Banner Witcoff Remembers Trusted Colleague, Devoted Friend, and Founding Member, Dale Hoscheit

Banner Witcoff remembers our friend and founding member Dale Hoscheit, who passed away on November 12, 2023. 

Dale Herbert Hoscheit, 95, a renowned chemical engineer, lawyer, and patent counsel, passed away on November 12, 2023, in Frederick, Maryland. He was born on January 8, 1928, in Peru, Illinois. Dale dedicated his life to the fields of law and biotechnology and made significant contributions to these industries throughout his illustrious career.

After graduating from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1945, he completed a semester at LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College before joining the army and serving for two years in the Philippines. He then obtained a B.S. degree with High Honors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1951.

Following college graduation, Dale worked as a chemical engineer for Standard Oil of California before returning to Illinois to attend law school at the University of Illinois, earning his J.D. in 1956.

After completing his legal education, he joined the esteemed Burns, Doan, Benedict & Irons patent firm in Washington, D.C., as an associate. Later on, along with several others from the firm, Dale co-founded a new partnership called Irons, Birch, McKie and Beckett.

He then worked as patent counsel for International Minerals and Chemical Corporation (IMC) in Illinois, a client of his firm, for a few years before returning to his firm in Washington, D.C. He remained a partner at the firm currently known as Banner & Witcoff until transitioning into the role of Senior of Counsel several years ago, a role he still held at the time of his death.

One of Dale’s most notable accomplishments was his involvement as one of the lawyers representing Diamond v. Chakrabarty in a 1980 landmark Supreme Court case that recognized the patentability of life forms. His significant contributions to this case helped shape biotechnology patent law as we know it today.

Dale Hoscheit’s commitment extended beyond his professional pursuits; he also dedicated himself to educating future generations. As an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School, Dale taught courses in Biotechnology Patent Law and Trade Secrets. Additionally, he served as a lecturer at Johns Hopkins Hospital, teaching the graduate course “Legal Aspects of Biotechnology.” Recognized for his expertise, the Chinese government extended an invitation to Dale to teach a course in trade secrets in Taiwan.

Beyond his work, Dale had an array of hobbies and interests. He was a proficient woodworker and also enjoyed playing bridge and reading. Especially in the last several years, he cherished spending time with his loved ones at his lake house in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His children and grandchildren held a special place in Dale’s heart.

Dale’s proudest accomplishments extended beyond his professional achievements. He actively contributed to various organizations throughout his life. In the 1970s, he served on the Board of the Washington Hearing & Speech Society, including holding the position of president for a term. Additionally, he dedicated almost fifty years to Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. as the longest-serving trustee on the Board of Trustees. In his role as trustee, which he still held at the time of his death, he oversaw the Buildings and Grounds Committee and played an instrumental role in the development and expansion of the hospital. In recognition of his years of continuous service, the Healthcare Council of the National Capital Area awarded him their highest honor, the Matthew J. McNulty Jr. Award in 2006.

Dale Hoscheit is survived by his beloved spouse of sixty-two years, Stephanie Bland Hoscheit, a retired Registered Nurse. His three children Sue Anderson, Anne Hoscheit, and Jim Hoscheit were sources of immense pride for him. Sue and her husband Steve live in Towson, Maryland and Sue currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings. Anne lives in Fort Worth, Texas and holds the position of Regional Director, DFW/Texoma Region with the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Jim and his wife Danielle live in Potomac, Maryland and Jim is the Chief Product Officer at N2K Networks.

Dale was also a doting grandfather to Matthew Anderson, who is engaged to Jenna Guglielmini, Grant and Colin Hoscheit, and Sarah and Matthew Baird.

In addition to his immediate family, Dale is survived by his brother Don Hoscheit and sister-in-law Gerry, as well as several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; the American Heart Association; the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Dale Herbert Hoscheit passed peacefully in his sleep. His legacy as a pioneering figure in the law and biotechnology fields will continue to inspire generations to come. He will be remembered not only for his professional achievements but also for his kindhearted nature (although hidden beneath a very dry and sometimes acerbic sense of humor), devotion to family, and tireless dedication to the organizations he served. Dale’s impact on the legal and biotechnology landscapes will forever be celebrated.

Services will be held on November 18, 2023.

In memory of Dale Herbert Hoscheit, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

The obituary for Dale can be found by clicking here.

Posted: November 15, 2023

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