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John Peter "Jack" Daniels


1937 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John Peter "Jack" Daniels Obituary
February 5, 1937 - May 14, 2016 Trial Lawyer, Athlete & Mentor John Peter ("Jack") Daniels passed away from throat cancer complications on Saturday May 14, 2016, at his home in West Los Angeles. He was 79. Jack graduated from Dartmouth College in 1959 with a degree in government. Driven by the ambition to be an Olympian, he excelled in collegiate swimming and AAU competition after college. He remained an avid swimmer his entire life. Guests in Jack and his wife Susan's home can trace his athletic accomplishments with the medals and recognitions that adorn its walls. Jack and Susan met in the early 1980's while pursuing their shared love of the sea and scuba diving. Jack was a certified diving instructor and Susan, a professional underwater photographer. Together Jack and Susan enjoyed a life filled with travel, golf, and good friends. They also raised and trained guide dogs for the disabled and actively supported veterans organizations. Jack's pursuits with Susan balanced his core ambition to be a great trial lawyer. After his graduation from the University of Southern California School of Law and his admission to the California Bar in 1964, Jack began his career as a trial lawyer with the firm of Bolton, Groff & Dunne in Los Angeles. He then joined the firm Acret & Perrochet where he met his career-long colleague and friend, Paul Fine. In the early 1980's, Jack, Paul, and others formed the firm, Daniels, Baratta & Fine and later Daniels, Fine, Israel, Schonbuch & Lebovits, LLP, in which Jack was a senior partner until his retirement. Over his 43 years as a successful trial lawyer he tried more than 200 cases to verdict. To other trial lawyers in the Los Angeles bar he was known for his wit, intellect, professionalism, and scrupulous preparation of cases. He brought the same skills to bear when he began a second career as a full-time mediator and arbitrator with Judicate West until his struggle with throat cancer began. Throughout his career, Jack was a prominent member of professional organizations. Through his association with the American Board of Trial Advocates he trained the next generation of trial lawyers to achieve the highest standards of advocacy. For his work as an educator with ABOTA, in 1988 he was appointed the Course Director of the Jack Daniels' ABOTA Trial Academy, a position that he held until the end of his life. A widower, Jack passed quietly in the company of his beloved Dobermans. His brother William B. Daniels, his sister-in-law Claudia Daniels, his nieces Katharine Daniels Kurz, Alexandra Daniels Edwards, Kate Gurley, Megan Gurley and Ellen Gurley Ball survive him. Memorial contributions may be made to Loyola Law School in the memory of Jack and Susan Daniels.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 3 to June 5, 2016
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