December 16, 2019 (Walnut Creek, CA) – Marvin B. Starr, one of the founders of Miller Starr Regalia, has passed away at the age of 91. Starr, whose legal acumen, speaking prowess and charisma were admired by his peers, students and colleagues, also pioneered the widespread use of delayed tax deferred exchanges.
Starr and Harry Miller and Ed Regalia launched Miller Starr Regalia in 1964. Their legacy is a firm that has played a significant role in California real estate law. Miller passed away in 2002 and Regalia in 2018.
“Marvin was an outstanding attorney whose love of the law, our firm, lecturing and teaching was unparalleled,” said Ella K. Gower, managing shareholder, Miller Starr Regalia. “He will be greatly missed at Miller Starr Regalia and the legal community.”
Starr’s five decade long practice spanned a broad spectrum of real property matters, including real property secured transactions and contracts. He was called upon extensively as both a consultant and an expert witness by law firms throughout California. Starr was one of the original co-authors, along with Miller, of Current Law of California Real Estate, which evolved into Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, now a 12-volume treatise on California real estate law that is the most widely used and judicially recognized real estate treatise in California and is cited by practicing attorneys and courts throughout the state. Starr practiced law continuously starting with his admission to the Bar in January 1959 and was one of the only lawyers throughout the United States to be included in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America since it was first printed in 1983. Starr and Regalia were presented with the 2016 Real Property Persons of the Year – Great Collaboration Award from the State Bar of California’s Real Property Law Section.
“People naturally gravitated to Marvin and once you got to know him you loved him,” said Eugene H. Miller, chairman emeritus of the firm who served as chairman from 1985 through 2011. “He was an incomparable speaker who captured every audience he addressed. It was a pleasure to know him and work with him for the past 40 years. Marvin was an outstanding colleague and friend.”
Starr was part of the faculty of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley for 16 years and for 5 years was a teacher of real property secured transactions at the John F. Kennedy University School of Law. Starr gave commercial seminars to real estate professionals on tax aspects of real property, focusing on 1031 tax deferred exchanges. He often appeared as a speaker and lecturer before professional groups, civic meetings, conferences and conventions throughout the United States and shared his knowledge of real estate law before the American Bar Association, the California, Colorado, Nevada and Utah Bar Associations, the Commonwealth Club and the National and California Associations of Realtors.
He received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1958 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1955.
Donations in Marvin’s name can be made to the American Civil Liberties Union. A Celebration of Life for Marvin Starr will be held in the New Year.