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Saturday, October 30, 2010

RIP - Attorney John N. Nestor

This guy saved my life.
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When I was under economic attack in the early nineties, John beat back all of my attackers.  Without his help, my career, and my life would never have recovered.
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He had a life filled with remarkable experiences, from his childhood in the thirties as a scruffy Irish neighborhood kid in West Lynn, to the unwritten fact that during World War II, he flew 125 missions over Germany in a B-29 Flying Fortress and survived.....when the average pilot died within 25 missions.
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When I asked him why he volunteered for all of those extra missions when he only was required to fly 25, he said that he never thought that he could die.
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I once bought him a framed print from Kennedy Studios showing a couple of B-29's under attack by German Messerschmidt fighter planes.  When I presented it to him, John stared at it for awhile silently.   I was afraid that I made a mistake by stirring up some bad memories, and finally broke the silence by asking him if anything was wrong.


"There certainly is something wrong," John said in a measured reply......  And I started to think that he would say that the gun turrents were in the wrong place or that the planes were painted inaccurately in some way.  After another brief silence, he said, "The problem with this picture is that those fucking Messerschmidt's would have never gotten in that close to us."
~
But he never hung that print in his office for whatever reason.  He also never forgave the Germans or the Japanese.
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As a District Attorney, John tried many murder cases and once said that he didn't believe in the insanity defense, because if you saw the atrocities at crime sites that he had seen, then you would agree that everyone who murdered somebody else was at least temporarily insane.
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Unlike many lawyers, John never made a big score.  He certainly didn't score when he helped me climb out of bankruptcy while I was dead on my ass financially.  But, he always helped people regardless of their ability to pay.
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He had almost a childlike interest in things, and you could always see how some stuff shocked the hell out of him.
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Yet he was tough as nails and had a compelling presence as a litigator in court.   I saw him wade through deposition after deposition with major Boston law firms, patiently waiting for court trial where he shredded those high priced bastards with his adherence to honesty and the truth and his ability to convey that to the judge and jury.  He didn't need a small army of paralegals carrying boxes of exhibits.  Everything was all laid out in his head and exited in Court with a powerful voice.
~
I have to admit that when my own court appearance with him was beginning, I thought I was doomed since he didn't seem close to being as prepared as the three Boston lawyers with their boxes of exhibits sitting across the aisle.  Then, when they gave their opening arguments, replete with twisted facts that seemed backed up by piles of documentation, I conceded that my life was over.
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John handed me a yellow legal pad, and said, "Take Notes."   My first note was "WTF!"
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But when it was his turn to respond, he kicked the shit out of their arguments, off the top of his head.  He annihilated their witnesses, and made their case look like what it was..... contrived, greedy and manipulated.  I can still hear the words of Judge Carol Kenner when she announced her dicision... "I find the defendant not guilt of any wrongdoing WHATSOEVER."  John and I put the yellow pad in my briefcase and were out of the courtroom in seconds.
~
When I asked John how he did it, he said that he didn't spend a lot of time on all of that out of court stuff.  He said that he always let the opposition make the opening argument, and observed what they were saying and how the judge and jury were responding.  Then he would craft his response.
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On two social occasions I have spoken to sitting judges who knew John, and their admiration for him was genuine and complete.
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Over the years, since we shared the same name, a lot of people would ask me if I was John Nestor the lawyer, and I would tell them that he was a distant cousin.  The truth is that I'm not even close to being worthy of being confused of being him.
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I just found out this morning that he died and feel really bad that I hadn't seen him for the last few years.
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If there is a heaven, then John is sitting there now, surrounded by a huge crowd of people that he helped while he roamed this earth.
~
Thank you, John.



Nestor
John N. Nestor, 89
Retired attorney

LYNN - Attorney John N. Nestor, 89, of Lynn died Thursday in a local nursing home after a lengthy illness. He was the beloved husband to Loretta (Lundgren) Nestor with whom he shared 39 years of marriage.

John was born in Johnstown, Pa., son of the late Thomas and Mary (Murray) Nestor. He was a resident of Lynn for most of his life. He was a graduate of St. Mary's Boy's High School Class of 1938 and then went on to receive his undergraduate degree at Tufts University and then went on to Boston College where he received his Law degree.

John was a member of the Army Air Corps. He flew planes during WWII, was stationed in England and held the rank of First Lieutenant.

Attorney John Nestor was a well-known lawyer in Lynn for 50 years. He had an incredible reputation and was known for his honesty and integrity as a lawyer and prosecutor. He was a straight shooter who always treated everybody with dignity and respect. He also worked at the Essex County District Attorney's Office. Attorney Nestor retired in 2000.

He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Lynn Bar Association. He was also an active communicant at St. Mary's Parish where he was an usher and served on several Church committees.
In addition to his wife he is survived by two sons, David N. Hunter of Syracuse, N.Y. and Dr. Michael J. Hunter and his wife Lina of No. Andover; one daughter, Mary Beth Ouanes of West Peabody and two brothers, Hugh Nestor and his wife Sheila of Lynn and James Nestor and his wife Judy of Amesbury. Also survived by his loving grandchildren Adam and Michael Ouanes, Ilana and Sebastian Hunter and many nieces and nephews. He was the father in law of the late Abel Ouanes and brother of the late Patrick and Thomas Nestor.

Service information: Attorney Nestor's funeral will be held from the CUFFE-MCGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn, Tuesday at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass in St. Mary's Church at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours will be Monday from 3-7 p.m. Gifts in his memory may be made to St. Mary's Church Restoration Fund, 8 So. Common St., Lynn, MA 01902. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery. For online register book please visit www.cuffemcginn.com




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