New York State Bar Association Remembers Lawyers Lost To COVID-19

By Brendan Kennedy

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The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 112,000 Americans to-date. First responders, health care professionals, stay-at-home parents and members of the legal community. The New York State Bar Association would like to honor those members of the legal profession who lost their lives due to COVID-19 and left an indelible impact on their colleagues and the profession. Rest in Peace.

Donald Adair, 76, Rochester

He began his legal career at Nixon Hargrave Devans and Doyle before forming the Adair Law Firm, which specialized in general business practice, finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities, intellectual property and real estate.

Adair graduated from Cornell University School of Law and was active in local, state and national bar associations. He was an active member of the New York State Bar Association’s Business Law Section. He will be remembered for his philanthropic work with the American Red Cross, exemplary work ethic and selflessness.

Hon. Johnny Lee Baynes, 64, Brooklyn

Began his career on the bench in 1993 as a Housing Court judge and joined the bench in Brooklyn after being elected to the New York City Civil Court in 2005. In 2011, he won an election to serve a 14-year term in the Kings County Supreme Court.

Judge Baynes graduated from Howard University School of Law and was known as a ‘gentle giant’ by his colleagues and former clerks. He was called to the profession in response to the injustice he saw in his community growing up in rural Georgia and then Brooklyn.

Allan S. Botter, 86, Garden City

He was a solo practitioner with over 60 years of experience, specializing in real property law and trusts & estates law.

Botter graduated from Columbia Law School and had been an active member of the New York State Bar Association for the past 35 years, belonging to the Family Law Section, Trusts & Estates Law Section and the Estate Planning Committee.

Hon. Noach Dear, 66, Brooklyn

Had a distinguished career in public service as a New York City Council member from 1983-2001. He was first elected to the New York Supreme Court in 2008 as a civil court judge, then in the midst of the financial crisis of 2009, he was appointed an acting Supreme Court justice. In 2015 he was elected to serve a 15-year term as a justice on the Supreme Court.

Judge Dear graduated from Brooklyn Law School and will be remembered by colleagues and constituents for his energetic spirit and colorful persona.

Francis DeCaro, 95, New Rochelle

He was a solo practitioner for over 60 years; he specialized in family law and general multidisciplinary issues.

DeCaro graduated from George Washington University Law School. He was an active member of the New York State Bar Association and Bronx County Bar Association for over 40 years.

William J. Doyle, 84, Branford, CT

He was the head of Wiggin and Dana’s litigation practice for over 30 years. Doyle helped turn the practice into a highly respected and successful one, helping the firm increase from 18 lawyers in 1963 to over 150 in five offices across three states upon his retirement in 2005.

Doyle graduated from St. John’s Law School and was the first non-Ivy League-educated lawyer to be hired, changing the culture of Wiggin and Dana. He received his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and attended school on a glee club scholarship; he was a soloist for the glee club for four years.

Steve Edwards, 73, New York

He practiced law for over 40 years, most recently serving as counsel at Quinn Emanuel. Prior to that, he led the litigation department at Hogan Lovells where he focused on complex commercial litigation.

Edwards graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and was a long-time member of the New York State Bar Association and a leader in the Antitrust Law Section. He will be remembered by family and friends as a talented musician and wonderful friend that enriched the lives of those around him and could change the tenor of any room whenever his band the Law Dogs performed.

Jon FitzMaurice, 77, Tuckahoe

He practiced law in Manhattan and Westchester County and was a dedicated practitioner. He was known to accept artwork from clients in lieu of payment.

FitzMaurice graduated from Marquette University Law School and was admitted to practice law in both Wisconsin and New York. He was an avid photographer and loved to fly-fish in the Bouget River and angle for bass in small lakes in the Adirondacks.

Philip F. Foglia, 69, Bronx

He had a 40-year legal career, which began in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. In later years, he oversaw the public corruption unit. He went on to serve as Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and later as a partner at Culleton, Marinaccio & Foglia. He retired in 2019 from the Office of the New York Inspector General where he was chief of investigations and special duty inspector general.

Foglia graduated from Pace University School of Law and was a champion of Italian American causes, including serving as a founding board member of the Italian American Museum. He will be remembered by friends and family as a little league coach, mentor, and patient voice of reason.

Mayer Greenberg, 56, Monsey

He was a partner in the tax department of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, joining the firm in 2019. Prior to that, he had worked for Stroock & Stroock & Levan for 30 years, becoming a partner during his tenure.

Greenberg graduated from Columbia Law School and will be remembered by family and colleagues for his intellect, integrity, a deep commitment to his clients, and as a mentor to many young lawyers.

Charles Kleinberg, 71, Brooklyn

He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for nearly 40 years, most recently as assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District. He tried more than 70 cases and argued more than 50 appeals including several high-profile celebrity and mafia cases.

Kleinberg graduated first in his class from New York University School of Law and continued his education earning advanced degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Yale and Columbia. He will be remembered by colleagues for his scientific way of cross-examining a witness and his sartorial choice of wearing short-sleeve shirts with his suits.

Thomas J. Leonard, 60, Montclair, NJ

He was a partner at Barry, McTiernan & Moore and an active member of the New York State Bar Association, New Jersey Bar Association and Bronx County Bar Association.

Leonard graduated from New York Law School and served as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County for four years prior to graduating law school. He was a lifelong New York Mets, Rangers, and Giants fan and remained passionate and devoted even when one of their seasons would torture him.

Robert D. Lipman, 58,  Jericho

He founded Lipman & Plesur in 1990, where he specialized in representing both employers and employees on employment-related matters.

Lipman graduated from University at Buffalo School of Law, was named Best Lawyer’s “Lawyer of the Year” for litigation – labor and employment, Long Island. He will be remembered by his family and colleagues for his unusual zest for life and his amazing ability to connect with everyone he met.

Henry G. Miller, 89, White Plains

He served as the president of the New York State Bar Association from 1984-85 and also served as the director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the New York Trial Lawyers Association. He tried hundreds of cases for 40 years and is considered one of the most gifted orators in New York state.

Miller graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and taught the highly popular art of trial lawyering and wrote columns on trial techniques for many legal publications.

Hon. Steven I. Milligram, 66, Monroe

He was known for his career as a trial attorney, town justice in the Town of Monroe and a justice of the Supreme Court of Orange County after being elected in November 2019. Prior to his election, he was a partner at Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider where he specialized in medical malpractice defense.

Judge Milligram graduated from Pace University Law School and was a past president of the Orange County Bar Association and trial judge and coach for the New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Program.

Stephen L. Reineke, 71, Central Valley

He was a partner at Levinson, Reineke & Kimple, with over 40 years of experience in real estate law, wills and estates, land use, contracts and estate planning.

Reineke graduated from Fordham University School of Law and was an active member of the New York State Bar Association and Orange County Bar Association.

Hon. George Salerno, New York

He retired from the bench in December 2009 after serving as a justice of the New York Supreme Court, Bronx County, for over seven years. He then went on to work as a mediator and arbitrator for the National Arbitration and Mediation, Inc.

Judge Salerno graduated from Brooklyn Law School and while serving in the armed forces in 1961, he was admitted to the New York bar. He was an active member of the Bronx County Bar Association, giving many speeches to young lawyers and presenting numerous CLE programs a year.

Joseph A. Sena, Jr. 65, White Plains

He was a solo practitioner for 41 years, specializing in immigration and consular law. He helped over 150,000 people from over 120 counties become U.S. Citizens.

Sena graduated from Fordham University School of Law and will be remembered by colleagues and family as a master storyteller, which would ‘wow’ judges with his knowledge of the law, world history and culture. He served as president of the National Italian American Bar Association from 2015-2017. He loved to travel, eat good food, watch the Yankees and read about Roman history.

Louis G. Solimano, 69, Bronx

He was of counsel at the Law Office of William A. Gallina, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability law.

Solimano graduated from New York Law School and was an active member of the Bronx County Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

Paul L. Weafer, 74, Albany

He worked for 30 years at the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, serving as chief counsel to the commission for 20 of those years. He was often referred to as the ‘best bill drafter in Albany’ since Robert Moses. Upon his retirement from state service, he was a partner of Weafer and Venter Government Services.

Weafer graduated from Albany Law School and was very active in local politics, holding many leadership positions for various agencies, boards and commissions. He was a life-long Boston Red Sox fan and was active in Capital Region youth sports, coaching his son in football and baseball and rarely missing a game.

Richard E. Weber, Jr, 57, New York

He was a partner at Gallo Vitucci Klar where he focused on general liability defense, premises liability, defense of false arrest or wrongful detention claims and transportation defense. He was previously an attorney at Lester, Schwab, Katz & Dwyer where he handled toxic tort defense including asbestos litigation and liquor liability claims. Prior to his private practice career, he served on the borough council in Metuchen, New Jersey, from 2002 to 2010.

Weber graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law and was a longtime board member of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York. He will be remembered by his friends and colleagues for his beautiful soul and generous spirit.

Harold Weisman, 88, Hartsdale

He was a trial attorney for over 40 years and earned the nickname ‘Mayor of the Bronx County Courthouse’ for his willingness to help anyone who was in need.

Weisman graduated from New York University Law School after serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was admired by his colleagues for his capacity for friendship and commitment to the mission of the Bronx County Bar Association.

 

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