McDONALD--James Douglas, died at home from pneumonia on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Venice, Florida at the age of 81. Jim was born in Chicago on August 2, 1932 to Mac and Glad McDonald graduated St. Ignatius High School. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Economics in 1954. At Cornell he was a member of the Crew, Quill & Dagger and Phi Psi fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army. He received his J.D. degree from Cornell Law School in 1958. Jim's first job was at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Manhattan. He received a Master of Laws in International Antitrust from NYU. In 1967 Jim joined American Cyanamid Company where he was manager of Legal Department from 1978-1994. Jim was a volunteer lawyer for the USAID/VOCA in the Czech Republic and Uganda. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as a Director of the Board of The Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington where from 1994 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Legal Committee. Jim and his wife, Kathleen, moved to Venice, Florida in 1997. He became a member of The Florida Bar and worked for eleven years as a full-time volunteer lawyer at Gulfcoast Legal Services in Sarasota. In 2010 he received the Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence in Legal Aid Impact granted by the Florida Bar Foundation. In 2011 he was a recipient of the 50 Year Continuous Legal Practice Award granted by The Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court. In 2013 he received the Florida Bar Association's Pro Bono Award for giving over 12,000 hours of legal service to Sarasota and Manatee Counties' poor and elderly. In July of 2013 he formed the law firm of McDonald & Boyle with his friend and colleague, Elizabeth M. Boyle and continued to work for their poor and elder clients until his death. Jim was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, Court of Claims of the United States, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Jim was brilliant, funny, generous, kind, compassionate, courteous and a real gentleman. And he loved to waltz! He was a member of the American Bar Association, The Florida Bar, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Selden Society, the N.A.A.C.P., Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Cornell Club of Sarasota. He is listed in Who's Who in American Law. Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Kathleen Glah McDonald, children Mark, Julia, Maria, Alexandra, Amara, Greg, Timothy, John, Annie, Brenda and Marco (deceased), his brother David and sister Jean Rousseau, eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A lifelong Roman Catholic and a man of strong faith, Jim was a member of Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice, Florida. A Mass of celebration will be held at Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W, Venice on Thursday, June 19 at 11am.
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Published in The New York Times on June 15, 2014