He tried cases and handled appellate arguments in all 50 states and the federal courts.
At the time of his death, he was affiliated with Joseph Chaiken & Associates as an adviser to various legal, corporate and nonprofit clients.
In the late 1970s, Mr. Beckman waged a public fight against what he felt was rampant and harmful condominium conversion in Philadelphia.
"He felt badly for the elderly people who would be forced out of their homes because they couldn't afford the cost of conversion and the condo fees," said his wife, the former Cynthia Zelinsky. "He was pleased with the results in Philadelphia."
From 1975 to 1981, while also practicing law, he was vice president and treasurer of Integrated Systems International Inc., an importer of food rethermalization equipment from France for use in institutional food service operations.
From 1982 through 1993, he was executive director of the Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission. He continued to practice law at that time.
As a volunteer, Mr. Beckman was a member and leader of various bar associations and organizations.
He wrote widely, gave seminars, and appeared on local and national TV, covering the law, business, real estate, politics, art and community activism.
A lifetime Philadelphia resident, Mr. Beckman earned a bachelor's degree from Temple University and a law degree from Villanova University Law School. He took leadership courses at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
While at Temple, he became an active member of the Phi Sigma Delta fraternity. The friendships he made there, he maintained throughout his life.
Mr. Beckman was raised in the Jewish tradition at Har Zion Temple. In recent years, he was a member of Temple Sholom in Broomall.
He traveled the world, collecting art as he went. As a young man, he played the violin and the trombone in symphonies and bands in the Philadelphia area.
Later, he supported the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, National Constitution Center, and National Museum of American Jewish History.
"He loved great food, golf, to give advice - not follow it - and a good cigar, not necessarily in that order," said his wife.
Besides his wife of 33 years, he is survived by his sister, and many nieces and nephews.
Services were held Monday, Jan. 27.