BASF Press Release

The Bar Association of San Francisco Remembers 1995 President Mel Goldman


Mel Goldman is the second on the right.

January 17, 2023, San FranciscoWith heavy hearts, The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and The Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) join the tributes and celebrations of the life of 1995 BASF President Mel Goldman. Past Presidents shared with BASF and JDC how Mel was an incredible Past President, a brilliant lawyer, an inspiring leader at Morrison & Foerster, a supportive mentor, and an advocate for contributing pro bono hours in the service of justice.

During his many years of involvement with BASF, Mel was always supportive of BASF’s nationally-recognized Volunteer Legal Services Program (since renamed the Justice & Diversity Center) and had an especially long and warm working relationship with VLSP’s long-time Executive Director, Tanya Neiman. Proudly, the conference room in the Tanya Neiman building, the permanent home of the Homeless Advocacy Project, was named the “Mel Goldman Room” in 2015 in recognition of his countless contributions to BASF, JDC, and the Bay Area legal community.

Current BASF and JDC President Vid Prabhakaran shares, “Mel Goldman was a legal luminary in San Francisco and a relentless advocate for the voiceless. We treasure his legacy.”

1977 BASF President Jim Brosnahan shares, “In all the years of our partnership Mel’s only question was, ‘Is this good for the firm?’ He felt the same about our Bar Association to which he gave much.”

2022 BASF and JDC President Mary McNamara writes, “I remember Mel so very fondly from Morrison & Foerster in the 1990s. He was a man of immense moral stature, a Dean of the Bar, and a great champion of diversity in the profession, long before it became a widely-adopted value. He was utterly beloved.”

2020 BASF and JDC President Stuart Plunkett shares, “Mel was an incredible person and a brilliant lawyer. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him, but I got to know him best in the latter years of his career at Morrison & Foerster, when things started getting named after him. It meant so much to him to be honored at the Homeless Advocacy Project building.”

2005 BASF President Jim Finberg shares, “Mel was an outstanding lawyer and person. I was fortunate to have worked on his litigation team when I was a young lawyer and learned so much from him, including the importance of doing pro bono work and giving back to our community.”

2000 BASF President Fred Alvarez writes, “I was just one of the lucky people who was encouraged by Mel to get more involved in BASF. He was a big time lawyer with big time BASF heart.”

1998 BASF President Lindbergh Porter shares, “Mel was a giant among us—a beloved giant. Every lawyer who worked with him in any project came away a better lawyer.”

1994 BASF President Raymond Marshall shares “The outpouring of affection, respect and remembrance of Mel, as a friend, colleague and attorney, is high praise that he truly deserves.  Mel was truly a “good guy”, and represented the best in us. ”

1979 BASF President Thomas Smegal writes, “He was all that is being said about him and more!  I have been privileged to share our involvement in BASF during the past 60 years.

BASF and JDC Executive Director and General Counsel Yolanda Jackson added, “Mel Goldman was a wonderful man who was kind, funny, smart, brilliant, and he loved BASF and JDC.”

We join Mel’s family, friends, and colleagues in remembering his incredible life and continuing to promote the values he stood for as BASF President.


The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.