Omaha defense lawyer David Herzog has been described as thoughtful and meticulous in both his personal and professional life, which included several major trials during his 57 years of practicing law.
He defended David Rice, one of two men found guilty in the 1970 booby-trap bombing that killed Omaha Police Officer Larry Minard — a case that is still being disputed.
Herzog represented a member of the Copple family in the Commonwealth Savings financial scandal in the 1980s.
And the attorney helped convince a judge that Ulysses Cribbs was not guilty by reason of insanity for a shooting in 1977 at the former Club 89 that left one person dead and 25 injured.
Herzog was able to practice law until April 16, the date of his death. He died of a lung disease, said his wife and former law partner, Julianne Dunn. He was 81.
A memorial service will be held June 2 at Beth El Synagogue, 14506 California St.
Herzog was precise and well prepared in his work and never stopped digging for facts, his wife said.
“He loved being a lawyer,” she said. “Everything about it: research, going to court, knotty problems, being a diplomat.”
Herzog graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1962 and began his career as a prosecutor with the Douglas County Attorney’s Office. He then worked for the Fromkin, Herzog & Becker law firm for 35 years before partnering with his wife at Herzog & Herzog for 20 years.
He was founding president of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Lawyers and served on Nebraska Bar Association committees for judge selections and the bar’s House of Delegates, its governing body. The state bar also named him a fellow.
Herzog and Dunn received a public service award from the Omaha Bar Association for starting a LawSuits Program, which encouraged lawyers to donate lightly worn business attire to charity.
He was active at Beth El, teaching comparative law to high schoolers. And he led Saturday services at the Blumkin Jewish Home.
For Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Vernon Daniels, Herzog was a mentor and “a dear friend.”
“I was fortunate to have many mentors in law — men and women — and he was one of them,” Daniels said. “He was a wise counselor to me.
“I thought very highly of him. I’m very pleased that both of us chose the law, because otherwise our paths wouldn’t have crossed, and it would have been my loss.”
Herzog’s survivors include his wife; brother Ian (Buddy) Herzog of Los Angeles; sister Barbara Greenwald of Omaha; children Michael of New Jersey, Claudia of Colorado and Erika of New York; and four grandchildren.