Robert L. Redfearn, a Tulane Law alumnus and emeritus member of the law Dean’s Advisory Board, died July 21 at the age of 90.
Redfearn (B’54, L’57) practiced law for more than 66 years and was known as a sharp civil attorney whose practice focused on mergers, acquisitions, oil and gas transactions, securities litigation, and real estate matters across multiple states. He was a founding partner of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, in New Orleans, where he mentored scores of young attorneys, many of them from his beloved alma mater, Tulane Law.
“Great lawyers who once walked the halls of Tulane Law School abound, but rare among giants in the law are great lawyers who also care deeply about and act intentionally to alter the course of the generation of lawyers who follow,” said New Orleans attorney Judy Perry Martinez (L’82), who considered Redfearn mentor and dear friend. “Bob Redfearn did that every day with his quiet and effective mentorship, skillful guidance and insistence on the highest ethical standards from those who surrounded him.”
Redfearn served for many years as a member of the law Dean's Advisory Board, guiding and shaping the future of Tulane Law.
As a practicing lawyer, Redfearn became chairman of the Castano Plaintiffs Legal Committee, an association of more than 50 law firms throughout the United States, which sued tobacco companies and was instrumental in the national resolution of claims against the industry.
Redfearn was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, an only child of a Navy family. They moved around often and eventually landed in Norfolk, Va., where Redfearn became an avid tennis player, joining his high school team. Tennis – which he continued to play well into his 80s -- led him to Tulane where he played during his undergraduate years, earning first his business degree and later his law degree. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Captain.
While at Tulane, Redfearn met his wife of 43 years, Lynn Macmurdo and they married in 1957, making New Orleans their home. The couple had six children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Lynn passed away in 2001.
They were the quintessential New Orleans family – embracing the city’s culture, celebrating carnival in their home, their beloved New Orleans Saints, and their Green Wave family. The Redfearns loved to travel, and they visited such places as Paris, Italy and other parts of the world. Robert Redfearn was a voracious reader of books on many subjects, and his affection for literature led him to be a lifelong member of the New Orleans Shakespeare Society. They were longtime supporters of the New Orleans Opera Association, among other civic organizations.
A funeral mass will be held in the chapel of Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., New Orleans, on Friday, July 28, 2023, at 1 p.m. A visitation will be held at the funeral home beginning at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Metairie Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the American Cancer Society at the Robert L. Redfearn Memorial Fund.