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Abraham Dash (1927-2014)

The UM Carey Law community mourns the loss of its friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus Abraham Dash, who passed away Sunday, January 12, 2014 at his home in Bowie, MD.

Funeral services were held Monday, January 20 at the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home in Bowie, MD.

"For decades Professor Dash was a well-loved and highly respected member of our faculty and the larger legal community," said UM Carey Law Dean Phoebe Haddon. "We will all miss his energy, wisdom and commitment to the highest ethical standards of our profession." 

Abe Dash was “a triple threat—a man with three careers,” said former dean and Professor Karen Rothenberg in 2005, at the time of Professor Dash’s retirement from UM Carey Law. In addition to his work as a teacher and scholar, he served with distinction as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and as a litigator in the federal government, bringing intelligence and integrity to all three professional arenas.

“Abe Dash was a class act,” declared Professor William Reynolds in a eulogy he wrote for the UM Carey Law community. 

“He was the hands-down ethics expert in the State,” noted Professor Michael Millemann. “He was also a great friend of the clinical program.”

After enlisting in the Navy at 16, near the end of World War II, Abe Dash flew transport planes and bombers during the Korean War, becoming the sole survivor of his fifty-first combat mission when his plane was shot down over Korea.  He continued to fly for the Air Force until 1955 and remained an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) until retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1987 after a 42-year military career.  “I never knew if I was to salute him every morning when I passed by his office,” Professor Rothenberg recalled.

After earning his JD in just two years from Georgetown Law, Professor Dash spent many years in public service with the federal government.  In addition to his work as associate counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, he practiced as a litigator, serving as an associate counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, director of litigation for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and deputy chief counsel to the Comptroller of the Currency in the Treasury Department.  These positions “led him to do things of which he was very proud—pursuing graft and fraud in high places,” observed Professor Reynolds.

As a Justice Department attorney, Professor Dash won an important case and a personal congratulations from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who asked if there was anything he could do for the successful young lawyer, recalls former dean and Professor Donald Gifford. Professor Dash asked for an autographed picture of Kennedy.  “That picture remained proudly displayed in Abe’s office until his death,” Professor Gifford noted, “despite the fact that Abe’s political allegiances shifted in a different direction later in life.”

In 1970, Professor Dash joined the faculty of UM Carey Law, where he taught courses in administrative law, criminal procedure and the legal profession.  “Everyone who knows Abe Dash recognizes that he found his true calling…when he began teaching,” observed Judge (ret.) Howard S. Chasanow ’61 and Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, his wife, at Professor Dash’s retirement celebration.

In addition to teaching law students, Professor Dash was a guest lecturer or instructor at the National Judicial College, the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section, the Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference, and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, among many professional bodies.

He served as a consultant for the Joint Committee of the Maryland Judicial Conference and Maryland State Bar Association to implement the American Bar Association’s Standards for Criminal Justice; the Committee on the Maryland District Court; and the University of Maryland Court Management Institute.

Law School Professor Jerome Deise recalled that in 1990, when he first met him, Professor Dash was already a highly respected attorney and teacher, well-known to those who practiced criminal law. “I expected to find a very smart, arrogant, impatient and curmudgeonly man,” Deise said.  “I found instead, a very smart, generous, humble, kind and gentle man…The word that most aptly describes Abe, of course, is ‘gentleman.’” 

Please leave your tribute to Abraham Dash below (or click here). You can view all tributes here. We will share all responses with the family.

You can read additional tributes left here, at the web site of the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home, in Bowie, MD.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2018, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved