News & Updates

George Corey Celebrates 50 Years in Practice

Dec 12, 2013 by CLDNR

Over the past 50 years, through hard work, intellect, and a lot of charm, George R. Corey has built a reputation and a law firm renowned in San Mateo County and beyond. He is a remarkable lawyer, partner, mentor, and friend.

 

George Corey at his “Very Important Meeting” Bench, where he goes every morning for coffee. The bench was put in on his 65th birthday.

George Corey at his “Very Important Meeting” Bench, where he goes every morning for coffee. The bench was put in on his 65th birthday.

 

The same courage and dedication that paved the way for a successful and illustrious legal career also made George a legend in his hometown of Ambridge, Pennsylvania. When he was inducted into the Ambridge Hall of Fame in the 1990’s, local shopkeepers still remembered his greatest high school football plays. He went on to play football for the University of Michigan and after serving his country as a Lieutenant in the Air Force, he entered Hastings College of the Law.

With a wife and four children at home, George worked his way through Hastings as a janitor, alongside former Mayor Willie Brown. During his janitorial duties, George unwittingly pushed his broom into Joe Cotchett’s shoes, igniting a scuffle and friendship that has lasted to this day.

The day after George passed the bar exam in 1964, he opened his first office in Millbrae with Jack Bible. Shortly thereafter he read a call for volunteers to represent defendants charged in the sit-in demonstrations in San Francisco car dealerships. Demonstrators were protesting discriminatory hiring practices and demanding integration of the sales force. And so, fresh out of law school, without a dime to spare, a career of advocating for the rights of the average citizen began.

Part of a legal team that defended 500 protestors in the car dealership sit-ins, George was in the trenches with some of San Francisco’s finest trial lawyers. There he learned the true meaning of advocacy. George has the uncanny ability to sway his opponents by crafting unique and well-reasoned arguments that make adversaries forget why they disagreed with him in the first place. Though George fights tirelessly for his clients, he is always courteous and kind. He earns the respect of his clients and opposing counsel. Quite often, former adversaries call him for advice. George does not lose clients – people from five decades ago return to his office.

As renowned as his legal career is George’s commitment to his community. As the senior partner in his firm, he leads by example that lawyers owe a duty not only to the community but also to the legal profession. George’s longstanding commitment to advocating for the rights of the average citizen extends to the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, where he continues to act as Chair Emeritus. A fixture in San Mateo County, George served as Mayor of San Bruno from 1972 to 1973, served on the San Bruno City Council and founded the Peninsula Bank of Commerce.  He has acted as a director of a myriad of community service and non-profit organizations, most recently as a director of Shelter Network.

Those who have had the privilege of knowing George know that he is far more comfortable in his Michigan sweatshirt than a shirt and tie. George’s ability to relate to everyone and see people for who they are means that he is equally comfortable chatting with his buddies over cigars and coffee at his “very important meeting” at the bench that sits outside Safeway across from his office as he is taking Fortune 500 companies to task. George’s bench was officially dedicated to him in 1998 along with a plaque which bears his name, a gift from his partners. The same crowd and a few others join George for Monday Night Football at the office where they laugh, swap stories, and trade off preparing amazing, home-cooked meals.

Working with and knowing George Corey is truly a privilege. He teaches young lawyers not only that they must give back to the community and the profession, but also about the business of the law, prioritizing the importance of reputation and fostering lifelong relationships. When people come, lawyers and staff included, they stay. George and his partner Steve Luzaich have worked together for 38 years. His former bookkeeper retired at age 87 and his longest standing current employee has been with him for over 36 years. The lawyers in his office know that his door is always open, drafts are marked up with his characteristic black sharpie pen, and that George’s perspective and mentoring are invaluable. He fosters a congenial work environment, where hard work is expected but so are smiles and laughter. A meal shared with George is a joyful, educational pleasure. Those of us in his office are better lawyers and people for having worked with George.

Congratulations on fifty years in the practice of law, George Corey. You bring honor to our profession and it is privilege to know and work with you.

Written by  Jennifer E. McGuire, Janelle F. Allen, Clare Capaccioli Velasquez

56 thoughts on “George Corey Celebrates 50 Years in Practice

  1. Alex Lubarsky

    George, a big Mazel Tov on 50 years helping others and serving as a mentor and inspiration to me and others at my firm. I’d hand you a big Cohiba if this message was other than virtual!
    – Alex

    Reply
  2. Diana Vitelli

    Hi Mr. Corey!!! How are you? Congratulations! on your continued 50 years of success in the practice of law. Kudos!!! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous upcoming New Year 2014.

    Thank you for your support and understanding. Give my regards to the CLDN&R gang.

    Reply
  3. Farhad Mortazavi

    Dear George,

    Congratulations on your 50th anniversary.

    The “News and Updates” above describes (very well) the kind of a person you are and I hope that we are able to see you for many more years in both law practice and the wonderful human being you are.

    Best – Farhad

    Reply
  4. Cathleen Curl

    I’ve benefited from over 25 years of your friendship and counsel. You’re one of the finest gentlemen (in the true sense of the word) and lawyers that I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Congratulations on your 50th anniversary of practicing law!

    Reply
  5. Colleen Duffy-Smith

    Congratulations George! It has been my pleasure to know you and work with you. I especially admire your humanity, good humor, common-sense (a highly underrated attribute) and intellect. You are the king of understated elegance. Much love and respect, and much continued prosperity.

    Reply
  6. Dan Harrington

    Congratulations George! 50 years is quite an accomplishment. It is a pleasure to know you and to have worked with you. I look forward to the next 50, both business and personal. Dan

    Reply
  7. Jeff Manos

    Congratulations George! 50 years is an amazing fete! It was my great honor and privilege to share some of that time with you as your partner! I wish you all the best always! Jeff

    Reply
  8. Bill & Catherine Morocco

    Mr. Corey, Congratulations on 50 years of service. How can it be that long when you seem too young for that many years to have passed. Here’s to many more years and many thanks for your legal help and exceptional knowledge.

    Reply
  9. Bill & Catherine Morocco

    Mr. Corey,
    Congratulations on 50 years of service. How can it be that long when you seem too young for that many years to have passed. Here’s to many more years and many thanks for your legal help and expert knowledge.

    Reply
  10. Barbara Kuehn

    Well deserved congratulations on 50 years of service to others, with a sense of humor and humility at the same time. You have been a tremendous inspiration and mentor to those who follow in your footsteps.

    Reply
  11. Bernard Cotter

    FIFTY YEAR ODE TO G.R.C.

    When the going gets tough and things get gory,
    Who do you call?
    Corey, Corey, George R. Corey.

    When the facts fly south and the case is nugatory,
    Who do you dial?
    Corey, Corey, George R. Corey.

    When history needs a touch of hunky-dory,
    Who do you look for?
    Corey, Corey, George R. Corey.

    Michigan turf made him tough;
    Hastings Law erased the rough;
    Fifty years of standing muster,
    In S.M. courts gave him luster.

    A star who never failed the bar
    And answered every speaker-call,
    May his heart keep ever-beating,
    And, justice gods, keep him from over-eating

    A FAN and A FRIEND

    Reply
  12. Joe and Joann Sangiacomo

    Congratulations Mr. Corey on 50 years of practicing law. Even though we have not dealt directly with you, any time we’ve called you, you have given us good referrals. You are well respected in the community. We wish you continued success.

    Reply
  13. Peter, Flora, Richard & Michael Palamidessi

    Congratulations George on reaching this amazing 50th anniversary milestone. You are a trusted advisor and treasure to all of us in the community, and we greatly appreciate you and your law practice team and the fine work you’ve all done for us over the many years.

    Wishing you another 50 years of happiness and success – you’ve earned it!
    – the Palamidessi family – Peter, Flora, Richard & Michael

    Reply
  14. Timothy C. Wright

    George:

    You are amazing! Thank you for being such a great role model for the rest of us.
    And Congratulations on practicing law for 50 years!

    Tim

    Reply
  15. Jesse and Carol Bonner

    Congratulations on 50 years in practice. We are probably very bias, but we do think you are the “cat’s meow.” Best wishes as you continue your career. Jesse and Carol

    Reply
  16. Harry W. Low

    Congratulations on fifty years of success, many accomplishments and lots of fun. I have admired your excellent legal skills for all 50 of the years and wish you many more years of success and enjoyment. You are truly a lawyer’s lawyer, active in the community and a leader in the profession in every positive way. Keep up the good work George. All the Best. Justice Harry W. Low (ret.)

    Reply
  17. Sandy Narayan

    George, congratulations on a life well lived and for being so loved and respected here in the most beautiful place on earth, the SF Peninsula. Greg and I look forward to seeing you around for many more years to come. Sandy

    Reply
  18. Tom Smith

    Congratulations on a remarkable career. You’ve more than made your mark, and have set a standard in the practice of law that many lawyers in San Mateo County attempt to emulate. I’ve enjoyed our relationship, and must
    say that you’ve taught me more than a few things.

    Tom

    Reply
  19. Leticia Toledo

    George,
    Congratulations! I am so lucky to have started my career with you over 24 years ago. You exemplify the traits of a great lawyer: intelligence, hard work and most of all compassion for the client. I continue to strive to meet those traits. I hope you have an extra special cigar to celebrate this great milestone! Leticia

    Reply
  20. Mark H. Page aka Mike

    Hello George!!
    My most sincere congratulations on reaching the occasion of 50 years in law practice. Very hard to believe but here we are. I remember when we first met. Mark Sullivan was running for Congress way back in 1964,and we met at the campaign headquarters. Now here we are, knocking on the door of 2014. WOW!!
    Whether you retire, or continue your law practice, I hope you have many more years of the good life.
    I’ve been retired for about 20 years, and am living the good life. I keep busy taking care of my bonsai, and following the stock market. It really is the good life!
    Again, my best wishes for a happy retirement.

    Mike Page

    Reply
  21. Kristine Meredith

    Very impressive. Congratulations on your accomplishments. You’ve set the bar incredibly high for the rest of us. Kudos!

    Reply
  22. Jan Aki

    Hi George

    I don’t know what else I could add after all that has been said, except that you should have it down pat by now. Thanks for being there.

    Hugs and kisses – Jan

    Reply
  23. Mike Abrahamson

    As W.Shakespeare so aptly said,”first kill all the lawyers except for Mike’s good friend
    George, he’s o.k.”

    Merry Christmas from a fellow janitor(ret.)

    Mike A.

    Reply
  24. Stephen M. Hall

    George,

    Congratulations! You have been such a positive influence in so many lives over the decades. Everyone should be made aware of your selflessness and just how much you have given back to the community over the past 50 years. You have done so much, for so many people and causes, all while standing behind the curtain and out of the spotlight. Be it your service and support of the Legal Aid Society, to time and great financial support of San Mateo County History Museum; where there has been a good cause, George Corey was there.
    Keep up the great work!

    Judge Stephen M. Hall

    Reply
  25. Bob Lanzone

    George: You have always set the standard for what one should be, and how one should act, as an attorney in San Mateo County. Congratulations on a terific career. It’s been my privilege to have known you all these years.
    Bob

    Reply
  26. Jack Campana

    George,
    50 years, fantastic! It’s not work though when you’re doing what you love. Hope now you can take some time to smell the roses.
    -Congratulations

    Reply
  27. Tom Stevens

    If only your beloved Wolverines had a portion of your fortitude and strength of character.
    Congratulations on a remarkable 50 years of practice.

    Reply
  28. Peter

    Congratulations Mr. Corey. You have helped so many people in so many ways. Thank you for your help and support. Perhaps 50 more years?

    Reply
  29. Marianne L. Barrett

    Congratulations, George, on your amazing accomplishment of practicing law for 50 years! Very few have achieved such a remarkable feat. Your success is to be applauded! Thank you for being such a wonderful role model. Your integrity and impeccable work ethic is truly an inspiration to us all.

    Reply
  30. aram serverian

    On January 7, 1964, the Bahamas became selfgoverning, Nick Cage was born and George Corey was admitted to practice law in California. George practiced law with integrity, skill and kindness. He also fulfilled his civic, social, and humanitarian responsibilies with equal integrity skill and kindness, as well. Look forward to celebrating your 60th aram

    Reply
  31. Patti Shwayder

    Dear George-
    Congratulations on 50 years! Thank you for your great work, sage advice, and political prowess. We are grateful for your sense of humor and treasure your friendship.
    And– we have a shining new development on the hill!
    Best wishes for another 50 years.
    Patti Shwayder and Aimco

    Reply
  32. Noreen Mutz

    Congratulations Mr. Corey,
    I’ll never forget how kind you were to my husbands 92yrs young Aunt Ella Wilson. She got ripped off a large sum of money and there was nothing we could do about it! You saw her twice for free!! You were so compassionate.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and best wishes for 2014.
    Sincerely,
    Noreen Mutz

    Reply
  33. Lou Liberty

    Well George, I cannot believe I was 8 years old when you began practicing law. Thank you for coaching us on the Pop Warner Rams Football team. Thank you for representing us as mayor of San Bruno. Thank you for all of your sound advice over the years – first as a father figure – then as a mentor and colleague. Thank you for all of the bottles of red wine. Thank you for all the 49ers games. Thank you for all the Giant’s games. Thank you for all of the dinners out. Thank you for all of the cigars, Cuban and Dominican! Thank you for the hot dog lunch at the Famous Frank when you received your first SSI check. Thank you for being a friend to us all.
    Lou Liberty

    Reply
  34. Helen Governale

    Dear George,
    I vividly remember the night Tony and I joined you at your home anxiously awaiting for the phone call that would tell you, that you had passed the State Bar test, and that you were a fully accredited attorney. IT CAME, and out came the champagne! That was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever been a part of – OH MY 50 years ago!

    Best wishes for continued success. Tony would certainly want to join me in saying CONGRATULATIONS!

    Sincerely,
    Helen Governale

    Reply
  35. Frank Pitre

    George:
    You are an inspiration to all lawyers for your accomplishments in having built a reputation for excellence in the law based upon “old school” values of civility, respect, kindness, hard work and a willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. The depth and scope of your extraordinary career is unmatched.
    Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career!
    Frank Pitre

    Reply
  36. Dan Voreyer

    George:
    Thank you for your friendship and advice over the years. You have provided love, passion, and a commitment to do the right thing throughout your law career.
    What I find amazing is your ability to sustain this love and compassion beyond your law practice, and to share it with family and friends each day. You are truly a remarkable man!

    Best Wishes,
    Dan Voreyer

    Reply
  37. Carolyn Livengood

    Hi George:
    Per our phone conversation recently, it IS hard to believe that we met more than 50 years ago when you were attending Hastings Law School and living in the Avenues of San Bruno. We met through my former husband, Bob Livengood, who knew you and your family back in Pennsylvania. I was immediately impressed with your intelligence and warmth when we met and I remember telling Bob that I felt you would be very successful…and I was correct!
    I wish you continued good health and success in business, and a heck of a lot of fun in the years to come.
    Happy New Year!
    Hugs,
    Carolyn Livengood

    Reply
  38. Jeff Hayden

    George,

    As someone who grew up on the Peninsula, I knew your almost legendary reputation long before we met. What I came to learn only over the past few years is that you are not only a fixture in the legal community, but also a true mensch. You have been both a help and inspiration to so many; I, for one, feel truly fortunate that our paths have crossed, and that we have become friends.

    Best of luck as you pass this tremendous milestone. I’m hoping it is followed by many more to come.

    Jeff Hayden

    Reply
  39. Meriam

    Hi dear brother..So proud of you & all you have accomplished. Not too bad for a poor little kid from Baden who had to drink Malted milk shakes to make enough weight to play football. Love always Meriam

    Reply
  40. Frank Marinaro

    George – Congratulations on 50 years of success and countless friendships. You always deliver sage advice with a smile. It’s been an honor to work with you and to call you a friend.

    Reply
  41. Zerne Haning

    George carried the ball for the University of Michigan Wolverines.
    He carried the ball for the Bar Association.
    He carried the ball for the Trial Lawyers.
    He carried the ball for the Legal Aid Society.
    He carried the ball for numerous elected public officials.
    He carried the ball for a host of city, civic and charitable organizations.
    He carried the ball for hundreds of grateful, satisfied clients.
    He carried the ball for countless friends throughout the state and nation.
    He is the most beloved attorney in the history of our county; a hero at home as well as in the cigar manufacturing countries of the world.

    Reply
  42. Dale Hahn

    George,

    Congratulations on completing your first 50 years in practice! You really are a stellar role model to whom many younger lawyers (and judges) owe a great debt. Best regards,

    Dale

    Reply
  43. Frank Azzopardi

    Congratulations George on a terrific career. Rita and I wish you another decade or more of service. You have been a great friend and mentor.
    Happy new year.
    Frank and Rita Azzopardi

    Reply
  44. Terry Anderlini

    George,
    Congratulations to one of the best lawyers I have ever met. You are a role model for everyone in our legal profession to follow.
    Terry Anderlini

    Reply
  45. Bill Frisbie

    George,

    You have been forever the master teacher and mentor. Great is he that can walk comfortably among kings yet seemingly prefer the company of those of us far more common. You are uncanny in your ability to find the truth and good in everyone while at the same time ferreting out that which is fake or disingenuous. Your friendship is a cherished gift.

    Be well, my friend!

    Bill Frisbie

    Reply
  46. Dave Thomas

    Hi George,
    When I met you in 1971 I had no idea how that would change my life. Thank you for your leadership, advice and most of all your friendship.

    Dave Thomas

    Reply
  47. Rosemary Pfeiffer

    Congratulations George –

    You took a chance on me – (it was part of a package deal to get Myrtle Belli) and I am forever grateful. I learned a great deal from you and they are lessons I continue to use in mediations today. More than a few times, I’ve been heard to say “George Corey used to say…..” or “George Corey always handled it this way….” It is a remarkable career achievement to stay in a community for the long haul….San Mateo county is lucky you chose them.

    Rosemary

    Reply
  48. Donald H Cheu, MD

    George,
    What a wonderful achievement to reach 50 years of being one of the top lawyers in the Bay Area. I certainly appreciate all you have done for my family over the past 30 years. If my father were still alive, he would be taking you out for lunch.

    Don

    Reply
  49. Don Ayoob

    Congratulations George,
    Today you complete your first 50 years of practice and, more importantly, of selfless dedication to your clients and community. Your generosity of spirit, wise counsel, grace, humility, courtesy and wit provide an example that all of us in the legal profession should strive to emulate. I am truly honored to count you as a friend and wish you many more years of good health and happiness doing what you love, hopefully punctuated by our occasional lunches.
    With affection and respect,
    Don

    Reply
  50. Roberta Smith

    Congratulations Mr. Corey, I am a client of Steve Luzaich. I have only been with him for three years so I know that 50 years is quite a great feat!! Congratulations.

    Reply
  51. Arlene Basmajian

    My Dearest Uncle George even as a twinkle in my Father’s eye I know I was there on January 7, 1964. I know you were still handsome then, but I doubt your wit was as sharp as it is now. I’m so proud to have watched you SHINE for 42 of those 50 years, so brightly that on most days I needed my super sunglasses. Uncle George we are so blessed and so is our community for having someone like you and all those you’ve guided along the way. So many have prospered and grown because of you, you are a legend and few can proudly call you their Uncle George. Love, your “PESTY” Niece, Arlene

    Reply
  52. Shirley Krouse

    Congratulations to a fellow Pennsylvanian on an outstanding career! George, I will always remember your counsel and kindness, working with Steve, during a difficult time in my life. I wish you a wonderful 2014!
    Shirley Krouse

    Reply

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