Monday, March 5, 2005
Veteran Local Attorney G.G. Baumen Dead at 91
By a MetNews Staff Writer
G.G. Baumen, who practiced in Los Angeles for more than 60 years, has died at 91 years of age.
Baumen died Feb. 15, his daughter, Gayle Baumen Seely, told the MetNews Friday. A memorial service was held Feb. 22.
He “made his living with words—whether trying cases for clients or telling a good story to his many business acquaintances,” Seely said. “He was a wonderful conversationalist, with a joy for life and love of meeting new people.”
“We know he may be just around the corner waiting to charm us.”
Baumen, whose initials stood for George Gailliard, was a Jacksonville, Fla. native who spent his growing up years there and in Georgia. He came to California to complete his studies and was admitted to the bar in 1939.
He was a member of the 82nd Airborne in World War II before joining the Judge Advocate Generalís Corps, his daughter said.
After the war, he and his wife Claire—who died last year—settled in Echo Park and he opened a solo practice which he closed in April of last year at the age of 90. He remained an active member of the State Bar until his death.
“Many of his legal cases were for ordinary families, rather than large corporations; and he greatly loved helping ‘regular people’ through their difficult times,” his daughter explained.
He and his wife visited over 100 countries, Seely noted.
He did a good deal of trial and appellate work in the early part of his career but spent the last 25 years of his practice focusing primarily on probate and estate work.
Baumen also represented the Institute for Historical Review and the Legion for Survival of Freedom, which offered a $50,000 reward for proof that that “Jews were gassed in gas chambers at Auschwitz.” A concentration camp survivor, Mel Mermelstein, sued after he presented documentation but was not given the reward.
Baumen’s clients agreed to a settlement in 1985, in which they agreed to a financial payment to Mermelstein, as well as an acknowledgment of his status as a survivor and an apology to himself and all other survivors. The case became the subject of a television movie, with Leonard Nimoy playing Mermelstein.
An IHR sympathizer, in a book about the case, described Baumen as “a conscientious, conservative and hard-working attorney” who was “no partisan of the IHR’s point of view,” but “was willing to serve as the IHR’s courtroom representative.”
Baumen is survived by three daughters—Seely, of West Linn, Oregon; Carol Baumen of Montclair; and Suzanne B. Standish of Kenmore, Washington—and seven grandchildren. A son, Thomas L Baumen, died in July 2003.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Assistance League of Southern California, Seely said.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company