Remembering Mark P. Harty – Grace. Class. The Best.
Mark Harty passed on February 2, 2017, just two days after he retired as a partner and less than a year after he stepped down as managing partner, a position he held for 18 very successful years. Mark spent over 38 years at Morrison Mahoney, his first legal position after graduating from Georgetown Law School and arriving in Boston. Mark started with the firm as an associate in 1978, became a partner in 1983 and managing partner in 1998.
Mark left an indelible mark on the history of Morrison Mahoney with his service as the firm’s leader. But, even prior to becoming managing partner, Mark was a vital contributor. He was instrumental in the firm’s growth from 16 to 160 attorneys, and from 1 to 10 offices. Mark was also a seasoned trial attorney – one of the most highly regarded attorneys in the state and region in the area of professional liability defense, especially in cases involving insurance agents and brokers. Mark had great success at trial and on appeal - cases argued by Mark are still frequently cited. He spoke frequently to attorneys and local and national trade organizations on professional liability issues. Even the long list of trials and appeals that Mark won would not tell the most important part of Mark’s story.
Mark’s greatest attribute as a partner and a person was the relationships that he built and sustained with his partners, colleagues, mentees and clients. Mark’s kind and gentle mentoring continues to be a source of inspiration for all who worked with him. More than passing down his legal skills, more than leaving a strong business foundation, Mark’s most important legacy is what he taught us about people - to understand that the road we each travel is long and the importance of treating everyone with whom we connect with patience, respect, thoughtfulness and concern, and to invest in and mentor the next generation. Mark was an incredible human being. He had a profound effect and lasting impression on everyone with whom he met, regardless of their status in life. Mark made everyone with whom he had contact feel like they were the most important person in the room. It wasn’t just a feeling that Mark displayed – he sincerely felt that way, with each and every person.
Recognizing Mark’s legacy, the firm honors Mark by starting a fund at Cristo Rey Boston High School to support a special tribute. Mark has been on the Board of Cristo Rey Boston High School for several years. CRB is an urban school working to end the poverty cycle by educating under-resourced students. It is one of the few work study-high schools in the United States where students work one day a week in a local firm or company earning money toward their tuition. In recognition of Mark’s role in mentoring so many, Cristo Rey Boston is establishing, in honor of Mark, the The Mark P. Harty Corporate Work Study Supervisor Award. No award recognizing a work study supervisor has existed at Cristo Rey Boston until now. Here is the description of this award provided by Cristo Rey Boston:
Mark Harty recognized the formational impact of the corporate work experience for CRB students, and perhaps equally important, inherently knew it was critical to introduce these young people to inspirational role models and supportive mentors in the professional setting. Instinctively, he knew this experience would build their confidence, competence and aspiration; all of which are critical to college and career success.
Mark’s commitment as a champion of the Corporate Work Study Program impacted the lives of many young people in the city of Boston. A Corporate Work Study Partner with Cristo Rey Boston High School since 2014, Mark and his colleagues at Morrison Mahoney provided a work environment that was rich in learning, support and compassion.
Mark served on the Cristo Rey Boston Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2017, where he was a steadfast supporter of the school’s mission to prepare young people to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. It is our honor and pleasure to name this award in honor of Mark Harty. With it, CRB recognizes a Corporate Work Study Supervisor who embodies the values that Mark has held so dear and honors his commitment to shaping the lives of Boston’s young men and women.
Mark will be honored when this award is given for the first time May 24 at the Academic Signing Day at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Mark courageously battled a neurodegenerative disease, perhaps triggered by Lyme disease, for over two years. Just days before his passing, Mark was still engaged in firm management matters. Mark’s wife of over 40 years, Sally White Harty, wrote in an email, “Mark was incredibly strong in spirit and hopeful until the very end but his inability to speak for the past few weeks was a special cruelty for someone who was so committed to connecting with people. He maintained his sense of humor throughout and even told me last week that he thought his loss of speech was his ‘penance’ for being such a ‘life-long talker.’ Of course we will miss him terribly but the last few months have been so difficult, I'm relieved that he won't have to suffer any more indignities.” Mark was 65 years old.
Along with Sally, Mark leaves two sons of whom he was so very proud, Liam, who resides in Los Angeles with his wife Virginia, and Brendan, who resides in the Boston area, along with three brothers; Donald of Bend, Oregon and Doug and Tom, both of the Buffalo, New York area. Even though Morrison Mahoney was the center of Mark’s entire professional life, there could be no dispute that his family was always his paramount focus. That he could be so successful at each exemplifies how remarkable of a person he was. His family and friends, our firm and the legal community have lost a gem.
Mark’s obituary is available at:
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any contributions be made to the Harty Family Scholarship Fund (#103247), Dartmouth College, c/o Gift Recording Office, 6066 Development Office, Hanover, NH 03755 or to Cristo Rey Boston High School, 100 Savin Hill Ave., Boston, MA 02125.