About Hanson Bridgett

Press Releases

  • Print Page
  • Email Page
  • Share this page

Gerald Marcus, Hanson Bridgett LLP Founder and Diversity Pioneer, Dies  at Age 93 (March 29, 2011) 

Hanson Bridgett announced today with deep sadness that Gerald D. Marcus, founder and original name partner of Hanson Bridgett LLP, died on March 25, 2011 at age 93. He was a pioneer in promoting diversity and equality. 

“Gerry’s legacy of equality and inclusiveness will continue to guide this firm as it has since he founded it in 1958,” stated Andrew Giacomini, Managing Partner of Hanson Bridgett. “My colleagues and I will strive to honor his contributions and extraordinary passion for justice as we carry on through this difficult time.” 

Marcus was a 1941 graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary focus was business law; he became a pioneer in the field of agricultural cooperatives, representing California pear, nut, tomato and olive growers, eventually coauthoring Cooperative Farm Bargaining: Group Action, Greater Gain in 1994. In later years he worked as a labor arbitrator. He was a man who won the trust of people on all sides of a question. 

A passionate advocate of civil and first amendment rights, he was president of the Northern California chapter of the ACLU and a founder and co-chair of Death Penalty Focus, playing a seminal role in the overturning of the death penalty by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. In 1962 he served as Northern California chair of Governor Pat Brown’s reelection campaign, and in 1966 chaired the campaign of Attorney General Tom Lynch. He was a friend and mentor to many California judges and members of Congress and a valued consultant on all manner of political issues. From 1985 on, he served as chair of the annual lectureship at the Hastings College of the Law given in the name of his dear friend and mentor, the late California Supreme Court justice Matthew Tobriner. 

For more than 50 years Marcus dedicated extensive time and energy to the promotion of equal opportunity and diversity in the legal profession. In March 2002, Hanson Bridgett underscored Marcus’ commitment to these goals by establishing the Gerald D. Marcus Fellowship Fund at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. When the fund was first announced, prominent players in the legal community joined with the Hanson Bridgett partnership to honor Marcus. Among them were Judge Thelton Henderson, United States District Court for the Northern District of California and a close longtime friend of Mr. Marcus, and John P. Dwyer, then Dean of the UC Berkeley, School of Law. 

“Gerald was ahead of his time and he set the standard for running and growing a law firm the right way,” stated John Vlahos, former name partner of Hanson Bridgett LLP. “His work is not done and I take comfort and pride in knowing that the firm will continue to carry his torch.” 

At his request there will be no funeral; plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date. Donations in his name may be made to the Death Penalty Focus or the ACLU. 

Hanson Bridgett is a law firm with more than 150 attorneys in offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, the North Bay, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Serving clients since 1958, we are well known in Northern California and have earned a national reputation in many of our practice areas.

Our diverse client list includes large national and global companies as well as many governmental entities, regional businesses and individuals. While we keep true to our California roots, our work increasingly takes us across state and national borders.

More information »

Michelle Klopp
Hanson Bridgett LLP
425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

415-995-5075 Direct Phone
415-541-9366 Fax

Email for More Information