While his solo practice of law focuses on personal injury, Florida attorney Paul Novack has turned into quite the cold case sleuth outside the office.

Last November, the News told the story of how Novack led a group of cold case investigators to help the Miami-Dade Police Department crack the case into the disappearance of 17-year-old Danny Goldman who was abducted from his family home on March 28, 1966.

Ever since the Goldman case was solved, Novack, who’s become South Florida’s version of Sherlock Holmes, has been working on an encore. On May 9, the Miami-Dade Police Department announced the closure of the high-profile killing of wealthy produce merchant Joseph DiMare on March 24, 1961.

With help from Novack and his cold case team, Miami-Dade homicide detectives now confirm that Joseph’s wife, Frances DiMare, pulled the trigger, solving one of the oldest cold cases in Florida history.

Novack says he started working on the DiMare case simultaneously as the Goldman case progressed.

“I started investigating the kidnapping [of Goldman] and within a year I was also on the DiMare case,” Novack said. “In 2015, Richard DiMare, the youngest son of the victim, reached out to me because he had heard about my work on the Goldman case and asked if I could look at this case.”

Novack said the killing of Joseph DiMare was already on his radar based on how he investigates old cases by widening his focus.

Read full article here: https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/sleuthing-south-florida-attorney-cracks-six-decades-old-cold-case/

In a remarkable display of investigative prowess, South Florida attorney Paul Novack, known for his solo practice in personal injury law, has cracked one of the oldest cold cases in Florida history. The case in question is the high-profile murder of wealthy produce merchant Joseph DiMare, which took place on March 24, 1961. With the assistance of Novack and his cold case team, Miami-Dade homicide detectives have now confirmed that Joseph’s wife, Frances DiMare, was the one who pulled the trigger. This revelation has brought closure to a mystery that has lingered for over six decades.

Novack’s journey into cold case investigations began when he led a group of investigators to help the Miami-Dade Police Department solve the disappearance of 17-year-old Danny Goldman, who was abducted from his family home in 1966. Following the successful resolution of the Goldman case, Novack turned his attention to the DiMare case. His investigation revealed a complex web of connections, suggesting that the DiMare murder and the Goldman kidnapping were related and had ties to organized crime in South Florida during the latter half of the 20th century.

Despite the passage of time and the many challenges that come with investigating cold cases, Novack’s relentless pursuit of the truth has finally paid off. His work has not only brought closure to the DiMare family but also shed light on the intricate web of organized crime that once operated in South Florida. For more details on this fascinating story, visit The Florida Bar News.

In the midst of the turbulence caused by new immigration laws, the Miami Book Fair hosted a riveting discussion titled “Chaos and Community: The Impact of New Immigration Laws on Haitian Refugees in the U.S.” on May 7, 2023. Among the esteemed panelists were Gepsie Morisset-Metellus, community activist and co-founder of the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center; Edwidge Danticat, acclaimed Haitian American author; Paul Novack, a former mayor of Surfside and a distinguished attorney known for his extensive work with refugees and the Family Action Network Movement; and Leonie Hermantin, director of communications and development at Sant La. The event was a comprehensive exploration of the historical and current challenges faced by Haitian refugees in the U.S., with a particular focus on those who arrived in 1972 and their ongoing struggle for justice and equal rights.

Paul Novack’s participation in the event was a testament to his unwavering commitment to advocating for refugee rights. His insights, drawn from his professional experience and his work with the Family Action Network Movement, added a unique perspective to the discussion. Novack’s contributions to the discourse underscored the importance of community support and solidarity in times of chaos. His work, both within and beyond the U.S., including disaster relief projects for Haiti, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, is a testament to his dedication to public service and community integrity. This event served as a platform for Novack to further highlight the critical role of civil rights leaders, Black leaders, and people of various faiths who continue to play a crucial role in advocating for refugee rights.


We’re excited to share a recent news article that highlights the remarkable work of our very own Paul Novack. The Florida Bar News reports that Novack and his team of cold case investigators played a crucial role in solving a 55-year-old murder case in Miami. After years of searching for answers to the case of missing Surfside teenager Danny Goldman, their tireless efforts ultimately led to the identification of the perpetrator, George Defeis, who left his fingerprint on the victim’s rear sliding glass door. This case demonstrates the importance of never giving up on cold cases, and we’re proud to see Paul’s dedication to justice and community service recognized.

We invite you to read the full article to learn more about his remarkable work.

Paul Novack, a member of the Florida Bar and the Florida Highway Patrol’s statewide advisory council, recently provided critical assistance to state troopers during the Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in Southwest Florida. Novack’s story was recently covered in an article on The Florida Bar website, and it highlights the important role that members of the Bar play in helping their local communities during times of crisis. Novack loaded his jeep with supplies and headed to Southwest Florida to help those who were first on the scene, providing logistical support for the troopers in the field. Novack’s efforts were critical in helping those affected by the hurricane, and they serve as an example of how members of the Florida Bar can make a real difference in their local communities. If you would like to learn more about Novack’s story and how the Florida Bar is working to support its members during times of crisis, click here to read the full article on The Florida Bar website.

Paul Novack on Newsnation

More than 50 years later, Paul Novack believes he knows what happened to his childhood friend, Danny Goldman.

Goldman’s boyhood friends have waited 55 years for closure. Goldman was kidnapped in front of his family in their Florida home when he was 17, and later murdered.

Inspired by a letter written by Goldman’s mother that asked her son never be forgotten, and angered by the mysterious circumstances surrounding their friend’s death, his childhood friends set out to solve his murder.

Novack, one of Goldman’s childhood friends who helped solve the case, said on “NewsNation Prime” that Danny’s kidnapping and murder was “off the charts” as far as cold case lists and missing persons reports go.

“There was nothing happening and that couldn’t stand,” Novack said. “We decided a 17-year-old cannot be taken from his family home and then the whole situation get forgotten, so we set out to make sure that wouldn’t happen.”

All these years later they determined it was the mafia who killed Goldman.

Read more: https://www.newsnationnow.com/prime/friends-of-murdered-teen-help-solve-case-55-years-later/

Fingerprint Detectives

A cold case that has haunted Miami-Dade, Florida for the past 55 years has finally been solved with the help of a former mayor.

Daniel Jess Goldman was just one day shy of his 18th birthday when an unidentified man abducted him at gunpoint from his parents’ Surfside home. The year was 1966. The perpetrator bound both of his parents and demanded a $25,000 ransom for their son. But the Goldmans didn’t receive instructions for the exchange and their son Daniel was never seen again.

Paul Novack, an attorney who served six terms as Surfside’s mayor, took a personal interest in the case in 2012. He began pouring over details of the kidnapping along with a group of fellow ‘sleuths’ who try to crack unsolved crimes.

Cold case detective John Grossman says “crucial information” uncovered by the former mayor led them to a man named George Defeis. He was a career criminal with ties to the Trafficante crime family.

The identification shed new light on the nature of the case. Just before Danny Goldman’s abduction, his father Aaron had testified to federal authorities about illegal activities at the bank where he worked. Detectives now believe Daniel’s abduction “was retaliation for Aaron’s cooperation with federal authorities,” Grossman told Oxygen.com.

Miami-Dade Police declared the case solved on Dec. 28, 2021.

Read full article: https://www.californiacitynews.org/2022/01/how-one-mayor-helped-solve-55-year-old-cold-case.html

Paul Novack on NBC miami

A team of civilians, residents of Surfside, took up the task of investigating a 55-year-old cold case and their unwavering efforts led to a closed case.

“It was like a humongous onion. You just had to keep peeling and peeling to get to the center,” Paul Novack said. 

Novack is one of five Surfside residents who made it their mission to ensure Danny Goldman’s case was not forgotten. 

10 years ago, Novack and his colleagues formed a volunteer investigative team and re-opened Danny’s cold case. The group began a relentless search for answers along with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. 

“For 55 years there were no answers to what happened,” Novack said. 

The day before his 18th birthday, in March 1966, Danny Goldman was kidnapped from his Surfside home. The intruder demanded a ransom, but the call for the money never came.

“We have reason to believe that Danny was murdered shortly after the kidnapping and his remains were disposed of in the ocean,” Novack said.

Read more: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/group-of-surfside-investigators-help-solve-55-year-old-cold-case/2650963/

Paul Novack Congressional Record


The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida
August 7, 2018

I am humbled to honor an extraordinary citizen of our South Florida community, PAUL NOVACK.

Hailing from Miami-Dade County, Paul has served as a tireless advocate and public servant for those who call our slice of paradise their home.

A proud graduate of my alma mater, the University of Miami (Go Canes!), Paul served as student body President among many other leadership roles. Following his undergraduate degree, Paul enrolled in Nova Southeastern University, where he earned his Juris Doctorate.

Upon completion of his law degree, Paul began his journey to what became an extraordinary legal career, representing thousands of clients and litigating numerous cases across multiple legal subjects. In 2016, Paul was honored by the Dade County Bar Association for significant contributions in providing access to justice; an honor that is well deserved.

In addition, Paul answered the Town of Surfside’s call to service, serving one term as Town Commissioner and subsequently six terms as Mayor. During his tenure as Mayor, Paul worked to author and reform township ethics rules, and led the town to 12 consecutive balanced budgets.

However, Paul’s commitment to public service didn’t stop there. In addition to his roles in public office, he has also held officer postings in our armed forces auxiliary; a Flotilla Staff Officer in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol.

Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize Paul’s countless hours of service and dedication to our community. I thank him for his years of dedicated service, and wish him the very best in the years to come.

Gracias (thank you) Paul

Link to the congressional record: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2018/8/7/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/e1127-2

1000 Friends of Florida, an organization of unique and outstanding leadership on major issues involving the future, present, and past of Florida, honored Paul Novack for his courage, dedication, and public service. From the publications of 1000 Friends of Florida:

Community Steward Award–Public Servant—Paul Novack, Mayor, Town of Surfside

Paul Novack received the Community Steward Award for his steadfast advocacy for effective growth management in Surfside. In 1992, Surfside residents overwhelmingly supported a referendum to prevent a twenty-story beachfront condominium. For more than a decade since then, Novack served as mayor of this small Dade County community for the grand fee of one dollar per year. Throughout his tenure (1992-2004), Mayor Novack and the town’s commissioners consistently denied any requests for height and density variances, maintaining heights at twelve stories east of Collins Avenue, and five stories to the west. Nominator Charlotte Greenbarg wrote that, thanks to Mayor Novack, “the town’s zoning code has been consistently, fairly and effectively enforced.” Besides that, Novack maintained a balanced budget without raising property taxes, a one-minute emergency police response time, and garbage picked up six days a week for a nominal fee. During the selection process, 1000 Friends was impressed with Mayor Novack’s steadfast determination to uphold the planning and development standards needed to maintain Surfside’s distinctive character and scale, noted Pattison. “With his dynamic leadership abilities, commitment to sound planning, and concern for the residents of Surfside, Mayor Novack exemplifies the qualities of a true community steward.”