Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree

Mr. Gerald McMahon

Once described as "the last Renaissance gentleman lawyer," Jerry McMahon practiced law for 53 years at one firm, Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek. Prior to establishing himself as one of the most revered lawyers in San Diego, Jerry attended the University of Southern California on an ROTC scholarship. Upon graduation, he entered the Navy as a naval aviator on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. Jerry attended University of San Diego School of Law at night while working by day, graduating summa cum laude in 1964.

Early in his career, he practiced in a wide range of areas, eventually focusing on family law litigation and trying more than 100 cases. He served as the Litigation Practice Chairman and Chair of the Firm for many years, teaching and mentoring multiple young lawyers along the way. Known for his civility and dedication to clients, Jerry was key in establishing Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as one of San Diego’s oldest and most respected law firms.

The Ohio native was active in several organizations dedicated to serving both the legal and San Diego communities. During his career, he received many professional honors including being named a Fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers, admitted to The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and designated as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of San Diego School of Law. A devoted family man, he credited his wife of 63 years, Donna, for “any success” he had.