Miami Law alumna Judge Maxine Cohen Lando, Circuit Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County, passed away on February 29 at the age of 61 after a heroic battle with cancer.
Judge Lando sat on the bench for twenty years, serving as a county court judge from 1991 through 1994, and in 1995 she began her career in the Criminal, Family and Civil Divisions. While in the Family Division, Judge Lando was appointed by the Chief Judge of the11th Judicial Circuit to develop the Domestic Violence Court, which became a model for courts around the nation.
In May 2011, Judge Lando was appointed Associate Administrative Judge of the Circuit Civil Division, where she helped oversee the administration of civil cases, many of them foreclosures. Judge Lando also led the Circuit's new judges' orientation program, and worked with court administrators and the Clerk's Office to manage and implement improvements to jury service.
Prior to joining the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Judge Lando was an Assistant Public Defender in the Felony Division from 1974 to 1985, and was Senior Trial Assistant for both the Juvenile Division and the Misdemeanor and Traffic Divisions, and later maintained a private practice for several years.
She was a lifelong resident of Miami. She graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School, and went on to obtain a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She later returned to Miami and earned her J.D. from Miami Law.
"Judge Lando affected my life the first day I met her at UM Law School when she engaged me in a discussion about Watergate," said Alan Kluger, JD '75. "We remained close friends for the next 40 years. She accomplished more in her life than any of us can ever hope to achieve. She did it with class and love for everyone she touched."
"Maxine was a Judge's Judge," said David Young. "Incredibly bright, with a passion to do the right thing, she was an inspiration for us all. She help educate other Judges so they could do their jobs better, she established mentors for all new Judges to learn the ropes, and she created court programs for children and victims of domestic violence. Her loss leaves a hole in our community's heart. I will miss her."
Services for Judge Lando were held on March 2 at Bet Shira Congregation in Miami, followed by burial at Mt. Nebo/Kendall Memorial Gardens.
Judge Lando is survived by her daughters, Rachel Hillary Lando and Sari Brooke Lando, her mother Jean Cohen Bush, her sisters Goldie Wetcher and Suzanne Migdall, and her nieces and nephews and other members of her family.