Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join BAMC
Memorial-Rubenstein, S. David
Share |
S. David Rubenstein
May 4, 1920 – July 13, 1974  

JUDGE SHURE: Mr. Sheehan. 

     MR. SHEEHAN: In memory of S. David Rubenstein I recognize the Honorable Glen Goldburn. 

     MR. GOLDBURN: Your Honors, ladies and gentlemen, before I introduce the gentleman who will speak to the court on behalf of Mr. Rubenstein, although this is a sad occasion, I would like to tell an instance I had with David in the fall of 1973 I received several hundred old bankruptcy cases to close and David was, of course, involved in quite a few of them as a trustee or lawyer, and so I set them down for a hearing. I was awarding fees and commissions to David. After about an hour David looked up and said, I don’t want to appear disrespectful, but I would like to continue the rest of my cases until next year because you put me in another tax bracket. 

     He was that type fellow, although he was very respectful. I am happy to introduce to the court a gentleman who is going to speak and move for his admission for this purpose. The Honorable Saul Sideman who is the U. S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Connecticut. Judge Sideman knew David very closely. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and practiced law forty-eight years and has been a bankruptcy judge since 1960. He is a recognized authority and lectures frequently throughout the country, and is President of the Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. He is here teaching newly appointed judges all over the states. I am happy he happens to be here at this time. I would like to move his admission. 

     JUDGE SHURE: The motion is granted and we are happy to have you with us. 

     MR. SIDEMAN: When Judge Goldburn asked me if I would participate in this program I was obviously deeply honored, and I seized the opportunity very avidly but unfortunately it meant I had to get a dispensation from appearing at the seminar which is in session at the moment and I want to apologize in advance for leaving immediately after what I have to say because I am due back at 3:30 on a panel. 

     I am grateful for the honor of being admitted to the Bar of the sovereign State of Maryland and I also remember I was admitted on the day the sun came out. On one occasion like this it is appropriate to recite for the record biographical information which is the framework of a man’s life unfolds. 

     S. David Rubenstein was born in the District on May 4 of 1920. He attended local schools. He obtained his B.A. degree in 1948 when he was admitted to the Bar. He practiced not only in the District and in the State of Maryland, but also in the Bankruptcy bar of Virginia. His professional associations were a member of the city, county and state and the American Bar Associations. 

     At the time of his death at the age of fifty-five on July 13th of 1974 he was chairman of the Commercial and Business Law Committee of the District of Columbia Bar. At the national level he was a member of the Commercial Law League of America; and was active in many capacities of that organization. And it is in commercial law I got to know and love David. 

     Many of you are lifelong friends. You have watched the development of a career to the position he enjoyed as an outstanding practitioner in the field of commercial law and bankruptcy administration. 

      Many of you know and envy the ideal family life he enjoyed, the devotion to his parents, the long professional association with his father Samuel Rubenstein today. Samuel Rubenstein was admitted to the Bar of this State sixty years ago, and at the age of eighty-six he still is active in practice two days a week that he goes to the office. 

     You have observed his wistfully happy married life and love and devotion for his wife Judy and three attractive daughters, a truly happy family. While Mrs. Sideman and I have only known David and Judy comparatively a few years our friendship blossomed rapidly, almost instantaneously ripened a cordial relationship that would normally take years to develop. 

     I quickly sensed David’s devotion to the law, his skill, his truth, his humility. In my judgment he was an outstanding lawyer and outstanding citizen. 

     It was my privilege to serve with David on the Bankruptcy Committee of the Commercial Law League. Since 1973 Congress has been considering a new bankruptcy act. In that respect the committee has met frequently in the last few years and his contributions to that Committee were many and valuable. He served as a liaison to the National Bankruptcy Conference and a member of the National Law League Committee for the National Conference of Judges. On the legislative scene he maintained contact with committees of both the Senate and the House. His role in that capacity was substantial and appreciated by all of us who served on the Committee. 

     In my judgment and in my opinion the true measure of a professional man is the judgment of his peers, and in this regard David received the highest. He had time not only for his own client problems but was always available and in constant demand as a consultant. He was really a kind of lawyer a judge dreams about. He was competent, courteous, always well prepared and intellectually honest.   His unshakable devotion to the truth became evident quickly to all that knew him. I would love to have him practice in my court. 

     In July of last year the Commercial Law League scheduled its annual meeting. David and Judy had planned to attend. David had to report to the Committee. He hadn’t felt well during the spring, but he thought he was working a little bit too hard and he put off going to the doctor until he came back. We met, our Committee, one Wednesday and David was there. He gave his report but obviously was not feeling well. 

     The next day he came back, went into the hospital and two days later a victim of acute emphatic anemia he was taken from us. His family has suffered a shocking loss. The Bar has lost a vauled and respected colleague and we have all lost a friend, but the memory of one of God’s noble men remains for all of us to cherish. 

     JUDGE SHURE: Thank you, Judge Sideman.

      Members of the Rubenstein family, I first met David after the war when he was first admitted to practice and he has appeared before me since I have been on the bench. He became an expert in his field, as we have heard, and I too found him to be well prepared and very ethical in all of his dealings. He was devoted to his family and extremely wonderful relationship between him and his father, Sam, who is still with us today, and it was a great shock to all of us for he was a devoted man and outstanding lawyer, and it is a loss to the state and the District of Columbia as well.