This page will contain timely news that is of interest about Star Island, LOAS and its' people. NEWER items will appear at the top, with past articles below. News will be kept for as long as deemed necessary. If you would like to offer a news item to be added, please contact the LOAS Webster.

April 26, 2010
Cambridge, MA

A letter from Amy Smith..
Hi All,
I wanted to let you know that early on Friday morning, the wonderful man who was my father took his last breath, Wilma was holding one hand, and I was holding the other. He was surrounded by his family who loved him so deeply. Will and Dan were there, and have been amazing in their love of Art and their support of Wilma. My sisters were both able to come from their homes in Switzerland and New Zealand, and I made it home from my trip to Uganda so that we could all be there together with him. We are now together for each other...

I hope you will hold in your hearts the image of Art in one of the rocking chairs on the porch, wearing his green hat and doing crossword puzzles and doing Suduko. Not saying much, but being there with his wise and gentle presence...

We will be having a memorial service for him, on Wednesday, April 28 from 10 - 12 at Follen Church (755 Mass Ave, in East Lexington). Also, our family will be home for visiting hours on Sunday, April 25 from 2 - 4 and Monday evening from 6 - 8 at Pop and Wilma's home at 131 Worthen Rd.

As you can imagine, I am sadder than I believed possible, but know from experience that it will get better, and that some day the memories will bring smiles instead of tears.

Take care,


Cambridge, MA
From MIT's online newspaper, Art's obituary can be obtained HERE

February 1, 2010
Portsmouth, NH

Click for larger imageThe Isles of Shoals Steamship Company (ISSCO) will once again provide transportation from their dock on Market Street in Portsmouth to Star Island for conference guests and other overnight visitors.  Beginning in June we will sail to Star Island on the M/V Thomas Laighton, the boat that brought Shoalers to Star from the mid-1980s to 2004.   For newcomers, the Laighton is a 90-foot vessel, with three decks, two of which are fully enclosed and heated.  It has the capacity to hold 300, and has many amenities, including a snack bar, several washrooms, comfortable deck chairs, and the boat is wheelchair-accessible.

January 29, 2010
New York City, NY

Long time LOAS I Shoaler, Bob (Joff) Joffe died in Manhattan on Thursday 1/28/10 of pancreatic cancer. He was 66. He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Dinny); his mother, Bertha Joffe, of Maplewood, N.J.; two brothers, Paul, of Washington, and Richard, of Manhattan; a daughter, Katherine, of Manhattan; two stepchildren, Dr. Ryan DeHaas, of Concord, N.C., and Elizabeth DeHaas, of Manhattan; and two grandchildren.

Below is the obituary in the New York Times.

Robert D. Joffe, a leading New York lawyer and partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore who played a critical role in Time Inc.’s $14 billion merger with Warner Communications, died in Manhattan on Thursday. He was 66.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his son, David.

Mr. Joffe, Time Inc.’s primary outside lawyer since 1978, served as the company’s principal litigator as it underwent review by the Federal Trade Commission and fended off a hostile takeover by Paramount en route to merging with Warner in 1990 to form the world’s largest media company.

In Delaware Chancery Court in 1989, Mr. Joffe successfully argued that Time’s board had not abused the shareholders’ interests in turning down a takeover bid by Paramount. The court, reaffirming an important precedent, ruled that boards have the right to manage their companies and are not duty bound to follow the wishes of shareholders.

The decision, upheld a few days later by the state supreme court, cleared the way for the two companies to form Time Warner. Mr. Joffe later represented Time Warner in its acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System in 1996. He also represented Time Warner before the F.T.C. as it prepared to merge with AOL in 2001.

Robert David Joffe was born on May 26, 1943, in Manhattan and grew up in Maplewood, N.J. He attended Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964 and a law degree in 1967.

At Cravath, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious firms, which he joined straight out of law school, Mr. Joffe became a partner in 1975 and deputy presiding partner in 1997. In 1999 he was elected presiding partner, a position he held until 2006, when he returned to the full-time practice of law.

Although Mr. Joffe specialized in antitrust, securities and corporate governance law, he had a strong interest in human rights issues and civil rights law. At Harvard he was the case-note editor for The Harvard Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review, and a few months after joining Cravath, he accepted a fellowship to work for two years in Malawi’s ministry of justice, which was rewriting the country’s laws and setting up a framework for supervising local courts.

In 1989, he argued Martin v. Wilks, a pro bono case, before the Supreme Court, representing black workers in Birmingham against Robert K. Wilks and other white firefighters.

The Wilks suit took aim at a 1974 consent decree that required Birmingham to hire and promote black firefighters, arguing that because the white firefighters had not been party to the original decree, they should not be bound by it and could file an antidiscrimination suit.

The court ruled, 5 to 4, in favor of Mr. Wilks, but the Civil Rights Act of 1991 negated some of the impact of the decision. The act barred challenges to consent decrees by parties who knew or should have known of the decree, or who were adequately represented by the original parties.

Some of Mr. Joffe’s most important work came at the end of his career, as the recent financial crisis gathered strength. He was a longtime adviser to the nonmanagement directors of Fannie Mae, and he represented the independent directors of Merrill Lynch in the run-up to its acquisition by Bank of America in January 2009. He also served as counsel to the independent directors of Citigroup, General Electric, General Motors and other companies.

Mr. Joffe’s first marriage ended in divorce. In addition to his son, David, of Manhattan, he is survived by his wife, the former Virginia Ryan DeHaas, known as Dinny; his mother, Bertha Joffe, of Maplewood, N.J.; two brothers, Paul, of Washington, and Richard, of Manhattan; a daughter, Katherine, of Manhattan; two stepchildren, Dr. Ryan DeHaas, of Concord, N.C., and Elizabeth DeHaas, of Manhattan; and two grandchildren.

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