Donald C. Marino, a former chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association who created
the group’s Committee for the Homeless, passed away recently from congestive heart failure.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Marino, 74, died on March 3 at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City N.J.
Marino, who was once the alleged target of an ill-fated Mafia hit, was a “very bright, kind and encouraging man – a real class-act,” Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor William P. Fedullo said in a statement. “He was generous with his time and mentored many lawyers, myself included, and encouraged them to reach their full potential.”
Fedullo, who said Marino’s loss is difficult for both himself personally as well as the entire Philadelphia legal community, credited Marino with helping to inspire him to get involved with the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Marino served as chancellor of the bar association back in 1984, and it was around that time that he formed the Committee for the Homeless, which worked to urge the city to improve the condition of homeless shelters and also help homeless individuals with their legal issues.
Marino also previously served as chancellor of the Justinian Society, an Italian-American legal organization.
During his career, Marino also served as counsel to the City of Philadelphia’s Solicitor’s Office and chaired its litigation department.
He also served as counsel in the litigation department of the Philadelphia law firm Dilworth Paxson, according to the bar association.
Marino, who also worked for a time as a prominent criminal defense attorney, once got the ire of reputed former Philadelphia mob boss John Stanfa, who ordered a hit on the attorney because Marino apparently showed “disrespect” for Stanfa during the mobster’s legal troubles, according to an obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A mob enforcer was also allegedly told to kill another defense attorney, Joseph C. Santaguida, and former Inquirer reporter George Anastasia, the paper reported.
The three hits were never carried out.
According to the newspaper, Marino served as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia from 1964 to 1970, and he worked in private practice from 1973 to 1982.
Marino chaired the litigation group at the Philadelphia Law Department from 2003 to 2008.