R. GERALD MARKLE
R. Gerald “Jerry” Markle, preeminent legal ethics expert and litigator, died at home in South Pasadena on June 23, 2004 after a remarkable 27 month survival from diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Markle advised and represented many of California’s most prominent lawyers and law firms during the past 15 of his 27 years in practice.
Markle began his practice in Santa Barbara, his hometown after moving at age 12 from Pulaski, New York.. Soon after relocating to the Los Angeles area in 1979, Markle joined the Office of Trial Counsel of the State Bar of California, the prosecutorial arm of the State Bar in matters of ethical responsibility and attorney discipline. Between 1979 and 1983, Mr. Markle prosecuted more than 100 formal disciplinary proceedings against California attorneys, several of which resulted in California Supreme Court opinions. In 1983, Mr. Markle became Assistant Chief Trial Counsel for the Office of Trial Counsel, with overall responsibility for the operation of the Bar’s Los Angeles office, including all disciplinary prosecutions arising in Southern California. During his tenure as Assistant Chief Trial Counsel, Mr. Markle also served as ex officio member of the Board of Governors’ Select Committee re Expediting the Disciplinary Process. The Committee was instrumental in recommending reforms that have become the centerpiece of the “new” California attorney discipline system.
Mr. Markle left the Office of Trial Counsel in 1986 for private firm association, and in 1989, Markle and his wife, Ellen A. Pansky, opened a boutique law firm emphasizing the defense of legal malpractice matters and State Bar disciplinary cases. Markle defended several hundreds of attorneys in disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, as well as succesfully recovering a number of seven-figure plaintiff’s legal malpractice settlements. He was generally recognized as one of the most effective disciplinary defense counsel in the state.
Markle was a frequent speaker in the area of ethics and professional Responsibility.
Mr. R. Gerald Markle served as a board member and officer of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (“APRL”), a national organization whose members specialize in the defense of attorney regulatory matters; he was a member of the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (2000-2003); and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility. Markle served for years as a member and also co-president of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, and long supported the schools in his community.
Markle received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972. He attended University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), graduating 14th in his class of 219, and receiving his J.D. cum laude in 1976.
He was an avid sports fan, and played many sports including novice ice hockey, golf and softball (even while wearing a portable chemo infusion pump); he owned one of the first pairs of rollerblades ever seen in the San Gabriel Valley, occasionally stopping traffic as he skated on surface streets.
R. Gerald “Jerry” Markle is survived by his wife of 21 years, Ellen, his two daughters Angela and Valerie, his brother John “Larry” Markle of Cave Creek, AZ, and many other close relatives.
Memorial service was held on Sunday June 27th, 2004 at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to www.PanCAN.org (Panceatric Cancer Action Network) and www.pancreatica.org (Lorenzen Cancer Foundation).