(1912 - 2003)
James Boccardo was short, but the stories other lawyers tell about him make him appear larger than life. Mr. Boccardo died March 17, 2003. He was 91 years old. Mr. Boccardo received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at San Jose State University before getting his law degree from Stanford University. He put his scientific knowledge to work in the courtroom, pioneering the use of demonstrative evidence, showing a jury how a product worked -- or failed to. He was profiled in “Time” and “Forbes” magazines. Mr. Boccardo was mercurial, well-dressed and lived well. He had homes in Los Gatos, Palm Springs and Pebble Beach. In one story, he and flamboyant San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli drove down the Spanish Steps in Rome in a rented Rolls-Royce. Attorney Fernando Zazueta remembers Mr. Boccardo from his time with the Boccardo law firm. "He had a neat, trimmed mustache," Mr. Zazueta says. "He was avuncular. The partners called him Papa. ... Mel Belli got all the press, but Boccardo was the best." Mr. Boccardo was a standout in the flamboyant brotherhood of personal-injury lawyers.