BEST HERO Judge William Hoeveler In last year's edition of "Best of Miami," we acknowledged Hoeveler as Best Judge. In hindsight that seems a bit restrictive. Still hearing cases as an octogenarian senior federal judge, Hoeveler deserves hero status for one simple reason: He's earned it over a career that should be an inspiration to everyone inside and outside the legal profession. Why? Because of his integrity, his fortitude in the pursuit of justice, and his courage. Whether presiding over high-profile and highly contentious cases (Manuel Noriega, Elian Gonzalez, Everglades cleanup) or coping with personal adversity (the loss of his wife, his recovery from a stroke), Hoeveler has conducted himself with honor and dignity. In 2002 the University of Miami created the William M. Hoeveler Award for ethics and leadership; naturally the judge was the inaugural recipient. The annual award goes to those in the legal profession, but that too seems a bit restrictive. It could rightfully be extended to all those who, like William Hoeveler, work in the public interest and for the common good.
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