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October 12, 2011 By:
Robert Daniels, Superior Court Judge, Dies at 73
Former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Robert Daniels died last week after sustaining injuries from a fall. He was 73.
The Villanova resident and member of Har Zion Temple had more than four decades of experience in the legal profession, specializing primarily in civil litigation.
"He was a lawyer's lawyer," said Robert Rovner, a former state senator who knew Daniels for 40 years. "He was like my older brother. He is going to be missed by everyone who knew him."
In 2007, he was tapped by then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to serve a term on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. He spent almost two years on the bench before returning to private practice.
His resume included a stint as the chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, where he helped create the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security, established in 1982 to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss as a result of a misappropriation of dollars by their local attorney.
He had previously served as the president of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and was also chairman of the Pennsylvania court system's Civil Procedural Rules Committee, said Rovner.
His son, Sean J. Daniels, said that his father and his sister, Samantha, served as the inspiration for the characters portrayed on the short-lived CBS comedy series "Miss Match," about a young divorce lawyer who becomes a matchmaker. The father, Jerry Fox, was played by Ryan O'Neal, while the daughter, Kate Fox, was played by Alicia Silverstone.
"How come I'm not playing myself? I'm better looking," Sean Daniels recalled his father joking.
Daniels' three children all earned law degrees but wound up pursuing other fields.
Daniels was raised in the Logan section of Philadelphia. He graduated from Penn State University and, in 1962, finished first in his class at Temple University's law school.
Rovner said Daniels' philanthropic activities were focused largely on raising money for the schools that he and his children attended. But he also contributed to Jewish causes.
Daniels donated funds used to create the rabbi's study at Har Zion and was a good friend of the late Rabbi Gerald Wolpe. Though he never visited Israel, he helped raise money for State of Israel Bonds and was recognized for his contributions to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He also sat on the board of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Several hundred people, including members of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, attended the funeral service at Har Zion Temple.
In addition to his daughter and son, Daniels is survived by his wife of eight years, Diane Crimi Daniels; another son, Christopher E. Daniels; and two grandchildren. His first wife, Donna Keller Daniels, died in 1997.