“We are very proud of our history and reputation,”
The law firm was established in 1952 by two lawyers, Sidney R. Rose and Stephen G. Valensi, who provided real estate and business law advice to their clients. Over the years the practice areas expanded as the firm added lawyers, but it never had more than 19 lawyers. It always wanted to be a reliable and flexible firm without a lot of red tape to better represent its clients many of whom are entrepreneurs, family owned businesses as well as individuals whose needs are as varied as the personalities and businesses they represent.”
With the addition of partners Philip S. Magaram, Laurie Murphy, Michael R. Morris, Arlen R. Gunner and Gary F. Torrell, the firm has thrived and has handled many significant matters with successful outcomes for their clients, some resulting in multi-million dollar settlements, arbitration awards or judgments. Mr. Rose is retired from the firm and Mr. Valensi passed away in 2011 at the age of 92.
One newsworthy matter was the high profile Getty Trust case where Mr. Magaram, an expert in tax law and estate planning, negotiated a $10-million settlement for one of J. Paul Getty’s heirs, Ronald Getty. Mr. Magaram took the position that the settlement was nontaxable and the client so indicated on his tax return. The IRS disagreed. The case was tried in tax court, where the judge ruled against Mr. Getty. On appeal to the 9th Circuit, a unanimous reversal was obtained. (913 F2d 1486 Getty v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.)
The firm is known for its nonprofit work, from handling complex real estate and boards of directors’ issues to hospital mergers. The firm’s representation of nonprofit clients includes being legal counsel for the Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance, as well as the Beverly Hills Bar Association. The firm's charitable activities by the lawyers include memberships in the Constitutional Rights Foundation, St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation, the Korean American Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles County Bar Association AIDS Legal Services Estate Planning Project, the California CPA Education Foundation Entertainment Industry Conference Planning Committee, the Arthritis Foundation, Couples Against Leukemia, and the California State University Northridge Foundation.
In honor of Mr. Magaram’s first wife Marilyn, who died in an accident, he established the Marilyn Magaram Center at California State University, Northridge to memorialize her work in nutrition. She had earned a Masters Degree in food science at CSUN, where she also taught. She practiced for many years as a registered dietician. The Center is now a research and education facility for nutrition, dietetics, and food science.
The firm currently has 16 lawyers, several of whom are recipients of multi-year “Super Lawyer” designations. The firm is AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell (its highest rating) and the practice areas include: federal, state and international tax planning and litigation; trust and estate planning, administration and litigation; charitable planning; civil litigation and appeals, including real estate, employment, intellectual property, business, commercial, banking and debtor-creditor law and family law and ;transactional real estate, business and corporate law, nonprofit law, music, entertainment, employment and intellectual property law. For more information please visit www.vrmlaw.com.