Harvey Mitnick, S. Jersey lawyer

Harvey M. Mitnick
Harvey M. Mitnick
Posted: March 06, 2014

Harvey M. Mitnick, 79, of Voorhees, who practiced law in South Jersey for more than 50 years, died Monday, March 3, of a sarcoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

He was a trial attorney, practicing primarily in Camden early in his career and later in Haddonfield. He was the senior partner of the firm of Mitnick, Josselson, DePersia & Baker.

"He was very good at what he did. He enjoyed a wonderful practice," said retired Superior Court Judge Allan Vogelson, a longtime friend and former law partner. "He took his obligations to his clients very seriously."

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Mitnick grew up in East Camden and graduated from Camden High School in 1952. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1956 and earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959.

He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1960 and began his legal career with Camden lawyer Samuel L. Supnick. The two eventually moved the practice to Haddonfield and were joined by Vogelson as a partner in 1975.

Mr. Mitnick served as managing partner, a role the other partners were happy to let him assume, Vogelson said. He handled personal injury and divorce cases.

"We trusted him implicitly. If Harvey gave you his word, you could take it to the bank," Vogelson said.

Supnick and Vogelson left the firm to accept appointments to the bench. Mr. Mitnick was offered a judgeship several times, but declined, Vogelson said. He said he was honored but added, "I'm a lawyer and I'm happy doing what I do."

Son Craig, a criminal defense lawyer in Haddonfield, said his father was his role model. He said his father would share legal stories with the family every night at dinner.

"I was so proud that he was my dad that I never thought about doing anything but following in his footsteps," Craig Mitnick said Monday. "If I am half the person that my father was in his professional capacity, I am blessed."

Mr. Mitnick was president of the Camden County Bar Association in 1980-81, and served on numerous committees. He was also chairman of the Camden County Judicial Appointments Committee. He was the first chairman of the Camden County Inns of Court trial advocacy program.

In 1998, the Bar Association named Mr. Mitnick its professional lawyer of the year. In 2010, it awarded him and Vogelson the Peter Devine Award for distinguished service.

"He was one of the true advocates for the profession and for the bar," said current Bar Association president Gary Boguski. "He was never too busy to stop and help you."Mr. Mitnick served six months in the Army National Guard and six years in the Reserve. He received an honorable discharge in April 1965.

He was a sportsman and enjoyed playing softball, tennis and golf. He went to the racetrack every Saturday.

"Everybody who knew him liked him. Those of us who knew him best loved him," Vogelson said. "We lost one of the good guys."

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carol; another son, Scott; and four grandchildren.

Friends may call beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, where a service will follow at noon. Interment will be at Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill.

Donations may be made to the Harvey M. Mitnick Foundation for the Administration of Justice and Equality, 35 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, N.J. 08033. The money will be used for improvements to the Camden County Courthouse.


mburney@phillynews.com

856-779-3814 @mlburney

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