DAVID T. AUSTERN

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Notice

AUSTERN DAVID T. AUSTERN David Thomas Austern, 74, one of the nation's top experts on asbestos and other mass tort litigation, who devoted his life to tort victims as an attorney and to victims of crime as a volunteer, died on May 16, 2013 at his Washington, DC home. His career was spent in the service of well over one million individuals whom he helped as an attorney and volunteer. Mr. Austern was born and grew up in Washington, DC where he was a 1957 graduate of St. Albans School. He received a BA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and an LL.B from Yale University Law School where he was awarded the C. LaRue Munson Prize. At St. Albans, he discovered a talent for drama and singing that became a lifetime hobby. He excelled as an actor and vocalist at high school, at the University of Pennsylvania, with the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and with other vocal ensembles. After law school, Mr. Austern served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington DC where he was Chief of the Grand Jury Section and Chief of the Felony Trial Section. From 1973 to 1985, he was a partner in the private law firm, Goldfarb, Singer & Austern. From 1985 to 1987 he was Director of Education at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. In 1987, he became General Counsel of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, a position he held until his death. Between 2000 and 2007, he was President of the Claims Resolution Management Corporation, a subsidiary of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust and, between 2005 and 2011, he was Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Dow Corning Trust in Houston, Texas. He also served as a Futures Representative of the Combustion Engineering Trust and of the W.R. Grace Trust and as a consultant to the trustees of the NARCO Trust. At the time of his death, he was a director of the DANA Companies, LLC. Mr. Austern's long volunteer service to the victims of crime included the Chairmanship of the American Bar Association Victims Committee between 1987 and 1991 and the Presidency of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for victims of crime, between 2000 and 2010. In 2011, the National Center for Victims of Crime gave him its Leadership Award for extraordinary service. During a long teaching career between 1969 and 1997, Mr. Austern was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, a Lecturer at the National Judicial College, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Law School, where he won an Outstanding Teaching award. He also was the author of numerous articles and four books: Street Law: An Introduction to Law for the Layman (West Publishing Company 1975), Uniform Rules of Criminal Procedure: Comparison and Analysis (with David Epstein, American Bar Association Press 1977), The Crime Victim's Handbook (Viking/Penguin 1987) and Government, Ethics, and Managers: A Guide to Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Public Sector (with David Epstein, Praeger 1990). Between 1983 and 1988 he wrote a monthly column for Trial Magazine on ethics. Mr. Austern is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marilyn Bell Austern; two children, Elizabeth Austern of Washington, DC, and Phillip Austern of New York City; two grandchildren, Siena and Tristan Austern; and a sister, Helen A. Colson of Chevy Chase, MD. Services will be held on Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Judean Memorial Gardens (Adas Israel Section), 16225 Batchellors Forest Road (at Georgia Avenue) Olney, MD 20832. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the National Center for Victims of Crime (victimsofcrime.org), or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org). Services will be held on Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Judean Memorial Gardens (Adas Israel Section), 16225 Batchellors Forest Road (at Georgia Avenue) Olney, MD 20832. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the National Center for Victims of Crime (victimsofcrime.org), or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org).


Published in The Washington Post from May 17 to May 19, 2013
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