David Arthur Cathcart, a nationally prominent labor and
employment law specialist, died on September 30 at home
in Pasadena, California from cancer. He was 63 years old.
Mr. Cathcart was a senior partner in the international
law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He was the founding
chair of the American Employment Law Council and held many
leadership positions in the American Bar Association, the
Management Advisory Committee to the National Labor Relations
Board, the California Employers Group, the National Employment
Task Force of the American Arbitration Association, the
International Bar Association and the Los Angeles County
Bar Association. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the
College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Mr. Cathcart was a senior editor of a widely used practice
guide, the California Employment Litigation Practice Guide
published in 2002, and editor-in-chief of the Five Year
Cumulative Supplement to Employment Discrimination Law published
in 1989. He served as co-chair of the annual American Law
Institute of the American Bar Association Conference on
Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights Actions in Federal
and State Courts. In 1992 he was asked to help conduct a
nationwide training seminar in which federal judges and
lawyers throughout the US were introduced to The Civil Rights
Acts of 1991. He was unanimously commended by the UK Chambers
and Partners Guides to US Law Firms as a "star practitioner"
in employment law in the United States.
Mr. Cathcart was a tireless teacher and mentor to many
young lawyers. Ken Doran, Managing Partner of Gibson, Dunn
& Crutcher LLP, states that "even while battling cancer
the last year of his life, Dave remained a wise counselor
to his clients and to our associates and maintained his
active leadership and charitable contributions to our community."
Mr. Cathcart made many commitments to public service.
In the early 1970s as the Chief Legislative Assistant to
Senator John V. Tunney he was instrumental in the drafting
and passage of the Water Quality Act that has continued
over the past 30 years to bring the standards of "fishing
and swimming" to many of the nation's waterways. Former
Senator Tunney stated, "Dave is one of the most remarkable
men that I have ever worked with. His marvelous intellect
and his prodigious energy and judgment made such a difference
to so many people who have been beneficially affected by
that legislation. He was such a pleasure to work with and
his wry humor lightened so many tedious hours of negotiation.
He had a powerful ethic of responsibility and love of his
fellow man. It affected me greatly."
For 23 years Mr. Cathcart was a member of the Board of
Governors of the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club where he
helped to guide the Club's development to become the largest
Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles County serving 6000 children
and their families. The David A. Cathcart College Scholarship
Fund has been established to provide annual needs-based
scholarships to graduating Club members.
In recent years Mr. Cathcart has been a Director of numerous
non-profit organizations including the Ninth Judicial Circuit
Historical Society, the United States South African Leadership
Development Program, the Western Center on Law and Poverty,
the Andover Development Board and the Berkshire National
Mr. Cathcart was born in Pasadena, California and grew
up in Palo Alto, California. He graduated from Phillips
Academy Andover, earned a BA with Great Distinction and
Honors in History from Stanford University, an MA in Political
Science from Harvard University’s Government Department
and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He is survived
by his wife, Janet Farley Cathcart, daughters Sarah and
Rebecca, brothers Pat and Mike, thirteen nieces and nephews
and his uncle, Robert S. Cathcart.