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 by The Washington Post from May 17 to May 19, 2013.
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30 Entries
I’d like to say that Mr. David Austin is one of the best man I’ve ever met in my life and I’ve been driving for 47 years so I’ve met a lot of men if you’ve never met him I’m sorry to say that would be your loss he was the best and may God bless his family .

Samuel Ace Evans
May 11, 2021
I just want to say he was a great humanitarian and person to me and I havent met anyone else like him and I meet a lot of people in my work. I will always remember him and Im always talking about him to other people. Ace is number one driver.
Ace Evans
May 11, 2020
I only wish I had notified David earlier. My sincerest condolences to Mr. Austern's family. It was four years ago today that my husband Chuck was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Both Chuck and David attended Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center for their treatment, and David provided Chuck with encouragement and hope. Chuck's journey with PC was much shorter and he passed in December, 2011. My your family find comfort in the memories.
Mary Willett
August 27, 2015
"Time does not allow me to express how much I looked forward to meeting David in Albuquerque."
John Clarence
September 25, 2014
Words cannot express how I feel when I heard the news by Mrs Austern. I lived and worked with the Austern's family for years. Mr. David Austern was the best person I had ever worked with. I will never forget you Mr. Austern. Thank you for your generosity, your support and your kind heart! R.I.P
Rama Sane Koch
September 18, 2013
On behalf of Rama Sané family and all who knew the AUSTERN family, we present our heartfelt condolences. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. My sister Rama is very much devastated by this lost.
September 18, 2013
I had the good fortune of growing up with David and family as neighbors and friends. His compassion, kindness, sense of humor, integrity and devotion to his family all had a profound effect on my life to this day, and I will never forget him. He was truly the last of a dying breed of gentleman.
With love and gratitude, Mark E. Schaaf
June 24, 2013
So sorry to hear of Mr. Austern passing. I am sure Heaven is a better place as he left this world a better place by being a great citizen while passing through this earth. Prayers to his family and friends. I am sure he was loved by each that crossed his paths. God Bless. Thanks for the information. Keep up the great work he has been a part of.
Mary Smith
June 1, 2013
My deep sympathy to Mr. AUSTERN Family may you rest in peace with the angel's.
kamelia Tahari
June 1, 2013
Toxic Discovery and our Members give our deepest condolences to the Austern family. David was a great man and a hero. I had the pleasure of networking with him personally. He was always gracious, kind and understanding. It is a great loss - He truly will be missed by many.

Kathy Keithley-Johnston, R.N.
Ex. Director/Founder
Toxic Discovery, Inc.
Toxic Discovery
May 31, 2013
We met as Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Columbia in the 1960's. David Austern always demonstrated competence and friendship. At every point, he held leadership positions.

With Marilyn, I invited them to join a long-established Bible Study Group. In turn this, and probably other considerations led to his decision to have a Bar Mitzvah while in his late 30's, an occasion he had not celebrated at the traditional age of 13. In the presence of his parents, other family members and friends he demonstrated his Jewish religious skills.

David Austern was a "doer." When the District of Columbia Disciplinary Board needed a temporary Bar Counsel, he was our choice. When I had the opportunity to write a book on the law, I invited David to be my co-author. He was informed, thoughtful, and reliable. Also, an easy person with whom to work.

Conversations with David Austern would move across a wide range of topics, illustrated by pertinent and well-told anecdotes or the expression of his considered views. There was always humor, given and received.

May his family find comfort.

David Epstein
David Epstein
May 31, 2013
You were an angel to so many people and now you are an angel in heaven. Thank you David T. Austern for all you care and work...May you rest in Peace.
May 31, 2013
I am a para legal working on Dow and I saw first hand how well his light shined. Thank you Attorney Austern for that gift of love for what you did and how you helped others
May 31, 2013
My sympathy to David's family; people so fortunate to have held him closely for so long. He was a wonderful person who helped me tremendously when my career in criminal justice was starting, in the 1970's. I will always remember him fondly.
Cliff Karchmer
May 25, 2013
My deepest condolences to David's family and friends. He was a wonderful, caring person with an incredible wit and capacity to help and guide while always remaining humble. I had the good fortune to be able to work with him on various matters and cherish that time and his wisdom.
Debby Greenspan
May 24, 2013
My heartfelt condolences. May his memory be a blessing to you always.
Gerda Ray
May 22, 2013
Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss of this great lawyer and humanitarian, your husband, father, brother and friend to his family and so many others. May the treasured and happy memories serve as comfort during these difficult times.
Diana Sants Maria
May 22, 2013
David was a hero to me. I am so sorry for the loss of a great fighter for Justice. May all the colors of the rainbow wrap you in their healing glow.

Rowyn Sturner-Capers
May 21, 2013
Marilyn, Philip and Elizabeth, Deepest condolences on the loss of your devoted husband and father. I worked with David at the trial lawyers and remember, to this day, his devotion to you three, as well as his wit, wisdom, courage, intellect and generosity.
Kris Meyer
May 20, 2013
To the Family of David Austern,
Ace and I will miss Mr. Austern very much. He was a great person and friend. He had a lot of stories to tell and we enjoyed all of them. Ace always enjoyed the two of them riding together.
Samuel ACE & Wilda Evans
May 20, 2013
My family and I send our deepest condolences for the loss of David. He was a great man and an inspiration to all that knew him.
Peter Kelso
May 20, 2013
Marilyn, Phillip and Elizabeth,
My heartfelt condolences to you all. David was an extraordinary man, accomplished but down to earth. The joint Austern-Schaaf impromptu Chinese carryout dinners are one of my fondest memories, David excelled at making everyone feel special. He will be missed.

Don & Sherry
May 20, 2013
To the Austern Family: I extend my sincere sympathy on the loss of David, whom've I've known since the 1970s. He encouraged me to join the U.S. Attorney's Office as a prosecutor. To Matthew, also, I send my condolences.

Judge Cheryl M. Long
Washington, D.C.
Cheryl Long
May 19, 2013
I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your loved one. During this most difficult time, comfort is needed. May you allow the peace that God supply, to help you to cope during your time of need.(Phillipians 4:6,7)
May 19, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family. Working with David on the Board of T.I.and at the Manville Trust exposed me to his intelligence, wit, and dedication to using the law to help people
in need. His life was too short, but well lived.
Phyllis Hanfling
May 19, 2013
My family and I send our heartfelt condolences to the Austern family on the loss of this wonderful man. His warmth, kindness, and enormous contribution to Victims of Crime will never be forgotten.
Ala Isham
May 17, 2013
I am very sorry for your loss. I worked with David at the Manville Trust from 1988 through 1992 and always enjoyed his company and terrific sense of humor.
Gregg Smith
May 17, 2013
The staff at the SFDCT sends its condolences to the family. David's effect on our lives was through the heart, his humility made us love him even more.
Ann Phillips
May 17, 2013
David was a wonderful friend who I will never forget. His acerebic wit was unique and made his extensive knowledge of the legal profession and its history fascinating conversation. I attended, enjoyed and learned from every lecture he gave at the National Crime Victim Bar Association Conferences. I offer my deepest sympathy to his family, especially his wife who I awkwardly inadvertently phoned many times when confused about the right number at which to find David. Like so many others I will miss him as a collegue, mentor, and friend.
Philip Gerson
May 17, 2013
I will always remember you as an amazing, caring person who had such an impact on others.
Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez
May 17, 2013
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