Terry W. Bird

Bird, Marella, Boxer & Wolpert

Specialty: Civil litigation

Law School: UCLA, 1970

Ask people in the legal profession to speak about Terry Bird and you will get the same response, again and again. He is one of the best, period.

"He's smart, determined and he knows what he is doing," said Stephen Kroft, a former colleague and now a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery. "There is no trial lawyer in this city who is more highly respected by the federal court trial judges than Terry."

Sheldon Sloan, former L.A. Municipal Court judge and present of counsel at Lewis, D'Amato, Brisbois, & Bisgaard, said Bird's character is as formidable as his talents. "He is very personable, very fair and very straightforward," said Sloan.

Bird was counsel for Purex when it was sued over ground pollution at various commercial sites it owned around the country. He turned around and sued Purex's insurance companies for coverage. Bird won a jury verdict and collected more than $40 million from various insurance companies.

Bird worked with the Alaska State Attorney's Office as part of the administrative hearing involving the Trans Alaska Pipeline system. He was in charge of the investigation into cost overruns by oil companies, including Arco, Exxon, Mobil and British Petroleum. The case was litigated for six years, resulting in a settlement that brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the state of Alaska and various interstate carriers.

Born in Los Angeles, Bird served as a law clerk with the California Court of Appeals after graduating from law school in 1970 and then became an assistant U.S. attorney before co-founding his current firm in 1981.

Bird is also active on the philanthropic front. He is the current president of People Assisting The Homeless, a shelter in West Los Angeles. "I've gotten to the point in my career where I can use my experience to help people," Bird said.

Karen Teitelman

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