Jump to Page



1922 - 2012

Robert S. Greenbaum, a founding member of the law firm of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, died on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at his home in New York City, at the age of 89.

Bob's stature, both literally and within the legal community, was "larger than life".  Along with his father, W.L. Greenbaum and surviving brother, Arthur M. Greenbaum, Bob helped create one of the leading law firms in New Jersey. 

Bob was born in Newark, New Jersey on May 4, 1922 and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1943.  When World War II began while he was completing his undergraduate studies, Bob volunteered for service in the Navy but was rejected because of major foot problems. He was so determined to serve that he voluntarily had surgery performed to correct the problem and thereafter served in the European and Pacific theaters as a Lieutenant on a destroyer, the USS Ludlow.  Following his service in the Navy, Bob received his law degree from Columbia Law School in October 1948 and in 1949 became a member of both the New Jersey and New York Bars.

As a partner in Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP for over 60 years, Bob concentrated his practice in all phases of real property law. He was the Past-Chair of the Land Use Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of real estate law since its initial publication in 1983.  Bob was continually profiled in Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in America, and was a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, as well as the Past-President of Columbia Law School Association of New Jersey. In 1982, he was one of the first New Jersey lawyers invited to Fellowship in the prestigious American College of Real Estate Lawyers. In 2007, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties recognized Bob’s contribution to commercial real estate with its Industry Service Award.

For many years, Bob was the Chair of the firm's Real Estate Department and a frequent contributor to professional journals on the subjects of land use and real estate financing.   In the later stages of Bob's lengthy career, his practice focused upon alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration.  In 1997, Bob became the first recipient of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year Award from the New Jersey State Bar Association.  He became a Master and former Inn Counselor of the Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for Alternative Dispute Resolution, and subsequently was honored by the New Jersey State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section as an ADR Legend. 

In addition to being an active practitioner for over six decades, Bob devoted significant time to the teaching of law.  He was a member of the adjunct faculties of both Rutgers and Seton Hall  Law Schools, where he taught land development and real estate financing.  Bob also was active in community affairs and served as the Chairman of the Planning Board of South Orange, as a member of the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce, and as a past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Guild Hall of East Hampton, NY.

Bob leaves behind a legal legacy of extraordinary length and breadth.  He helped create and mold many of the laws relating to land use development in New Jersey including the Mount Laurel decisions regarding the setting aside of real estate development for economically disadvantaged individuals.  Bob continued his daily practice of law well into his 80s, and took personal pride in knowing by name virtually everyone at the law firm he helped create.

Bob is survived by his wife, Theodora ("Teddy") Greenbaum, his brother Arthur M. Greenbaum and his wife Dorothy Greenbaum, two sons, William Greenbaum and his wife Hadassa (Gerber) Greenbaum, son Roger Greenbaum, and daughter Margot Mustich and her husband James Mustich, Jr.  His pride and joy were his five granddaughters, Emma Mustich, Iris Mustich, Aliza O'Connor and her husband Shmuel O'Connor, Ariela Greenbaum and Olivia Greenbaum, who brought joy, laughter and love into his family.  As his brother, Arthur, often stated, "Not all brothers get to spend the vast proportion of their lives together, both personally and professionally.  How lucky was I to have that experience with my brother, Bob, for over 60 years." 

Robert S. Greenbaum