The Late Honorable Leonard Rivkind

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Judge Leonard Rivkind was born on September 24, 1926 in Philadelphia, P.A., grew up in New England, and moved to Florida as a young man. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II, earning the rank of sergeant and an honorable discharge in 1946. After which he enrolled in the University of Miami, earning his law degree and later a master’s in law.
During his many years as a successful attorney in Miami Beach, Judge Leonard Rivkind was always known as a fair-minded and righteous individual.
In 1975, then governor Reubin asked appointed Judge Leonard Rivkind to fill an opening in Dade county circuit court. Judge Rivkind went on to serve for more than two decades until he retired from judgeship at age 70. Prior to his retirement Judge Rivkind was elected by his colleages in his judiciary as chief judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit, a position he held for four years. During his tenure as chief judge he helped create one of the first domestic violence courts in the country and modified the system for appointment of conflict counsel by installing “the wheel”, a process in which court-appointed lawyers are chosen at random to prevent favoritism. This then novel reform is still in existence today. After his retirement Judge Rivkind’s passion for the law continued and he went on to serve as mediator and senior judge.
Judge Leonard Rivkind passed away on November 14, 2009.

Leonard Rivkind, Esq.

Certified Circuit Civil Mediator


University of Miami, Master of Laws, 1971

  • University of Miami, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, 1954
  • University of Miami, Bachelor of Business Administration, 1949
  • Former Adjunct Professor, University of Miami, School of Law, Litigation Skills Program

Professional Highlights and Honors:

  • Certfied as Circuit Civil Mediator by Supreme Court of Florida
  • Approved as Mediator for United States Southern District of Florida
  • Chief Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 1991-1995
  • Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, 1975-1996
  • Former Associate Judge, Temporary Assignment, 4th DCA
  • Former Administrative Judge, Appellate Division of Eleventh Judicial Circuit
  • Arbitrator/Panelist, National Arbitration Forum, 1999 – present
  • Department of Human Resource (Domestic Violence Reduction) Award, 1993
  • Concerned Matrimonial Lawyers of Dade County Award, 1992.
  • Faculty Advisor, National Judicial College, General Jurisdiction, 1986
  • Nominated in 1980 as Outstanding Judge of Florida by Young Lawyers Section of Dade County Bar Association
  • Honored as an Outstanding Judge by Attorneys Division of Greater Miami Jewish Federation
  • Past Chairman, Judicial Education Committee
  • Past Chairman, Judicial Nominating Commission Committee
  • Member of The Florida Bar
  • Former Chairman, Florida Bar Standing Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Former Member, Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions
  • Member, Iron Arrow Honorary
  • Member, Hibiscus Masonic Lodge No. 275 F & AM
  • Past President, Miami Beach Bar Association
  • Past President, Biscayne South Shore Optimist Club of Miami Beach
  • Past President, Massachusetts Club of Greater Miami
  • Past Chairman, Board of Education, Lehrman Day School of Temple Emanu-El
  • Past Chairman, Florida Bar Grievance Committee
  • Former Director, Economic Opportunity Legal Services Program, Inc.
  • Former Special Assistant State Attorney, Eleventh Circuit
  • Former Special Assistant Attorney General, State of Florida

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