At 9 a.m. Monday, the more than 1,300 U.S. lawyers at DLA Piper fell silent to mourn the passing of Jeffrey Liss, the firm’s U.S. co-managing partner.
Liss, 56, passed away at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Saturday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Legal Pad got the word from our colleagues at Legal Times, who will be putting together a full obituary this week.
“My image of Jeff is that he was obviously a very smart and articulate man, gentle in many ways, and completely forthright without being adversarial,” said David Gross, San Francisco managing partner. “He was an ultimate gentleman in the best sense.”
A civil litigator from pre-merger Baltimore firm Piper & Marbury, Liss also served on the firm’s global board and its U.S. executive and policy committees.
“He had an enormous impact on the evolution of our firm,” said Francis Burch Jr., the firm’s Joint CEO, in a statement on the firm’s Web site. “In a sense he was our soul and conscience.”
Not only a law firm leader himself, Liss was an adviser for the country’s leaders. Former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry were some of those who turned to Liss for advice.
After the moment of silence, lawyers at the firm could not stop talking about their fallen comrade, Gross said.
“You can tell how important he was to the firm,” he said. “He’s been the subject of conversation all day”
— Zusha Elinson