Remembering the Remarkable Harold Field, Jr.
Harold (Hal) Field, Jr., longtime partner and friend of Leonard, Street and Deinard, died Friday, October 31, 2014, at the age of 87. Hal led a remarkable life: he was a loving husband, wonderful father and attentive grandfather; a skilled attorney; and a committed citizen. His long, productive life was filled with impressive accomplishments and benevolent gestures that define both professional and personal grace.
Hal practiced at Leonard Street and Deinard for 55 years, joining the firm in 1952 and retiring in 2007. A graduate of St. Paul Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (electrical engineering, ’48) and Yale University Law School (’51), Hal practiced briefly with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City before returning to his roots in the Twin Cities and joining Leonard, Street and Deinard, where his father and grandfather had been clients.
Hal pioneered the firm’s complex litigation practice, focusing on major intellectual property and commercial cases for such significant clients as Honeywell, Allegheny Corporation, Appleton Paper, Lamaur Corporation and Kodak. He was the first attorney in the firm to utilize jury consultants. A consummate legal strategist, his decision-tree analysis of the issues in multifaceted cases impressed colleagues and clients alike.
Hal was computer literate long before the rest of the legal industry and led the firm into the broader use of technology. Prior to the firm’s designation of a managing partner, it was Hal who led the litigation practice. With a razor-sharp, analytical mind and a gentle spirit, Hal was a great trial lawyer who served as a dedicated mentor to his colleagues and, in particular, to young litigators. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America since the publication's inception and was the recipient of the Hennepin County Bar Association's Professionalism Award in 1994.
Always civic minded, Hal was on the board of directors of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for eight years and its chairman from 1973-1975. He also served on boards for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Citizens League and the Minnesota Council of American Electronics Association, as well as on the national board of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security.
An avid sailor, Hal learned his craft on Lake Minnetonka and was a member of the MIT sailing team (where he wooed his bride on the Charles River). He brought windsurfing to his second home on Balsam Lake, Wisc., and sailed there for more than 45 years, as recently as this past August.
Survivors include Joyce, his wife of 64 years, and sons Stephen, Larry and Richard. Larry has been an attorney at the firm since 1982.
Hal Field was one of the legal profession’s very finest and a dear friend. He will be missed by all who knew and worked with him.
“Hal was a lawyer's lawyer and a great example of what a partner should be,” said firm partner Moe Sherman. “He was my mentor and friend for more than 50 years. I shall miss him greatly.”
Funeral services are scheduled for Sunday, November 9, at 12:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Avenue South, Minneapolis.
Visit here for Hal’s obituary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.