William Coblentz Honored with UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies Distinguished Service Award
UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies has honored Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP founding partner William Coblentz with the Distinguished Service Award for 2010.
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Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP
WILLIAM COBLENTZ HONORED WITH UC BERKELEY'S INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENTAL STUDIES DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
SAN FRANCISCO, Mar. 22, 2010 - William K. Coblentz, a founding partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP, was honored with the University of California, Berkeley's (UC Berkeley) Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) Distinguished Service Award. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Coblentz has spent decades involved in government, civil rights advocacy and board service to numerous large, influential organizations. Coblentz is the sole recipient of this annual award, which was presented at a sold-out event on March 18.
IGS's Distinguished Service Award recognizes a person who has contributed to advancing the spirit of good government and improving the quality of public affairs for our state and nation. Recipients are regarded as influential public leaders with a sustained record of achievement and accomplishments that contribute to improving the quality of life in their communities.
"Bill has long been one of the most influential figures in the Greater Bay Area. His work toward the advancement of government policy and civil rights has been a lifelong passion, and that's in addition to his stellar legal career and leadership of our firm, one of the oldest and most deeply rooted in San Francisco. We applaud Bill for this well-deserved and prestigious recognition," said Richard Patch, a name partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP.
Coblentz has an outstanding record of service to the legal profession, the state of California and influential Bay Area and civic organizations. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Koret Foundation and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., among other civic involvements. He served as special counsel to Gov. Edmond G. "Pat" Brown from 1959 to 1961 and worked as a consultant to the U.S. Secretary of State in 1962. He served on the San Francisco Airport Commission from 1970 to 1986. In 2002, Coblentz was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Passionate about civil rights, as a young attorney, Coblentz was a keen observer of the injustices and inequalities endured by minorities in his community. He was deeply moved by the inadequate treatment he saw and heard about from some of his closest friends - Hon. Cecil Poole, who worked at Coblentz's firm and later became a U.S. Attorney and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge; Jack Greenberg, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; and U.S. District Judge Charles Renfrew. Coblentz was instrumental as an active supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and serves on the Honorary Committee for Human Rights Watch.
Deeply connected to his alma mater, UC Berkeley, throughout his life, Coblentz was a member of the University of California's Board of Regents from 1964 to 1980, including a role as chairman from 1978 to 1980. In 1980, Coblentz received the Berkeley Citation, the university's highest honor that recognizes distinguished or extraordinary service to the university. He also served as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University. In 2008, Coblentz's fellow firm partners established the William K. Coblentz Civil Rights Endowment Fund at the UC Berkeley, School of Law to fund research on civil rights issues.
Coblentz's law practice encompasses general business, land use and real estate counseling. He was recently named the 2010 San Francisco Lawyer of the Year in the Land Use & Zoning category by Best Lawyers, and is a member of Lambda Alpha International, the honorary society for the advancement of land economics.
He received his LL.B. from Yale University (1947) and his A.B. from University of California, Berkeley (1943).
About Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP
Established more than 100 years ago, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP is a premier provider of innovative, results-oriented legal services focused on the following practice and industry areas: real estate and land use; litigation; corporate, business and intellectual property; estate planning and tax; exempt organizations and charitable planning; and renewable energy and green business. The firm's recent successes include the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, for which it served as lead counsel, and recognition of Partners Pamela Duffy and Douglas Sands as Dealmakers of the Year for securing a redevelopment agreement to transform parts of the City's historic Presidio into a mixed-use community and national park. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass is certified as a green business by the Bay Area Green Business Program.
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