Passed away following a brief illness on October 28th, 2013. Bill was a member of the California State Bar since January of 1962, specializing in bankruptcy practice. He attended UC Hastings College of Law on the GI bill following a tour of service in Europe in the Army. Bill graduated Cum Laude and was a member of the Order of Coif. He clerked for Justice Matthew Tobriner when he sat on the District Court of Appeals after which he went to work for the bankruptcy firm of Rothschild and Phelan as an associate attorney.
In the early 1970s, he went into private practice and eventually partnered up with another pre-eminent bankruptcy practitioner: Harvey Hoffman. Later this firm became Hoffman, Kelly, Stokes and Izmirian. In the early 1980s the firm disbanded. Bill then became a partner in Miller, Starr & Regalia, another pre-eminent California real estate firm. He later went on to Graham & James, which at the time was one of the very few international law firms headquartered in the US. He practiced in all areas of bankruptcy law and workouts, but probably was best known for his representation of bankruptcy trustees.
Bill was selected for inclusion in the very first edition of Best Lawyers in America, a peer-selected honor he justly deserved. Bill could cut to the core of an issue and get things resolved in a manner favorable to his clients.
Much to Bill's credit, he chose to befriend people far afield from the practice of law. He rarely discussed the law in conversations, much preferring to talk books, politics or sports. He was ornery and stubborn and very bright. Any conversation was likely to shed an interesting light on the subject being discussed.
Some of the things that few people knew about Bill was that during the Vietnam War he counseled anti-war draft objectors on a pro-bono basis; that in retirement he volunteered at the public library, teaching illiterate adults to read; and that he volunteered at the SPCA, bringing his beloved Labrador Retriever into classrooms to teach dog safety.
Bill enjoyed sporting events, travel, jazz music, a good book, a good meal and good conversation with friends and family.
Preceded in death by his loving wife Barbara, Bill is survived by his four daughters: Linda Green, Bronwen Kelly, Teresa Davilla and Gretchen Skaggs and his sister Patty Watkins. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the San Francisco Humane Society would be appreciated by the family. Keeping with his unconventional nature, Bill insisted that there be no funeral or memorial service. However, the family will be having a celebration of his life party next month. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.