Nicholas D. Walrath
Nicholas D. Walrath (courtesy photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — An attorney at Bay Area IP boutique Durie Tangri is believed to be among the at least 36 people killed Friday evening in a massive blaze in Oakland during a music event.

In a statement posted on its website, the firm said it believes Nicholas Walrath, a 2013 graduate of New York University School of Law, “was among those who died” in the Oakland warehouse fire.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague,” the statement reads. “In the short time he had been at our firm, Nick already had shown himself to be a fine lawyer as well as a good and caring person.”

“Our thoughts are with his family and his loved ones, who had been blessed to know Nick far better than we had the chance to, and whose loss is thus so much greater than our own,” the statement continues.

According to Walrath’s bio on the Durie Tangri website, he previously explored a career as a laboratory scientist, beginning a PhD program in atomic physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He later pursued intellectual property litigation “to combine his interest in crafting arguments with his passion for science and technology.”

“Outside the law, Nick enjoys climbing, skiing in Tahoe, and taking advantage of the music scene in his newfound home of Oakland,” his bio adds.

Walrath joined the firm as an associate in October. Partner and firm co-founder Daralyn Durie said Monday that Walrath quickly made friends during his short time at the firm. “Nick was an absolutely wonderful guy.”

According to his bio, Walrath clerked for U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California for a year prior to that, and was previously an associate at Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco.

In 2013 and 2014, he clerked for Judge Carlos Bea of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to his bio, which also notes that he worked as a summer associate for Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Kirkland & Ellis.

Kevin Smith, a Quinn partner in San Francisco, wrote in an email that Walrath “stood out as an exceptionally bright and promising young attorney and a good person.”

Smith added: “Our hearts go out to his family and friends, and to all those in the Bay Area (and beyond) who were impacted by this tragedy.”


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