(1932 - 1994)
If you were casting a movie for the role of a country lawyer, Tom McAliley would have filled the bill. With his shock of white hair and courtly demeanor, he looked the part of the small-town southern gentleman. But looks deceive. He was a gentleman all right, in the best senses of the word, yet Tom loved being a "character" a cigar-chomping, boot-wearing southern attorney who fought for civil rights, stood up for the underdog, and won million-dollar verdicts.
Tom, an Army veteran of the Korean War, served as President of the Florida State Bar Legal Services Committee in 1971. In 1987, he represented Donna Rice after her involvement with Gary Hart led to his withdrawal from the presidential race. Donna denied being the "party girl" that the media portrayed her as, and was outraged by the false reporting. She hired Tom to investigate legal action against several newspaper and television stations.
As he was preparing to go to court in Tampa for another underdog a disabled railroad worker Tom collapsed of an aneurysm. He died from complications at age 62.