Alaska had yet to become a state when Don Burr and George Boney formed a law partnership in 1957 and began providing legal services to the residents of the territory and to pioneering businesses based outside of Alaska. Burr and Boney were joined in 1961 by Ted Pease, Jr., a Harvard law school graduate and former state prosecutor. Burr, Boney & Pease practiced out of a small office on Third Avenue offering a wide range of general legal services to a state still in its infancy. With statehood came an increasing interest in Alaska as a place to live and do business. As the state and its economy grew so, inevitably, did the legal needs of its residents. Burr, Boney & Pease grew with the state.
In anticipation of future growth, Burr, Boney & Pease hired Jerry Kurtz who had been editor of the Stanford Law Review before coming to Alaska in 1959. Shortly thereafter, the firm began the construction of a new office building a few blocks from their existing office. The building was completed in early 1964. On Good Friday, as the young attorneys were literally moving into their new building, the 1964 earthquake collapsed their new building. Homeless but undaunted, the lawyers set about building a new office building which was completed in 1965.
Don Burr left the firm in 1966 to serve as the attorney-general in Juneau under Governor Hickel. The lure of public service also led George Boney to accept an appointment to the State Supreme Court in 1969. At approximately the same time, Mr. Burr returned to the law firm which then took on its present name of Burr, Pease & Kurtz in 1969. That year Chuck Flynn joined the firm as an associate recently graduated from Harvard Law School.
In the 1970's Burr, Pease & Kurtz continued to expand its client base and its areas of practice. In addition to litigation of all types, it added lawyers specializing in real estate, commercial transactions, and creditor's bankruptcy work. The added practice areas led the firm to move to its present location, on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet, on the corner of 8th Avenue and 'N' Street.
Throughout the 1980's, Burr, Pease & Kurtz has represented clients large and small through the economic cycles of Alaska, buoyed during the times of increased economic activity, and depressed during times of economic downturn. The end of the decade brought the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and an increase in legal activity in Alaska. Burr, Pease & Kurtz was no exception, with several attorneys working full time on various aspects of that complex litigation.
Over the years, Burr, Pease & Kurtz has become one of the most successful and respected firms in Alaska. The firm has assembled a group of skilled professionals qualified to handle a wide variety of legal concerns. While best known for vigorous representation of clients in litigation, Burr, Pease & Kurtz regularly gives counsel to individuals and to a variety of commercial concerns large and small.
The successful tenure of Burr, Pease & Kurtz reflects the firm's dedication to the delivery of quality legal services to Alaskan communities and all of the business interests, local and distant, which serve those communities. Burr, Pease & Kurtz anticipates a future that is, much like its past, full of change and opportunity for growth.