In memoriam

Issue December 2007

Daniel O. Mahoney
Nov. 30, 1928 – Nov. 9, 2007

Massachusetts Bar Association Past President Daniel O. Mahoney, 78, of Mattapoisett, died Nov. 9 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Mahoney served as president during the 1982–83 association year.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mahoney was a senior litigation partner at Palmer & Dodge in Boston until his retirement. He was a member of the Boston and American Bar Associations.

In the late 1970s, he was a member of the Ward Commission, which investi- gated corruption in the awarding of public building contracts in Massachu- setts and brought about far-reaching reforms, including the first-in-the-nation state inspector general’s office.

Jeffrey F. Jones, a partner at Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge LLP and a former managing partner at Palmer & Dodge, recalled meeting Mahoney, who was the firm’s leading partner in the litigation department, while Jones was a new associate.

Jones said, “He was a terrific guy personally, very warm, very friendly. He was a big bear of a man, and he had a marvelous voice. He had a personality and a voice that would fill any room he was in, including a courtroom. He had a degree of humility as well and self-awareness. He had a sense of balance about himself and his place in the world.”

Jones said Mahoney’s involve-ment on the Ward Commission was a significant public service contribu- tion. “There was no question that he was the right-hand man to the chair of the commission.”

Nick Littlefield, a partner in the Boston office of Foley Hoag LLP, was staff director and chief counsel for the Ward Commission. He called Mahoney the “backbone” of the commission.

“I think all of us who worked on the commission and all of us who watched Dan understood that it couldn’t have happened without him,” Littlefield said.

During the Korean War, he served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the U.S. Army Reserve, achieving the rank of captain. Mahoney was a grad- uate of Williams College and Harvard Law School.

Born in New Bedford and raised in Mattapoisett, Mahoney was a longtime resident of Marblehead, where he and his late wife, Nancy (Miller) Mahoney, raised their family. In the 1980s, he and his wife returned to Mattapoisett, where he served on the board of selectman and zoning board of appeals.
He also served on the board of direct- ors of Social Justice for Women and as president of the boards of trustees of the Tower School in Marblehead and Con- cord Academy.