This is such devastating news for the firm and the legal community. In addition to the truly impressive achievements that Guy notes below, I personally considered Bob a mentor and role model having gotten to know him as a result of his incredibly selfless pro bono work, which he always managed on top of his very successful and busy practice.
I have spoken to many associates who decided to join the firm specifically because they were inspired by their interviews with Bob, and there is now an army of attorneys at our firm who do great things on Sheppard Mullin’s behalf in their communities because of Bob’s leading by example. One of Bob’s mantra’s was “practicing law will earn you a living, but doing pro bono work will give you a reason to live,” and he was in no way less interested in pro bono after stepping down as pro bono chair, continuing to take on cases whenever he learned of an opportunity to “do good” by helping a worthy individual or cause.
He was simply an amazing person. As Guy correctly notes, Bob was the epitome of a lawyer’s lawyer, the Founder of the Pro Bono Committee, and its leader for over a decade. We have therefore made the very obvious and easy decision to re-name Sheppard Mullin’s annual pro bono award the Bob Gerber award, as a small gesture to honor his legacy through our pro bono program.