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Edward Friend, a civil attorney who practiced in San Francisco for more than half a century, died Aug. 31 of cancer. He was 81. “He was interested in [representing] the average person, the little business man,” said Jack Frankel, retired counsel and executive for the state Commission on Judicial Performance, who met Friend when they were undergraduates at the University of Chicago. “Ed was a very friendly, decent person,” who excelled in legal practice, said George Coombe Jr., a retired partner at the former Graham & James in San Francisco and former general counsel for Bank of America. “He represented the insignificant and the indigent, and now and again, the client who was more resourceful,” said Coombe, who met Friend playing squash in law school. As the 50th anniversary of his entrance to the State Bar approached a few years ago, Friend so often mentioned the coming date that his son and daughter scrapped plans to throw him a surprise party for his 80th birthday, and instead threw one to mark his first 50 years as a lawyer. “That meant more to him than turning 80,” his son, Donald Friend, said of the 2000 event. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1949, Friend worked for a personal injury lawyer for two years before opening his own general civil litigation practice. He worked out of the Central Tower Building at Market and 3rd streets until he “semi-retired” in 2001, family members said, but continued to arbitrate and work on select cases until the week before his death. In addition to frequent hikes and outings to the symphony or ballet, Friend looked forward to weekly lunches with a group of other lawyers from the University of Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1943, his family said. Friend was a founding member of the group in 1950, and the lunches are still going on. Before he was a lawyer, Friend served as a combat intelligence officer during World War II in Japan. He is survived by longtime companion Lina Longmire, of Tracy; daughter Mary Friend Doane, of Oakland; son Donald Friend, of Mankato, Minn.; and three grandchildren. His family plans a memorial service at the Presidio Officers’ Club in San Francisco at 2 p.m. Oct. 16. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Sam Yellen Scholarship Fund for graduate studies in creative writing at Indiana University: IU Foundation, P.O. Box 500, Bloomington, Ind., 47405, Attn: Sam Yellen Fund.

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