At PADC monthly meetings, where he was a regular fixture, speakers would often get interrupted by questions from Margolis.
"He had a reason and it was always to help whoever he was talking to," Livingood said of Margolis' unsolicited advice.
Though in his late 70s, Margolis was still always throwing out ideas on how to improve the firm or the profession, McKenna said. Everyone who spoke of Margolis referenced his "boundless energy" and enthusiasm.
"In a firm with younger people, he was the most cutting-edge guy," McKenna said. "[He was] always thinking of new ways to do things."
Margolis was one of the eight or nine founding members, and a past president, of The Harmonie Group, a network of independent law firms that provides defense services to companies, captives, third-party administrators and risk retention groups. The organization was started about 20 years ago.
"We thoroughly enjoyed his boundless energy, his enthusiasm, his outgoing friendliness for everybody that he knew and his vision for making Harmonie what it is today," Harmonie Executive Director Timothy C. Violet said.
At one point, Margolis was named general counsel of the Delaware Valley Financial Corp., a national sales financial company, and subsequently became vice president of that organization. Over the years, Margolis focused his private practice on professional liability and insurance coverage issues.
Margolis received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and his law degree from the university in 1958. Margolis was a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Defense Research Institute, the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia bar associations.
"Alan was exceedingly generous with his time, counsel, and advice and he contributed as a mentor to many members of the Philadelphia bar," Margolis Edelstein said. "He was a vital and important part of the dynamic and culture in this firm as well as the entire legal community and we will sorely miss [his] infectious optimism."
Margolis had been cancer-free for about a decade, but it returned last October and was untreatable, McKenna said. He said Margolis continued to work through the fall. He died just shy of his 79th birthday.