Ex-Judge Amy Karan Dies
Former Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Amy Karan, recognized nationally as a pioneer in addressing domestic abuse in the judicial system, died after battling an aggressive form of Parkinson's disease. She was 54.
Karan served as administrative judge of the domestic violence court and was on the bench for 13 years. She left the bench in 2010 when her illness robbed her of speech.
"Judge Karan's legacy is her passion for protecting victims of domestic violence and also the numerous writings she leaves behind," her daughter, Amber Kornreich, wrote in a statement.
In February, Greenberg Traurig established the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade to honor Karan's life work. She chaired the Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council from 1997 to 2009.
"Amy Karan was considered to be one of the finest jurists in the area of domestic violence in courts throughout this country," said Hilarie Bass, co-president of Greenberg Traurig. "She was a brilliant, compassionate visionary who changed the face of the way we provide assistance to victims of domestic violence."
Karan was known for her scholarly articles and became a noted authority on the issue of firearms and domestic violence, Kornreich said.
"Many states have adopted forms Judge Karan developed in conjunction with the surrender or seizure of fire arms in both criminal and civil situations," she wrote in a notice to the Daily Business Review.
Miami family law attorney David H. Young wrote a Facebook post saying Karan "will be remembered as being the judge who brought public awareness all over the world to domestic violence. She saved so many lives because she just believed that she could make a difference — and she did."
Attorney and Miami Beach mayoral candidate Michael Gongora, also on Facebook, said he was her first case manager and court coordinator in domestic violence court. "Always respected and admired her passion and intelligence," he said.
Chief Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Bertila Soto said Karan was her first administrative judge. "She was an incredible mentor to me and truly a brilliant colleague and jurist," Soto said.