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Pat Maloney, Sr.

Pat  Maloney, Sr.
Status: Deceased

(1924 - 2005)

Pat Maloney joined the marines when he was 17. He fought in the 'great war'- WWII. He was wounded in combat several times; he was at Iwo Jima when the United States flag was raised. He received two purple hearts for valor.

Pat once stated in an interview: I never wanted to be a lawyer. Not even after I graduated from law school. I wanted to be a sportswriter. Writing and sports were my true loves. In order to earn a living, I started to write speeches for Lyndon Johnson. We became good friends. He wanted me to go to Washington with him but Ladybird talked me out of it.

Pat went on to get a job at the district attorney's office and "felt like a damn fool and a fraud. I'd never even known a lawyer. I'd never even been in a courtroom. I had no car to get to work and didn't know how to drive one if I did. But the first time I entered that courtroom, the first time I addressed a jury, I knew I was home. This is what I was born to do."

From humble origins Pat rose to the top of the legal profession. He was regarded as one of the best trial attorneys in the country by the best trial attorneys in the country. His courtroom skills were legendary. Pat became a flamboyant trial lawyer. Combative and controversial in a personal-injury and product-liability career that spanned more than a half-century. He was known as the "King of Torts." He went on to collect San Antonio's first $1 million personal injury judgment in 1974 for a client injured in a truck explosion and won a $25 million verdict following a 1985 propane truck explosion in Del Rio that killed 13 people and severely burned his client. In 1990 he landed a $55.7 million judgment for a widow who was bilked by an insurance firm, but the 4th District Court of Appeals lowered the award to $11.3 million. In 1990, a year after being named to the Forbes list of top trial lawyers, he won four more multimillion-dollar verdicts. All-in-all, Pat won more than a hundred cases where the verdict topped $1 million.

Pat was a legal legend in Texas. Not only was he a very successful people's lawyer but he lived his values by helping the poor and needy. He would make sandwiches to pass out to the homeless. He also spoke and wrote eloquently about such issues as economic opportunity and civil equality. In 2005, Pat died peacefully in his sleep after watching his beloved University of Texas Longhorns defeat the Buckeyes of Ohio State. When asked what he would like people to say in his eulogy, Pat once told the interviewer, "He died a good Democrat and Catholic."

Pat served as President of the Inner Circle from 1995-1997.
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