This memory is obviously coming far too late, but today's date is significant. I hope this somehow reaches Bob's loved ones.
I was not a personal friend of Bob's, I don't know that I can be considered a colleague, and I only met him face-to-face once. But an act of kindness on Bob's part 19 years ago had a huge impact on me. My law partners and I had an office in 1 World Trade Center on 9/11/01, and within days of that tragic date, through an introduction by a colleague lawyer at Wolf Block, Bob offered to provide office space to our small law firm in a location that was being under-utilized by his firm, with computers, printers and a copier, for our use. We moved in on September 17th.
We were there for four months, rebuilding our practice, and after we vacated that office to move into new office space in lower Manhattan, Bob refused our offer of rent, payment of electric charges, etc. It was the most important reason that my law partners and I were able to continue our law practice then, and we remain together 19 years later.
Bob's generosity, thoughtfulness and compassion was so meaningful to me that I remained in contact with him for many years after 2001; every year on 9/11 we would either speak by phone or trade e-mails, up to and including 9/11/17. Each year he would tell me that I was "released" from expressing my gratitude to him, but I paid no heed to that. I must have missed doing so in 2018, and on 9/11/19 my e-mail message to his professional address bounced back. I regret now that I did not search out some other means of contacting him until now.
To his family, please know that Bob's kindness 19 years ago toward three lawyers whom he barely knew, and to whom he owed nothing, had a tremendous impact on us, and will never be forgotten. Your loss is shared by many more people than you can possibly know.
Barry S. Rothman, Esq.
Strongin Rothman & Abrams, LLP
Barry S Rothman
September 11, 2020