Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox is sad to announce that retired, named partner Samuel L. Fox passed away on April 2, 2020 after a long illness.

Sam joined the firm in 1984 and became a named partner in 1990, when the name of the firm was changed to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. He served as the managing director of the firm for a decade and retired in 2002. In retirement, Sam enjoyed life on his farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia raising cattle with his wife Elizabeth. He remained engaged with the firm family attending events and welcoming visitors to his farm, where he and Elizabeth would host a cookout after hiking Old Rag Mountain, a firm tradition.

Managing Director Michael B. Ray remarked, “Sam was more than a law partner—he was a mentor and a dear friend to so many of us. He was a warm, compassionate man, and he will be dearly missed. His passing leaves a hole in my heart and in the hearts of all who were lucky enough to have known him.”

Named Director Robert Greene Sterne shared, “Sam was a keeper of the soul of the firm. He extended respect to each individual and was deeply engaged with all members of our firm family, from the old guard to the newest member. He was a great listener, who tuned in with both his heart and his mind. When he was at the firm, he was one of my closest friends.”

Fellow named Director Jorge A. Goldstein, Ph.D. reflected, “I cannot imagine a better person than Sam with whom to put together a law firm. When he joined us in 1984, we were altogether less than a dozen lawyers and staff. Sam loved it that way. He was by nature and temperament a builder—and I don’t mean only of our firm. Over the years, he took courses in timber-framing, plumbing, ducting and electrical installing. Then, on long weekends, he singlehandedly rebuilt a set of old stables in the Shenandoah into his beloved farm, to which he retired and where he passed away, as I believe he wanted. Building was deep in his genes, and he put that to good use in growing Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. No job was beneath him; he could go from practicing IP law in one breath, to moving furniture, packing boxes and cleaning a kitchen in the next. I spent many years in the personal, legal, and management trenches with him, improvising as we journeyed, and inventing our firm along the way. I can’t imagine a better companion for the long and ultimately rich road we traveled together. I will miss him greatly.”

A celebration of Mr. Fox’s life will be held later this year. For a full profile of his career, please see our “In Memoriam” page here.