Richard J. Flaster, the name partner, founder and President of the law firm Flaster Greenberg PC, passed away suddenly on Monday, August 9, at his home in Cherry Hill. He was 67.
Mr. Flaster was recognized nationally as an authority on tax law, and still maintained an active practice at the time of his death. He provided legal counsel and advice to closely held businesses on matters involving taxation, pensions, estate planning, corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, negotiation and documentation of commercial contracts, and purchases and sales of businesses. He also provided counsel to public companies.
In 1972, he left the New York law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and formed a two-lawyer tax practice with Emmanuel ("Manny") Liebman. In 1976, shareholder Steve Greenberg, a graduate of Yale Law School, joined the firm. The name of the firm was subsequently changed to Flaster Greenberg PC.
"Throughout Rick's 38+ years with the firm, he was a true visionary," stated Flaster Greenberg managing shareholder Peter R. Spirgel. "He was incredibly creative and truly enjoyed helping his clients. Most importantly, he was a mentor to me and many of us at the firm. We were fortunate to have him as our partner and friend. He will be truly missed."
A frequent lecturer and prolific writer, Mr. Flaster wrote and edited numerous articles on tax-related subjects for publications in various professional journals. He had authored two books on tax law and contributed to two other books. His first novel, Authority of Thieves, was published in 2002. Mr. Flaster was profiled in the Wall Street Journal in July 2003 in a column entitled "Workspaces," for the extensive collection of hippos on display in his office. At the time of the article, his collection numbered about 1400 hippos of all shapes and sizes.
Mr. Flaster is listed in the 2005-2010 editions of The Best Lawyers in America for Tax Law, and was also included in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in American Law. He was voted one of the best tax lawyers in the region for 2005-2010 in New York Magazine, and by SJ Magazine as one of the top attorneys in South Jersey for 2005-2010. He was voted a New Jersey "Super Lawyer" in Tax Law for 2005-2010.
Mr. Flaster attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received a B.S. in Economics in 1963. At Penn, he was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma (the National Business Students Honor Society), Beta Alpha Psi (the National Accounting Students Honor Society) and Pi Gamma Mu (the national Social Science Students Honor Society). He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1966.
Mr. Flaster is survived by his wife of 40 years, Esther, who is the theatrical director of the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ; son Eben, a lawyer at Dechert; daughter Kiva Flaster Barr, also an attorney; and three grandchildren.