Philip Norman Sobel, Esq., 70, of Morristown died Feb. 20, 2012. He was born in New York City.
Mr. Sobel became the first Jewish attorney at Stryker, Tams and Dill in Newark, later starting his own firm, Sobel and Lyon, LLC, in Newark and then Florham Park with his partner Rexford Lyon. The firm then became Sobel and Brown, LLC, East Hanover, with his partner Joseph Brown.
A pioneer in the field of collaborative divorce, he was certified by the New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification in Matrimonial Law. He was a member of the Morris County and New Jersey bar associations, North Jersey Collaborative Law Group, and the New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, of which he was a founder and president emeritus. He was selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for 2005 and from 2007 to 2011.
He attended City College of New York and earned a New York state scholarship to Harvard Law School, where he won a Harvard Debate Award and earned his JD while driving a taxicab.
He was a member of the Air Force National Guard.
He is survived by his wife, Esther (Gray); his daughter, Kirsten Sobel Kleinman of Dobbs Ferry, NY; a sister, Ava Olsen of Madison, Wis.; and two grandsons.
Services were held Feb. 26 with arrangements by Menorah Chapels at Millburn, Union. Memorial contributions may be made to the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, 6525 Grand Teton Plaza, Madison, WI 53719 (www.afccnet.org).