Senator Robert G. Beverly
1925 - 2009

Robert G. Beverly, a founding member of Richards, Watson & Gershon, passed away on Wednesday, October 13, 2009, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.  He was 84.

Bob served in the U.S. Marines during World War II and thereafter attended UCLA and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.  He graduated from law school and was admitted to the bar in 1952.  In 1953 he joined Glenn Watson in forming the partnership of Watson & Beverly, with offices in the Title Insurance & Trust building on Spring Street.  In 1954, Watson & Beverly joined Richard Richards and several other lawyers to form Richards, Watson, Smith and Van Petten, the predecessor of Richards, Watson & Gershon. 

Bob Beverly had an early interest in municipal law and, with Glenn Watson, was instrumental in founding the firm’s public law practice with the incorporation of the City of Dairy Valley on April 24, 1956.  The City proudly announced that it had a population of 3,500 persons and 100,000 cows.  Glenn R. Watson was the first City Attorney.  (The City changed its name to Cerritos in 1967.)

Later that same year, Glenn Watson and Bob Beverly helped another group of businessmen with an entirely different sort of city.  On December 4, 1956 the residents within the proposed City of Industry voted 115 to 22 for incorporation.  Formation of the city was delayed by intense litigation, but on June 18, 1957, the City of Industry became the County’s 54th City – beginning a relationship with the firm which endures to this day.

Bob Beverly’s first foray into elective politics was a successful campaign for a seat on the Manhattan Beach City Council in 1958.  It was the beginning of a life-long career in both politics and the law. 

Bob served on the Manhattan Beach City Council for nine years, including three terms as Mayor, before running for a seat in the California State Assembly in 1967.  He served in the Assembly for nine years, before being elected to the California State Senate.  In his 20 years in the Senate, Bob held a number of highly important positions, including Chairman of the Insurance Committee, Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and various offices in the Republican Caucus.  Probably his best-known legislation was the Song-Beverly Acts, a pioneering series of consumer-protection laws that included the California “lemon law” for defective automobiles.  He also was the author of the legislation permitting the formation of limited liability companies in California.

A life-long Republican, Bob Beverly spent his highly productive political career as a centrist, celebrated for his ability to negotiate successfully with legislators of both parties.  He was one of the best-liked personalities in the Legislature and counted Governors and Senators of both parties as close and trusted friends.  He retired from the State Senate in 1996, as the result of the term-limits law. 

Throughout his long career in Sacramento, Bob remained a member of the Firm, first as a partner and later of counsel.  He was helpful to the cities the firm represented in innumerable ways, and the Firm was always proud to feature his name on our letterhead.  He attended Firm functions, including holiday parties and dinner dances for many years, when his legislative schedule permitted.  As one of our founding partners, we will miss him.

He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Bettelu, his four children, Bill, Bob Jr., Brian, and Barbara, and by 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. 


God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line--
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies--
The Captains and the Kings depart--
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
- Rudyard Kipling