This blog, written by Thomas E. Rutledge, focuses primarily on business entity law in Kentucky. Postings on contract law, contractual and statutory construction, and the entity law of other jurisdictions appear as well. There may as well be some random discussions of classical, medieval and renaissance history.
Friday, October 28, 2016
In Memory of Howard Lefkowitz
In Memory of Howard
Howard Lefkowitz passed away
too soon; we lost him in 2007 – today would have been his 80th birthday.
Last year a number of us lucky
enough to know and work with Howard were remembering him.Here is (slightly edited) what we shared:
But for his untimely passing,
if my math is correct, today would have been the 79th birthday celebrated by
Howard Lefkowitz.He remains a treasured
friend to many of us. For those of you who never got to know him, you missed
out on a wonderful person.
I submit that a glass of wine
should today be raised in his memory.
And it better be good
wine.Howard had great taste in wines
and always selected great ones for our meetings!
D’accord.I guess that means that Bill, Allen, and I
can’t salute Howard at Shelby’s.Howard
was not only a wonderful person, but also a great partnership lawyer.
He was that, but I think a
single malt scotch would also fit the bill.
One of my wonderful memories of
Howard and Marty - after Susan and I had dinner in New York at which Marty and
Sandy had planned to join us but were unable to do so, I spoke with Marty about
the bill and he said, “Oh No, you didn’t let Howard select the wine.”
Well I just had a glass of
Malbec with a client and while not thinking of Howard specifically he has a
piece of my heart always.Although he
did not show affection easily in his last year he did things selflessly that
helped me and those acts will never be forgotten.I hope his spouse Midge is doing OK.
Looking forward to seeing you
all soon and raising a glass to Mr. Wheaton whom I just had a pint or two of
Pumpkin Ale in a Boston Pub.
Hear!Hear!One of my very favorites and deeply missed.Thanks for the reason to think about
My very first dinner with
Howard (Orlando ABA meeting in 1996) involved him choosing the wine.
No offense to anyone else on
the list, but his was my favorite Lubaroff dinner. Bittersweet given the
timing, but for what it meant to Howard and Midge, and Sandy, it topped them
As most of you know, I had the
great good fortune to become one of Howard’s friends - fairly often we would
have rather lengthy and complex discussions, as likely to have been about the
implications of tonal variance between “his” part of The Book and “mine”, as
the scope of legal review required to give an opinion about a Delaware LLC (ALL
of Del contract law and anything else affecting Del contracts, in addition to
the Del LLC law).And I can confirm -
having tasted some - that his wine cellar, esp. in the Berkshires, was
WELL-STOCKED with liquid assets.So it
is with humility, pride and an unending sense of loss that I can report that at
the ABA Meeting in Atlanta in ‘04 he allowed me to choose the wine.
Re Tom’s suggestion of a fine Cal cabernet, my
sense is that Howard was of an age and taste that particularly venerated French
wines, so let me suggest perhaps instead: a Cos, a Lynch-Bages, a Mouton; or a
Vosne-Romanee, a Beaune; or even L’Hermitage or some other great Rhone.To the extent one would follow the lead of
eminent Del counsel (not at all a “Red Herring”), may I commend Talisker to
your attention (it is in a way the “family booze”, coming from the headquarters
of the Clan Donald [Mac, not Trump] on Skye).
Midge -whom we see in NY, in the Berkshires
and at Silver Lake from time to time - is well.She is now on an outing to South Africa.I will pass along your very special observations and observances, which
she will cherish.Thank you all, and
esp. Tom, for remembering.
I would be remiss not add a few
recollections of Howard and Midge and some of the evenings that Jean and I
spent with them at various ABA BLS meetings.Howard and Midge along with Marty and Sandy rode subways together in NY,
dined together in SF, NY, Chicago and any number of other cities. The wine was
always important, so much so, when in some little spot in SF, the waiter, not
realizing that Howard was actually going to ready the WHOLE WINE LIST, just to
see ifwe could dine there, made a snide
comment to Howard about taking too long to make up his mind, whereupon we got
up and left. That was Howard at his best. He and I jogged together in NY, SF,
Chicago and in most other cities we met in.When he said after one jog that he didn’t know if he could keep jogging
at our meeting was when I knew he was really not well.
I counted Howard as a mentor
and companion along the way.
It is good to remember.
I have held back, as usual, to
avoid what might be considered ill-advised, improper, or downright obnoxious
comments.However, since we are
dwelling on Howard, and his wine fetish, I cannot any longer hold myself in
check.The only thing I can say in
self-defense is that Howard thought my revelations were so important that he
insisted on taking notes.
We were sitting next to each
other at a Combined Wine Tasting/Dinner event at Omi’s Farm several years
ago.Howard was waxing eloquent about
wines, his extensive experiences in connection therewith, and several other
things, which included, as I recall, or joint recollections of being members of
that rare breed of beings, former Naval Officers who had been billeted to DERs.(Don’t ask, it is too painful.)
I mentioned to Howard that
several colleagues of mine from Oakland, where the school board had recently
imposed a requirement that some of the courses be taught in Ebonics, had
decided It was time to have an Ebonics Winery.He naturally asked what (the hell) I was talking about.I explained that this was a Winery in West
Oakland that produced wines that had a fine bouquet, great nose and, at the
same time, a name that related to the local culture.Again I got that rather impertinent
question.So, I said:
Well our first vintage
definitely has a French character---it is calledClos de Door.
Then we have developed an
extremely dry red wine that is drawing great reviews and following:PeeNoMo
Finally, we are about to
release our first sparkling wine (a.k.a. Champagne)which we call:Sho Nuf du Pop.
I swear that in Howard’s
archives you will find the notes from this conversation.
I too have not said anything
but I’ve decided I will now reverse that. Several years ago I invited Howard to
be a speaker at one of my Delaware symposia. I was talking about RUPAs
articulation of the duty of care. My stand was that the RUPA duty of care was
not a fiduciary duty but rather a statement of degrees of accountability. As I
was leaving the podium Howard signaled to me. He whispered that he had enjoyed
my presentation but that I was completely wrong. That’s the way I’ve learned
with this group over many years. Thanks to all - past and present - for the
I have laughed out loud as I
have read some of these and have teared up as I have read others and have
savored remembering time spent with Howard and the rest of you. I treasure you
all as I treasured Howard.