James Dougherty, Malverne court justice, dies

Malverne Village Court Justice and longtime attorney James Malverne Village Court Justice and longtime attorney James W. Dougherty died Friday after suffering from complications from a fall at his home on Tuesday. He was 75. (Aug. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: handout

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Malverne Village Court justice and longtime attorney James W. Dougherty died Friday after suffering complications from a fall at his home on Tuesday. He was 75.

"He was the peacemaker," said his daughter Maureen Dougherty, 52, of Rockville Centre, who is a matrimonial attorney in Garden City and prosecutor for the Village of Westbury. "Everyone relied on him for his advice. He was a gentle soul."

Dougherty was born Jan. 16, 1937, in Manhattan and raised in Flushing, Queens. He attended St. John's University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1956. He went on to get his law degree from St. John's in 1972.

Dougherty met his wife Olga, now 75, when they were in high school. They were married in 1955 and moved to Malverne in 1964.

"They had a loving, warm and wonderful partnership," his daughter said. "They were inseparable. He called her his bride."

Dougherty opened a law firm in Malverne in 1972, specializing in corporate, real estate and matrimonial cases. His wife was his legal secretary and his mother-in-law was his bookkeeper until he closed his Hempstead Avenue office in 2010.

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In April, Dougherty received a citation from Malverne officials for his 25 years of service as the village justice.

"He was an old-fashioned attorney," said Maureen Dougherty, adding that her father's grandfather, father and granddaughter were also attorneys. "Anyone could walk up to him and talk to him."

Dougherty was president of the New York State Magistrates in 2004 and the Nassau County Magistrates in 1991. He was also a member of Nassau County Bar and the Knights of Columbus of St. Mary's Council. He had recently become a court mediator.

A wake will be held tomorrow and Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Malverne Funeral Home, 330 Hempstead Ave., Malverne. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 9:45 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 65 Wright Ave., Malverne. He will be buried at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by sons Patrick, 55, of Malverne; Thomas, 48, of Malverne; Michael, 46, of Oceanside; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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