The legal community is mourning the passing of legal legend Attorney Robert H. McNeill, Jr., co-founder of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, California’s largest African-American owned law firm. Robert H. McNeill, Jr., affectionately known as “Bob,” had been a fixture in the Los Angeles community for over 50 years. He was born on January 7, 1941 and passed away April 17, 2016.
Bob tried numerous jury trials during his outstanding and versatile legal career. He successfully litigated many cases in both federal and state courts and in a wide range of practice areas, including medical malpractice, contract, business commercial disputes, real estate, criminal, construction defect, civil litigation, and family law. He served as co-counsel in a highly successful litigation involving a multimillion dollar health care class action lawsuit which changed the terms of insurance coverage on behalf of insured men and women in California. He successfully defended several death penalty cases in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, including one in which he obtained not guilty verdicts on all charges, consisting of four counts of first degree murder with special circumstances.
Bob was admitted to the State Bar of California in May of 1979. He served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles and as Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. He went on to be appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in 1993 on the nomination of County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, and served more than three four-year terms until his resignation in 2008. Bob served as a Deputy County Assessor from 1963 to 1977, and served as a member of the Los Angeles County Capital Case Fee Committee from 1993 to 1998 by appointment of the Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Bob was appointed to the Board of Directors of the California Science Center in Exposition Park by California Governor Gray Davis in 2001 for a four-year term. In 2015, Bob was inducted into the John M. Langston Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.
During his career, Bob McNeill and the Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt law firm received numerous awards and recognition. In 2006, Bob was selected as one of The Top 100 Attorneys in the State of California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt received the Minority-Owned Law Firm Client Services Award in October, 2005. In 2013, Bob was selected as one of L.A.’s Most Influential African-Americans by Los Angeles Wave Magazine. He received Southwestern University Law School’s 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Black Law Students Association and the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement and Dedication to Society Award from Virginia State University.
Bob was a highly sought after legal commentator during the O.J. Simpson trial and served as a legal consultant for National Cable Television News.