Robert Belknap Green, the managing partner of a Towson law firm, died Oct. 28 at Sinai Hospital after suffering a heart attack while driving to work. The Roland Park resident was 61.
"Bob was the best partner and friend anyone could ever have," said his law partner David B. Irwin, who lives in Cockeysville. "He was the glue that kept our firm together, and he was the best counselor anyone could ever hope to have."
Born in Baltimore and raised in Roland Park, Mr. Green was the second of four sons of Richard H. Green, a Chesapeake & Potomac telephone marketing manager and Elizabeth B. Green, an office manager for the Boy Scouts. He attended the Calvert School and was a 1968 graduate of Gilman School, where he played lacrosse and was a guard and fullback on the football team. Family members said he tested a then-new version of a lacrosse stick that had a plastic head.
Mr. Green earned a political science degree with honors from Harvard College, where he was also captain of the lacrosse team. He worked for several years in Massachusetts before returning to Baltimore and receiving a degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.
"Most people knew him as a man of few words, but when he spoke they learned to listen," said his brother Christopher Green of White Hall.
Family members said Mr. Green joined the law firm of Venable, Baetjer & Howard as an associate and worked there from 1979 to 1982, when he became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Justice Department. He returned to Venable in 1985 and became a partner in 1988.
That year he left Venable to found a new law firm, Irwin, Kerr, Green, McDonald & Dexter, now Irwin Green & Dexter. It is based in Towson.
"I've known Bob since the mid-'60s, when his older brother and I were best friends in high school. We first worked together at Venable, and worked for Ben Civiletti on the impeachment process for Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Bevilacqua," Mr. Irwin said.
Mr. Irwin recalled his friend as "the voice of reason, a rock of common sense and full of good advice." He also said Mr. Green was often called upon to represent other attorneys in their own civil cases.
"He was well thought of for his intelligence and ability to analyze a legal problem," Mr. Irwin said. "When we had a legal conference call, Bob was always the quiet person. Then, at the end of the call, he was the one who made the observation that went right to the heart of the matter. He left everyone saying, 'Why didn't we think of that?'"
Throughout his career Mr. Green handled many cases and clients. He worked on litigation for Honda North America and the Wireless Telephone Association. He also served on the Criminal Justice Act panel, which helps find volunteer attorneys who work on civil and criminal litigation when local counsel needs additional help, family members said.
He was also recalled as a devoted father who attended his children's athletic events and musical performances.
"Dad used to keep his own stats at our games and would frequently 'review' his stats with the game officials — just to make sure they were in agreement," said his son, Ben Green, a Georgetown University student. "He was always there and always made his voice heard."
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at First Unitarian Church, Charles and Franklin streets in Baltimore.
In addition to his son and brother, survivors include his wife, Robin L. West, associate dean of Georgetown University Law Center; another son, Nicholas Green, also a Georgetown student; a daughter, Molly Green, a Friends School student; and two other brothers, Richard Green of Royal Oak and Stephen Green of Washington, D.C. He had been married to Carol Davis from 1971 to 1980.