Former Kolsby Gordon Attorney, Marshall A. Bernstein, Passes Away at 87

March 26, 2013

One of the great plaintiff’s trial lawyers of his generation, Marshall A. Bernstein passed away last week at the age of 87. He was of-counsel with Kolsby Gordon toward the end of his career in the late 1990s. You can read his full obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Bernstein was a phenomenal litigator, known for setting legal precedents that are still used today. His work established a number of tort principles, such as the liability of tavern owners for selling alcohol to minors, as well as the standard of care in negligent security cases. His precedent setting case of Feld v. Merriam is still cited today for principles of punitive damages.

Mr. Bernstein was also a humble philanthropist, and quietly gave valuable gifts to charities, including the establishment of a group home for adults with special needs.

He was a mentor to many Philadelphia attorneys, including one of Kolsby Gordon’s founders, Herbert F. Kolsby and other attorneys here at the firm. Though his death is deeply saddening, it provides us with a moment to celebrate Mr. Bernstein’s legacy, and the achievements his leadership has fostered.

We wish his family and friends the best.