Rogers Joseph O’Donnell was founded in 1981 by a group of friends inspired by Joseph W. Rogers and Allan Joseph’s vision of forming a law firm to practice law to the highest standards while treating all whom they encountered, inside and outside the firm, with decency and respect. Those values continue to hold true today even though Joseph “Joe” Rogers and Allan Joseph have passed away. Neil O’Donnell, the last of the founders, continues to join with his current colleagues in operating a top tier law firm dedicated to practicing law with the same devotion to decency and respect for others upon which the firm was founded.
Joe Rogers was born in San Diego, 1921. He entered law school at Stanford after returning from serving as a Marine Officer during World War II where he was wounded in the battle for Iwo Jima. He graduated from Stanford in 1949 and commenced a distinguished career as a trial lawyer. He spent two decades with Bledsoe, Smith, Carthcart & Rogers, then later Pettit and Martin, prior to helping found Rogers Joseph O’Donnell.
Joe tried more than 150 cases to a conclusion before juries, served as an arbitrator and mediator, and handled more than 40 appellate cases. Among his many honors were being named California Trial Lawyer of the Year and receiving the American Board of Trial Advocates’ Don E. Bailey Civility & Professionalism award. He was a consummate trial lawyer because juries sensed his innate decency and usually came to believe what he told them.
Allan Joseph burst onto the government contracts scene at a young age where he quickly made a name for himself in the space. He became Chair of the Public Contract Section and a key player in the passage of the pivotal Contract Disputes Act of 1978 before he was 40.
Allan worked tirelessly to ensure that Rogers Joseph O’Donnell continued to prosper in a world that moved increasingly to a different model of ever-larger, multi-office, and even multi-national institutions. Allan made sure that the firm was always a major factor in the government contracts bar, likely to be considered whenever representation was needed in a particularly difficult or contentious matter. He was also a leader in the American Bar Association, serving as National Treasurer and as Chair of the critical Judicial Nominations Committee.
Allan loved the practice of law and brought his unending enthusiasm to every case. Even after working for more than 45 years in the field, he treated each new matter as a challenge and a delight – an opportunity to help his clients and to shape the law.