Body of Missing Irell & Manella Partner Is Found

People on a sports fishing boat four miles off of Long Beach in California found the body of an Irell & Manella partner on Wednesday who had gone missing after a sailboat race.

The lawyer, Tom Kirschbaum, had been wearing a life vest and weather resistant clothes, according to the Los Angeles Times and KABC. Police said there were no signs of foul play or trauma; the waters had been choppy as Kirschbaum sailed home after the race. An autopsy has been scheduled.

The Coast Guard had launched a search for Kirschbaum, an experienced sailor, after his boat ran aground Sunday at Venice Beach. A cell phone and a GPS device were on the grounded boat.

Irell & Manella has issued a statement expressing sorrow over the apparent accident.

“Tom was a first-rate human being,” the statement said. “He was widely recognized as one of California’s leading employee benefits attorneys and scholars. Tom was also a world-class sailor with a passion for solo sailing. In 2008, he successfully competed in the Singlehanded Transpac Race, a grueling 2,120-mile race from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Tom quipped at the time he was glad to show the world that lawyers ‘were not monomaniacs whose recreation consisted of memorizing the regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.’ Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

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