Richard Weber Jr., a partner at New York- and New Jersey-based Gallo Vitucci Klar, died this week from complications related to COVID-19, according to the LGBT Bar Association of New York, or LeGal, where Weber was a board member. He was 57.
LeGal’s executive director, Eric Lesh, said Weber died Wednesday, two days after Weber wrote in an email that he had tested positive with COVID-19 and had been hospitalized but was improving.
“He was just a wonderful human being with a real dedication to giving back to others,” Lesh said in an interview.
“We urge our members and friends to stay safe and healthy. Protect yourselves, friends and family. We are all in this together. We will continue to pursue equality and justice with Richard’s memory and generous spirit in our hearts,” Lesh and LeGal board president Kristen Prata Browde said in a message to the group’s members.
“Everyone at Gallo Vitucci Klar LLP is heartbroken and devastated by the loss of Richard,” Weber’s law firm said in a statement. “He was a wonderful attorney and shining light at our firm. Our thoughts right now are with his family.”
Weber’s practice at the 80-lawyer firm focused on a range of insurance defense matters. He was based in the firm’s New York City offices in Lower Manhattan.
Lesh said that Weber was a “joyful and happy individual” who dedicated much of his time to working at a legal clinic serving LGBT New Yorkers.
Weber graduated from Seton Hall Law School in 1991, according to his LinkedIn profile, and he was admitted to practice in both New Jersey and New York.
He worked for several firms earlier in his career, including Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer.
Gallo Vitucci said Thursday that the firm’s Manhattan office has been closed since Weber disclosed symptoms March 10, with lawyers and staff working remotely.
“Fortunately, no one else at that office or the firm has had any COVID-19 symptoms or a positive diagnosis,” the firm said.