Thursday, October 24, 2002
Philip Siracuse, Partner at Crosby Heafey, Dies of Cancer at Age 62
By LORELEI LAIRD, Staff Writer
Services have been set for international business lawyer Philip Siracuse, a partner at Crosby Heafey Roach & May and a leader in the representation of Japanese corporate clients.
Siracuse died Tuesday of cancer at the age of 62.
Colleagues gathered in Crosby Heafey’s downtown offices yesterday to share their memories of their friend and co-worker. Kurt Peterson, the firm’s managing partner, said Siracuse’s upbeat attitude was a constant theme in the stories.
“I think what came through was that he was probably the most positive and optimistic person that any of us had ever met,” Peterson said. “Phil treated everyone with the same respect and really was one of the most beloved people you can imagine in an organization.”
Throughout his career, Siracuse represented several international business clients, particularly Japanese ones, in intellectual property, liability litigation and commercial and corporate matters. He was lead American counsel for Suzuki Motor Corp. in North American and European litigation matters, and has also represented Yokohama Tire Corp., Coca-Cola, Toyota and Cendant Corp.
Peterson said Siracuse handled so many major Japanese companies’ cases partially because he was adept at handling the cultural differences.
“He was really, for many, many years, thought of as the lawyer in L.A. to the major Japanese corporations and did a lot of work with them,” Peterson said. “He was an expert on dealing with Japanese companies, with respect to legal but also cultural issues that most American law firms didn’t know how to deal with.”
In addition, Peterson said, Siracuse was the kind of lawyer who threw himself into his clients’ cases.
“I think he was very much the old school lawyer who was viewed by his clients as the consummate counselor, the lawyer who viewed their problems as his problems,” Peterson said. “He was so close to his clients that it really came to be a situation where Phil was involved personally and professionally in the lives of most of the people around him.”
He added that his firm’s 1990 merger with Siracuse’s firm—-Clinnin, Siracuse & Belcher—-was instrumental in establishing Crosby Heafey on the West Coast.
“He really is the reason to a large extent that we’re in L.A.,” Peterson said.
Carla Zuber, a public relations representative for Crosby Heafey, said Siracuse was a dedicated family man who raised three stepchildren as his own, along with his daughter.
Siracuse was a member of the Thomas More Law Society, as well as the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of California at Riverside and of the Loyola School of Law, where he was a member of the Board of Governors from 1971 to 1973. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1967.
Siracuse is survived by his wife, Eveline Siracuse, daughter, Melissa Siracuse, stepdaughters, Jeanette E. D. Lopez and Jennifer I. Parker, and stepson, John C. Parker, Jr.
A rosary in honor of Siracuse will be held at St. Bede’s Church, 215 Foothill Boulevard in La Canada, tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Saturday at 10:00 a.m., also at St. Bede’s. For information about either service, please call (818) 790-5155.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company