Obituary: Leonard L. Scheinholtz / Successful labor law attorney who helped develop Reed Smith into global force

June 2, 1927 - July 20, 2014


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Leonard L. Scheinholtz was a foodie before anyone knew what that was.

A labor law attorney who traveled a lot, he kept track of restaurants everywhere he went, and if he learned that colleagues would be in a major city, he would give them “Four in Four,” a choice of four great restaurants within four blocks of wherever they were going.

“He loved to eat,” said Dan Booker, a friend and colleague at Reed Smith law firm in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Scheinholtz died Sunday at Providence Point in Mt. Lebanon. He was 87.

Known as one of the most successful labor lawyers in Pittsburgh, Mr. Scheinholtz represented employers in labor disputes, including U.S. Steel, Westinghouse and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as well as major coal companies. He headed Reed Smith’s labor law department from 1978 to 1986 and twice argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court.

William Bevan III, who also practices labor law, said, “By far, Leonard Scheinholtz had the greatest influence on me as a practicing lawyer.”

Mr. Booker, who was managing partner at Reed Smith from 1992 to 2001, credited the growth of the Pittsburgh firm into a global force to Mr. Scheinholtz and two other attorneys there.

His friends described Mr. Scheinholtz as a great litigator, who showed no nerves in the courtroom other than putting his hand in his suit jacket pocket. Young attorneys working with him had to ensure that no change was in Mr. Scheinholtz’s pocket before they walked into the courtroom.

Mr. Scheinholtz, who grew up in Pittsburgh, served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree and law degree from Columbia University. He was the first Jewish lawyer at Reed Smith and advocated merit hiring and anti-discriminatory policies.

He was a trustee of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and director of United Jewish Federation and Jewish Chronicle.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Stuart of Tiburon, Calif., and Barry of Berkeley Heights, N.J.; a daughter, Nancy Freeborn of San Mateo, Calif.; and five grandchildren. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. today at Temple Emanuel, 1250 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon, with a service at 11 a.m.


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620.

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