November 6, 2015: New York State Bar Association Mourns the Passing of Former President Haliburton Fales II
The New York State Bar Association today extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Haliburton Fales II, who served as its president from 1983 to 1984. He passed away November 2. He was 96.
“A proponent of increased court funding and leader in the effort to expand the State Bar’s legislative presence, Haliburton Fales II will be remembered for maintaining the highest standards of the legal profession,” said State Bar President David P. Miranda.
As president, Fales urged the Legislature to stop “starving the courts for funds.” His efforts to enhance the State Bar’s presence in legislative matters— aimed at improving laws and enhancing the administration of justice—helped elevate the State Bar’s influence on key state initiatives, which continues today.
As chair of the State Bar’s Task Force on the Profession from 1995 to 1996, Fales addressed client dissatisfaction and encouraged members to uphold the standards of the legal profession. “We can and must discharge our paramount duties to our clients and expound and defend the Constitution, lubricate the wheels of commerce and guide our communities in the path of law,” he said at the time.
Fales, who also served on the State Bar’s Executive Committee, left Harvard College after his junior year to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He rose to the rank of lieutenant commander and went on to graduate from Columbia Law School in 1947.
He joined White & Case in New York City in 1947 as an associate and became a partner in 1959, where he worked as a trial lawyer until his retirement in 1990. Fales was active in White & Case pro bono efforts and served on the boards of the Legal Aid Society, Volunteers of Legal Services and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He also was on the board of the National Center for State Courts, which honored him with its Distinguished Service Award in 1988.
Fales also was vice president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and president of the Columbia Law School Association from 1991 to 1992. He served as a special master for the First Department.
From 1981 until 1989, Fales was president of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City— the first person to serve in that role who was not a member of the Morgan family.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 14 at 11 a.m., St. Luke’s Church, 182 Main Street, Gladstone, N.J.
The New York State Bar Association, with 74,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.
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