DORSET - Larry Washburn of Dorset, Vermont, died October 13, 2013, at Rutland Regional Medical Center. The cause of death was complications of Parkinson's disease.
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Born Arthur Lawrence Washburn Jr. in New York on Dec. 31, 1935, he attended Manhattan's Loyola School ('54), and graduated from Fairfield University ('59) and New York University School of Law ('66). After admission to the bar, he was with two Wall Street law firms, the first, Sullivan, Donovan, Hanrahan, McGovern & Lane. At the second, Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, as a municipal bond attorney, he was (as he once described it) "on the team holding the city together with their fingers" throughout New York's fiscal crisis in 1975-76.
During his Wall Street days, Washburn was one of three lawyers who brought the test case, Byrn v. NYC Health and Hospitals Corp., challenging New York's liberal abortion law. In 1976 he began his own legal practice, which included a number of major cases. His most widely publicized case was Weber v. Stony Brook Hospital (1983), known in the press as "the Baby Jane Doe case."
Weber and another Baby Doe case around the same time prompted new federal protections for handicapped newborns in 1984. Largely vilified for what was seen by many as interference in a family's decision against surgery for their severely handicapped infant, Washburn had been sanctioned and fined by the court. The sanction and fine were later stricken because the child's parents had subsequently sought the surgery that was Weber's object.
Mr. Washburn is survived by his wife, the former Susanne Quinn Schuppel, whom he married in 1961, and by a daughter Katha Brooks Washburn of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, a son Arthur Lawrence Washburn III and his daughter, Gina of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and a son Niall Quin Washburn, his wife Amy Drucker, their son Quinn and Ms. Drucker's son, Jacob of Katonah, New York.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m. at The Conversion of St. Paul Catholic Church in Manchester Ctr., Vt. Calling hours are scheduled at the Brewster Funeral Home in Manchester Ctr., Vt., on Sunday, October 20, from 2 to 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Community Food Cupboard (P.O. Box 864, Manchester Ctr., VT 05255) would be appreciated. To send the family personal email condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Rutland Herald on Oct. 19, 2013