By the time COVID-19 struck, the South Florida legal community was well versed on the perils of hidden pathogens.

For all its charm and history, the 23-story Miami-Dade County civil courthouse was infested with mold and a potential health hazard. Once the venue of an Al Capone trial, the structure has 1950s era air conditioning, asbestos problems, and is not fully ADA compliant.

To Coral Gables attorney and board member Jorge Piedra, it was an afront to Miami’s status as a world-class metropolis.