Howard M. LESTER

Obituary Condolences

Howard M. LESTER Obituary
Howard M. Lester of Palm Beach, Florida passed away on January 27, 2018, surrounded by family after a brief illness, at the age of 91. He was a man of great integrity with a wry sense of humor who believed a gentleman always wore a jacket and tie. He was and is loved and respected by many. He was a man of great stoicism who never complained and continually put others' needs ahead of his own. He enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a trial lawyer, and after retirement from the active practice of law, worked full-time in family investment and real estate businesses, played some golf, and with his beloved wife Patricia, travelled the world, collected marine paintings, and supported numerous philanthropic organizations. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Howard attended Brooklyn College (BA, 1949) and Yale Law School (LLB, 1952) on the GI Bill, after having served in the U.S. Army from 1945-1947. He was admitted to the NY Bar in 1953, and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964. Howard began his law career with the firm of Emile Z. Berman and A. Harold Frost in New York City, where as a young associate, he assisted Mr. Berman in the defense of S./Sgt. Matthew McKeon in his court martial arising out of the incident at Ribbon Creek on Parris Island. He rose to partner at the firm and developed a specialty primarily in insurance, pharmaceutical and products liability defense. Upon the dissolution of the firm, he became a founding partner of Lester, Schwab, Katz & Dwyer in 1974, where he tried many high-profile cases, and contributed to the practice of law as a frequent lecturer, author and officer of numerous organizations. Included among these were the New York State Bar Association (Chairman, Trial Lawyers Section), Brooklyn-Manhattan Trial Counsel Association (President), Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel (President, Board of Governors), Joint Conference Committee on Court Congestion and Related Problems First and Second Judicial Departments (President, Chairman of the Board), Defense Research Institute (National Director), American Board of Trial Advocates (Advocate), American Law Firm Association (Chairman, Board of Directors), Practising Law Institute (Member and Lecturer), and the International Association of Insurance Counsel. In addition, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Buckley Country Day School in Roslyn, NY, was a former member of the Sands Point Bath and Tennis Club in Sands Point, NY, and was a member of the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, NY, the Metropolitan Club in New York City, and the Yale Club of New York City. He remained actively involved in charitable causes after moving to Palm Beach, FL with his wife. He was active in the Most Venerable Order of St. John (Commander), the English Speaking Union (Board member), Sous-Commanderie de Palm Beach de La Confr?rie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (former Grand Senechal), Palm Beach Opera (Board of Directors), Arthritis Foundation Florida Chapter (Board of Directors), and the Max Planck Florida Foundation (Board of Trustees). In addition, he was a former member of High Ridge Country Club in Lantana, Florida, and a member of The Beach Club and The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL. He is survived by his wife Patricia, his three children, Peter, Pamela, and Prescott, his son-in-law, Billy, and daughter-in-law, Karen, his grandchildren, Owen and Scott, and his sister and brother-in-law, Dale and Josh Sokolow. He took great pride in his family and often said that he and his wife were one of the great true loves in this world. They were married just short of 63 years. He will be sorely missed. Interment will be private. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either one of the charities he and his wife supported or to the cause of your choice.
Published in The Palm Beach Daily News on Feb. 14, 2018
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