In Tribute to Robert H. McNeill
From his admission to the State Bar of California in 1979 until his death in 2016, Robert H. McNeill, Jr. was a fixture of the Los Angeles legal community. Known affectionately as “Bob,” his leadership allowed Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt to become California’s largest African-American owned law firm.
Bob was a talented litigator who tried numerous jury trials during his long and outstanding career, securing major victories in personal injury, medical malpractice, business, real estate, criminal, construction defect, civil litigation and family law cases.
He was involved in some of the most significant and high-stakes litigation in California. Bob successfully defended several death penalty cases in Los Angeles County Superior Court, including one in which he obtained not guilty verdicts on all charges. He also served as co-counsel in a multi-million-dollar health care class action that changed the terms of insurance coverage for people all across California.
Bob served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles and Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. He was later appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs by County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, on which he served for more than 12 years. Throughout his career, he was appointed to numerous boards and committees, including the Los Angeles County Capital Case Fee Committee, the Board of Directors of the California Science Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.
Bob had a long history of advocating for the disenfranchised, beginning in 1961 when he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. while attending Virginia State College. He went on to earn his J.D. from Southwestern University Law School. Post-graduation, Bob was a member of the Board of Directors for his alma mater’s Alumni Association.
While he was President of Ivie, McNeil & Wyatt, the firm was honored with the Minority-Owned Law Firm Client Services Award. Bob received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Southwestern University Law School’s Black Law Students Association and the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement and Dedication to Society Award from Virginia State University. In 2015, he was inducted into the John M. Langston Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.
The Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt family was blessed to work with Bob for 36 years. We’re grateful for his dedication, mentorship and friendship, and we hope to continue his legacy.