GERRY NOLTING - MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Gerry Nolting died of a heart attack on Oct. 8, 2012, in Minneapolis. He was born on Dec. 10, 1954, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Vermont as a child. While at South Burlington High School he made his mark as an athlete, champion debater and class leader. In his senior year, Gerry received the school's scholar athlete award. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Vermont in 1977, he attended the University of Wisconsin School of Law, served as an editor of the law review and graduated cum laude, receiving his law degree in 1980. For the next 32 years, Gerry worked tirelessly as one of the nation's top litigators. Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, he used his skill as a tenacious lawyer to reach what was then the largest punitive damage settlement in United States history for the 2000 Alaskan commercial fishermen and fishing businesses he represented. Gerry worked on the case from its inception in 1989 until its conclusion in 2008. From 2010 until his death, Gerry spent much of his time in the Gulf Coast region using Exxon Valdez experience to help those harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill - the worst in U.S. history. His clients were shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers and fin-fishers from across the Gulf, and also included a large number of first-generation Vietnamese immigrants. Gerry's tireless efforts were instrumental in achieving the epic $7.8 billion global settlement. During his career, Gerry received numerous awards including the national Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (1995) and was recently recognized as the Top-Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation (American Lawyer, 2012). Despite his workload, he always took time to mentor his firm's lawyers and staff. He also served as a volunteer coach for mock trial teams from local high schools. Gerry was always willing to help brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. On many occasions he offered late night sage legal and life advice to anxious siblings. Family could always count on Gerry when things got tough. He had a passion for politics and a keen sense of what was right in this world and how to fix what was wrong. His sophisticated, dry sense of humor was unmatched. He reveled in catching huge king salmon in the cool, clear waters of Alaska's Lake Creek. Gerry cherished his time with his family and took special pride in his daughters' adventures and accomplishments. Gerry is survived by a large and loving family: wife, Elissa Mautner; daughters, Annie and Maggie, of Minneapolis, Minn.; father, Harold Nolting of Shelburne; sister, Laura (Smith) and husband, Jim, of South Berwick, Maine, and her daughter, Johanna and partner, Carolyn (Millham), and their son, Calvin, of Burlington, son, Patrick and wife, Heather, of NYC, and daughter, Erin of Portland, Maine; brother, Joe and wife, Annie, of Bellingham, Wash., and their son, Ben, of Lincoln, Neb.; brother, Jim and wife, Peggy (Weaver), and their children, Maddie and Dylan, of South Burlington; sister, Mary Jane (Sinkel) and husband, Jim, and their sons, James and Jack, of Princeton, Minn.; brother, Tom and wife, Carrie, and their sons, Kyle, Evan, and Cameron, of South Burlington; sister, Nancy (Scagnelli) and husband, David, and their children, Connor, Ryan, and Meg, of South Burlington; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Gerry was predeceased by his mother, Ann E. Nolting. A celebration of Gerry's life will be held on Nov. 23, 2012, in Minneapolis, Minn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gerry Nolting Scholarship Fund. Please send checks to SBHS, 550 Dorset St., So. Burlington, VT 05403.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Oct. 13, 2012