The origin of GMSR’s iconic neon “Pink Light” goes back to our early days as a boutique appellate firm in the 1980s—or as some call it, the “Neon Age.”

The lawyers who founded GMSR wanted to help clients by working only on appeals.  Partner Tim Coates, reminisces:  “We would joke that we should put up a sign on the outside of the building to drum up business for our appellate law practice.”  So, when GMSR was approaching its five-year anniversary in 1988 and the firm’s associates were brainstorming gift ideas for the partners, they were suddenly struck, like a lightbulb turning on, with an idea: a pink neon sign that said “APPEALS.”

Photo left to right: Partner Tim Coates (who was an associate when this photo was taken) and GMSR Founding Partners Marty Stein, Kent Richland, Irving Greines, and the late Alan Martin with the pink light gift during an office holiday party.

As the legend is now told, the associates chipped in and ordered a custom-made pink neon “APPEALS” sign from a shop somewhere in “the hinterlands of the San Fernando Valley.”  The first iteration of the sign was rickety to say the least.  It was mounted on a sheet of plastic with no structure or frame.  The associates had to present it to the four founding partners very carefully at the firm’s year-end holiday party.

At some point, the APPEALS sign was properly mounted on the wall in our library—but not before GMSR attorneys and staff conducted an experiment:  One young associate held it up to the window in a senior partner’s office facing Wilshire Boulevard while someone else ran across the street to see how the sign looked from outside.  Everyone was assured it looked low-rent and tacky—mission accomplished!

From this, our neon-pink APPEALS sign—or as we call it, the “Pink Light”—was born.  Now permanently mounted on the wall, we turn it on to light our hallways when we score appellate wins. It brings us together as a firm, and it reminds us of how we’ve kept our lights on for decades:  winning on appeal for our clients.

Click HERE to read more about our “Pink Light” victories.