The Jacksonville bankruptcy bar loses a good man

15 Dec The Jacksonville bankruptcy bar loses a good man

The Jacksonville bankruptcy bar has lost an honorable advocate for creditor rights. Sadly, Raymond Magley, Esquire of Smith, Hulsey & Busey passed away on Friday, December 10th after fighting brain cancer since being diagnosed this past January. He was 50 years old.

When things heat up in Jacksonville bankruptcy court, trustees here often turned to Ray Magley to represent them. More than any other creditor lawyer over the last two decades, I have argued (and sometimes heatedly) with Ray about bankruptcy law and the rights of creditors and debtors.

Dealing with Ray was a double-edged sword. He was extremely clever but kind. Ray’s knowledge of creditor rights was tremendous, and I knew that if he got involved in one of my bankruptcy cases, my client was going to have to pay some money. Though squarely a creditor’s lawyer, he was popular with the debtor bar as well, even serving as President of the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association.

Of all the times that Ray and I has a case together, I can only recall only a couple of times we could not come to an agreement. He was usually right, and he knew how to craft an offer of settlement at the extreme edge of reasonableness. For lawyers, that’s the “sweet spot,” and Ray seemed to know how to find it.

Of course Ray wasn’t just a lawyer. He was a husband and father, and while Ray and I never hung out together outside the courtroom, we did share the respect and sympathy of being the only man in a house full of women. I can tell you, it is not easy for a dad to raise a bunch of girls because of those natural differences between Mars and Venus. Men have to learn how to understand their daughters, and I am sure the patience and calm Ray displayed as a lawyer translated well in fatherhood.

I was fortunate to have a personal talk with Ray a few months ago about faith. He patiently endured my rather direct questions about his cancer and his state of mind. He told me about his faith in God and his hope for science. Prayer helped him come to terms with the limits of medicine and the uncertainty of life. He put my concerns at ease, as I am sure he did with the many others dismayed by his condition. More importantly, he eagerly agreed to speak with a friend of mine fighting brain cancer as well.

He was just that kind of guy.

Rest in peace.
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Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida. Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.
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