Christopher Patti, chief campus counsel UC Berkeley

SAN FRANCISCO — UC Berkeley chief campus counsel Christopher Patti died Sunday in a hit-and-run accident while bicycling in Sonoma County.

In a post on UC Berkeley’s news website, Chancellor Carol Christ spoke highly of Patti.

“I speak for the Berkeley community in saying how grief-stricken we are at Chris Patti’s untimely death. He was an extraordinary colleague,” Christ said in a statement. “He loved the university and he had a deep core of integrity that motivated everything he did.”

According to a report by SFGate, Patti died around 8:45 a.m., on the right-side shoulder of Highway 116 West. The report said Patti had pulled over to check his phone when the driver of a BMW, entering a curve just west of Summer Crossing, lost control of his vehicle and struck Patti. California Highway Patrol named 28-year-old Jonathan Ritter of the Rio Nido/Monte Rio area as the driver and are treating him as a person of interest. According to SFGate, the driver did not stop after hitting Patti.

Patti became UC Berkeley’s chief campus counsel in 2010 after 20 years in the Office of the General Counsel at the University of California Office of the President. Over those two decades, he worked on litigation matters around student affairs and constitutional issues. He represented the Board of Regents of the University of California, a special assistant to the president, a UC Irvine law professor, a UC Davis chancellor, a UC Santa Barbara graduate division dean and the University of California itself.

Before joining the University of California, Patti practiced general corporate litigation at the now-defunct Heller Ehrman. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983.

University of California general counsel and vice president of legal affairs Charles Robinson said in a statement that Patti will be remembered for his kindness and his legal expertise.

“Chris was a wonderful colleague and friend who cared about people and doing the right thing,” Robinson said. “He was an extraordinary lawyer to whom we all turned for advice and counsel. His loss is unfathomable.”