MoForever Alumni News - Winter 2019

MoForever Winter 2019 | 18 Charles (“Chuck”) E. Patterson was a renowned commercial litigator whose extensive trial experience made him a sought-after legal educator and advisor all over the United States and a favored mentor in our Los Angeles office. A natural leader, distinguished speaker, and highly praised author and poet, Chuck’s dedication showed in his pro bono work and when he generously shared his wisdom with others. He passed away on July 24, 2018 at age 77. CHARLES E. PATTERSON IN MEMORIAM It is with glad hearts that we remember the life of Chuck Patterson, a highly respected, often missed member of our firm who passed away on July 24, 2018. When Chuck joined MoFo’s Los Angeles office in 2000, he was already a seasoned trial lawyer whose big case experience had made him a much sought-after attorney, lecturer, author, and advisor. His experience as lead trial counsel in a number of high-profile cases locally and across the country brought an incalculable wealth of knowledge to MoFo’s Litigation Department. Chuck shared that wealth freely, teaching our associates and partners an exemplary brand of trial advocacy that many continue to use and pass on today. Chuck amassed a depth of trial experience that’s not often matched and is rarely surpassed in the commercial litigation field. He tried more than 115 cases to verdict before a jury and more than 30 cases to the court. Meanwhile, he continued to dedicate time to pro bono work, taking trips to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during his successful representation of detainee Jabran al Qahtani, and representing death row inmates. Chuck is remembered as a diligent teacher and earnest mentor. His dedication to sharing his hard-earned wisdom was evidenced in his many lectures on trial practices presented at local and state bar associations, the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the California Bankers Association. A renowned legal expert, Chuck was sought out for advice by many and his written works were widely published. He authored a chapter in the must-have legal industry how-to titled Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts . He shared his expertise again by contributing a chapter to Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel . Even the nation’s judges looked to Chuck for insight. In 2006, he was appointed to the National Judicial College Board of Visitors as part of a select team of legal professionals that sought to improve the administration of justice through education that increases judicial proficiency, productivity, and competency. Chuck’s leadership abilities were on display from the beginning of his legal career. Chuck joined Watson, Ess, Marshall and Enggas in Kansas City after law school in 1966, taking a brief leave to finish his commitment to the Marine Corps, stating, “The Marine Corps paid for my education, and it was my responsibility to honor them by serving voluntarily.” He rejoined the firm in 1969 and became partner in 1974. He joined Lillick & McHose in Los Angeles in 1985. By the time Lillick merged with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in 1990, Chuck had become chairman of Lillick’s executive committee, where he was instrumental in ensuring the merger’s success. Once at Pillsbury, he became managing partner of its Los Angeles office and vice chairman of its executive committee. Chuck’s work earned his inclusion in innumerable groups and associations throughout his lifetime. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Diplomat of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and president of the Missouri Bar from 1983 to 1984. He was also listed in Best Lawyers in America in the field of commercial litigation. Chuck graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1966. He then served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 as a captain in the 3rd Marine Division just south of the DMZ (demilitarized zone). His experiences in Vietnam and return to civilian life inspired him to write poems that would eventually be published as an acclaimed book of war poetry, The Petrified Heart . In a 2004 article about the book, Chuck is quoted saying, “I feel very lucky about life, compared to my friends who died over there, to get up in the morning, see the sun, the ocean, listen to the birds, talk to my wife.” All of Chuck’s many worthwhile accomplishments are too numerous to capture here. He was our trusted partner, the virtuoso others looked to for guidance and direction. Though we will continue to miss him in our daily lives, Chuck’s commitment to improving the legal profession through education is alive and well, carried on in every attorney who had the advantage of learning from him.