The vIMW team includes, from left, Rodney Diggs, Angela Powell, Rickey Ivie, Marie B. Maurice, W. Keith Wyatt, and Byron M. Purcell. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs, the largest African American owned law firm in California, celebrated a major milestone in the firm’s history on the evening of Saturday, August 19. The 80th year anniversary had been long awaited, and the celebration was meticulously planned, against the backdrop of eight decades of excellence.

The firm made its official debut in 1943 and was founded by retired Superior Court Judge Earl C. Broady, Sr. Judge Broady known by many in the legal field as a criminal justice pioneer. He spent 17 years in law enforcement and knew all too well the atrocities that Black people faced in the justice system.

The firm has changed leadership several times over the years, evolving into Broady, Scarlett & Roberson; Scarlett & Roberson; Ivie & McNeill; Ivie McNeill & Wyatt, and finally, in 2019, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs.

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At every turn of the firm’s history has been the same core beliefs upheld by Judge Broady – to represent everyone fairly and to bring justice to those who’ve been poorly represented in the judicial system, historically speaking. Today, the firm is one of the most prominent, longest-running African American owned legal firms in the entire United States.

With offices across the west coast, including Downtown Los Angeles, Leimert Park, Ontario, Oakland, and Las Vegas, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs shows no signs of slowing down. IMW stands apart as a multicultural law firm providing unparalleled legal services in 15 areas including banking and finance, civil rights litigation, product liability, and sports and entertainment.

From left are Rickey Ivie, Eloise Laws-Ivie, Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, and William Burke. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

This weekend’s celebration was a stunning demonstration of the firm’s strength and legacy. The 80th anniversary celebration was attended by noteworthy business leaders and political figures such as Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, District 37; Senator Steven Bradford, District 35; Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, District 57; and Councilwoman Heather Hutt, Council District 10.

In the past year, the firm has celebrated big wins, including a $25 million verdict in a retaliation case that made headlines. Rodney Diggs, who is a renowned civil rights attorney, received the Daily Journal Top 100 Lawyers award as one of the top trial attorneys in the United States. In 2021, Attorney Rickey Ivie was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Commission on Judicial Performance.

“IMW has been proud to serve the Los Angeles community for the last 80 years and to be a beacon of justice for all citizens and businesses from all walks of life,” said Ivie.

(photo by E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

There were more than 300 guests in attendance at this unforgettable event. A special video served as a poignant tribute to the firm’s legacy. This, according to Rickey Ivie, was all done as a token of appreciation to all of those in and around the community who’ve supported their firm over the years.

“Thank you for a memorable event, and the video was so special,” said Dr. Clarence Shields. “IMW is a real pillar of L.A.’s history. We were very honored to share the night with you all.”

Another honored guest, former UCLA football great Raymond Bell, said, “Congratulations on putting on a fantastic event. Your firm has an extraordinary history and a legacy that continues to grow and impact some of the great legal minds in this country. It was an honor to attend and share in your firm’s milestone.”

Pamela and Brandi Bakewell. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Integrity, honor, and excellence are just a few qualities that IMW has extended to the Los Angeles community since its inception. By standing as members of groups such as California Minority Counsel Program and distinguished with numerous awards and accolades, there are few law firms in the L.A. region that possess the level of professionalism, dedication, and compassion as Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs.

IMW is also committed to making lasting changes in the legal field by fostering, mentoring, and even influencing other legal practitioners. By carrying the torch for fair and equal legal representation for all, IMW is setting the bar higher when it comes to true excellence.

Danny Bakewell, Sr., executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel and chairman of The Bakewell Company, has been a client of Ivie, McNeill, Wyatt, Purcell and Diggs for years.

Extending congratulations, Bakewell said, “IMW truly is an extraordinary law firm.  Not only are they some of the finest lawyers in the nation, but they represent their clients with integrity and understanding of the issues that occur in our community to ensure that every client is truly represented, respected and appreciated to the fullest.  Congratulations to the entire team at IMWP&D.”

Dr. Michele Cooley-Strickland noted, “The IMW 80th Anniversary was an incredibly joyful celebration of history, legacy, and future. Homage was paid to the visionary leaders who established the firm; to Ivie, McNeill and Wyatt who were entrusted by them to champion its phenomenal success; and to Purcell, Diggs, Maurice and Powell who are its brilliant future.”

(E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Raymond Bell expressed, “Congratulations on putting on a fantastic event.  Your firm has an extraordinary history and a legacy that continues to grow and impact some of the great legal minds in this country. It was an honor to attend and share in your firm’s milestone.”
Clarence Shields, MD, said, “Thanks for a memorable event & the video was so special! IMW is a real pillar of LA ‘s history. We were very honored to share the night with you, my brother.”

In addition to hosting a fabulous event on Saturday night, the Law offices of Ivie, McNeill, Wyatt, Purcell and Diggs was also honored by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, August 22.

The firm received recognition by the entire city council as was presented a special proclamation by Councilmembers Heather Hutt, Marqueece Harris Dawson and Curren Price in recognition of their 80 years of business in the city of Los Angeles.

(E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)
(E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)