Pulner, Louis M.

DATELINE: Cranston

Pulner, Louis M., 66, passed away on Monday, June 10, 2024, at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

A proud Rhode Islander, Lou was born in Providence on July 13, 1957, to Norma (Shapiro) Ryan and the late Sidney Pulner. Growing up, he attended Classical High School, before heading off to Providence College, and eventually Suffolk University Law School, in Boston, MA, where he received his JD.

For all of Lou’s achievements and passions, nothing was more important to him than his family.  He is survived by his adoring mother, Norma and his sister, Pamela Pulner.  He was a loving and devoted father to Stephanie Pulner and Andrew (Lauren) Pulner, grandfather to Jonathan and Madeleine Pulner, and uncle to Alexa Auerbach.  He also leaves behind his chosen family, Stacey and Eugene Mihaly of Jamestown.

Never one to shy away from a good debate, Lou was an accomplished attorney and litigator.  He began his legal career at the RI Attorney General’s office as a Special Assistant Attorney General, where he soon made a name for himself prosecuting drunk drivers in conjunction with the state’s crackdown tied to the campaign “In Rhode Island, Drunk Drivers Get Court.”

From his varied experiences under two Attorneys General, Lou moved into the areas of law tied to divorce and family law as an associate with Lipsey and Skolnick, where he spent two years before beginning his own practice with a concentration in divorce, family, custody, adoption, personal injury and criminal law.

Closest to his heart and central to his character were his many, many years of pro-bono work, earning him numerous recognitions and awards from the Bar Association throughout his career. He gave his time and expertise to help those who needed it most. He found hope and meaning in moments of goodwill and navigated his career with heart.  Helping families and children was a great source of pride for Lou, as was his 35-year term as solicitor for the Town of Barrington. His tenure would often be a source of amusement as he’d joke it was his longest relationship.  Lou was also a legal analyst on Rhode Island news for many years, making regular radio and television appearances, including Rhode Island PBS’ A Lively Experiment.

When not working, he was connecting with family and friends over food, the latest stand-up comics, and his beloved Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics.  A Sunday didn’t officially begin until Lou started the NYT Sunday Crossword. He was a logophile through and through.  He appreciated the power of words, as was quickly evident to everyone who knew him.

He was sharp, funny, authentically himself always, and had the kindest heart.  His ability to deliver a punchline was only accentuated by his ability to bring joy and comfort to so many.

To know Lou was to love him and he will be deeply and forever missed by his family and friends.  His life will be celebrated by his family every day, and a private celebration of Lou’s life will be held at a future date.  A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 14, 11am, at Lincoln Park Cemetery, 1469 Post Road, Warwick, RI.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to RI Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907.


  1. Bob Avizinis
    Jun 12, 2024

    Lou & I were classmates at PC, class of 79. Lou was always a great guy. Polished and well spoken is how I remember him way back to Providence College. Lou and I would always run into each other in court, with him defending some of the arrests I had in my career in law enforcement. And we always talked about how best we could compromise and then about the old times at PC. Just a true gentleman who are hard to find nowadays. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Gone way too soon!

  2. Jack Pitts
    Jun 12, 2024

    My heartful condolences to Lou’s family at this very tragic
    time. I have known Lou since I started practicing law in 1986 and can proudly say he was my friend. Needless to say, he was much too young to be taken away from us and was without question a lawyer’s lawyer..sharp, intelligent, committed to his clients, wonderful and priceless colleague and the epitome of a true professional.

    As a person, and a friend, he excelled even further. He gave a 100% of himself …all one had to do was ask. Sometimes, I didn’t even have to ask..I remember fondly his playing match maker or
    buffing out a scratch on my car…all without solicitation as he was genuinely driven to to cater to the happiness of others.

    I’m not sure I’ll ever meet anyone like Lou again. I kick myself for not contacting him more often, but he was one of those friends that defied the passing of time.

    He loved his family and I can’t express enough how sorry I am for your loss.

  3. Arlene Violet
    Jun 12, 2024

    I extend my deepest condolences to Lou’s family and loved ones. His obituary truly captured the splendid gentleman that he was.
    It was my good fortune to hire him when I became Attorney General and from then on he was a treasured friend.Rest in peace, dear Lou!

  4. Pamela
    Jun 12, 2024

    Lou was such a wonderful, genuine person through and through, as well as a superb and knowledgeable attorney. He was always so helpful, no matter what time of day his expertise was needed. He will be missed. May his memory be eternal. My most sincere condolences to Lou’s family.

  5. Dave Layman
    Jun 12, 2024

    I was so saddened to learn of Lou’s death. We have lost an authentic Rhode Islander and a quick mind with an unforgettable sense of humor. His obituary captures that. Lou and I got to know each other when we would often appear together on Rhode Island PBS’s A Lively Experiment. I always looked forward to the shows where Lou and I appeared together. He brought energy and rapier wit to every show. He never held back. He was funny, insightful and in a most refreshing way…he said what was on his mind! And if you didn’t always agree with him on the program, it was no big deal. You just never knew what he would say. Refreshing. And now, we will miss him. My condolences to his family and other friends who are feeling the vacuum he has left behind. Thanks, Lou…and thanks for all the charity work that you never talked about and the many people you touched.

  6. Jerry Newsham
    Jun 13, 2024

    My sincere condolences on the passing of Lou. I retired from the RI Sheriffs Department 15 years ago. I worked both in the Providence Family Court and the District Court. Lou was a stand up guy. Always said hi to me and we shared many conversations. He was very likeable and respected the Sheriffs . Again so sorry for your loss.

  7. Steve and Joan Levitt
    Jun 13, 2024

    We were saddened to hear of Lou’s passing. I coached him for many years at the JCC. Our condolences to the Pulner family.

  8. Aurendina Veiga
    Jun 13, 2024

    Lou and I met at the Bar Exam prep class. We were fast friends, him an AG and me a PD. We fought like cat and dog yet there was always a great respect between us. We would meet after work and laugh about our day for years. One of the smartest people I ever met. May you rest in peace my old and dear friend….

  9. Tom Beaulieu
    Jun 13, 2024

    Many years ago while I was a Police Officer in Rhode Island, I had the privilege to work with Mr. Pulner in many court cases. He was a total professional, a good prosecutor and a great person. May he rest in peace. My condolences to his friends and family, Sincerely Tom Beaulieu

  10. Linda Marini
    Jun 14, 2024

    Thank you for being kind and helpful to me. You are a lovely man and I will add your family to my prayers as they start their new normal. May you have peace.

  11. Ellen & Ron Reuter
    Jun 14, 2024

    Stephanie, Andrew, and Staci – We are sorry for your loss. Lou was a great friend and neighbor.
    Ellen & Ron Reuter

  12. I first met Lou at the Rhode Island AGs office and remained friends with him all these years. He was a good man and his obituary really captures his spirit and character. We will all miss him and his great sense of humor, especially when he would focus on the absurdities of life.

  13. John O’Leary
    Jun 15, 2024

    Please accept my condolences on the passing of Lou. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and good memories during this sad time. RIP Lou.

  14. Elaine DeLuca
    Jun 15, 2024

    It was my good fortune to work with Lou early in both of our careers at the Attorney General’s Office. He was not only a good prosecutor, he was a good friend and co-worker. As we would encounter each other over the years he remained the same lovely person he’d always been, a real gentleman who always asked about family. I am so sorry to hear of his passing, may he rest in peace, and may the good memories bring comfort to his loved ones.

  15. Debbie
    Jun 15, 2024

    Rest in peace Lou

  16. Patricia Spero
    Jun 21, 2024

    I was so saddened to learn about Lou’s passing. I worked with him at the law office of Lipsey & Skolnick for a time. He was the best!

  17. Sam Neusner
    Jun 22, 2024

    Always enjoyed playing basketball both against and with him. Perhaps, his best trait was how he treated everyone with respect no matter the situation.

Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *