Robert M. Pitler Memoriam

The Law Revision Commission records with regret the death of its former Chairman, the

Honorable Robert M. Pitler, on March 15, 2015 at the age of 74 years.

Professor Pitler was appointed as a member of the New York State Law Revision Commission in 1988 and served as its Chairman from 1993 until 2010, under Governors Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. During his tenure as Chairman of the Commission, he led the Commission’s studies on the Proposed Codification of the Rules of Evidence, Guardianship under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, revisions to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, Powers of Attorney Under the General Obligations Law, the Alcohol Beverage Control Law and its Administration, and Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings.

He received his LL.B. and his LL.M. from Brooklyn Law School and his S.J.D from Michigan Law School where he was the W.W. Cook Fellow. He was a longtime Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. Professor Pitler’s special expertise was criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence and he authored numerous books and articles on these subjects. His seminal article on New York State search and seizure constitutionalism, published in the Brooklyn Law Review in 1996, remains the authoritative source on the subject.

Before joining the faculty at Brooklyn Law School in 1988, he was Counsel to the New York County District Attorney and Chief of the Office’s Investigations Division and Chief of the Appeals Bureau. Professor Pitler also taught at Syracuse University College of Law and the University of Colorado Law School. Early in his career, he served as senior law clerk to Charles D. Breitel, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.

He was honored twice by the New York State Bar Association for “Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Criminal Law Education,” and “Outstanding Contribution in Criminal Justice Legislation.” In January 2015, he was honored by the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his many achievements and remarkable devotion to teaching.

The members of the Commission and its staff benefited from Bob’s lively intelligence, his sharp wit, his strong opinions, his loyalty and his many acts of kindness. The people of the State of New York benefited from his desire to recommend laws that could serve them well and his hard work and perseverance to achieve that goal. He is sorely missed.

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