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Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

555 Mission St #3000
San Francisco, CA 94105
Posted: 6/26/2021 6:40:14 PM
By: gibsondunnca
San Francisco, CA
In May 1872, a tall, 34-year-old, red-bearded lawyer stepped down from the stagecoach at the Plaza of Los Angeles. Corporate attorney John Bicknell had his sights on building a law practice. What greeted him at the stage was a humble little pueblo with dusty unpaved streets, no industry and scant business.

The narrow streets and alleys ran between decrepit adobe buildings roofed with "brea" from tar pits west of the city. Bicknell had summed up his philosophy this way when counseling a younger lawyer: "The safe way is to select a business that you will be satisfied to follow and build up a business of your own." He began to follow his own advice. By the 1880s, he had attracted one of the region's most important clients, 


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