Outstanding Lawyer Edward Mullinix Dies
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Summary: Outstanding lawyer Edward Mullinix died Wednesday.

The passing of Edward W. Mullinix, 91, marks the end of a successful lawyer’s life. His distinction was not in the magnitude of the cases he took on, but his adherence to strict principles of excellence and integrity. He died Wednesday, Dec. 9, of Alzheimer’s at the Forest at Duke in Durham, N.C.


“Mr. Mullinix was a man of great dignity and grace, who taught all he knew the importance of honesty, integrity, and adherence to the highest level of honor,” said his family, after his passing.

Those who knew him personally and worked with him fully agree with that statement, with many iterating similar phrases:

“Edward was uncompromising when it came to the requirement of excellence, and held himself and those around him to the same high standards,” said firm chairman David Smith.

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Such was his preference for excellence that coming out of law school, where he graduated first in his class at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, after serving in World War 2 with the Navy, he declined a clerkship with the justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, thinking the justice was “not that outstanding.”

After Mr. Mullinix was declined at an old-school Philadelphia firm, lacking family connections, as they said, despite a remarkable resume, he applied at seven New York firms, won seven offers, and instead applied at a Jewish firm in Philadelphia that hired non-Jews. They accepted him.

“It was Schnader. He got hired and was a giant of the bar,” said Peter F. Vaira, former U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and friend of Mullinix’s, who wrote this in an email.

“Ed was in all respects an elegant gentleman: elegant in his dress, elegant in his movements and, most importantly, elegant in his analysis of the most complex of legal problems, and a gentleman in treating everyone, of whatever station, with unfailing courtesy, said former firm chairman Dennis Supplee.

While working at Schnader, he specialized in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, focusing on commercial and antitrust cases. He also chaired the firm’s standing committee on professional conduct. Adherence to excellence and integrity characterized his career from start to finish, and it was what he was known for.

He worked up from associate to partner between 1949 and 1992, serving as senior counsel until retiring in 2012.

He is survived by his wife Virginia, 71; daughter Marcia Ladd; son Edward W. Jr.; three grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. Services will be private.

News Source: Philly


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