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Obituaries in the News

October 8, 2001

MIAMI (AP) _ Lenore Carrero Nesbitt, the first female judge appointed to the U.S. Southern District of Florida, died Saturday. She was 69.

She was appointed to the federal court in 1983 and rose to the rank of senior judge two years ago.

``She broke the ground when all of us were just guys,″ said retired Chief Judge Edward Davis. ``She sort of enjoyed becoming one of the boys, but she was very feminine _ the true first lady of the court.″

Nesbitt graduated first in her law class at the University of Miami in 1957, a time when few women entered the profession. That year she married her law partner, Joseph Nesbitt, who is now a retired judge of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.

Her most famous trial was in 1980 when five white police officers were charged in the beating death of Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance salesman.

She ordered the trial moved from Miami to Tampa and called the case a ``time bomb I don’t want to go off in my courtroom or this community.″

The case still spurred riots after an acquittal.

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