Thomas H. Carolan
JUDGE MATHIAS: I call upon Mr. Daniel Donohoe to speak in memory of Thomas H. Carolan.
MR. DONOHOE: Honorable Judges, Mrs. Carolan, members of the family, distinguished guests and colleagues.
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working closeley with Tom Carolan for the last fourteen years of his life. I’m sorry it was not longer.
Tom Carolan was a graduate of Georgetown Law School, returned to his home thereafter in Decorah, Iowa, and started practice as a sole practitioner. Always active in the Democratic Party, he soon ran successfully for County Attorney and was swept into office in the normally Republican State of Iowa with Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first term.
After serving two terms in office Tom returned to private practice in Decorah until the beginning of World War II in which he was lured back to his wife’s hometown, Washington, D. C., as an attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the Treasury Department. Shortly after World War II Tom began private practice in Washington, D. C. and became probably the premiere specialist in unblocking funds of foreign citizens and corporations which had been seized by the United States Government under the Trading With the Enemy Act during the War. In 1964 Judge Leonard Walsh of the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Tom a fee of one million dollars in a class action case against the United States Government, a case in which Tom had worked for eighteen years and in which he had successfully lobbied the United States Senate to pass legislation extending the time period for claimants to file claims. The time period had originally expired. Thereafter he tried the case. It went to the Court of Appeals and twice went up to the United States Supreme Court. On both occasions he was successful and his client received a great deal of money on this case.
The dedication that Tom displayed in this particular case was typical of Tom in every case he undertook, whether it was a traffic case in the District Court or any other matter in which he served his client.
In addition to being a fine legal scholar Tom was a very keen practitioner and enjoyed the hubbub of a trial, never losing sight of his goal.
Tom liked people and was in turn liked by people. He thoroughly enjoyed conventions and other gatherings and he rarely missed a Democratic National Convention during the forties, fifties and sixties. He was particularly active in Montgomery County politically, at one time running for the State Central Committee and for several elections he managed the campaign of George Mahoney in Montgomery County. I recall him telling me on more than one occasion that he thought George may have been elected had he not chosen to speak extemporaneously from time to time.
He further was really active in the County Bar Association serving on several committees and serving well.
In the last several years of his life Tom suffered several heart attacks and other health problems which caused him great distress. However, he was always cheerful, helpful and effective. He continued in active practice.
Tom was a great family man. He had four children, sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of whom he loved dearly and whom he was able to communicate with well.
He further was great church man. I believe Tom went to church about every morning of his life.
Our profession and the lives of all of us who were fortunate enough to be served, to be befriended and to know this fine man have been enriched and he will be sorely missed.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Mr. Donohoe.
Judge Cahoon will respond.
JUDGE CAHOON: Thank you, Judge Mathias.
We are here not only memorializing our reminiscences of the backgrounds of those numerous advocates but to commemorate the contribution that they made to our assistance for the administration of justice. It’s one that is based upon an adversarial system. The success depends upon the utmost application of the talents of each individual advocate and that is why we address certain significance and specific characteristic to each of these, all of them truly jewels in the mosaic of our system.
Mr. Carolan was an ardent supporter of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He epitomized or was the epitomy of the gracious gentlemanly but earnest and strong advocate. He was a good litigator and he never rested on his laurels.
Mr. Donohoe has made reference to a very significant victory that he had against the Government and I’m sure that it provided him with a means to have retired and rested but that was not the makeup of Mr. Carolan. He pursued with vigor his activities in his profession and in public life in this County. He was generous in his time that he gave to other practitioners and in the end he was a magnificent example to all of us in his dedication to his wife, Maggie.
I would ask the Clerk to please spread upon the record of this Court the remarks of Mr. Donohoe and my response.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Judge Cahoon.