California Bar Association Inducts Kurt Melchior into Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame
SAN FRANCISCO (March 8, 2004) - The California Bar Association's Litigation section named the attorneys that will be inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame on April 17. Kurt W. Melchior, 79, and Ephraim Margolin, 77, will be given the lifetime achievement award, which is presented in recognition of their stature in the legal profession and their contributions to the community.
Kurt W. Melchior, partner and general counsel at Nossaman LLP, has established himself as one of the pre-eminent trial lawyers. He has more than 50 years of experience in litigation and has been counsel of record in more than 70 published cases. Kurt represents policyholders in large-scale insurance coverage suits, defends major antitrust cases asserting price fixing and other restraints of trade, litigates antitrust consumer fraud, securities, contract and real estate matters including numerous class actions (two class action tried to verdict, one described by Court of Appeal as an "epic trial drama"), and represents physicians, lawyers and accountants on matters of professional competence. He also acts as an expert witness with respect to attorneys' professional obligations and standard of care and on insurance coverage issues.
Kurt received his undergraduate degree, as well as a master's degree, from University of Chicago and earned his LL.B. at Yale Law School. Kurt has served as Vice President of the State Bar of California; Member of the Board of Governors; Member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Specialization; President of the San Francisco Law Library; and was for 20 years a Senior Delegate of the State Bar of California to the House of Delegates, American Bar Association. In his longstanding commitment to community involvement he has served, among others, as President of the San Francisco Bilingual School, the Oakes Children's Center, the San Francisco Association for Mental Health, and on numerous other boards and committees.
Ephraim Margolin represents law offices and lawyers in contempt, sanctions, office dissolution, and ethical matters. His office handles criminal cases, complex motions, and writs. Ephraim has represented some of the largest law firms in the United States; several countries; many government organizations, including the California Assembly, the California Department of Transportation, and the California Public Utilities Commission; several counties in California; the Bank of America, etc. From the beginning of his career, Ephraim has represented plaintiffs in dozens of minority-rights cases, including equal-employment rights for women and access-to-housing rights for African- Americans. His first jury trial was the obscene sculpture co-defense of Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco. Ephraim's success in the Shirley case in the California Supreme Court (admissibility of hypnosis in California courts) and his loss in the John Gotti appeal in the 2nd Circuit, contributed to his national exposure. He also handled many non-traditional civil cases, including managing Dr. Jeffrey Wigand's (the former research chief for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.) defense for disclosing cigarette manufacturing secrets on "60 Minutes." This case was depicted in the movie "The Insider." Ephraim's name appears on more than 1,000 reported appeals nationally. About one third of his regular practice consists of pro bono activity. He also spent more than 20 years teaching as an adjunct professor at Boalt Hall School of Law and now, Hastings College of Law.
Ephraim Margolin graduated from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Yale Law School. In 1956, Ephraim clerked in the Supreme Court of Israel. Since 1962, when he became an attorney in California, he served, inter alia, as President of the Lawyer's Club of San Francisco, the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Ephraim was Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, Peninsula and Marin Counties and is an Advisory Counsel for Northern California American Civil Liberties Union.
The awards will be presented to Kurt Melchior and Ephraim Margolin on April 17th at the Silverado Resort in Napa. The Saturday reception is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and dinner is from 7:30-10:00 p.m.