Local attorney remembered by colleagues

February 12, 2002

Local attorney remembered by colleagues


Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright said there were plenty of times during Kenneth Mackley's law career when he represented clients who needed legal help but couldn't afford to pay attorney fees.

And then there were times when Mackley would go to bat for clients who he felt were wronged by authorities, Wright said.

"I always felt that Ken was the ultimate attorney," said Wright, who knew Mackley for about 40 years. "He was the best attorney that I have ever had the pleasure of being with, because of his willingness to take on the hard cases for the underdog."

Mackley, of Hagerstown, died Sunday at his home. He was 77.

He is survived by his wife, Corrine L. Mackley; three daughters, Heidi Mackley of Hagerstown, Marlene Waller of Frederick, Md., and Michelle Testani of Catonsville, Md.; one son, Erich Mackley of Hagerstown; three stepdaughters, Marcia Mackley, Robin Dickerson and Denise Hovermale, all of Hagerstown; and 12 grandchildren.


Wright described Mackley as the "dean of attorneys" because of his experience, knowledge of the law and his strong belief in giving honest representation to his clients.

"He was just the epitome of what an attorney should be," Wright said.

Washington County State's Attorney Kenneth Long said he was stunned when he learned of Mackley's death.

"I had just seen him at the courthouse last week," Long said.

Long, who knew Mackley for between 25 and 30 years, said he had a reputation for standing strongly behind his clients.

"Mr. Mackley was the kind of guy that as a lawyer was absolutely tenacious in the representation of his clients," Long said. "He always expressed and had the courage of his convictions."

Mackley, a 1949 graduate of the University of Maryland Law School, also studied at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

After working for the U.S. Air Force at Fairchild Aircraft as a contracting assistant and later serving as division counsel, Mackley practiced law with the firm of Ottinger, Mackley and Gilbert. He was also a part-time instructor of business law at Hagerstown Junior College.

He served in Gen. Patton's Third Army in Europe during World War II and served as an Army Judge Advocate Officer in Germany, doing trial work with the 2nd Armored Division.

Mackley loved to travel, and some of his favorite places included Switzerland and Austria, Wright said.

"He would always send me postcards from wherever he was," Wright said.

Wright said Mackley will be missed throughout the community.

"Our community lost its voice of conscience."

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