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Ex-Governor George Deukmejian, Friend of the Firm, Passes at 89

The Fulwider firm has lost a true friend, Ex-Governor Deukmejian.  His friendship with the firm goes back many decades to when Attorney George Deukmejian first arrived in Long Beach.  The Long Beach partners at Fulwider had the good fortune of meeting the future governor, then-Assemblyman, who had located his first political office across the hallway from the firm’s then-Long Beach office.  That meant when he was not in Sacramento, the firm frequently had lunch with the Assemblyman and his then-law partners, Malcolm and Campbell Lucas, who served as the future California Supreme Court Chief Justice and California Appellate Justice, respectfully.

Always modest and reserved, the Governor never lost his Long Beach roots, and was always available when called on by his friend, Fulwider partner Vern Schooley, to preside at the wedding of a Long Beach Attorney, speak at a Long Beach Bar Association function, act as committee chair or even step out of his comfort zone into other legal arenas.  A close neighbor of Vern’s, Governor Deukmejian never declined an assignment except for a scheduling conflict.  Vern even came to be known as his “Social Secretary”, setting up meeting and engagement dates and driving the Governor so they could enjoy each other's companionship dating back to the mid-60's.  He was an active member of what is known today as the Ball/Hunt/Schooley American Inn of Court, often speaking out on proposed legislation and current court rulings by one of the nearly 2,000 judges appointed by him.  While not well-versed in intellectual property law, at Vern’s request he agreed to give the year-end talk to The Judge Paul R. Michel IP American Inn of Court, a talk well received and whose presence was appreciated by many members thrilled to meet him and enjoy a Kodak Moment with him.


Honorable George Deukmejian (left) Presents Vern Schooley with a Proclamation from the City of Long Beach  


(From left to right) Ex-Governor Deukmejian; Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District, Division 3; and Fulwider Partner Vern Schooley at the ground breaking for the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach