EDWARD R. BLUMBERG
A Deep Respect for Legal Tradition
Edward R. Blumberg practices law based upon fundamental traditions. “To me, the highest calling in the secular world is being a lawyer,” says the Miami trial attorney. “But for the unique role lawyers serve, our democracy would cease to exist.”
Respect for the traditions of the practice of law is evident at Deutsch & Blumberg, P.A., says Blumberg, a founding partner of the firm. “We will fire a client who wants us to do something unethical. If a prospective client does not tell the truth, the case will be politely declined,” Blumberg explains. “Once lost, a lawyer’s integrity and independence cannot be easily recovered.”
Adhering to the traditional values of hard work and humility, Blumberg is reluctant to say much about himself or his accomplishments, which include being named in the book “The Best Lawyers in America.”
Former Florida Bar President Burton Young, a partner at Young Berman Karpf & Gonzalez, has known Blumberg for almost 35 years. “Ed has a sterling character and is a born leader with the intellect and motivation to improve the administration of justice,” he says. “He is one of the most respected lawyers in the state, and I have seen him do great things in law and in his practice.”
A Respect for History
Blumberg, an only child, was raised by his mother in Atlanta following his parents’ divorce. His mother’s ancestors were Sephardic Jews. Expelled from Portugal, they moved to Holland and then to Curacao before settling in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1770. A generation later, the family moved to Charleston, S.C., and then to Georgia in the late 1800s. “A lot of my ancestors were in the clergy,” he says. “One of my great grandfathers came from Atlanta to Key West to be the rabbi in the 1920s.” Blumberg adds that he was taught to do my work without fanfare. “I was raised with an old-fashioned work ethic. As a child, I was mowing lawns, raking leaves, and delivering the Atlanta Journal after school.
At 15 years old, Blumberg took a part-time job as a stock clerk at a shoe store in Lenox Square. After a salesperson quit, the manager asked Blumberg to fill in, and Blumberg soon became one of the store’s top sales associates. “I learned much about human nature in that shop,” says Blumberg.
Blumberg continued to build his “people skills” as a college student at the University of Georgia, where he majored in psychology. He was also a door-to-door salesman selling coupon books with “two for one” offers. Intending to apply to graduate school in psychology, Blumberg took the LSAT to practice his test taking. “I remember opening the booklet and I immediately grasped the mindset of the questions,” he says. Receiving a very high LSAT score, he realized that his future lay in the law.
After researching law schools, Blumberg decided on the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the oldest law school in the United States with distinguished alumni like Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall. “The lawyer’s role as the protector of the lone individual was inculcated in every student,” Blumberg says.
During college, Blumberg had visited Fort Lauderdale on spring break and found it to be a vibrant place. “I felt that South Florida was a relatively new area where opportunities were unlimited,” he says. Upon graduation, Blumberg moved to Miami and became a law clerk at the downtown law firm Knight, Peters, Hoeveler, Pickle, Niemoeller & Flynn. Upon passing the Bar, he was promoted to associate.
As a new lawyer, Blumberg was trained by legendary trial attorneys, Cecyl Pickle, William Hoeveler, Jack Peters and Bill Flynn. Before long, Blumberg was in the courtroom himself, defending big cases against top plaintiff lawyers. While Blumberg was successful in the courtroom, he began gravitating away from defense and toward the plaintiff’s side — especially after helping a paraplegic woman in a medical malpractice case against the Veterans Administration.
Opening his Practice
In 1978, Blumberg opened a new practice specializing in plaintiff’s cases with partner Steven K. Deutsch in the downtown office building that they still occupy. “Steve and I share the desire to leave no stone unturned in representing our clients,” he says. “We both have the same devotion to the practice of law and have a similar approach.”
Through the decades, Blumberg has represented countless catastrophically injured victims of medical malpractice, products liability, motor vehicle accidents, recreational accidents and other negligence-related matters. That includes the families of several deceased and seriously injured law enforcement officers.
“I still have the same energy and motivation. My best work lies ahead. About the only change in our practice is that we handle cases all over the state, rather than just in South Florida,” Blumberg says,. “The most important thing for us is to attain a full measure of justice for the people we represent. We can’t restore their health, but we can help them regain their dignity, and move forward with their lives.”
Leadership in the Law
Blumberg became active in The Florida Bar early in his career, and worked his way up becoming its president in 1997. “One of my priorities for the Bar was to help lawyers,” he says. “For instance, I proposed the rule that allowed lawyers to sell their practices and also instituted a mediation system for resolving disputes rather than automatic disciplinary action. There were other lawyer—oriented changes that are still in use.”
In addition to a busy trial practice, Blumberg has remained active in professional circles and as a lecturer. He has represented William & Mary as a lawyer and as an official delegate. He and his wife Iliana have two children, Beau, a third-year law student at the College of William and Mary School of Law, and Caroline, a graduate of Rollins College who is pursuing a master’s degree in electronic media at St. Thomas University. Blumberg credits his wife for the children’s success.
Asked what advice he gave his son about becoming a lawyer, Blumberg says, “Remember the core function of the lawyer is to protect the rights the Constitution has provided. You have a lifelong obligation to serve the community and the profession. Find mentors that you respect and listen to their advice. Money must never be a primary goal. The pursuit of justice must come first. Hard work and preparation will win the day. Finally, remain unfailingly polite and take a quiet pride on a job well done.”
South Florida Legal Guide 2014 Edition
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