JACOB M. ATWOOD, a founding partner of Atwood & Cherny, passed away on June 4, 2008 at the age of 74 after practicing law for more than 50 years.
Mr. Atwood developed a national reputation in the practice of Family Law and trial of high profile divorce cases and custody disputes. During his more than 50 years of practice, he helped formulate precedent setting cases that Massachusetts lawyers rely upon in nearly every aspect of family law, including child custody, pre-marital agreements, inherited wealth, 5th Amendment privilege in divorce matters as well as other significant cases. Mr. Atwood often appeared on “Larry King Live,” and provided frequent television, radio, and newspaper interviews in connection with his high profile cases. He also authored many learned treatises and articles involving family law which are still relied on today by family law attorneys.
Mr. Atwood was a 1956 graduate of Boston University Law School, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Law Review. He also received an Honorary Degree from New England School of Law, where he also served on the Board of Trustees. He was a founder of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He served as President of the Massachusetts Chapter for two years. He was also a longtime member and former officer of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association. He was consistently certified in Best Lawyers in America.
While Mr. Atwood enjoyed a most distinguished legal career, he maintained an active interest outside the law restoring and building representations of authentic Eighteenth century homes and raised Scottish Highland Cattle on his Cape Cod farm. He has been featured in Yankee Magazine and other national publications. He was also a devoted member of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, as well as The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America.
Mr. Atwood was quoted as saying: “Divorce is the single most traumatic event anyone will go through in their life, even more so than death because that person is gone. Through the years in representing literally thousands of divorcing women and men, I have tried to give them some hope that eventually life will get better again. As lawyers involved in this emotional area of the law, our duty is to not only get our client’s a good result, but to protect them from themselves in doing so.”