O'Melveny 2022 Class Notes

32 O’Melveny & Myers LLP I omm.com In Memoriam OWEN OLPIN (CLASS OF 1958) O’Melveny retired Partner Owen Olpin passed away on December 14, 2022, at the age of 88. Reared in a small town in Utah, Owen went to law school at Columbia, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for all three years as well as an editor of the Law Review. Owen joined O’Melveny in 1958. Over the next several years, as Owen’s practice and reputation grew, so, too, did his family—he and his wife Jan were the proud parents of four loving children—Leslie, Scott, Andrew, and Steve. Family and O’Melveny were clearly among Owen’s leading passions. During Owen’s early work in oil and gas, he developed a longstanding relationship with the Union Pacific Railroad, working on massive projects such as the Wilmington oil fields at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. Owen’s practice later expanded to other natural resources—hard rock mining, geothermal steam, and water. He also helped clients navigate issues arising from their operation of natural resource facilities on public land. Owen became a Partner in 1966 at a time when the firm’s natural resources work was evolving to address new and complex federal and state environmental laws, a subject in which he became so deeply engaged that it inspired his interest in teaching. When the firm implemented its initial sabbatical program, he was the first to take advantage of it, leaving to teach law at the University of Texas. His one-year leave grew into a seven-year absence when Owen followed his year at Texas with six more years of teaching law at the University of Utah. In 1976, Owen returned to O’Melveny’s Real Estate and Natural Resources Department, and eventually co-chaired the firm’s new Environmental Law Practice Group. Yet, he never lost his zeal for teaching, and subsequently did stints at the Washington College of Law at American University, at UCLA School of Law and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and as a distinguished visitor at the University of Colorado School of Law. Of Owen’s many impressive professional accomplishments, people often cite his appointment as a Special Master by the US Supreme Court in the case of Nebraska v. Wyoming and Colorado, in which the Court fully adopted Owen’s recommendations. As outstanding a lawyer and leader as he was, Owen’s legacy may well be the way he combined his passion for the law and for mentoring others with his zest for living. Owen found joy in everything he did. That may well be the gift for which we will remember him most. As Greg Thorpe recalls, “While Owen trained us to produce excellent work, he also insisted we always make time to have fun or go on an adventure, wherever we were.” Owen’s obituary can be found here.