SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 — It is with great sadness that Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP reports that Robert S. Gerber, a partner who had been with the firm since 1989, passed away May 11 from unknown causes. He was 49. 

Gerber was a member of Sheppard Mullin's Intellectual Property practice group and based in the firm's Del Mar office. He spent his entire career with the firm, following a clerkship for the Hon. Rudi Brewster in the Southern District of California. 

Gerber founded Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono committee in 2001 and served as its chair until 2010. Among his pro bono achievements was his representation of a Mexican teenager in a precedent-setting immigration case entitled Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, 225 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 2000), and in 2010 Gerber was recognized as Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono Attorney of the Decade.  Gerber also served on the board of directors of Project Concern International and was chair of the search committee that recruited and hired the current CEO. 

"Our firm is deeply saddened.  Bob was a lawyer's lawyer and a true professional in every sense of the word. Thousands of attorneys around the country knew Sheppard Mullin because of Bob's dedication to the profession.  He added great luster to the firm's reputation nationwide," said Guy Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.  "Bob was also a generous and caring person, who was always thinking of ways to help others.  He donated thousands of hours of free legal services to the indigent, as well as spearheading the firm's pro bono efforts for a decade.  And of course Bob was really dedicated to his family." 

"Bob will be tremendously missed by the firm and the legal community, because of his incredibly selfless pro bono work, which he managed on top of a successful practice.  Bob led by example when it came to pro bono work and inspired attorneys at Sheppard Mullin to do great things in their communities," said Dan Brown, chairman of Sheppard Mullin's pro bono committee.  "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.'  In honor of Bob's pro bono legacy, the firm has decided to re-name its annual pro bono award the 'Bob Gerber Award.'" 

Gerber received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1988, and a M.P.P. and a B.A., high honors, high distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1984. 

Gerber's practice focused on intellectual property, entertainment litigation, and professional liability litigation.  He regularly handled a variety of IP matters in the entertainment and other industries, including patent, trademark, copyright, false advertising, and trade secret lawsuits.  Gerber advised companies and individuals on protection and prosecution of their intellectual property rights.  His practice also focused on the defense of lawyers, accountants, directors, officers, brokers, insurers, and others in professional liability claims and related insurance issues. 

Among his many professional involvements, Gerber was 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 of the board of directors of the San Diego Bar Association, commissioner for the State Bar of California Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, a president, vice-president, treasurer and master in the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Courts, a master in the Louis M. Welsh Inn Of Courts, and a Ninth Circuit trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation.  He was also an advisor and former chair of the San Diego County Bar Association's Legal Ethics committee. 

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