In Memoriam

EDWARD M. HELLER 1926-2013

ehellerEDWARD M. HELLER 1926-2013

Edward passed away on February 12, 2013, after more than sixty years of devoted service to the firm.

Edward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina in 1946 where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Thereafter he earned a LLB degree from Harvard University Law School in 1948 and a JD degree from the Tulane University Law School.

After law school, Edward returned to New Orleans to practice with his father, Isaac, in the firm Heller & Heller, a predecessor of our firm. A founding member is this firm, Edward was well recognized nationwide as the “Dean” of the Bankruptcy bar of this state. He handled most of the large, well publicized bankruptcies filed in Louisiana in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

In addition to his active law practice Edward was involved with many public service organizations. Edward served as chairman of the board of the Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Company (Blue Cross of Louisiana), President of the Jewish Welfare Federation of New Orleans and the Harvard Law School Association of Louisiana. He also served on the board of directors of the Metairie Park Country Day School, the Community Chest, Congregation Temple Sinai and the United Way.

Throughout his life, Edward excelled as a craftsman, model-builder of boats and trains, and sailor of small boats. His operational replica of an early 20th century Thames River steam tug was featured on the cover of “Ships in Scale.” His work with mosaic tiles, including a Byzantine-style portrait of him and his wife, Sandra, attracted coverage in the Times-Picayune. He pursued his love of sailing small craft – Hobie Cats and Sunfish – to the end of his life.

The attorneys and staff of Heller, Draper, Patrick, Horn & Dabney, L.L.C. extend their deepest condolences to Sandy, Karen, Sally, Mildred and Barbara.

FRED BRONFIN

FBronfin copyIt is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Fred Bronfin. Fred passed away on July 23, 2014, after more than 50 years of active practice with the firm. Funeral services were held at Shir Chadash Congregation in Metairie, Louisiana on Friday, July 25, 2014.

Fred graduated from Alcee Fortier High School in 1934, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tulane University in 1938 where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Tulane in 1941 where he was Order of the Coif.

After graduation from law school, he joined the Navy, where he saw duty at Midway Island and Pearl Harbor, where he last served as officer in charge of the Fighter Director School, training men to plot courses of enemy raids. At the conclusion of the war, he was transferred to Washington and then New York to assist in the termination of war time contracts.

Fred served on the boards of several civic organizations, including the Jewish Children’s Regional Service, B’nai B’rith, Jewish Family Service, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana. Fred was a brilliant attorney, known for his remarkable memory and ability to recall case law decisions spanning the 20th Century. He had a tremendous sense of humor, and was deeply loved and admired by his family and close friends. He was married twice, first to Saralyn Plantowsky Bronfin, and then to Carolyn Pick Bronfin, both of whom predeceased him. He was very close to his two children, Dr. Daniel Bronfin, wife Melanie, and Kenneth Bronfin, wife Sarina, his six grandchildren, Michael Bronfin, Neil Bronfin, Talia Bronfin, Marshall Bronfin, Adam Bronfin, and Natalie Bronfin, and eight step grandchildren.

The attorneys and staff of Heller, Draper, Patrick, Horn & Dabney, L.L.C. extend their deepest condolences to the entire Bronfin family.

BERNARD H. BERINS 1938-2014

BBerins copyBernard Harris “Bernie” Berins, a longtime member of this firm, died at his home after a courageous battle with cancer on October 29, 2014, surrounded by loving family. He was 75. Bernard is survived by Jane Z. Berins, his loving wife of more than 46 years; children, Deborah L. Berins of Austin, Texas, Amy Berins Shapiro and David M. Berins of Metairie; grandchildren, Lily R. Shapiro, Zachary H. Shapiro and Emma D. Shapiro. He is also survived by his brothers, Howard Berins and Leonard Berins, both of Metairie. Bernard graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1959 and went on to receive his J.D. from the Tulane University Law School in 1962. In 1961, while still attending the Tulane University School of Law, he was employed as a law clerk with Heller & Heller, beginning his nearly 53-year tenure (slightly interrupted by military service).

Bernard thoroughly enjoyed the practice of law and, more importantly, valued his relationships with his partners, associates and staff. Bernard would have practiced for many more years, but decided to retire on December 31, 2013, to focus on fighting his disease. Widely respected for his expertise in real estate and security interests, Bernard was also well known for his practice in various business entities as well as bankruptcy and related matters. Most notable to those in the practice of law, he successfully confirmed many allegedly “non-confirmable” Chapter 11 plans of reorganization. In addition, Bernard handled numerous commercial transactions, including commercial leases, acquisitions, mergers and industrial revenue bond issues. Over the years, he was invited to share his knowledge and expertise as a speaker at conferences and educational seminars.

From 1962-74 Bernard served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, entering as a Seaman Recruit and leaving as a Lieutenant Commander. His time in the Coast Guard added to the extensive repertoire of stories that he loved to share. Bernard was very active in Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation (formerly Tikvat Shalom Conservative Congregation) in Metairie where he served as a board member for more than forty years. During that time he held various positions, including president, executive vice president, and vice president of education and was instrumental in developing many programs and in making that Synagogue the success it is today. Above all his nonprofit endeavors, Bernard received the most satisfaction from his more than 32-year tenure as the first chairman of the Congregation’s cemetery, where he played a key role in the acquisition of the Tikvat Shalom Conservative Congregation Cemetery.

In recent years, Bernie was also a member of Chabad Jewish Center of Metairie, and enjoyed watching his grandchildren undertake their Jewish education from the supportive and dedicated congregational family. Bernie’s compassion, humor and selfless devotion to the law and the firm will be profoundly missed by all.