Our Los Angeles trusts and estates partner Andy Garb celebrates his 50th anniversary of practicing at Loeb & Loeb! To mark the occasion, we asked Andy to share some of his fondest memories and thoughts on the future.
Q: What was Loeb like in 1968 when you first joined, and how has it changed in the past 50 years?
In 1968, the firm was dramatically smaller (when I arrived, I was only the 33rd lawyer in the firm); the firm was totally Los Angeles-based and was really not focused on the “business” side of running a law firm. Over the years, the firm has grown tenfold, has become international in scope, and has proven that we can be true to our tradition of demanding excellence and the highest ethical standards of our lawyers while producing outstanding business results for the firm as well.
Q: What is it about the firm that compelled you to stay and continue to grow your practice here?
Many things compelled me to stay at the firm. First, I received outstanding mentoring as a young litigator from three renowned senior partners with whom I tried cases. They literally taught me how to litigate. They also taught me that one can be a successful advocate and win cases without being hyperaggressive and obnoxious. That meant, for me, that former litigation adversaries could become future sources of business (although my mentors probably weren’t thinking of business development at the time). In addition, the firm, throughout my years here, exposed me to an array of loyal clients, many of whom I have worked with for decades. Luckily for me, these clients also presented important legal issues over the years that provided me the opportunity to try some major cases and argue appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Courts of California and Nevada. Finally, I always felt I had great support from the firm and from my colleagues (many of whose hard work managed to make me look good in court over the years). Jeff Loeb, David Nelson, Gabrielle Vidal and others (including, of course, Pam Bentley) helped turn a virtually unknown concept (combining litigation skills with trusts and estates savvy) into the now well-recognized trust and estate litigation practice area.
Q: Can you tell us about your fondest or proudest memory over the course of your career at Loeb?
There are many firm memories that I’m proud of. Two are tied for the lead. One is the confidence my partners showed by electing me managing partner for six annual terms just as the LA firm Loeb & Loeb was merging with the NY firm Hess, Segal. It was time for a generational change in leadership at the firm, and it was a heady and life-changing experience for me. Looking back at one of the most successful law firm mergers ever, I’m really proud of all the work we did in the early years to integrate the two firms. The second great memory has to be arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Q: How about the future? Is there anything in particular that you’re excited about as you look ahead at Loeb?
As for the future (and actually the present), the frosting on the cake for me has been that three of our clients (two in the nonprofit area) chose to hire me in nonlegal roles that have proven to be just about the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I’m very grateful to the firm for allowing me to continue my law practice while being able to perform these roles as well. I’m looking forward to more years of continuing to practice law with the greatest trusts & estates department ever assembled and to performing in my outside positions that mean so much to me.