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A Tribute to Norman P. Zarwin

March 10, 2020

I am very sad to report that our founding partner, Norman P. Zarwin, passed away on Friday, March 6, 2020. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1955, he along with co-founder Harris Baum, established the firm known today as Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. Over the last six decades, the firm has grown and prospered based on the foundation established by Zarwin and Baum of professional excellence and giving back to the community which it serves. Norman and Harris shared the same goal of staying true to their mission, while developing a loyal, ambitious, and highly skilled team of top talent. Thinking of their relationship, Harris recalls:

“What started as simply the sharing of some office space together, grew to be a lifelong business partnership and friendship.  We were perfect partners; he was a transactional lawyer and I was a litigator; he wanted to lead the firm and I wanted to try cases; he made sure the clients paid their bills and I made sure that we did the work that created the bills.“

Current managing shareholder, Mitchell Kaplan, a lawyer with the firm since 1982, shares:

“Norman was a great leader and patriarch of this organization from its infancy, establishing our core foundation of values. We still abide by many of the fine principles that he instilled in us over the years, including the responsibility of supporting charitable endeavors and the insistence upon professional excellence.”  

Before retiring in 2017, Norman practiced law for 56 years, focusing on the representation of gasoline distributors and retailers along the entire Mid-Atlantic region; business and real estate transactional matters; and managing the firm for close to forty years. He was also particularly involved in the establishment, representation, and advising of associations including The Alliance for Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania, The South Asian Business Association, and the Service Station and Automotive Repair Association of Pennsylvania/Delaware.

He had an entrepreneurial spirit which led him to become involved in various business enterprises, including car washes, gasoline stations, a strip shopping center, other real estate ventures, orange groves, and an auto parts wholesale business. He was also actively involved as an officer or board member of a variety of charitable, philanthropic and civic organizations, including Golden Slipper Club & Charities, Jewish National Fund Council of Philadelphia, the Society for the Jewish Aged, B’nai B’rith, and Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. He had also served as chairman of the Scholarship Foundation of the Union League.


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