In Memoriam: Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr.
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in 1950 and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1953;
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. was law clerk to the Honorable Herbert Funk Goodrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1953 to 1954 and law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Harold Burton from 1954 to 1955;
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics from 1955 to 1956;
WHEREAS, upon his return to the United States, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. joined the firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads, where he became partner, Chair of the Litigation Department, and member of the Management Committee;
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. served as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 1976, and focused the Association on the selection of qualified judicial candidates and the expansion of access to legal services for the poor;
WHEREAS, in 1983, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he served admirably for 34 years until his retirement at the age of 89 in 2017;
WHEREAS, throughout his life, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr., was a dynamic leader in the legal community, being a founder and board member of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia in 1974, board member of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, founding chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court and member of the Codes of Conduct Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1995 to 2001;
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr. was an energetic community leader, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Gladwyne Library Committee, the Board of the Pennsylvania Sons of the American Revolution and the board of overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, singing in the Savoy Company and the Courterparts, and presiding as President of the Edgemere Club; and
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill will always be remembered as a highly respected and outstanding jurist, and for his brilliance as a lawyer and judge, his story-telling, his respect for litigants and counsel who appeared before him, his humility, and his kind and caring nature and concern for others,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association adopts this memorial resolution in recognition of the character, contributions and achievements of the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr., and extends its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Jeanne, children Caroline, Thomas III and Ellen and their families on the passing of a beloved and respected colleague and former Chancellor, devoted family member and faithful friend.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: February 15, 2018