Hon. Barry L. Garber

May 16, 1930January 13, 2020

The Honorable Barry L. Garber passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones in the early hours of January 13, 2020. Judge Garber was a fixture in Florida’s legal community for decades. He began his law career as an assistant criminal defense attorney to Richard Gerstein, followed by many years in private practice. Yet without a doubt, Judge Garber’s most cherished achievement was his appointment to the federal bench at the age of 60. He approached every day as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida as an opportunity to honor the trust placed in him by his fellow citizens. It was his love of America’s promise that motivated Judge Garber to postpone retirement and serve for over a quarter century. Judge Garber loved his family, the City of Miami, the United States Constitution, the Dolphins and the Heat, and Justice with a capital “J.” Born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1930, Judge Garber’s family moved to Miami in 1936. He attended Coral Way Elementary School, Shenandoah Junior High School and Miami Senior High School. Judge Garber went on to earn a political science degree from Emory University—the only time in his life away from Miami—where he was a member of the Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity. Following his undergraduate studies, he attended the University of Miami School Of Law where he was President of his fraternity and received his LLB in 1954. Judge Garber’s time in private practice afforded him the opportunity to combine his love of practicing law with his thrill for professional sports when he formed a legal partnership with his friend and Dolphins legend Nick Buoniconti. The two represented scores of athletes facing a wide spectrum of legal issues. As a Federal Judge, Garber had a reputation for being strict and fair. He held himself to high standards and expected those in his courtroom to do the same. He did not suffer fools. Lawyers knew to be well-prepared before Judge Garber, or else they could expect a public reminder to do better for their clients, delivered to them as he glared at them over the top of his reading glasses. Judge Garber was not just a positive presence in the court room, he took seriously his role as a mentor to young lawyers. For many years, he taught a skills class on lawyering at the University of Miami School of Law, which was so beloved that students were willing to brave the 7:00 a.m. start time in order to learn from him. And when it came to his law clerks, Judge Garber had a special place in his heart for each one. He could not help but rave about each of their accomplishments, which usually included stellar academic records and tremendous character. He would light up whenever his clerks to reached out to him for holidays, his birthday, or just to say hello. As big a spot as the law had in his life, Judge Garber’s wife “Bobbi” had a bigger spot still. While in law school, Barry spotted Barbara Kagan in downtown Miami and was immediately awe struck. A 65-year love affair followed, along with three children—Brian, Lisa, and Terri—and three grandchildren—Molly, Rocco, and Brandon. A service will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at the Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapels at Mount Nebo, 5900 Sw 77th Ave, Miami, FL 33143. Contributions can be left to the charity of your choice or to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis through its website:


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Hon. Barry L. Garber

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen Gluck

January 16, 2020

I met Mr. Garber nearly 30 years ago through my closest friend his daughter Terri. Although over the years I didn't get to see him much, when I did, I was another daughter to him. He was so proud of his kids and grandkids.
He kvelled with their happiness and success! When Rocco followed his footsteps into law, well that put him over the moon. My fondest memory was Passover dinner with my father in Los Angeles. Mr. Garber was enthralled with my holocaust fathers life and positive attitude. I know he's being met with my dads famous Bobka! Ten years ago when crisis hit me hard, I called Mr. Garber. He took my call and gave loving advice like a father. He's working
from above... loving , guideing and watching over us all. Rest In Peace , Mr. Garber .....😘

judy Strauss-Cole

January 14, 2020

Growing up Barry was the big brother I never had. Physically, mentally, and spiritually he was larger than life. Barry was always there for the major problems in my young life. I will miss him forever.

Bruce Rogow

January 14, 2020

His voice, his smile, his sense of humor, his gait, coming from his towering height, will be remembered by all who knew him. Rest in peace. Bruce Rogow