November 2013 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Angelo Calfo

Driven by Inspiration

By Randall Thomsen


Other than Seattle lawyer Angelo Calfo, there is probably no other person in the world whom you would link to Catholicism, ice cream, nine siblings and a death threat to George Bush. But with Calfo, that linkage indisputably exists.

Many know that Calfo has obtained great results for clients facing serious federal criminal charges and clients involved in bet-the-company litigation. He defended Olympic Pipeline Company in the criminal and civil proceedings arising out of the infamous and tragic gasoline spill and fire in Bellingham; he defended the world-renowned illusionist David Copperfield in the grand jury investigation into the unfounded claim that the magician had assaulted a Washington woman on his Bahamian island; and he defended W.R. Grace in the federal manslaughter cased based on the operation of its vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana.

But look beyond Calfo's achievements as a lawyer and you'll understand what drives him to get the best outcome for his clients.

"You Learn How To Get What You Want"

Growing up in a Catholic family with nine kids, "You learn about how to get along in a big group with different personalities, but you also learn what you need to do to get what you want," Calfo says. "I found a way to survive living with six strong-willed sisters and two competitive brothers. Lawyering is a breeze once you've been through that experience."

And then there are his mom and dad. "My dad was like being brought up by a combination of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden; my mom, like St. Francis," Calfo says. "The result is nothing short of, well, I'd be embarrassed to say what people have told me about myself."

Like Lombardi and Wooden, Calfo's dad - also named Angelo - had a penchant for hard work and doing it well. Whether it was household chores or schoolwork, Calfo's father always asked, "Did you sign your work with excellence?"

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