Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame (2004): 62 Years in the Practice of Law
By Kurt W. Melchior
Kurt W. Melchior
When I was first establishing my practice, many people talked about Joe Ball. When he died 13 years ago at the age of 97, his L.A. Times obituary described him as "one of the country’s most respected trial lawyers." Joe was the first inductee into the California Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame; and I remember the awe with which he was regarded by many, and the very open, approachable person I met when I was introduced to him at a State Bar convention. So it is a bit hard to write about my own journey to that exalted place, since I never thought I would be within the same frame of reference as Joe Ball. And here I am in my sixty-third year of practice myself â hard to believe!
Now, California Litigation wants my "anecdotal, inspirational and educational thoughts." Let me start with what I think it means to be a litigator â a trial lawyer.