NY Atty Dies Following COVID-19 Complications

By Dave Simpson
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Law360 (March 19, 2020, 9:04 PM EDT) --
Richard Weber
Richard Weber
New York City defense attorney Richard E. Weber Jr., a partner at Gallo Vitucci Klar LLP and a longtime board member of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, died as a result of complications from the new coronavirus, the LGBT Bar said Thursday.

Weber disclosed his symptoms to his firm March 10, and the firm then closed its Manhattan office, senior partner Howard Klar told Law360 in an email.

"Everyone at Gallo Vitucci Klar LLP is heartbroken and devastated by the loss of Richard," the firm said in a statement. "He was a wonderful attorney and shining light at our firm. Our thoughts and prayers right now are with his family."

No one else at the firm has had any COVID-19 symptoms or a positive diagnosis, Klar told Law360.

Weber had been at the firm since November 2013 and had been a board member with the LGBT Bar of NY, also known as LeGaL, since January 2013, according to his LinkedIn page.

"We cherish Richard's memory and hold his partner, Antonio, and family in our hearts," LeGaL said in a release on its website. "Richard gave generously of his time and talents to improve the lives of LGBTQ New Yorkers. It is in his honor that we continue to steadfastly dedicate ourselves to our mission of advancing equality in and through the legal profession."

At Gallo Vitucci, Weber focused his practice on general liability defense, premises liability, defense of false arrest or wrongful detention claims and transportation defense, according to the firm's website.

Before joining Gallo Vitucci, he was an attorney at Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer from June 2011 through November 2013, where he handled toxic tort defense, including asbestos litigation, liquor liability claims and declaratory judgment coverage actions, his firm's website said.

Weber was on the borough council in Metuchen, New Jersey, from 2002 through 2010, according to his LinkedIn, and he was a member of the borough's Historic Preservation Committee until December 2017.

Weber earned his bachelor's degree at Wake Forest University in 1984, a master's degree from Drew University in 1986 and his law degree at Seton Hall University School of Law in 1991.

He wore many hats while volunteering with LeGaL, including as a member of its Judicial Committee and as an attorney at its legal clinic.

On Thursday, LeGaL Executive Director Eric Lesh on Twitter called Weber a "beautiful soul with a generous spirit."

"The greater NY legal community has been impacted by #coronavirus from the very beginning," he said. "From the lawyer in Westchester, to the law schools like mine that closed down early, and now the loss of someone dear to many of us, we have had to adapt quickly."

--Editing by Orlando Lorenzo.

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