David Rosen died as he lived, with little fanfare. He passed on October 3, 2015, yet I didn’t know it until I read his obituary this morning. The Herald gave him a mere 4 3/4 inches on page 12 A. It was not the paper’s fault, David would have wanted it that way. He died as he lived, a humble man who avoided publicity, never gave press interviews and aggressively avoided the limelight. All he did was give his all for his clients, toiling in relative obscurity, saving lives and careers. He deserved much more, but didn’t want it.
David was the expert for decades in criminal tax and financial crimes. I tried several cases with him and can attest to his superb courtroom and analytical ability. There was just something about him that was so likeable. The one story that sticks in my mind involves his long time client Meyer Lansky. You would think that representing Lansky would put your name on the front page, but not with David. He even kept that quiet.
Anyway, we were in the Miami National Bank fraud trial before Judge Aronowitz. One morning, four months into another exciting bank case moving at glacial speed, I ambled into Aronowitz’s first floor courtroom and Dave came running up “Roy we have a problem.” I figured a technical glitch in some obscure UCC rule. “Meyer Lansky died last night.” I said: “I’m sure the FBI is relieved, but so what?” David explained that Lanksy had named him as executor of his will and what if this got to the jury. “How can we head that off.” Obviously that would be a game-changer, so we met with the judge to discuss the matter. Fortunately it never came to pass.
For years I bugged David to give me some tidbits from Lansky’s mob exploits, but not a peep. The Sphinx was more talkative. I lament all the dinner parties I could have regaled with Lansky stories, but it was not to be. Dave took privilege and confidentiality seriously. He took all of Lansky’s secrets to the grave. Literally.
David Rosen was not just a gentleman and a noble lawyer but also a wonderful father. He leaves us with two more fine Rosen lawyers, Michael and Larry. David, it was an honor to try cases with you.
Addendum: Since I wrote this, Jay Weaver has written an excellent obit of David which was just posted on line and I assume will be in tomorrow’s Herald.