Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree

Marcelle Mihaila

From age five, Marcelle E. Mihaila was determined to become a lawyer. At 23, she was the youngest person to graduate from King Hall at UC Davis, where she was a member of Law Review and Order of the Coif. Ms. Mihaila practiced exclusively in civil appeals and writs. She was lead counsel in hundreds of appeals and writs covering a wide range of subjects. She was a tenacious and meticulous advocate and a lawyer’s lawyer. Ms. Mihaila had a unique ability to sort through massive, often highly technical material to find the pressure points in her cases. She was very successful for her clients. She was a role model for excellence, dedication to her craft, and professionalism her entire career. Ms. Mihaila served on the Appellate Court Committee for 22 years, co-edited its handbook, and served as its chair. Ms. Mihaila played a leading role in an instructional videotape for oral argument titled, “The Good, the Bad and the Justices.” She served on the California Supreme Court Historical Society Board of Directors. Ms. Mihaila was a frequent speaker and writer on appellate law. Ms. Mihaila received the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award and was named among the Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 to Watch by California Law Business. She served as president of Voices for Children and was a founder of the Community Children’s Foundation. Ms. Mihaila was respected and successful within her firm and was a trailblazer for women. She headed the firm’s appellate practice, was a longtime member its Executive Board, and chaired the litigation department. Ms. Mihaila possessed an extraordinary combination of humor, charm, strength, sophistication, and style. She was a devoted mother, daughter, sister, wife, and a loyal friend to many. She is profoundly missed.