Rod Dorman | Obituary

Rod Dorman
Date of Death

Roderick George Dorman died peacefully at his home in La Cañada on May 5, 2020, from complications caused by an 18-year battle with cancers too numerous to catalogue. Unfailingly positive, Rod called his cancers a “gift” that liberated him to live every day to its fullest, with no regrets and full of love for his friends and family. He was 69.
Rod was born on December 17, 1950, in White Plains, New York, and raised in Mendham Township, NJ. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He was a gifted student and athlete. He received his BA Cum Laude from Princeton, where he sang a cappella with the fabled Princeton Tigertones. After earning his law degree from the University of Miami, Rod served in the General Counsel’s office at Conoco, Inc. and later as a federal prosecutor in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in Los Angeles.
Rod went on to a celebrated career in private practice, where he was a partner and lead litigator in firms he founded, in a nationally recognized intellectual property boutique firm, in an international firm where he co-chaired the Patent and Technology Group worldwide, and, for the past many years, in the prestigious trial firm of McKool Smith. During his 40 years of practice, Rod served as lead trial counsel in more than 250 patent cases and argued more than 25 appeals before the United States Court of Appeals. Rod consistently was recognized as one of the nation’s leading intellectual property litigators by numerous legal publications, including Chambers USA, Legal 500, Best Lawyers, and others.
But Rod’s first passion was his family: his wife, sweet Robin; his two sons, Brett (wife Tatiana) and Kirk; and his brothers, Rick (wife Beverly), and Mike (wife Elysa). He loved them beyond measure, and he showed that love in big and small ways every day. He was infinitely proud of Brett and Kirk. Rod selflessly gave of his time to bar organizations and mentoring countless lawyers. And he gave back to the community, serving for more than a decade on the Board of Directors of the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation.
Rod had a lifelong passion for cars, basketball, skiing, barbecues and celebrating life with family, friends, clients and (yes) opposing counsel. On most weekends, Rod could be found with a wrench, hammer, shovel or other tool, working on hot rods or houses. Most recently, Rod acted as his own general contractor on the dream house he and Robin were able to finish, move into and enjoy just weeks before his death.
Rod will be sorely missed. Due to the coronavirus, the family will plan a celebration of his life in early September. Donations may be sent to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation in Rod’s name.