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It’s the letter of the law for Gerald McMahon

Gerald (Jerry) McMahon is chairman of the board of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, and is head of the firm’s litigation department. He has a bachelor of science degree (cum laude) from the University of Southern California and a juris doctor degree (summa cum laude, Order of the Coif) from the University of San Diego School of Law.

A former naval aviator, McMahon is a member and past president of the San Diego Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates; a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers; a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; and a master of the Louis Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court.

McMahon is the 1991 recipient of the annual Daniel T. Broderick III Memorial Award, bestowed by representatives of the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ bars and the San Diego County Bar Association upon an attorney with substantial litigation experience who epitomizes the principles of civility, integrity and professionalism. He’s included in the 1988-2010 editions of “The Best Lawyers in America.” He received the Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement on May 1 from USD.

McMahon and his wife, Donna, have five children and 10 grandchildren.

What brought you to La Jolla?

We came here to avoid a longer commute. We were living in Point Loma and our youngest daughter enrolled at All Hallows Academy in La Jolla 27 years ago.

What makes this town special to you?

It’s compact and has essentially everything one might need.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Better access to Interstate 5 northbound.

Who or what inspires you?

My wife inspires me ... see an answer below.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Almost anyone who’d pick up the tab.

Tell us about what you are reading.

A new book given to me by a clinical psychologist. It’s entitled “Sex, Love and Money, Revenge and Ruin in the World of High Stakes Divorces.” It’s by a New York divorce lawyer (Gerald Nissenbaum and co-author John Sedgwick) and deals with all sides of human nature.

What is your most-prized possession?

That would be Sarge, our 7-year-old lab.

What do you do for fun?

I play tennis, but not particularly well.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

Marrying my wife, 54 years ago.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Keep on learning.