In Memoriam: Benjamin P. Michel
It is with great sadness that we share the news that our former long-time partner and friend Ben Michel passed away on January 2, 2019. Ben was one of Riker Danzig’s, and New Jersey’s, most distinguished litigators, representing major Firm clients in significant products liability, securities litigation, and RICO cases, as well as the highly-publicized Doris Duke estate litigation brought by her adopted daughter Chandi Heffner. Ben also pioneered and established our family law practice.
Ben joined Riker Danzig in 1967 after earning his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he also received his undergraduate degree. He started his legal practice in our Newark office at 744 Broad Street, and became partner in 1973. Before Riker, Ben served as an intelligence officer in the United States Army rising to the rank of Captain. Ben was also an avid collector of memorabilia and even donated to the United States Park Service the Union flag that was at the center of the Union line during Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg.
Ben was deeply involved in the Firm’s leadership, serving on both the Management and Executive Committees throughout the years, and serving a term as Managing Partner in the late 1970s. Ben was also a greatly-valued mentor and role model to dozens of attorneys until his retirement in 2010. His legal astuteness and wisdom balanced with good humor and charm made him a remarkable attorney and colleague, one we are privileged to have counted among our own. Our deepest condolences go to Ben’s family and friends.