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He likes lots of pans in the fire, especially if they’re Italian food

posted Jan 2, 2015, 2:15 PM by Joyce Evans
You might know Marshal Scarr as general counsel for PSAR. He has practiced law since 1983, and has worked with the Downtown law firm of Peterson & Price since 1985. In 2009, he began serving the East San Diego County Association of REATLORS® (ESDCAR), and then continued serving PSAR following the 2012 merger with ESDCAR.
He advises PSAR on various legal matters, ranging from bylaws and insurance matters to interfacing with Sandicor and assisting on last year’s acquisition of an interest in California Signs and Marketing and the formation of the limited liability company for the sign business. “I provide general guidance on a variety of business issues with the goal of anticipating and avoiding any problems before people start blaming each other,” said Marshal, 58.
But did you know that Marshal loves to cook, particularly Italian food? His favorites include lasagna, eggplant parmesan and spaghetti and meatballs. “It’s very relaxing and I enjoy the creative process,” he said. “I never measure anything, don’t want to be bothered with that. I just add the ingredients, including plenty of fresh garlic, and then enjoy.”
Marshal is of Italian descent. His grandfather, one of nine siblings, worked as a barber on Wall Street in New York City in the 1930s. “Three of the siblings decided to shorten their last names to Scarr,” he said. His father, named Marshall (two “l’s), worked in home remodeling, specializing in ceramic tile. His mother Edna worked at Memorex, a computer and recording tape producer that’s no longer is in business.
“I was the inquisitive little kid who was always asking `why,’” Marshal said. “So, sometimes, when I was arguing with my parents, they would say to me, `You should be a lawyer.’ It’s a career I still enjoy to this day.”
Marshal grew up in Santa Clara County and graduated from Cupertino High School (class of 1974). In 1978, he graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in economics. In 1983, he graduated from the University of Santa Clara School of Law, where he was an associate editor of the Santa Clara Law Review.
After SDSU, in the fall of 1978, Marshal got a job as a cook at a new restaurant in La Mesa. “I was a member of the crew that opened the Marie Callender’s on Alvarado Road in La Mesa,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, especially on a Friday and Saturday night when you’ve got 12 orders to fill -- all the same time. I enjoyed the challenge of having lots of pans in the fire at once.”
In 1979, Marshal married his wife Dina, who he met at SDSU. Their wedding was held three weeks before both of them started law school together. They recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
Today, Dina Feldman-Scarr specializes in mediation and serves as a pro tem administrative law judge for the State of California conducting general jurisdiction mediations. She also is an adjunct facility member teaching dispute resolution at California Western School of Law in San Diego. They have two children, including son Shane, who attends Whittier College in Whittier, Calif., and daughter Anna, who lives and works in San Diego.
Marshal is a member of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California and has taught accredited continuing education courses for lawyers and real estate professionals on real property transactions and landlord tenant law. He also is experienced in probates. He also helped found a community bank and then served on the bank’s board of director’s and loan committee. He was the recipient of the 2002 Community Hero Award from Senior Community Center for his assistance in a low-income senior housing project in East Village. And, he was named by San Diego Magazine as a Top Lawyer in 2014.
Although not every PSAR member could recognize Marshal in a crowd, he has great admiration for the association. “I am very impressed with the competence and innovation of their staff and the dedication of their board. The volunteers really care about their roles. As a result, PSAR has remained a stable and strong organization.”

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Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: He is a member of the Squamish Band of Indians from around Vancouver, Canada.