R.J. Mandell is a consumer attorney based in southern California where he lives with his wife and two children. A former journalist, Mr. Mandell has written numerous articles, features and works of fiction.
Mandell is the grandson of Russian and Austro-Hungarian immigrants who were among the large wave of eastern Europeans who came through Ellis Island at the beginning of the 20th Century. Most of the family remaining behind perished during the Holocaust. His father was a Chicago native who served in the Pacific theater during World War II. His mother hailed from Massachusetts and later moved to New York, where she attended Brooklyn College and worked for the War Dept. Mr. Mandell describes his parents as "classic Kennedy liberals" who greatly influenced his notions of fair play and justice for the underdog.
Having grown up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Mandell later attended Humboldt State University in northern California, just as the Vietnam War was coming to an end. A few weeks after President Ford ended the draft and began withdrawing troops, Mr. Mandell received his draft lottery number – 7.
After he wrote an essay for his freshman English class, Mr. Mandell was recruited by HSU’s English department, but opted to major in Journalism, “in order to please my mother.” As a journalist, Mr. Mandell wrote for local and regional publications in southern California, and was a contributing writer for major publications such as the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the L.A. Times. He also wrote press releases and publicity pieces for Elektra-Asylum Records, the Blaine Group and the Harcort Jovanovich Press. After a stint in media sales for various magazines and broadcast media, he attended Southwestern University School of Law where he graduated at the top of his class in the rigorous SCALE program.
For the past quarter century, Mr. Mandell has represented consumers against big auto manufacturers, insurance companies and other large corporations. Through it all, he has maintained his passion for the written word, and for championing the rights of the little guy. He has written hundreds of articles, essays, song lyrics and poems.