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Firm News

Dr. Julius Tabin (1919 – 2012)


All of us at Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery mourn the passing on August 25, 2012, of Dr. Julius Tabin, an influential and esteemed partner with the firm for 56 years and a dear friend. He was 92 years old.

Dr. Tabin was a brilliant man with a remarkable career. He earned both his Bachelor of Science degree and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago. Following completion of his Ph.D. thesis, Dr. Tabin joined a small group of physicists working on the Manhattan Project, first at the University of Chicago and then at Los Alamos in New Mexico. As part of Enrico Fermi’s personal team, he assisted in a series of studies that included measuring the efficiency of the first atomic test blast at Alamogordo. Minutes after the blast, Dr. Tabin rode in a lead-lined Sherman tank to ground zero to be the first to collect a core sample of earth for analysis. Due to exposure to excessive radiation while gathering this material, he was restricted from conducting further physics research for an extended period. Dr. Tabin then switched the focus of his career to the law. 

After World War II, Dr. Tabin taught Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while simultaneously earning his law degree from Harvard Law School, graduating in 1949. In 1950, he joined Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery, which was then called Soans, Glaister & Anderson. His robust practice focused on client counseling, litigation, and licensing in the areas of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and antitrust law. During the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. Tabin was instrumental in fostering key clients in California, including General Atomics and the Salk Institute, which led to the firm establishing a West Coast presence. He became a name partner in 1963, and practiced with the firm until his retirement in June 2006. 

As one of the first attorneys of the atomic age, Dr. Tabin played key roles in establishing peaceful uses of atomic energy in the realms of medicine, energy, and research. In addition to representing clients working in the nuclear field, he helped establish the legal precedents for biotechnology as lead outside counsel for the Salk Institute and for a number of biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies.

As a side project, working with colleagues at the University of Chicago, Dr. Tabin was responsible for the development of a corner-reflector mirror device that was left on the lunar surface during an Apollo mission and has been a critical tool in measuring the distance between Earth and the moon.

A devoted family man, Dr. Tabin was happily married for 58 years to the late Johanna Krout Tabin, a well-respected psychoanalyst who trained under Sigmund Freud's daughter. Their older son, Clifford Tabin, is currently chair of Harvard Medical School's Department of Genetics. Their younger son, Geoffrey Tabin, is an ophthalmologist and University of Utah professor who has devoted much of his career toward eliminating treatable blindness in the developing world. He is also an elite mountaineer. In addition to his two sons, Dr. Tabin is survived by seven grandchildren and his older brother, Seymour Tabin. 

Our sincere condolences go out to his family. Julius will truly be missed by all who knew him.

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