Remembering Alvin S. Kaufer (August 12, 1932 – December 17, 2005)
LOS ANGELES (December 19, 2005) - Alvin S. Kaufer, partner at law firm Nossaman Guthner Knox & Elliott and 45 year veteran of the firm, passed away on December 17, 2005.
"Al will truly be missed. He was a highly accomplished trial lawyer, valued mentor to us all and steadfast public servant. He not only helped shape the values of the firm, he personified them, always leading by example," said Nossaman Managing Partner, Scott DeVries.
Al was born and raised in Kingston, PA. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1954 after which he joined the army, serving for two years during the Korean War. Al continued his education at the University of Michigan where he received his J.D. in 1959.
Since 1960 when he began his career at Nossaman, Al has been a member of the American, California and Los Angeles County Bar Associations. In addition to becoming actively involved in the community, Al served the legal profession by teaching classes at the University of California, Boalt Hall.
Al served on the Board of Directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for 20 years and on the Board of the local Southern California chapter for 25 years. In addition, Al was a member of the Chancery Club, a Past Chairman and Volunteer Arbitrator/ Judge Pro Tem of the Superior Court and has been a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 1987.
Further accomplishments include years Al spent as editor of the Los Angeles Bar Bulletin (now Los Angeles Lawyer magazine). He is included in The National Directory of Who's Who, appears in The Best Lawyers in America and has been recognized as recently as 2005 in the Los Angeles Magazine listing of Southern California Super Lawyers.
Al particularly relished the challenges and opportunities afforded in the court of appeal, where he served as lead counsel in cases as diverse as establishing members' voting rights in nonprofit organizations (Braude v. Automobile Club of Southern Calif., 178 Cal App 3d 994), limiting local interference with regional transportation plans (Committee of Seven Thousand v. Superior Court, 45 Cal 3d 491), and advancing legislative schemes for school funding (Grupe Development Co. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal 4th 911). His dedication to practicing law included handling many pro bono matters over the course of his career, including a 16 year long corporate governance case on behalf of the Center for Law in the Public Interest.
Al's contribution to the firm and community at large transcended his significant legal accomplishments. "He epitomized what the legal profession should be about - skillful, principled representation of clients, respect for opposing parties and counsel, an abiding commitment to the justice system, and an understanding that business lawyers have an obligation to contribute to the public welfare," said Nossaman Partner, Rob Thornton. "Al reminded all of us that ethics and professionalism are more important than winning and money."
Al is survived by wife Marca, three children, three step-children and grandchildren.