In Memorium – Donald J. P. Sweeney – 1938-2021Please Click Here

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10Jun 2021

Sweeney & Sheehan mourns the loss of its founder, Donald J.P. Sweeney, Esquire. A viewing will take place on Saturday June 12th at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 212 Welsh Road, Huntingdon Valley from 9 – 11 A.M. followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 A.M. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made in his honor to St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, 1733 Girard Ave., Phila., Pa 19130 or St. Albert the Great Catholic Church at the above address. His obituary may be found at: Donald J. P. Sweeney Obituary

In announcing his passing to the firm, Managing Partner Warren Voter wrote:

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Sweeney & Sheehan’s founder, Donald J. P. Sweeney, has passed away.

Don put himself through Temple Law School at night and came of age as a lawyer during the heyday of the insurance defense bar. He became a giant among insurance defense lawyers but despite his accomplishments, never sought accolades. He let his work and results speak for him. He was absolutely fearless in the courtroom. His long time friend, court reporter Bob Ackerman, used to say that Don was one of the few lawyers he’d ever seen who could “turn a case around.” Clients sought him for their biggest cases and he never let them down.

Don grew up in the West Oak Lane section of the City, the only child of an Irish cop father and Irish mother. He was proud of his roots and never forgot them. He always had the greatest respect for people who “came up the hard way”. He believed hard work was the key to success and prized it in himself and his employees. He never failed to recognize and acknowledge the efforts of others and treated everyone associated with the Firm with respect.

Don and Dan McWilliams started the Firm fifty years ago. Legend has it their first office was the trunk of a car when their employer learned they were leaving his firm and locked them out of his office. Although he always had partners, it was Don who built the Firm and then managed it through good times and also times made difficult by significant medical problems. Don never gave in and never lost his resolve. He even took advantage of those difficulties when given the chance. A detached retina is no trivial thing yet Don found that wearing an eye patch and looking like a pirate was not such a bad thing for a trial lawyer. I swear he used that black eye patch several weeks longer than necessary just so he could wear it during a trial in Federal Court. The jury loved it.

Don was my first and only boss, my mentor and later, my friend. He taught me and countless others how to be a good lawyer and more importantly, how to be a good person – who would be respected and trusted by colleagues and adversaries alike and who could be relied upon by family and friends. He taught honesty, integrity and dignity, win or lose.

The night before my first trial, a trial Don went out on a limb with the client to allow me to handle, Don reassured me that, whatever the result, the sun would come up in the East and go down in the West. It was reassuring then and continues to be. Though Don’s sunrises and sunsets have come to an end, what he has meant to me and all who were fortunate enough to know him, never will.

Please keep Don, Ann and their children, Patrick, Shannon, Danny, Gerry and Suzanne, and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.

23Dec 2015

Sweeney & Sheehan continued its tradition of supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program. The goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
TFTTFT3

15Sep 2015

Sweeney & Sheehan Managing Partner Warren Voter and Partner Barbara O’Connell will be giving presentations at the USLAW Fall Client Conference, scheduled for September 17-19 at the Westin Copley Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Voter is speaking in a Product Liability presentation on Managing the Media in the Aftermath of a Catastrophic Event, and Ms. O’Connell is speaking in a Labor and Employment presentation on The Birds, The Bees and The Legalese of Pregnancy Leave. For more information about USLAW, visit www.uslaw.org.

Donald J. P. Sweeney, Esquire

1938-2021

Sweeney & Sheehan mourns the loss of its founder, Donald J.P. Sweeney, Esquire, on June 8, 2021. He was a proud graduate of St. Athanasius Catholic School, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Villanova University and Temple Law School. He practiced law for nearly 40 years, and founded Sweeney & Sheehan in 1971. He was active litigator and he specialized in catastrophic product liability cases. Don supported his children's activities, serving as soccer coach at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church and President of the CYO. He was a lector for nearly 48 years and a member of the choir. He was an active supporter of St. Joseph's Prep and was awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1999 and the Rev. Charles Schnorr, SJ '37 Service Award in 2005. He retired from the practice of law in 2004.

Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann, his children, Shannon, Patrick, Daniel, Gerard and Suzanne, and ten grandchildren.

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