No one who met Alan Margolis was ever unsure of where they stood or where he stood on any given issue, for that matter.
But along with freely giving his opinions, Margolis was just as generous with his time and money. And his advice, often unsolicited, came from a sincere effort to help the recipients of it, his former partners said.
Margolis, co-founder of Margolis Edelstein, died Tuesday from cancer at the age of 78.
Margolis was the founder of law firm Frank and Margolis, which was established in 1960. That was the predecessor firm to Margolis Edelstein.
"Those who had the pleasure of being in his company will recall fondly the colorful, animated manner he approached every topic, law-related or otherwise; he was not shy in sharing his opinion and he was a classic example of an individual who wore his heart on his sleeve," the firm said in a note on its website.
Margolis' death comes less than three years after the passing of firm co-founder Edward L. Edelstein, who died in December 2010.
Michael P. McKenna, managing partner of Margolis Edelstein, will have been with the firm for 31 years come next week. It was Margolis who hired McKenna and who served as McKenna's "professional father" for the last three decades.
In an email to the firm, McKenna described Margolis as "gregarious, confident, smart, extremely well-read, and always brimming with ideas."
"Though sometimes quick to anger, he was always quicker to forgive and forget," McKenna continued. "He was ever-generous with his time, his money, and, unsolicited, his opinions on religion, politics and everything else. He could be impatient, but only because he knew the right answer. Above all else, Alan was unfiltered, an endearing, though occasionally exasperating, trait. He was quite a character. Once you met him, you did not forget him and you did not meet his like again."
In 2000, Margolis helped recruit partner and fellow Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel member John A. Livingood Jr. to the firm. Livingood said Margolis used to brag that he never tried a case to verdict. Whether or not that was true was up for debate, but Livingood said it was a testament to Margolis' true talent of focusing his energy on business initiatives and building relationships.