WEST PALM BEACH — In a lot more than two many years of practising law in Palm Beach County, John Foley fought for the rights of men and women with AIDS and HIV. He fought for victims of wage theft. He was a mentor to younger lawyers.
Foley, an attorney with the Lawful Support Culture of Palm Seashore County, died Feb. 17 just after an 18-month battle with glioblastoma. He was 60. Colleagues and mates gathered for a memorial services past week, remembering Foley for his legal acumen and compassion in serving to customers.
On Monday, the Nonprofit Chamber of Palm Beach County introduced the generation of a scholarship in Foley’s honor. The John A. Foley, Esq., Legal Scholarship will be awarded each year to a Florida authorized scholar who designs to observe community-interest legislation.
Foley, who lived in West Palm Seaside, spent his vocation in general public-fascination regulation, delivering minimal-price lawful suggestions to dozens of the county’s nonprofits by means of Lawful Aid’s Nonprofit Lawful Assistance Undertaking, which he assisted to establish.
More than much more than two decades, he supplied in-dwelling counsel to more than 60 nonprofits throughout Florida, with an emphasis on labor and work, human methods, governance and corporate regulation.
“John was an incredible legal professional,” Bob Bertisch, executive director of the Lawful Aid Modern society, said Monday. “He experienced excellent authorized skills. His compassion for his shoppers, his motivation to equal justice for all persons who lived in our neighborhood, was just inspiring.”
Foley was born in Hollywood, Calif., but raised in South Florida. He attended Miami Beach Significant College and the College of Miami, in which he acquired undergraduate and legislation degrees. To assist shell out for his faculty education, Foley worked as a phlebotomist at Mount Sinai Medical Middle, wherever he met his spouse, Suzanne.
He worked in non-public apply in Miami right up until 1996 and was a component-time guide for the Lawful Assist Modern society of Palm Beach front County before accepting a complete-time situation. In his do the job with the society, he oversaw numerous jobs, such as the Ryan White AIDS Method, the Medical Lawful Undertaking and the Wage Dispute Project.
“John was the most very generous particular person with his time, with his talents,” reported Stephanie Carden, a previous lawyer with the Legal Support Society. “He was just a excellent attorney. He under no circumstances claimed ‘No’ to anybody who named and desired enable.”
His function symbolizing unique clientele, particularly AIDS and HIV sufferers, offered some of his most satisfying times, Carden said. Foley was awarded the Authorized Help Society’s Human Rights Advocacy Award in 1997 for his get the job done representing a shopper with HIV who experienced been denied well being insurance plan.
“I consider that operate was some of his most fulfilling do the job, mainly because he represented men and women,” Carden stated.
“That was in the 90s. It was a diverse sort of epidemic then. There have been fewer protections for persons with HIV/AIDS. He truly felt representing men and women, that one-on-1 call, to be actually satisfying in terms of career and individually.”
Patrick Quinlan, an additional attorney, mentioned he and Foley turned close close friends by their shared appreciate of new music. Foley was an avid collector who taught himself to participate in the guitar and the keyboard. Singer-songwriters Elton John and Elvis Costello had been two of his preferred musical artists.
“John and I were being about music,” Quinlan mentioned. “We would have extensive mobile phone conversations. About 90 to 95 p.c of what we talked about experienced to do with music. Sometimes law would arrive up.”
Suzanne Foley died in 2008 after a fight with cancer. Pursuing John Foley’s diagnosis, he had mentioned employing his songs assortment to elevate money for health care investigate at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The pandemic delayed the venture, Quinlan explained.
“We never ever have officially gotten John and Pat’s Data and Tapes for Hope off the ground, but we’re seeking to perform out some thing so that he could do what what he needed to do, which was turn his collection and his love for audio into one thing beneficial to fight against most cancers,” Quinlan stated.