Samuel (“Skip”) A. Keesal, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Skip currently resides in Rolling Hills with his lovely wife, Beth. He has three adult children – Carolyn, Katherine, Steven and one grandson – Jackson. He served in the United States Army and attended the University of Arizona and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Skip graduated from CSULB in 1962 with a B.S. degree in business. In 1965 he received an LL.B. from the University of Southern California (USC) Law School. Admitted to the bar, he worked for the law firm of Lillick, McHose & Charles for four years, and for Pollack, Palmer & Metzler for one year.
After five years of practice with two firms primarily handling trial work, Skip founded the law firm of Keesal, Young & Logan in 1970. The firm, which has grown to 75+ attorneys with offices in Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage and Hong Kong, has developed expertise in many specialties of civil litigation including class and mass actions, securities and banking litigation, employment, energy, environmental, admiralty and maritime, bankruptcy, business litigation, products liability, real estate, toxic tort, professional malpractice defense, professional design & construction, all types of civil appeals, mortgage banking, real estate, corporate/transactional and other commercial matters.
Skip is extremely active in the firm’s trial practice. He has tried over 250 cases in sixteen different states, including approximately 75 jury trials. He is admitted to the Bars of California, Hawaii, and Colorado. As a result of his trial practice, he has been named to the “Best Lawyers in America,” in Commercial Litigation, Maritime Law, Legal Malpractice Law, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability Litigation and Professional Malpractice Law. Skip has the distinction of being one of only 89 lawyers in the country and only six in California designated as a “Best Lawyer in America” in six or more categories. In 1990, Skip was selected as one of 500 lawyers in the world to join the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, where he has sat on the Board of Directors of the Academy and the Academy’s Foundation. Among other distinctions, Skip is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been named to “Who’s Who in Attorneys,” “Who’s Who in U.S. Executives” and “Who’s Who in Los Angeles Lawyers.” CSULB named Skip “The Distinguished Alumnus” of the Business School in 1991. In 2000, Skip was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Long Beach Bar Association. Later that same year, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. In 2002, the Los Angeles Business Journal named him as one of “Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys.” In 2003, 2004 and again in 2005, he was named one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” by the Daily Journal. Also in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, he was named a Top 100 “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. Skip has dedicated himself and his firm to the local community by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects. Skip served on the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA of Greater Long Beach as well as the Board of Trustees at Long Beach Memorial Hospital. Skip, a strong supporter of education, is a founding member of the Board of Governors at CSULB and supports many programs sponsored by the local schools. In 1997 Keesal, Young & Logan was named as the “Outstanding Corporation” on National Philanthropy Day in Los Angeles. Skip has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund since 1990 and currently sits on the organizations Board of Directors. In 1992, the Children’s Health Fund awarded Skip the “Big Apple Award” for his outstanding contributions to children’s health care. Skip is an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs and served for three years as the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the fourteen-state Southwestern Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and currently serves as a Trustee. He has been given the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award and has been named “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” by the Family Service of Long Beach. Skip also received the “Excellence in Leadership Award” by Leadership Long Beach. In 2002 Skip received the “Achievement Award” from Stand For Children of Long Beach for his commitment to ensuring that all children grow up healthy, educated and safe. He also received the Corporate Award from the Steel Magnolias of Stramski Children’s Development Center for his commitment to the community.
In December 2002, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America awarded him the National Silver Medallion for outstanding and extraordinary service to youth through the Boys & Girls Club Movement. In May 2003, the National Conference for Community and Justice awarded Skip with the “Building Bridges Award” for his commitment and dedication to bridging the understanding of humankind, and to furthering peace, harmony and tolerance in the community. In June that same year, he was honored by the Women’s Council with the “Community Achievement Award” for exemplary commitment and service to the community. In September 2004, Skip received the “Humanitarian Award” from Centro C.H.A. Inc., Long Beach Community Hispanic Association for his commitment to empowering youth and families through support of higher education. That same month he was honored by Camp Fire USA with its “Humanitarian Award.” In October 2004, the Boys & Girls Club of America selected him to receive the “President’s Award” for his extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the lives of children everywhere. In April 2006, Skip was presented with the “Community Service Award” by CAMEO, the largest women’s charity in the South Bay, in recognition of his support. In April 2007, Skip and the firm were the recipients of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce “Corporate Citizen Award.” Also in 2007, Skip accepted a number of recognitions on behalf of the firm, including “Good Scout of the Year Award” from the Boy Scouts of America, the “Crystal Arts Award” from International City Theatre for dedication to the local and national communities by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects, and the “Corporate Humanitarian Award” from the Long Beach branch of the NAACP. In 2008, he accepted on behalf of the firm the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by St. Mary’s Medical Center in recognition of its philanthropic generosity, leadership and dedication to St. Mary’s Medical Center and the community of Long Beach. In May 2009, Skip was honored by the Children’s Health Fund with the “Founders’ Award” presented by founders Paul Simon and Dr. Irwin Redlener. In July 2009, Skip was one of twenty selected and presented with the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from California by Speaker Newt Gingrich on behalf of American Solutions for Winning the Future. In 2010, Skip was honored by the Loyola Law School Civil Justice Programwith the “Champions of Justice” Award. In 2011, Skip was honored with the “John Dixon” award by the Century Club of Long Beach for his support of local amateur sporting efforts. He was also honored by Mentoring A Touch From Above for his commitment to help improve the lives of people in the City of Long Beach.
In addition to skiing, Skip Keesal still participates in an occasional roping competition at local rodeos, a pastime he has enjoyed since childhood.