“At an age when virtually all of his peers would have been retired from the profession for at least two decades, Walter has continued to originate and supervise an active number of business assignments while devoting himself to important pro bono matters. His former partners still seek him out for advice when they have complex or challenging legal issues,” said Thelen partner Peter Brown, who worked with Mr. Feldesman at Brown Raysman.
“Devoted former clients and even their children continue to seek him out, which is not at all surprising when you consider his sharp legal mind, combined with a practice-tested pool of knowledge that stretches nearly 70 years,” Mr. Brown added. “Walter has had a tremendous impact on the practice of law in New York, and he’s mentored several generations of corporate attorneys. The city is filled with those of us who have admired his true love of the law and his knack at over-serving his clients. He is a professional model many of us seek to emulate.”
Mr. Feldesman will retain an office at Thelen and continue his pro bono work as one of the nation’s leading authorities in elder law. He serves as elder law counsel to the United Seniors Cooperative. He’s also currently working on a free five-volume electronic series covering all issues facing America’s elder population and is the author of several published books and manuals in the field, including Long Term Home Care, New Medicare Choices and Medicare Choice Plans.
Mr. Feldesman’s major opus, the Dictionary of ElderCare Terminology, is the only text of its kind accredited by Medicare; the book is cited as a reference on the official Medicare web site, www.medicare.gov. The work provides both medical professionals and lay readers with a user-friendly guide through the maze of overlapping and intertwined long term care services, service providers and funding/reimbursement sources.
In recognition of his path-setting work in the field, Mr. Feldesman was awarded the ElderCare Achievement Award by New York's Hunter College in 1999. He also received the first-ever "Lawyer of the Year" Award (1984) by the National Conference of Christians & Jews. Among other achievements, Mr. Feldesman was a founder of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the donor of the Traveling Professor Lectureships in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Montefiore Hospital. Mr. Feldesman also served as a trustee of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Palm Beach, Florida.
“Throughout my caree r, I have been fortunate to work with so many outstanding lawyers and represent wonderful clients. I suppose I’ve continued to practice all these years not for the money or the accolades, but quite simply out of a love of the law,” Mr. Feldesman said. “The legal business has certainly changed a lot during my lifetime, but the basic principles of effective representation and client service remain the same. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of a firm that allowed me all the autonomy in the world to do what I love the most.”