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Business Observer Friday, May 6, 2016 5 years ago

In Memoriam | David Shear 1937-2016

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Tampa corporate attorney David Shear, with a focus on business, banking and real estate law, rarely, if ever, talked about himself.

Tampa corporate attorney David Shear, with a focus on business, banking and real estate law, rarely, if ever, talked about himself.

Even late last month, in the hospital from an illness, he asked a visitor, his colleague and longtime friend Debra Boje, how her elderly parents were doing. “He was always looking out for everyone,” says Boje, a Tampa attorney with West Palm Beach-based firm Gunster.

Shear died April 26. He was 79.

In addition to his selfless devotion to friends and family, Shear, say several people who knew him, left his mark on the Tampa and statewide legal community in two places: in mentoring a handful of attorneys who are now managing partners of firms and in working to preserve and expand legal rights for children and orphans. “He was a pioneer in providing access to justice,” says Boje. “He always thought the law should be open to everyone.”

Shear recently chaired the Bay Area legal Services Development Council, and he also endowed the L. David Shear Children's Law Center, which works with young orphans and foster care families.

A lifelong Tampa resident and champion youth tennis player, Shear went into private practice after he graduated from the University of Florida College of Law. In 2011 Shear and several other attorneys, who had all previously worked for Ruden McClosky, helped Gunster open a Tampa office.

Shear is a past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. He was also president of the Florida Bar Association in 1979 and 1980, when the organization won an American Bar Association award as the outstanding state bar in the country. At each stop Shear counseled other attorneys on career matters, says friend and Gunster attorney Bruce Lamb, where his love of the law always came though. Says Lamb: “David took great pride in mentoring young attorneys.”

Survivors include Shear's wife of 29 years, Casey Shear, two sons and four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Bay Area Legal Services to Benefit the L. David Shear Children's Law Center, 1302 N. 19th Street, Suite 400, Tampa, 33605.

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