Sunday, September 30, 2007

AUSA Hugo Black III passed away this weekend

I am sorry to report that Hugo Black III suddenly passed away this weekend.

I saw Hugo recently and he appeared to be in good health and good spirits; this is a shock.

As the person who emailed me with this sad news said, "Hugo was one of the good ones. He was thoughtful, hardworking, fair, and a complete gentleman. He never spoke ill of anyone, was diligent in his work, and a good friend to his colleagues. Those who had the pleasure of working with him in the District I suspect came away with the same impression."

I couldn't say it better myself. I've worked with Hugo on a number of cases and he was exactly what a prosecutor should be -- fair and open-minded. He was always quick to say hello and ask how you were doing. He liked talking about his cases and he really loved the camaraderie in the U.S. Attorney's office.

Hugo was the grandson of the great Justice with the same name.

This is really sad news. I am going to open up the comments section to allow you to post your memories of Hugo, and I will post the funeral arrangements as soon as I hear of them.

UPDATED -- here is the obit, written by Jay Weaver, which includes the funeral arrangements:

Hugo L. Black III, a highly regarded Miami federal prosecutor and grandson of a former U.S. Supreme Court justice, died Saturday. He was 54.
Black died unexpectedly from gastrointestinal bleeding at his home in Coconut Grove, according to colleagues at the U.S. Attorney's Office.
''One of our dearest colleagues passed away on Saturday,'' said Eric Bustillo, chief of the office's economic and environmental crimes section.
``We're all very saddened by Hugo's death. He was an outstanding lawyer and an incredible guy.''
Black grew up in Miami, graduating from Palmetto High School and Yale University.
He obtained his law degree from Stanford University and clerked for the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
He later became a partner with a Los Angeles firm that specialized in entertainment law.
But he yearned to return home to Miami and in 1995 joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Florida, Bustillo said. He prosecuted major white collar fraud cases in the healthcare, banking and securities industries.
''He was one of our most valued lawyers,'' said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman.
Black is survived by his wife, Jeannine Black; his father, lawyer Hugo L. Black Jr. of Miami; his sisters, Elizabeth Black of Australia and Margaret Black of California.
The family is holding a memorial service at Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove at 2 p.m. Sunday.


Marcos Daniel Jimenez said...

Hugo was a great person and a superb lawyer. This is a tragic loss. He was a finalist for the Third DCA position last year, and should have been one again this year. He would have become a fantastic judge eventually. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Very sad. We have lost one of the good ones. I hope the turnout at Plymouth Congregational is substantial and reflects the depth of our loss and the respect all of us have for Hugo.

Anonymous said...

Hugo was a really fine prosecutor. Highly ethical and a straight shooter. This is truly a sad loss.

Rumpole said...

He was really one of the good guys. This is a shock and very sad.

Unknown said...

I just heard the news from a colleague of Hugo. My heart goes out to his wife and family. Besides being a fair and honest prosecutor, Hugo was a kind- hearted warm soul. He was one of the few in our profession that went out of his way, not only to say hello, but to chat about other things unrelated to the law. And, he was the guy that always had a smile on his face. You will be missed by many Hugo.

Anonymous said...

I was Hugo's aide when he served in the Florida legislature. He was devoted, hard working, ethical in the extreme, and interested only in the welfare of his constituents. That was 30 years ago, and we remained friends since that time. I could always count on him for his excellent judgment, quick wit, and a hearty laugh.

My love to Hugo, his dad, Jeannine, and his sisters.

Anonymous said...

It was such a shock yesterday to hear the tragic news about Hugo. I still remember him as a young law clerk. Hugo always had a smile on his face and he had a great sense of humor. Hugo and I lost touch after his clerkship, but I often thought of him and wondered how he was doing. I'm very saddened by his passing and regret that I did not have an opportunity to visit with him these past years at Judge Higginbotham’s reunions.

My heart goes out to his family. They are in my thoughts and prayers at this truly difficult time.

Anonymous said...

The tennis guys (and girls) of the late 60s, who grew up with Hugo, have lost one of their own. It was a special time, and we were lucky to have Hugo as part of it. He was truly "one of the good ones."
andy glatstein

Anonymous said...

Hugo and I grew up in south Florida together. We both went off to college on the east coast and I would hitchhike to Yale to see him during our college years. We were "kindered" souls but lost touch when I moved to CA. For some reason I tried to find Hugo today via the internet only to find he passed away. Many of you talked about what a sense of humor he had and how much he laughed. I am sure he has gone to a happy place. Fernando, if you read this, try to get ahold of me.

Kevin Peters