Robert L. Shevin was born in 1934 in Miami. He graduated from Miami Senior High School and went to the University of Florida, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1955. At the University of Florida, he was a member of Florida Blue Key and the Hall of Fame.
After college, Judge Shevin returned to South Florida and enrolled in the University of Miami School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor magna cum laude, graduating second in his class. At the University of Miami, he was president of the Student Bar Association, a moot court competition winner, an editor of the University of Miami Law Review, and a member of Phi Delta Phi law fraternity and Iron Arrow.
One of only two men in the latter half of the twentieth century to serve in all three branches of Florida state government, Judge Shevin entered the public arena in 1964, when he was elected a member of Florida’s House of Representatives. From 1966 to 1970, he served as a Florida state senator, representing Dade and Monroe counties, and chaired the Legislature’s Select Committee to Investigate Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. He won the Allen Morris Award for Outstanding Freshman Legislator and was one of The St. Petersburg Times’ Ten Outstanding Florida Senators.
Senator Shevin was elected Florida’s attorney general in 1970, and reelected, without opposition, to a second four-year term in 1974. He argued cases on behalf of the State of Florida before the United States Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and various Florida District Courts of Appeal. He won two cases he argued before the United States Supreme Court.
In 1979, he resumed the private practice of law. He also served as the city attorney for Miami Beach from 1979 to 1980. From January 1979 to February 1988, he was a shareholder in the firm of Sparber, Shevin, Rosen, Shapo & Heilbronner. He then joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he was senior litigation partner. He handled many complex commercial matters, representing clients including the Miami Dolphins. A sports fan, he enjoyed traveling with the team and interacting with the players.
While in private practice, he was a member of many local, state and national professional groups, including the Dade County and American Bar Associations, the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus, and the American Judicature Society.
As an active community leader before taking the bench, he served as chair of the Housing Finance Authority of Dade County and the Florida State Athletic Commission. He also served on the Board of Dade Partners for Safe Neighborhoods. He was a member of the Legislature’s Interim Study Committee on Urban Affairs, the Florida Tax Reform Commission, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, Florida Citizens Against Crime, the Florida Crime Commission, the Judicial Reform Committee, the Florida Senate’s Sunshine Advisory Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Beacon Council, the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission of Florida and The Florida Bar Judicial Administration’s Selection and Tenure Committee.
Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Judge Shevin to the Third District in 1996, where he served until reaching mandatory retirement age. Judge Shevin died on July 11, 2005 after a long battle against esophageal cancer. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, Myrna, daughters Laura Bullock and Hilary Cohen, son Harry and six grandchildren.