head of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson's environmental practice and a pioneer in environmental law, died February 21, 2015 at Mt. Sinai St. Luke's Hospital from complications of cancer. He was sixty-four. Mr. Schwartz, a graduate of Yale College, University of Chicago Law School and a Mellon fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, began his legal career at Skadden Arps. He then served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he held supervisory positions including head of the environmental unit. He received awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for the negotiation of a major Superfund settlement and from the Department of Justice for superior performance in civil environmental enforcement. In addition to environmental cases during his tenure at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Schwartz successfully defended the General Services Administration in an action brought by Richard Serra, who alleged the government's decision to move his sculpture "Tilted Arc" from the Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan constituted a breach of contract and violated the free expression and due process rights of the artist. Mr. Schwartz joined Fried Frank in 1992 where he was highly regarded for his representation in the environmental field as well in real estate and private equity. He represented Tishman Speyer in its acquisition of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. It was the largest real estate transaction in the United States at the time. His environmental transactional practice included negotiation of the first prospective purchased agreement in California with Region 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency. Also known as lover of food and wine, Mr. Schwartz was on the the board of GrowNYC and did pro bono legal work for the non-profit sponsor of "green markets" throughout New York City. Mr. Schwartz is survived by his wife Wendy, his sons Isaac, a portfolio manager at Robotti & Company, and Noah, an advisor on the National Security Council staff in Washington, D.C., and his brother Dr. Leslie Schwartz of Juno Beach, Florida. Funeral services will be held at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, 1076 Madison Avenue in New York on February 24 at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to GrowNYC, 51 Chambers Street, room 228, NY, NY 10007 or to the American Friends of the Mendelsohn Foundation, c/o Susan Bender, Treasurer, 60 W. 57th Street, NY, NY l0019.
Published in New York Times on Feb. 23, 2015.