Coffee Talk: What’s your best memory of Mark Ericsson?

Ericsson_Mark_webMark Ericsson practiced law with me for the last 32 years. He had not passed the bar when he was first hired while still a student at John F. Kennedy University. My partner at that time was teaching at JFK and spotted Mark as the top student in his tax class.

Mark was a chemical engineering graduate of Stanford University, and spent several years in East County doing engineering work, where he was once described as a technical genius who was unable to work an umbrella. When Mark switched professions and began his law career, he was totally fascinated by the law. Similar to his prior professional achievements, Mark totally immersed himself in the law, and has been publicly acknowledged as a Top Northern California Attorney since 2006 and a Super Lawyer in 2013.

Unlike a common joke about lawyers that based on their billing hours they become the oldest people on earth, Mark actually worked all of those hours. We have lost a true professional, and a major contributor to the world of taxation and this Bar Association. Mark was a prolific author, and frequent contributor to the Contra Costa Lawyer. Although Mark knew he was sick, his last article in the March edition was one of his best. He was especially proud of his accomplishments with the Bar, including its presidency in 2006, and its role in the legal community.

While we mourn his loss, we are all richer for the gifts that he brought to our clients, our firm and this Bar Association.

Walter C. Youngman, Youngman & Ericsson

I have many fond memories of Mark. From the day I was hired nearly 20 years ago, Mark served either on the editorial board, the board, and/or as a section leader. The bar association meant the world to him. I have a photo of him next to my husband Scott and me on our first outing together as a couple at a CCCBA event in 1996 called “A Night to Reminisce.” I will be reminded of Mark’s warmth, fun and generosity every time I see it. We will miss him dearly.

Lisa G. Reep, Contra Costa County Bar Association

Mark was dedicated to the Art in the Courthouse Project and generously provided his considerable expertise advising the attorneys and judges involved in this non-profit corporation dedicated to bring fine art to Contra Costa Courthouse facilities. He will be sorely missed.

Commissioner Josanna Berkow (Ret.)

Mark was the first person to truly welcome me when I became active in CCCBA in 2011. He always had a smile, and an interesting topic to discuss. I could tell he was committed to helping everyone in his sphere be the best they could be. I left every one of our encounters smarter than when I arrived, and always looking forward to our next meeting.

Perry A. Novak, The Novak Wealth Management Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc.

My best memory of Mark Ericsson is seeing his smiling face almost every month at the CC Lawyer editorial board meetings. Mark had a huge impact on the CC Lawyer as a long time participant on the editorial board.

David S. Pearson, Law Offices of David S. Pearson

I first worked with Mark in the early ‘80s. I was but a secretary and paralegal in my brother’s law office and Mark was but a clerk. It was before the day of computers and he used to drive me absolutely bonkers with all his revising letters and legal briefs. Keep in mind that in that day, we used carbon paper and typewriters (ugh). Later on though, after I became an attorney in 1988, he made it up to me by being one of my best supporters, an avid champion of mine, and we became fast friends. I liked him a lot and we sometimes found time for lunches together. It was always something to look forward to and it always amazed me that he could get as excited about tax issues as I was about homeowner association issues. We laughed alot. His loss will be felt dearly. I am so sorry to hear about it. It will be extremely hard to fill his shoes.

Beth Grimm

My best memory of Mark is how, without fail, every single client I sent to him for tax advice came back to me and told me how wonderful he was to work with. Mark was a lawyer of the old school; unfailingly polite, kind and decent.

Carol M. Langford, University of San Francisco School of Law

Beyond his omnipresence (I don’t know anybody who showed up for more bar programs and events), Mark’s warmth and generosity stand out for me. He was comfortable singing others’ praises (I never heard a disparaging word), and—despite his own accomplishments—always left plenty of oxygen for others. An affirming presence wherever he went.

David Katzen

I can’t remember the first time I met Mark, but it has been many years. It began when I first joined the editorial board and then we were both participants in the State Bar Conference of Delegates—those were fun times. Over the years we worked together on bankruptcy and tax issues. If I needed to pick his brain, he was always available—not only for me, but for everyone. I don’t know who could possibly fill his shoes. I will miss him terribly.

Marlene Weinstein, Law Office of Marlene G. Weinstein

I enjoyed Mark’s contributions to the Contra Costa County Lawyer regarding tax issues. His style of writing was witty and easy to follow. Just as in person he was cheerful, smart and enjoyed the company of many. I can only picture him eyes twinkling and smiling. He will be sorely missed as a beloved presence in our community.

R. Ann Fallon, Esq., Whiting, Fallon Ross & Abel, LLP

At the last Business Law & Corporate Counsel board meeting that Mark attended, he spoke passionately about training/mentoring new lawyers. I heard him speak on this topic in other CCCBA settings as well. This loss will affect not only the general public, who will lose the benefit of his wise counsel, but this is also a loss to experienced lawyers, new lawyers and lawyers-to-be who will never know him.

Kent C. Parr, Esq., Law Office of Kent C. Parr

I remember the day I attended the section leaders’ meeting when Mark was president of the Bar Association. I made a suggestion about the real estate section and the Contra Costa Lawyer. Mark nudged me into being on the editorial board, and then solicited me to be on the board. Over the years I debated whether to hit him over the head with a 2 x 4 for that or give him a kiss. I will send him that kiss—he enriched my life. He enriched everyone’s life who had the good fortune to know him.

Candice Stoddard, Law Offices of Candice E. Stoddard

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