San Francisco Advantage

Crew Named 2008 Alumnus of the Year

A Navy veteran and founding partner of Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, Crew is among the country's most renowned antitrust attorneys who in 2003 won a $1.1 billion settlement in an antitrust suit filed against Microsoft.

"Gene has spent 45 years fighting the good fight to stem the tide of monopolies and to maintain competition in our land, trying antitrust cases in state and federal courts, and arguing before the United States Supreme Court, in areas as diverse as electronics and health care," Dean Jeffrey Brand said at the school's annual Holiday Luncheon. "Smart, tough, caring, outspoken, a no-nonsense, passionate fighter for justice. And beneath it all is a compassionate, empathetic man who still talks about his work with orphans during his first year of law school."

Colleagues described Crew as a tenacious attorney committed to advancing the cause of justice. "Trying a case with him is not work, it's a crusade," said Richard Grossman, a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP. "For Gene Crew, second best is never enough. You've taught me so much about the practice of law and the relentless pursuit of justice."

A father, grandfather, jazz aficionado, and dancer, Crew accepted the award by saying he was humbled by the honor. "USF already honored me with a solid legal education and now they are honoring me for just doing what they taught me to do," he said. "By far what helped me the most to get to this perch was USF."

He recalled his days of scraping by as a law student and working with orphans in San Francisco. "That job helped teach me that a good legal education is not just about me. It taught me not to take myself or my narrow career ambitions too seriously at the expense of kids who urgently needed help."

That lesson and the mission of the USF School of Law are deeply engrained in Crew, according to Daniel Furniss, a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP who said one of the "luckiest days" of his life was when he began working with Crew 26 years ago.

"He is the consummate lawyer. Even when he knows the law well, he studies it more. Ideas matter," Furniss said. "Gene also shares a deep commitment to social justice," Furniss said, describing Crew as an ethical lawyer who acts with integrity. "He believes that this is a profession where ethics and morals are at the heart, not just added on."

Crew concluded his speech by quoting Martin Luther King Jr.: "The arc of history is long but it bends toward justice." From the professors who inspired him as a young law student to Dean Jeffrey Brand today, he said, "that's what USF has taught me.... And I am especially honored to have this award handed to me today by such an outstanding dean and human being."