Nobody Understands the Painting in Third DCA Judge Thomas Logue’s Office

Judge Thomas Logue at the 3rd District Court of Appeals.

Judge Thomas Logue of the Third District Court of Appeals has a copy of a painting in his office that no one understands.

“This is the manliest painting ever painted,” said Logue, pointing to Winslow Homer’s veteran in a new field. “This painting was right after the American Civil War and here this veteran comes back and of course he just goes to work. It reminds me of my grandfather. “

Logue has been a civil servant for over 30 years – first as assistant district attorney for Miami-Dade and now as a judge in the Third DCA, where he recently faced retention of merit. Logue said that over time, he learned that life is about work and that work gives life meaning.

Vertical of Veteran's in a New Field, Winslow Homer.  Public Domain The Metropolitan Museum of Art Vertical of Veteran’s in a New Field, Winslow Homer. Public Domain The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“People need work just like love, music and art. I have very rewarding work for me, ”said Logue. “But I also have the feeling that we are here to train our ability to work and our talents.”

And even though Logue didn’t realize this until much later in life, he learned early on the importance of working on his father’s farm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, his grandfather taught Logue how to prune weeds like the man in the composition.

Logue was born in 1955 and could read and write very well. After high school, he studied at Dickinson College with an emphasis on English literature. In his third year of college, he traveled to Italy as part of a study abroad program and bonded with his future wife, Sheila.

After graduating, Logue’s work as a paralegal opened his eyes to the law. The case arose from the disappearance of the American consumer industry, which disappeared after World War II when the Japanese took over.

“Under Japanese law, companies had to coordinate for export,” said Logue. “It looked very much like a conspiracy against trade under American law.”

Logue recalls local and national lawyers, Japanese attorneys, and Japanese agents who fill the federal courtroom to sue the class action lawsuit. Ironically, while organizing Japanese documents as a paralegal, Logue realized his interest in law and realized that he wanted to work on his own cases.

Duke University School of Law accepted Logue, where he served on the editorial staff of the Law Journal. Logue married Sheila around the same time. They lived together in North Carolina until Logue graduated from Duke with his Juris Doctorate. After graduation, the couple moved to South Florida.

There Logue, who turned down higher-paying opportunities, met Robert Ginsburg, who ran the Miami-Dade County prosecutor’s office.

“He was one of the greatest men I have ever met,” said Logue. “I only planned to work for a year or two. And I stayed for 30 years. “

Logue, the teacher

In 1982 the prosecution had around 40 attorneys and was a young office, according to Joni Armstrong Coffey, partner at Akerman in Miami, who then worked in the prosecution with Logue mainly on tax work.

While on the prosecutor’s office, Logue has tried hundreds of state and federal cases in numerous areas of law, including constitutional law, legal proceedings, contracts, civil rights, and property valuation.

Logue argued with appeals in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Third District. Logue has litigated the Third DCA so often that he considered it his “home court”.

For Coffey, two things stayed with her while she worked with Logue. One was a case of historical preservation and the other was Logue’s knowledge of constitutional law.

The historic preservation case concerned Jungle Island, formerly known as Parrot Jungle. Jungle Island moved to a new location on Watson Island in Miami, leaving behind its longtime home of a picturesque botanical garden now called Pinecrest Gardens.

Due to the work of Logue, Pinecrest Gardens is a public park with art galleries, a performing arts amphitheater, and numerous outdoor art exhibits, all in a unique jungle-like landscape sheltered from commercial development.

And Logue’s knowledge of constitutional law in Florida led him to teach the subject at two law schools. Logue taught Coffey on the subject at the University of Miami Law School. And Logue went to independent sources instead of reading from a boring textbook.

Sources included Chesterfield Smith, who co-founded Holland & Knight and was president of the American Bar Association when former president Richard Nixon resigned. At the time, Smith was in the Florida legislature.

“He played Smith’s voice in front of the students from 1967 to 1968,” said Coffey. “It was almost cold. How Florida needs to be desegregated and how schools need to be desegregated. And it is precisely these details that Judge Logue will help his students understand this story. “

The duo also taught at St. Thomas University School of Law. In the meantime, Logue was also active in a variety of professional and civic groups, including being honored by the Eleventh Judicial Circle for his voluntary appeals work for abused children.

Outside the comfort zone

As Logue neared three decades in the prosecution, the AV Martindale-Hubbell-rated attorney who has the highest peer rating for legal capacity and ethics began an appointment as judge.

Logue saw a judicial appointment as the “perfect keystone to a life of litigation.” He said he introduced himself to the government at the time. Rick Scott shares his experience as a lawyer and his clear ideas about the separation of powers.

“I didn’t get these ideas in my application,” said Logue. “They have been part of my legal practice, some of my articles, and my academic work for 30 years.”

In 2012, the second time Logue tried to get a judicial appointment, Scott named him the third DCA, despite Logue not contributing money to election campaigns, having political friends, or involvement in politics, he said.

Former DCA third judge Vance E. Salter worked with Logue after putting on the black robe. Salter was impressed with Logue’s expertise in many areas, including his strong understanding of Florida constitutional law and his literacy skills.

“He writes very straightforwardly, very clearly and concisely,” said Salter. “Tom was always open-minded and ready to consider different opinions and points of view. In the years I’ve worked with him, he’s been a very hard worker. “

While Salter is now retired, he wasn’t surprised to learn that Logue qualified for Maintain Merit with nearly 75% of the vote in every election in both 2014 and 2020. Going forward, Logue plans to end his six-year term and retire at the end of his term in 2027.

Looking back on his career, Logue is proud of what he has done and how hard he has worked over the years. He plans to spend more time with his wife, who has retired from her role as a consultant at Deloitte LLC, and seeing his children, one of whom is studying at Columbia University’s medical school and in the hospital six days a week amidst the Coronavirus works pandemic.

“The best things in life happen outside of your comfort zone,” said Logue. “If you just watch TV and eat potato chips, you’re giving up the best. The best things in my life happened outside of my comfort zone. “

Thomas Logue

Born: 1955, Philadelphia

Spouse: Sheila Sayin Logue

children: Teresa, Julia and Katie

education: JD, Duke University, 1982; BA Dickinson College, 1977

Experience: Judge, Third District Court of Appeal, since 2012; Assistant District Attorney, Miami-Dade County, 1982-2012

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