Nov01

Verdict

Southern California Guy

Verdict

When Bob Morgenstern earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977, he enrolled in Southwestern Law School to "give California a try." Thirty years later, the native East Coaster and avid golfer doesn't plan to leave. "Now when I go back East to visit, I'm anxious to come home after three or four days. Living in L.A. I'm the happiest guy in the world. I'm a Southern California guy."

 

Bob met his wife Diana in 1980 when law school friend Ken Maranga, now his partner in Maranga Morgenstern, arranged a blind date. "Diana was a neighbor of Ken's in Pacific Palisades. Even though Diana and I were both in relationships at the time, we hit it off from the start." They married in 1982 and have two children; Ryan, 22, attends Cal State Northridge, and Alexis, 17, is a Chaminade High School senior. Bob lights up when he talks about Diana, a public relations and marketing consultant who works out of the family's West Hill home. "She's my best friend, She's smart, independent, hard working and a great mom. She does it all.

Bob and Diana Morgenstern

Born in Brooklyn, Bob spent his early years in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. When he was five, his family moved across the Hudson River to Edison, New Jersey town of East Brunswick.

"My father was schooled as an accountant but worked for large corporations most of his career," He worked for Emerson, Radio and Television in Jersey City, and then took a job with Revlon, the cosmetics giant. His tenure with Revlon was briefly interrupted when he went to work in the toy industry only to return to Revlon International where he traveled internationally.

In 1973, Bob graduated from East Brunswick High School. That fall, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania as biology major. Law was not his first career choice. "Law was never anything that I anticipated. I went to Penn with the vision of going to medical school. After a few semesters, I realized that medicine wasn't right for me of I wasn't right for it." In his junior year, he took some law-related classes. "I really liked them, so I decided I'd go to law school with the idea that if I never became a practicing lawyer, at least law is a great education for a business career."

In the middle of his senior year at Penn, Bob's family relocated once again, this time to Los Angeles. So Bob followed and enrolled in Southwestern Law. "I decided that it was a great opportunity to move to California. I didn't know if I would stay."

In 1980, Bob joined the law firm of Yusim, Stein & Hanger as a law clerk and eventually made senior partner. "I knew that I wanted to be a trail lawyer as soon as I started with the firm. I learned a lot from Andy Stein. He took me under his wing early on and gave me the opportunity to try cases at a point in time when not too many other lawyers were trying cases. He allowed me to handle things to the best of my ability and learn from those experiences. It was an invaluable experience."

Bob joined his current firm in 1993 when it became Garcia, Emmons, Maranga & Morgenstern. "Six years ago, Ken and I formed Maranga Morgenstern." A close-knit family, Bob's younger brother serves as the firm's office administrator and controller. "It's been a great thing for us to work together." His mother currently resides in Santa Clarita. His father passed away in 1993.

Ryan and Alexis Morgenstern

Although Bob's practice keeps him busy, he enjoys a round of golf most Sundays with his son Ryan. "I need constant action," he admits, which he attributes to his East Coast roots. He isn't considering slowing down anytime soon.