneys have formed the organization Building Blocks for Justice and they hope to raise $1.5 million to campaign for a property tax hike. The tax would fund a new 600,000-square-foot courthouse in downtown Miami.

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Voters will be asked to support a bond measure to raise $393 million.

But not everyone is behind the push. Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado has called building a new courthouse, a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“As a community, we should have a conversation first as to what went wrong with 73 West Flagler and what is the state of our system of court buildings,” she said. [Daily Business Review]Christopher Cameron