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Frederic Becker
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Frederic Becker

Frederic K. Becker, 78, of Montclair died Jan. 15, 2014. He was born in Brooklyn.

Mr. Becker was chairman of the board of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A., one of New Jersey’s oldest law firms, serving for many years on the firm’s management committee. He was also one of the firm’s senior trial attorneys engaged in complex corporate/commercial litigation in state and federal courts. He had appeared before the NJ Supreme Court and Superior Court, Appellate Division as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was a member of the Commercial Arbitration Panel of the American Arbitration Association, and previously served by designation of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey as a mediator in the court’s program for complex cases.

He graduated summa cum laude from Brown University in 1956 and received his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1959. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Copenhagen, 1959-1960.

He served as a director of Prudential Financial, Inc. and as chair of its audit committee, having retired from those positions in May 2010, and also served as a member of the Council of Trustees of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

He was a 2004 recipient of the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award presented by The Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey and the 2012 recipient of the Judge Learned Hand Award presented by the American Jewish Committee.

He was past president of The Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey and a member of its advisory board, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the American Bar Foundation, chair of the editorial board of the New Jersey Lawyer for many years until its cessation of publication (2008), a past president of the Harvard Law School Association of New Jersey, and a member of the American, New Jersey state and Middlesex County bar associations.

He was also designated by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve on a number of its committees, including the Study Group on the Sale of Law Practices, the Committee on Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Debevoise Commission”), the Committee on Court Reporting (Stenographic and Electronic), the Committee to Evaluate Court Reporting Improvements and, most recently, the Commission on the Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Pollock Commission”).

He is survived by his wife, Eileen; his children, Richard and Debra, Martin, Mary and Jonathan Kleinstein, Leslie and James Adelsheim, and Julie and Todd Silberman, a brother, William; two sisters, Lois Ross and Donna Rosenthal; and seven grandchildren.

Services were held Jan. 17 at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation (Attention: The Cancer Center), West Orange.

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