In Remembrance: Eugene L. Wishod ’58LLB Died on February 14 2020

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Eugene L. Wishod, 88, “Gene” to all who knew him, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 14, 2020, at home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, surrounded by family. He was the loving husband of Lora Wishod, and they were madly in love for 60 years.

Wishod was born on May 8, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York, a son of the late Benjamin and Mae (Horowitz) Wishod. Gene graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1953 with a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude. He served as a major in the US Army, and earned his law degree from Yale University Law School in 1958. Upon graduation, he was appointed law clerk to the Hon. Charles W. Froessel, judge on the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York state. After serving for two years with Judge Froessel, he entered private practice on Long Island in 1960.

Gene spent the next 50 years practicing law on Long Island, New York, as a founding partner in several firms. A gifted writer and brilliant courtroom strategist, Gene earned respect from peers and adversaries alike. From 1965 to 1976, he was a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators, the American Arbitration Association. He was elected the village justice for the Village of Head of the Harbor and served from 1970 to 1980. With a concentration in areas including commercial litigation, business and corporate law, education and municipal law, and zoning and land use, Wishod was also considered the leading lawyer in Suffolk County for representation of consortiums of developers who, pursuant to agreements with the Suffolk County Sewer Agency, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, have constructed regional sewer treatment plants and expanded existing plants owned by county sewer districts to facilitate real estate development on Long Island.

Wishod repeatedly served in leadership positions for the Bar, including a term as president of both the Suffolk County Bar Association and the New York State Association of School Attorneys, Inc.  Wishod was a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation, and served as a member of the grievance committee for the Tenth Judicial District from 1984 to 1988. He was a member of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics for 22 years and served for many years as vice-chairman of the committee. Wishod was admitted to practice in the US Supreme Court, the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals, the US District Court in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and all New York State courts. He was a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Council. 

A quote about Gene by a formidable judge to a contentious adversary is indicative of Gene's law career:  "I'd like to warn you. When dealing with Mr. Wishod, do not confuse civility with weakness." To the scores of young lawyers he mentored, Gene always said, "Don't look for the answers. See the questions. And when you enter the courtroom, you are there to tell a story. Make it compelling."

When he and Lora relocated to Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 2009, he continued practicing until his retirement at age 85. His love for the law was only surpassed by his love for his family, to whom he was fiercely devoted.

Gene was an avid runner, tennis player, and pianist, and loved white sand beaches, swimming in the ocean, and a good laugh—he never finished telling a Shaggy Dog story without cracking up himself. He inspired his family with his work ethic and positive outlook on life—to Gene, a day of simple sunshine was a "number 10 day."
His wife, Lora, was his best friend and the love of his life, and theirs was a partnership of pure, enduring love.

In addition to his wife, Lora, Gene is survived by his daughter, Karen Wishod Sulzinsky, her husband Jack, and their sons, Ben and Sam; and by his son Steven Wishod, his wife Jennifer Lowe, and their son, Zach.

Services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gene's name to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 (; or Ridgefield Meals on Wheels, 25 Gilbert Street, Ballard Green, Ridgefield, CT  06877 (

—Submitted by the family.

1 remembrance

  • Jeffrey Malkan
    Jeffrey Malkan, 10:26am April 03 2020 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I was one of the “young lawyers” trained by Gene Wishod. A few things I learned. One must plan a visit to Shea Stadium like a military operation. Eat in the Diamond Club. Cherry cheesecake for the associates. I remember walking down the exit ramp after the Mets lost the pennant to the Dodgers behind poor, defeated Richard Nixon. Heavy lunch at Fredericks to discuss the week’s agenda, except boiled chicken, a cup of coffee, and a roll of Velomints for Gene. Write a brief, accumulate a pile of paper, and then, finished, dump it all triumphantly into the waste can. Always focus on the procedural because that is what will decide the case. Don’t waste a single word, but also don’t hesitate to use a long, block quote from an ancient Court of Appeals case. Remember to work in the phrase “it is beyond cavil." Eat Velomints while writing, talking on the phone, and driving the car. Jog a mile on Bacon Road in the freezing rain every morning. There's no such thing as a "snow day" when you're a lawyer. Know the exact place in a deposition where you'll find the key fact. Don’t ever learn to type or use a computer. Make your invoices a work of art. Give considerable thought to the correct version of the phrase, “just as day follows night” or “just as night follows day.” I remember working with Gene on a Saturday morning to finish up a brief in Fred Block’s basement office in Smithtown. Gene didn’t need me for anything – just wanted me to watch over his shoulder and see how he was doing it. I did. Gene preferred the arcane case and the kooky client like the Cestone sisters and their fight with Jann Wenner over first refusal on a building lot in East Hampton or the fight over whether a real estate developer could dock his boat in Nissequogue Harbor (let’s look at the Nicolls Patent and the Andross Patent), or the fight for old Leighton Coleman (John W. Davis’s law partner back in the 1940’s) over whether Shep Jones Lane, which cut across his farm in Head of the Harbor, was an abandoned road. I remember his brother Joe, the corporate law guru, throwing crazy work on my desk just to scare me. (Write me a memo about the word “accrue.”) The most important lesson I learned from Gene was that a lawyer always tells the truth. The only thing that would get you fired, by his own account, was if you lied to him or anyone else about anything. He passed on what he knew to us younger lawyers. That’s what a lawyer used to be and that’s what he was.

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