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Howard J. Privett


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Howard J. Privett Obituary
August 27, 1929 - July 21, 2017 Former Los Angeles litigator Howard J. Privett died at home in San Marino on July 21. He was 87. After graduating first in his class from University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1957, Privett joined McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea in Los Angeles and remained with the firm his entire career, serving as its Managing Partner and overseeing a merger in 1990 with Baker Hostetler. Among the most notable trials of his career, Privett defended Exxon in back-to-back antitrust cases filed by the federal and state governments alleging that Exxon had manipulated the oil market in Southern California. Privett secured a defense verdict and was named trial lawyer of the year in Los Angeles and one of only five lawyers named National Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer. Privett was also lead trial counsel representing United States Steel Corp. in a civil action arising from a failed pipe at a PG&E hydroelectric facility near Fresno, California.  Following a lengthy federal court jury trial, Privett obtained a verdict that established PG&E's responsibility for the pipe failure. Citing Privett's brilliance during trial, The American Lawyer selected the case as one of the nation's ten best jury verdicts for 1992. Howard Is survived by his wife Aiping Lu Privett, daughters Pamela Privett of South Pasadena and Cynthia Privett of Los Gatos, CA, daughter-in-law Helen Mendoza, and 5 grandchildren, Megan, Kevin, Hannah, Grace and Henry. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Nell Kercheville Privett. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for August 4 at 1 pm at San Marino Community Church.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 23 to July 24, 2017
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