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Passing of the Honorable Robert E. Ginsberg

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Honorable Robert E. Ginsberg, a noted scholar in the field of bankruptcy law, died on March 17, 2018, at the age of 73. He served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Illinois from 1985 until his retirement in 2003.

Judge Ginsberg was a graduate of Brown University (B.A.), the American University Washington College of Law (J.D.), and Harvard Law School (LL.M).

Following his graduation from law school, Judge Ginsberg served as a Trial Attorney and Special Counsel with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Ginsberg was a Professor at DePaul University College of Law from 1974 to 1985, as well as a visiting Professor at the University of Illinois Law School (1984). His academic areas of specialization included bankruptcy, corporations, and ethics. For many years, he was a member of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He also served as Vice Chair of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission from 1995 to 1997.

Judge Ginsberg was loved and respected by his colleagues, both in the academy and on the bench. He served on the Board of the Federal Judicial Center, and was Chair of the Federal Judicial Center Committee on Bankruptcy Judge Education. He was a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and the American College of Bankruptcy, and received the Excellence in Education award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.

Judge Ginsberg was a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and the State of Illinois. He was admitted to practice before the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Ginsberg was the original author of Ginsberg on Bankruptcy, a leading treatise in the area of bankruptcy law, later known as Ginsberg & Martin on Bankruptcy, which he co-authored with the Honorable Robert D. Martin, retired bankruptcy judge from the Western District of Wisconsin. Judges Ginsberg and Martin frequently lectured together in the field of bankruptcy law and were fondly known by their colleagues as “The Bobbsey Twins.”

In 1991, at the age of 46, Judge Ginsberg was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. For over a decade, he continued on the bench, as well as golfing, skiing, and ice hockey as a goalie in the Chicago Park District masters program. His hockey prowess was featured in a Chicago Tribune article in 1992 entitled “Federal judge, 47, decides for hockey.”

Judge Ginsberg was the son of the late David and late Lillian Modes Ginsberg. He and his wife, Gail Ginsberg, were married for 51 years. She survives him as do their daughters, Deborah Ginsberg and Dana Ginsberg, grandchildren, David Ginsberg and Aurora Buntain, his sister, Marion Levine, brothers-in-law, Bruce Cohen and Irwin Muskat, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, close friends and former colleagues. He is predeceased by his sister, Margery Muskat.