Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Remembering Ron Goldstein

The passing of Ronald Goldstein last week brought a frown to my heart but also a smile as I remembered my many interactions with him since I began covering courts seven years ago.
Ron, who was 81, was a fixture at the Macomb County courthouse as a criminal defense lawyer, handling some of the most serious cases over recent decades. He was a no-nonsense guy who realized the evil nature of some of his clients but nonetheless fought the prosecution as hard as he could. Like many defense attorneys, he believed it was his job to make sure government lawyers and police did their job properly, and everyone deserves a fair day in court.
He was known for his integrity and directness, and often offered a quip about his case.
He wasn’t into "the drama" but did provide a couple of the most dramatic courthouse scenes over the years. In 1988, he suffered a heart attack a courthouse hallway while waiting out deliberations in a rape case, causing a stir. And a few years ago, he collapsed to the courtroom floor during a sentencing hearing . A diabetic, he had passed out from low sugar. A piece of candy revived him. But I was there to witness it, and it was scary for the first few minutes.
Ron also was known as a poker player and organizer of a monthly game among lawyers for many years, going well back into the 1990s. I was fortunate to be invited to play by Ron a few times in recent years, and Ron was a good poker player, fun to play with.
But what I didn’t know that his son-in-law told me was that Ron always placed his poker winnings in a big jar at his home. When the jar filled with coins and bills, he emptied for his grandchildren (11 when he passed) to split up at a family gathering. It made for a fun event, and provided the kids with some spending money.
Ron won a lot, but did his share of losing, too. But he didn’t remove his losses from the jar. That wouldn’t be his way.
RIP, Ron.


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