Lunch with Legends: Trailblazers, Trendsetters and Treasures of the Rhode Island Bar, 1014 RIBJ, 63 RI Bar J., No. 2, Pg. 17

AuthorMatthew R. Plain, Esq. Barton Gilman LLP Providence.

Lunch with Legends: Trailblazers, Trendsetters and Treasures of the Rhode Island Bar

Vol. 63 No. 2 Pg. 17

Rhode Island Bar Journal

October, 2014

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0 September, 2014

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0 Matthew R. Plain, Esq. Barton Gilman LLP Providence.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Gerald C. DeMaria was in born in Providence, Rhode Island on May 5, 1942. He grew up in Smith Hill, where his father owned and operated LaSalle Bakery. Mr. DeMaria graduated from LaSalle Academy in 1960, and Providence College, where he majored in Political Science, in 1964. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army, and deferred active duty while he attended Suffolk University Law School. Mr. DeMaria graduated from law school in 1967, gained admission to the Bar in the fall of 1967, and began his military service in January of 1968. He was stationed, among other places, in Korat, Thailand, where he tried criminal cases until the completion of his service in January 1970. Mr. DeMaria returned to Rhode Island to practice at Higgins, Cavanagh, & Cooney, alongside his initial mentors, Joseph Cavanagh, Sr. and Ken Borden. He also counts legendary lawyer, Joe Kelly, among his mentors, and deems him "the chronicler of the common law." Forty-four years later, Mr. DeMaria still practices at Higgins, Cavanagh, & Cooney, and he is considered by many as one of the state's most accomplished trial attorneys in the product liability arena. Excerpts from my conversation with this longstanding Rhode Island Bar veteran follow.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0What has been your most memorable experience over the course of your legal career?

All things considered, it was being a lawyer in the lead paint case, the lead paint public nuisance case the Attorney General brought against six lead pigment manufacturers, which lasted ten years and entailed two trials, ultimately resulting in the Supreme Court rendering a decision for the defendants ten years after the start of the lawsuit. It was about ten years of a real hard-fought litigation. My client was Glidden Paint Manufacturing. I was trial counsel with them here in Rhode Island.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Over the course of your legal career, who has been your most formidable opponent?

My most formidable opponents have been Len Dec of and his son, Mark, both of whom are also dear friends, but very formidable.


To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT