Ten Questions: Lawyer serves the community

Bill Eigner is recognized by his peers as one of San Diego’s premier business lawyers and has been called the “go-to guy for emerging businesses.”

He is a partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, a 110-lawyer law firm with offices in San Diego and Carlsbad. He helps his clients start, finance, operate, buy and sell emerging and established businesses.

Eigner is 50 years old and grew up in Dover, Ohio, before coming to California to attend Stanford University. While he was at Stanford, Eigner’s family moved to Santa Barbara, where during the summers, Eigner started and operated Squeaky Clean Window Cleaning.

Eigner graduated from Stanford and became a U.S. Supreme Court judicial intern under Chief Justice Warren Burger. Eigner later worked as a lobbyist in Santa Barbara before attending the University of Virginia School of Law. Long active in the La Jolla and greater San Diego community during his 23 years as a La Jolla resident, Eigner was a trustee of La Jolla Town Council, where he served as chairman of the Land Use Committee.

He has also served on the board of trustees of La Jolla Country Day School and on The Bishop’s School Headmaster’s Advisory Council. Eigner serves on the board of directors of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and CommNexus and on the board of the Mundoval Fund, a La Jolla-based publicly traded mutual fund.

He also serves on the board of advisers of Bluedominoes Inc., a green children’s art supply company; QThink, a chip design firm; BioDuro, a biotech outsourcing company; American Eco-Energy; and iSelfStore.

What brought you to La Jolla?

Coming from a small town in Ohio, I wanted to create my own small town here. Having beautiful beaches, sophisticated, intelligent people and a world-class university made it an easy choice.

What makes La Jolla special to you?

I love the people and how they appreciate the special place that we have. They’re smart, well educated and entrepreneurial. I also like the climate and how everyone can participate in community affairs. In other cities, you can enjoy yourself in the audience. In La Jolla, and even in San Diego at large, you can be part of the cast.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

If I had a magic wand, I’d make La Jolla a safer place - for everyone. It’s very safe now for a man at nearly any hour, but not so for a woman. Women make up half our population, yet they still can’t feel 100 percent safe by themselves after dark. Even during daylight, there have been attacks in La Jolla by the “Bike Path.”

No person should fear for her safety.

Who or what inspires you?

Ultimately, it’s God, but practically, it’s the love that I receive from my family and wonderful, supportive friends, the energetic, entrepreneurial spirit of my amazing clients and the integrity and dedication of my partners. I’m fortunate to have the best friends in the world in San Diego, some of whom I’ve known since college.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

I love Civil War history and so do my two brothers, Ted and Tom. Besides Ted and Tom, I’d invite my Civil War pals, Union-Tribune columnist Peter Rowe and retired Insight editor Bob Caldwell, and then top it off with the blockbusters of Abraham Lincoln, William Tecumseh Sherman and Robert E. Lee. Among other questions, I’d ask our guests from the past if the South ever really had a chance to win the Civil War (I think that it did), what would they do differently and what surprises them the most about modern America.

What are you currently reading?

“Happiness 101,” a galley proof of a wonderfully thoughtful book by my partner, Jacob Reinbolt.

What is your most prized possession?

My significant other, Linda Manaster, an entrepreneur who is dedicated to bringing safe children’s products to the market; my daughter, Elizabeth; and my mom, Jeri Eigner. They make me happy and inspire me to live better, do better and be better.

What do you do for fun?

Play tennis, snorkel, take walks, eat chocolate, read and spend time with family and friends.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

I really appreciated being recognized by my peers in the legal community as a top attorney in San Diego County for transactional law. I also enjoy my clients’ achievements as if they are my own achievements.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Get involved, step up, reach out, listen and don’t be discouraged. You can make a difference in others’ lives, one conversation or project at a time. Be the host: Make people feel welcome, introduce them to whom they need to meet and help them achieve their goals. If you do it with sincerity, you’ll have a wonderful time in the process.