Joseph Troy, 63; Lawyer Led Bid to Create Business Courts


Joseph F. Troy, influential expert in corporate and securities law who co-founded a 42-lawyer firm and worked to create specialized California courts to handle complex business cases, has died at age 63.

Troy, who also served on the board of directors of Los Angeles Opera, died Monday of pneumonia and other complications of leukemia at UCLA Medical Center, his office announced.

He established Troy & Gould with his partner William D. Gould in 1970, and quickly developed a reputation for handling mergers and acquisitions, taxation, real estate, financing and leasing, bankruptcy and employment issues.


Troy, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and educated at Yale University and Harvard Law School, specialized in advising boards of directors of publicly held companies. He directed his firm’s drafting of the book “Advising and Defending Corporate Directors and Officers” and wrote a handbook on the legal responsibilities of directors.

He was the architect of several initial public offerings, including that of Movie Gallery Inc., on whose board he served, in 1995.

Over the last decade, Troy chaired a State Bar of California task force and became the principal champion of establishing separate courts in Los Angeles County and elsewhere in the state to handle complicated business litigation.

Critics feared that the system would favor wealthy corporations, unfairly providing them quicker justice. Troy countered that individual consumers and others also could benefit from the special courts handled by judges experienced in the complexities of business law.

As chairman of state and Los Angeles County bar committees, Troy helped draft the state General Corporations Law. In 1997, the Los Angeles County Bar Assn.’s Business and Corporations Law Section presented him with its Marvin Greene Award for service to the legal community.

Troy was also active in charitable and cultural institutions. He served on the board of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, chaired the International Festival Society promoting the Salzburg Festival and was co-founder, director, president and chairman of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.


Fluent in French, the attorney was a governor of the Wine and Food Society of Southern California Inc., former president and director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, active on the Los Angeles Committee on Foreign Relations and recipient of Austria’s Knight’s Cross First Class.

Troy is survived by his wife, Brigitta, and two children, Darcy Pollack and Austin Troy.

A memorial service is scheduled at 10 a.m. today at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica.

The family has asked that, instead of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Joseph F. Troy Fund for Leukemia Research, c/o the California Community Foundation, 445 S. Figueroa St., Suite 3400, Los Angeles, CA 90071.