By Karen Billing
Carmel Valley lawyer Robert Gerber passed away in his sleep on May 11 at the age of 49.
“I am deeply honored to have shared a small portion of his life,” said his wife Shelley. “He was a loving and devoted husband and father. Our family will miss him more than I can possibly express.”
Gerber is survived by his wife and children Alex, Taylor, Paige and Alyssa. A memorial service will be held on Monday, May 21, at 10 a.m. at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow the service. (A viewing will be held on Sunday, May 20, from 1:30-5 p.m. at El Camino Memorial Park.)
Bob was an equity partner with the law firm of Sheppard Mullin in its Del Mar Heights office. He joined Sheppard Mullin in 1989 after he graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude. He spent his entire career with the firm and was recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer from 2007-12, a Best Lawyer in America in 2012 and a Top Attorney in San Diego in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
His professional involvements included: co-chair of the Trade Secrets Subcommittee of the ABA Litigation Section’s Intellectual Property Litigation Committee; chair of the litigation section of the State Bar of California; vice president and on the board of directors of the San Diego Bar Association; a commissioner for the State Bar of California Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation; and was involved in the Louis M. Welsh Inn of Courts and a director of the American Inns of Court Foundation.
He was also a former chair and active member of the San Diego County Bar Association’s legal ethics committee.
Generous and caring, Bob was the founder of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.
“Bob was always thinking of ways to help others,” said partner Guy Halgren.
He donated thousands of hours to free legal services to the indigent, including the representation of a Mexican teenager in a precedent-setting immigration case Hernandez-Montiel v. INS. In 2010, he was recognized as the firm’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Decade.
One of Bob’s mantras was “practicing law will earn you a living but doing pro bono work will give you a reason to live.”
“I am proud of his many achievements and kind, selfless acts,” said Shelley. “Bob was a wonderful man.”
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bob can be made to Children of the Night, an organization committed to stopping child prostitution. Bob supported the organization through his pro bono work.
“This is a terrible shock for our family and we would love to use it to do some good for others in need,” Shelley said.
Checks can be mailed to 14530 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, CA 91411 or directly through their website at www.childrenofthenight.org. Note on the donation that it is in memory of Bob Gerber.