Margaret Weitzman, the widow of Los Angeles power lawyer Howard Weitzman, expressed frustration and disappointment about the removal of Weitzman’s name from the law firm he helped build, which now goes by Kinsella Holley Iser Kump and Steinsapir.
“Disappointment is not big enough a word,” Weitzman said. “I realized that people do take names off of firms. It’s not like I don’t realize that, but I feel like Howard just brought everything to that firm and made it what it was.”
Over the holiday weekend, two years after Weitzman died from cancer, the firm informed Margaret and her son, Jed Weitzman of the decision to remove Howard’s name from the door. Jonathan Steinsapir called Margaret while she was on vacation to inform her of the decision. Previous rebrandings of the firm include Shawn Holley’s name being added in July of 2021, a few months after Weitzman’s April 2021 death. Gregory Aldisert was removed after he left to run his own firm in Agoura Hills.
“This is not a 50-year-old firm,” Margaret added. “This is a firm my my husband helped create and form and promoted those young people and brought them into his big cases and mentored them. I think the founding partners are who I blame.”
Margarent found comfort in the conversation sparked by the removal of her late husband’s name, as did Jed Weitzman.
“Their decision has clearly not had the desired effect that I think they hoped it had, certainly in terms of how people are communicating to me from other firms,” Jed told TheWrap. “Other named partners that are reaching out to me saying, ‘Wow, now I’ve got to talk to my partners. Wonder what they’re going to do when I die.’ So they’ve certainly started that conversation which is interesting. I’m sure a lot of their contemporaries are thankful of that.”
Both Margaret and Jed expressed that the timeline of the announcement could have been better handled. They also disapproved of the press release sent out with the news.
“For them to say that it was intended to be respectful and to pay tribute to him is laughable because not only does it do neither of those things, it is disrespectful to say the least,” Jed said. “I would say that had there been a conversation with my stepmother and I months ago when they made the decision, rather than two days before a press release was set to be issued, things might have turned out a little differently. I can tell you that my father would never have let that happen.”
Jed called for three of the partners to rethink the decision.
“Shawn Holley is like family to us. Was like family to my father, [Jonathan] Steinsapir was like family to us and to my father, and I only wish them the most wonderful things and they will always be family to us,” he said. “It’s Larry Iser, Mike Kump, and Dale Kinsella that need to really take a long hard look at themselves and think about what they’ve done, because it was ultimately up to the three of them.”
The website’s new domain — khiks.com — was registered back in March, but the voicemail still includes Weitzman in the title of the firm. He is also listed as an in-memoriam partner on the website.
“They needed to keep the partnership together, everyone was being poached. People want their names on door and firms don’t want firm name to become unwieldy,” an insider told TheWrap. “Some firms keep dead partners, some don’t.”