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Reflections on the Passing of a PDC Leader

October 30, 2015

Anita Zigman was one of the very early members of the PDC.  And she gave so much to the organization through her ideas, and her straight-forward common-sense approach to what we do.  The term “thought leader” is ridiculously overused these days, but it is a perfect description of Anita.  Smart, experienced, analytical, kind, and a true “leader.”

Anita served as a Member of the inaugural New York State CLE Board, and was an important voice of reason in those early days of mandatory CLE in our State, as the only representative of law firms to serve on that first Board.  We have her to thank for some of the good things that Board did, and for preventing a lot of impractical burdens. 

But her heart was here, in the PDC.  In 2001, when I became Chair, the very wisest thing I did was convince Anita to be the Vice Chair, and, hence, my successor.  She served as Vice Chair from 2001-2003, and as Chair from 2003-2005.  And all of us were the beneficiaries of her thoughtful and gentle leadership.

In the early part of this century, she was Director of Associate Affairs at Proskauer.  For the last 10 years, she was Chief Legal Personnel Officer at Paul Weiss.  In her firms, as in the PDC, she was a colleague, a friend, a mentor, a role model.

Her shocking death, at a young 60, is a tragedy for her family, her friends, her colleagues, and everyone whose life she touched.  And it is a personal loss to so many of us, who knew her for so long, and benefitted from her kindness and wisdom.  It is, indeed, a very sad day.

Written by Burt Lipshie