A Final Goodbye to My Friend Edward Snyder (1940-2023)
By Angelo Sarno
As published in New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Family Lawyer, Vol. 41, No. 3 – April 2023
I knew Ed Snyder and had the luck to work with him for some 25 years. Sadly, on Feb. 3, 2023, Ed – my friend, my partner, my confidant – passed away. As I told many of our colleagues and friends, even though he was a mentor and a constant anchor for me in the daily chaos that is the practice of family law, I will never think of Ed for the lawyer who he was. He did all the things in his legal career lawyers weigh as important, like Supreme Court experiences, books published, reported decisions, awards, and committee positions. None of that ever mattered to me. I will always remember instead and tell others about the decent, king, empathetic, sincere, genuine person whom he was. He was a person in whom I confided and trusted, in every sense of the words. I wish everyone could be as fortunate as I was to have such a special person in their life at some point, and I encourage everyone who knew him to remember Ed as the person he was to them.
For me, Ed was one of the most sensitive, understanding individuals I ever met. He was truly a calming force in my life. It was easy to open up to him. He was not always that way. He certainly mellowed with age. There were days throughout the years I would stress about running a firm, about cases, about judges, about lawyers, about life and he was always there to sit down and talk. Never once did he say he was unavailable. Ever. Never once did he say he did not have time to speak with me day or night. Never once did he say he had something more important to do. He was there, always. He was more than just being present; he was genuinely listening, and he genuinely cared. He always had the right words to say for the problem. He was not a man of many words with his advice, but he was always sharp and to the point.
I cannot convey the significance and pricelessness of having someone in your life who can just make everything sound OK no matter how bad it may seem. The ability comes from experience. Ed had immense experience. He had talent, education, skill, and cache. He walked into a room, and you saw him immediately. It is called swag these days, I guess. I am grateful I had Ed as a mentor in the law and in life.
He left behind his wife, Gail, his sons Bill and Bob, his daughter Gaby, his grandson Graeme, his nine partners, associates, staff, and friends who will always identify and cherish the person he was. I was lucky in December 2022 to spend a significant amount of time with my friend. His favorite thing to do, at least with me, was to spend the day in New York City. His favorite restaurant was Marea. After going there, we would often walk around the city and just talk. As a way of honoring the incredible experience he gave me over the last 13 years, my partners and I decided to partake in that same experience in his honor on March 23. We will continue doing so each year to keep our memories of him alive.
Ed was an icon and a truly inspirational person. If he let you into his inner circle, it transformed your life. In many ways Ed was a father figure to everyone at his law firm. He was young at heart and in many ways a child trapped in a man’s body. I never saw him as my partner. He was so much more, and I tried to present that in this article. I will always remember him as more. The loss is immeasurable. We all miss you and love your Ed.
If You Have a Case, Give Us A Call Today!973-274-5200