Obituaries

Renowned trial lawyer, who won more than 100 verdicts over $1M, dies at 83


Richard Grand, a longtime Tucson, Ariz., trial lawyer known for his big wins and courtroom skills that other lawyers sought to emulate, died Sunday in San Francisco. He was 83 years old.

A theater lover, he traveled as far as London to see shows with his wife of 61 years, Marcia, and had a collection of teddy bears. But he was also a daunting legal adversary, who pursued—and got—seven-figure verdicts for clients before other attorneys even thought of them as a realistic possibility, colleagues told the Arizona Daily Star.

In 1972, he won what was then a record $3.5 million award for an individual plaintiff burned in a hospital accident, the newspaper says. Grand won settlements or verdicts of $1 million or more in over 100 cases.

A former disk jockey, Grand used his velvety voice and theater skills to great advantage in the courtroom, often watched by other attorneys seeking to figure out his techniques.

Grand understood the importance of visuals, whether painting a word picture for a jury or sending a settlement demand to an attorney, said Ron Mercado, a friend and fellow practitioner.

His letters to opposing counsel listed the amounts of his prior wins–in three-dimensional lettering that seemingly was made out of stone, recounted another fellow practitioner, Ted Schmidt. “If you didn’t pay, he was going to take you to court–and he did.”

Born in Poland, Grand came to this country with his family as a child and earned his law degree at the University of Arizona in 1958. He was loyal to his alma mater, funding annual damages argument and legal writing competitions there. The school’s library has his lucky trial jacket, among other items, on display.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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