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Jack Litman leaves his body – Kindness, brilliance and passion personified

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Over the weekend on a lawyers’ listserv came news that Jack Litman left his body yesterday. Because death seems to be an artificial boundary, other than to describe the shutdown of one’s organs and body, I prefer not to say that he died, including when considering how many lives Jack continues to positively touch, which became all the clearer from the numerous listserv comments I have read from those close to him.

When I joined the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 1991, I believe Jack was already a member of its board. I was floored when I first heard him give a presentation a few years later about dealing with forensics evidence in defending a murder case. He seemed to be a man as comfortable, passionate, and persuasive in handling street crime defense as suite crime defense.

Somehow I never bumped into Jack face-to-face until around 2000, after he spoke on a panel at the Libel Defense Resource Center in Manhattan. Jack was very approachable and kind, and shared with me that his law practice included libel defense, as does mine.

I was taken by Jack’s kindness and about his apparent ability to talk as respectfully to all as does the Dalai Lama, without having his apparently brilliant intellect get in the way of truly connecting with people.

Others have highlighted Jack’s kindness, as well. Ellen Podgor writes on White Collar Crime Prof: “He was one of the nicest most caring individuals one could come across in life.” Ellen quotes Barry Scheck as saying of Jack: “But perhaps most impressive of all, sometimes with gestures of kindness and loyalty unknown to many, he delivered when it counted for his friends, his clients, and the cause of liberty.”

Jack’s passing was from lymphoma, and his obituary shows that he was already battling lymphoma when I met him around 2000.  

Thanks, Jack, for you. I send you and your family all good karma.