Oscar Altshuler, 65, a lawyer in the office of the U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia since 1959, where he had been in charge of the special procedings unit, died Dec. 25 in his home in Arlington after a heart attack.

Mr. Altshuler was a native of Hartford, Conn. He moved here in 1945 after serving with the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees at George Washington University.

He was a deputy clerk with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 1945 to 1954. He then spent five years as a clerk to Judge Eward Allen Tamm, when Judge Tamm served on the District Court, before joining the U.S. Attorney's office.

Mr. Altshuler served on the part-time faculty of the George Washington University law school for 15 years, and was a trial judge for its moot court program.

Survivors include his wife, Hilary, of Arlington; a stepdaughter, S. Hari McDonough of Pittsburgh; two brothers, Arthur, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Carl, of Hartford, and three sisters, Florence Miller of Arlington, Thelma Wachsteter of Elmhurst, N.Y., and Rowena Spilken of West Palm Beach, Fla.