WEST PALM BEACH — In much more than two decades of practicing law in Palm Beach front County, John Foley fought for the rights of folks with AIDS and HIV. He fought for victims of wage theft. He was a mentor to younger attorneys.
Foley, an attorney with the Lawful Support Society of Palm Seashore County, died Feb. 17 following an 18-thirty day period battle with glioblastoma. He was 60. Colleagues and friends gathered for a memorial services last 7 days, remembering Foley for his legal acumen and compassion in encouraging customers.
On Monday, the Nonprofit Chamber of Palm Beach County announced the creation of a scholarship in Foley’s honor. The John A. Foley, Esq., Legal Scholarship will be awarded yearly to a Florida lawful scholar who designs to practice community-interest legislation.
Foley, who lived in West Palm Beach, spent his profession in public-fascination law, delivering low-cost authorized assistance to dozens of the county’s nonprofits via Authorized Aid’s Nonprofit Authorized Aid Undertaking, which he assisted to set up.
Above extra than two many years, he delivered in-property counsel to additional than 60 nonprofits throughout Florida, with an emphasis on labor and employment, human means, governance and corporate regulation.
“John was an incredible lawyer,” Bob Bertisch, govt director of the Authorized Help Culture, explained Monday. “He had fantastic lawful abilities. His compassion for his clients, his determination to equivalent justice for all men and women who lived in our community, was just inspiring.”
Foley was born in Hollywood, Calif., but raised in South Florida. He attended Miami Beach Superior School and the College of Miami, in which he gained undergraduate and regulation levels. To support pay back for his higher education schooling, Foley worked as a phlebotomist at Mount Sinai Medical Heart, where by he met his spouse, Suzanne.
He worked in private observe in Miami till 1996 and was a portion-time advisor for the Legal Help Modern society of Palm Seashore County before accepting a complete-time place. In his do the job with the modern society, he oversaw several projects, these as the Ryan White AIDS Plan, the Professional medical Lawful Venture and the Wage Dispute Venture.
“John was the most exceptionally generous particular person with his time, with his skills,” said Stephanie Carden, a previous attorney with the Legal Assist Modern society. “He was just a fantastic lawyer. He never ever reported ‘No’ to anyone who called and required support.”
His operate symbolizing specific shoppers, specifically AIDS and HIV patients, offered some of his most satisfying moments, Carden stated. Foley was awarded the Lawful Support Society’s Human Rights Advocacy Award in 1997 for his perform symbolizing a client with HIV who experienced been denied wellness coverage.
“I assume that perform was some of his most fulfilling get the job done, mainly because he represented individuals,” Carden said.
“That was in the 90s. It was a distinctive variety of epidemic then. There were being much less protections for persons with HIV/AIDS. He actually felt representing individuals, that one particular-on-1 contact, to be actually satisfying in phrases of vocation and personally.”
Patrick Quinlan, a further legal professional, explained he and Foley became close good friends by way of their shared love of new music. Foley was an avid collector who taught himself to perform the guitar and the keyboard. Singer-songwriters Elton John and Elvis Costello were being two of his beloved musical artists.
“John and I had been about audio,” Quinlan mentioned. “We would have extended mobile phone discussions. About 90 to 95 p.c of what we talked about had to do with audio. Sometimes law would appear up.”
Suzanne Foley died in 2008 following a battle with cancer. Next John Foley’s analysis, he experienced reviewed applying his songs selection to raise income for professional medical investigate at St. Jude Children’s Healthcare facility. The pandemic delayed the undertaking, Quinlan claimed.
“We by no means have officially gotten John and Pat’s Records and Tapes for Hope off the floor, but we are trying to function out one thing so that he could do what what he required to do, which was convert his selection and his enjoy for songs into some thing optimistic to combat in opposition to most cancers,” Quinlan stated.