Leon S. Forman, 90, an attorney who specialized in bankruptcy law, died on Jan. 23 at Abington Memorial Hospital. He was a resident of Wyndmoor.
Senior counsel at Blank Rome LLP, he was described in a eulogy by Ray Shapiro, a partner in the law firm, as a "magnet that attracts a legion of superlatives. He was a platinum band lawyer, a thoroughbred scholar and a magnificent human being."
Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Forman earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Juris Doctor degree from its law school, where he was a member of the law review and a recipient of the Gowen Fellowship. He then served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County.
In 1941, Forman joined the law firm of Wexler, Mulder and Weisman. In 1984, it merged with Blank Rome, where his son Harvey Forman is a partner.
"My father was the epitome of a role model as a lawyer, father and friend, not only to me but to other lawyers in the firm," said Harvey Forman. "As a father, he was always interested in what we were doing, and made time for his family. He loved to golf, and he traveled extensively with our mother. However, nothing gave him more pleasure than his grandchildren, and one of the highlights of his life was handing my daughter Laura her law-school diploma from the University of Pennsylvania two years ago."
Added Shapiro: "He was there early on when the subject of bankruptcy and creditors' rights was attracting the attention of the legal community, especially major law firms. His participation on panels with other professionals expanded his reputation from a regional to a national presence."
Forman was active in the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association's Legal Education Programs, and lectured throughout the country through these programs.
He also wrote books and articles on bankruptcy, and served as a contributing author for the subject's premier treatise, Collier on Bankruptcy.
Over the years, he garnered a number of major honors, including the Dennis Replansky Memorial Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association; the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Bankruptcy; and the Award of Excellence from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. He was also lauded for his charitable commitments by the Jewish National Fund and Israel Bonds.
He taught at both Penn and Temple law schools.
In addition to his son Harvey, Forman is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marjorie Forman; another son, Roger Forman; two grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Contributions in his memory may be made to: Law Development, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204.