Disbarred defense attorney renowned for trial skills dies at 58, ending battle to regain law license

Renowned for his skill as a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, Gerald P. Deady lost his law license in 1998 over his struggles with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction, among other issues.

His dream, as he turned his life around over the past 13 years and worked as a paralegal, was to someday be reinstated. However, that was not to be, and Deady died Tuesday at age 58 of a heart attack, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Nonetheless, he is remembered for his abilities and enthusiasm in the courtroom and successfully battling to regain his reputation after being brought down years ago by charges of burglary, cocaine possession and writing bad checks.

“There’s very few lawyers in the area who had the skill level that Gerry had,” said longtime colleague Al Flora, a former chief public defender for Luzerne County. “I can tell you what happened with Gerry in the past was unfortunate, but none of us are perfect. Gerry was not an individual who lived by his past mistakes. He tried to restore his image and credibility and he did just that.”

Because of his stellar work, he was much in demand as a paralegal. Meanwhile, his daughter, Mary Victoria Deady, was admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 2011 and opened an office in Wilkes-Barre.

During his 15 years in practice, Deady won retrials for three convicted murder defendants. “He was a very hard worker and very imaginative lawyer,” Basil Russin, who led the Luzerne County public defender’s office, told the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader when Deady was disbarred by consent in 1998. “He would take something where there was no hope and have an imaginative defense or theory to pursue.”

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