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Farewell Elihu Inselbuch

Updated: 06 Sep 2019
Published: 27 Aug 2019

Elihu passed away 15th August 2019


Farewell Elihu Inselbuch
Farewell Elihu Inselbuch

A lifelong New York City resident, Elihu Inselbuch died peacefully at his summer home on Shelter Island, NY on August 15, 2019. He was 81. Elihu is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Harriet, his sons Adam Inselbuch (Kathryn) of Chicago, Frank Inselbuch (Lenora) of Houston, TX and daughter Jessica Malasek (Jan) of Charlottesville, VA, as well as his grandchildren Jacob and Jamison Malasek and Ilana and Isaac Inselbuch.

A renowned attorney of extraordinary intellect and integrity, Elihu practised law for 55 years, the last 32 at Caplin & Drysdale, where he had a distinguished career focused on complex litigation, including asbestos creditors' rights litigation and commercial and securities fraud litigation. He was the head of the firm's bankruptcy and complex litigation groups and he served for many years as Co-Chair of the firm. Beginning in 1985, when he was first retained to represent the Asbestos Claimants' Committee in the Johns-Manville Corp. reorganization, Elihu worked closely with the asbestos plaintiffs' bar and was involved in virtually every asbestos-related bankruptcy, representing asbestos claimants' committees during the bankruptcies and then the trust advisory committees created following the bankruptcies. Throughout his career, Elihu was frequently sought after as a panelist or speaker at conferences across the country. He appeared before many state and federal courts, the United States Senate, the Watergate Special Prosecutor and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Elihu was born in New York City on May 12, 1938, the son of Samson Inselbuch and Frada ("Sunny"), nee Cohan, grew up in Brooklyn, NY, attended Midwood High School (1955), Princeton University (1959), Columbia Law School (1962) and NYU School of Law (1965). At Princeton, Elihu was a saber fencer on an Ivy League Championship team and was music director of the Triangle Club. He served as a private in the US Army and as a second lieutenant in the US Navy. After his military service, he began his legal career at ASCAP. He joined the firm of Gilbert, Segall & Young in 1966 and became a partner there in 1969. He moved to Caplin & Drysdale in 1986, where he practised until his retirement in March 2018. Elihu was an active volunteer for Princeton: he interviewed prospective students in New York City and Mamaroneck, NY; served as both treasurer and president of his class; and was Chairman of the Alumni Council (1993-1995).

Elihu was an avid player and supporter of the game of Rackets, playing at the Racquet & Tennis Club where he was a member for 45 years. Together with Neil Smith he won the Western Open Racquets Doubles Championship in 1994. Elihu was also an accomplished pianist and trumpeter. He pursued his love of music his entire life. In high school, he was the first trumpet in the New York All-City Orchestra. Later in life, he was an active member of the Century Association and the Digressionists. Elihu was an accomplished sailor and was a member for many years of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, CT and of the Shelter Island Yacht Club. Elihu will be remembered for his enormous professional accomplishments, his towering intellect, integrity and irreverent sense of humour.


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