Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Mourns Loss of Partner Joanne Garvey

September 11, 2014

Joanne M. Garvey, partner with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in San Francisco, passed away today.  Garvey was a member of Sheppard Mullin’s Tax practice and specialized in issues of state and local taxation. 

“Joanne was an amazing lawyer who received many well-deserved awards, created and led organizations, provided training and numerous opportunities for others, and broke many a glass ceiling.  She served her clients well.  We were so fortunate to have her join us at Sheppard Mullin.  Before the word ‘mentor’ was widely used as it is today, Joanne was one – to both woman and men.  She was generous with her time and her concern for others.  Joanne was one of a kind, played a great game of basketball, and will be greatly missed,” said Sheppard Mullin San Francisco co-managing partner Betsy McDaniel.

Garvey represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, at all levels of the California court system, and at administrative proceedings within and without California.  She argued Barclays Bank v. Franchise Tax Board before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Garvey was also involved in numerous tax and business transactions, nationally and internationally, and planning for both domestic and foreign clients.  In addition to representing clients in controversies with state and local taxing authorities, Garvey assisted in preparing testimony for clients on both state and federal levels on matters of legislation and regulation as well as testifying at numerous legislative and regulatory hearings on such matters, including the hearings under U.S.-U.K. Tax Treaty, before the working group for the Presidential Commission on the Unitary tax, and on the California water's edge legislation.

Garvey wrote several amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court on issues of state taxes.  She authored the Tax Management Portfolio Income Taxes: California Water's Edge Unitary Legislation and was a member of the BNA Multistate Tax Advisory Board.  She was also a frequent speaker on state tax matters before business groups including the Tax Executives Institute, the Committee on State Taxation, the High Tech Institute and the California Tax Policy Conference.

Garvey was the first recipient of the State Bar Taxation Section's "Joanne M. Garvey Award" for lifetime achievement, as well as numerous awards and commendations for professional and community service.  Most recently she served in both the American Bar and the California Supreme Court commissions on rules for Multijurisdictional Practice.  She was listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Best Lawyers in America.  In 2007, Garvey received an American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2003, she was awarded the prestigious "Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award" by the American Bar Association, an award that honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for others.  Garvey also received the "2003 Franklin C. Latcham Award for Distinguished Service in State and Local Tax Law" from BNA Tax Management.

Garvey was admitted to the California Bar in 1962.  Additionally, she held the following positions: Former Governor, California State Delegate and various committee chairs, American Bar Association; Former Vice President and Member of Board of Governors, State Bar of California (first woman on the Board of Governors); Former Chair, Continuing Education of the Bar; Former President, Bar Association of San Francisco (first woman in that position); Fellow, American Bar Foundation; and Founder, California Women Lawyers.

Garvey received her J.D., Order of the Coif, in 1961, M.A. in 1957, and A.B., with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1956, from University of California, Berkeley. 

A memorial service will be held for Joanne Garvey on Monday, October 13, at 10:30 AM at St. Jerome Catholic Church. The address is 308 Carmel Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530.