Arnold Laub

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Arnold Laub, Esq.

8/4/33 – 12/26/13


Esteemed San Francisco attorney Arnold Laub passed away peacefully on December 26, 2013, surrounded by his dearly beloved family.  He was 80. 


Founder of The Law Offices of Arnold Laub in 1961, Arnold represented plaintiffs from all walks of life.  He was an early proponent of the moveable median barrier for the Golden Gate Bridge with his widely publicized case wherein his client lost his leg after his car was pushed over the center divide; he was the first to file a nationwide class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the diet drug Fen-Phen.


Arnold was born under a lucky star in Vallejo, CA to parents of Hungarian-Romanian decent, Marcus Laub and Shirley Eichenbaum. He had the unique distinction of winning a beauty contest in which he wasn't entered at the early age of 2 when he tagged along with his contestant sister. He won a 1947 yellow Pontiac convertible at the age of 14, before he had a license to drive, in a contest held by one of his father's competitors. This lucky streak continued throughout his life.


Entrepreneurial from a young age and multi-talented, his first job was at his father's haberdashery, "The Toggery" in Vallejo, which beget his lifelong love of fine clothing. He was a dance instructor at Arthur Murray in Los Angeles in the early 50's.  Charismatic and debonair, he cut a dashing figure and was crowned "The Smile King" at Los Angeles City College.  He was working as an insurance claims adjuster at the age of 24 when his wife, unbeknownst to him, filled out his application for law school, not realizing he would one day become one of the most prominent personal injury attorneys in the US.  While attending law school he opened the "Il Capri", an Italian restaurant where he was also the chef and would whip-up Veal Scallopini and Sirloin Steak on French Bread in-between his studies.


He was renown for his optimism and positive energy and saw possibilities in every situation and person he met. He expected the very best out of people and his life reflected that standard.  He had a supreme sense of self-confidence and had the ability to instill that in others so that they too believed they could accomplish anything. Arnie loved people and people loved him which was key to his success. 


His first marriage to Noemi Delvalle in 1955 produced three children, Dave, Steve and Tina-Marie.  His second marriage to Patricia Janice Duskey in 1970 produced his daughter, Alicia Anne.  He was married to Eleonora Peters in 1991.  He met his current wife, Isabelle Valentine Laub (nee Russell), in 1994; they have been inseparable ever since.


Arnold received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley where he also obtained his LLB and JD degrees from the School of Law, Boalt Hall.  He was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.  "The Arnold Laub Lobby" is dedicated in his honor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Boalt Hall.


He was quite politically and socially active.  Some of his more notable accomplishments include:  Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer for the City of San Francisco; National Finance Co-Chair, John Kerry for President; Board of Governors, California Trial Lawyers Association; Commissioner, San Francisco Delinquency Prevention Commission; Member, The Joffrey Ballet's National Advisory Board of Directors; Library Advisory Commissioner, City of Oakland; President, Republican Alliance, Contra Costa County; Trustee, Contra Costa County Law Library; Appointed by Governor Reagan to the Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped; Appointed Special Assistant (for California) to the Director, Office of Business Services, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Washington, DC; Chairman, State Bar of California, Disciplinary Board, State Bar District No. 5; Trustee & Member of Steering Committee, United Negro College Fund; Chairman of the Board, California Jaycees (1970-71); President, California Jaycees (1969-70); Chairman, Alameda County Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped;  Instructor, Trial Practice, Hastings Law School; Selected, California Jaycee's Outstanding National Director (1968-79); Director, Oakland Chamber of Commerce; Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association.


He served in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean conflict (1955-57).


Arnold is survived by his wife, Isabelle Valentine Laub of San Francisco, two sons, David Laub, MD (Margie) of Tiburon, CA and Mr. Steven Laub of Atherton, CA, two daughters, Tina-Marie Ashby (Eric Ashby, MD) of Farmington, UT and Alicia Anne Laub of San Francisco, eight grandchildren, Laura Ashby Potter (Dave), Katherine Ashby Poulter (Josh), Elizabeth Ashby, Courtney Laub, Elle Laub, Mark Laub, Christopher Laub, Nicholas Laub and a great-grandson, Nathaniel Potter; a sister, Arline June Gordon in South Lake Tahoe and two brothers, Melvin in South Lake Tahoe and Paul in Maui, HI, as well as his beloved Maltese, Tiger and Lucky and Persians, Monroe and Louis XIV.


Private services were held in compliance with Jewish Law and tradition at The Home of Peace in Colma.  All who were touched by Arnie's life are invited to his Memorial Service on Friday, January 10th, 2014 at 2:00pm at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made to the Boalt Hall Fund, at Berkeley Law School, 2850 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 500, Berkeley, California, 94705 in honor of Arnold Laub, Esq.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2014
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