Eckert Seamans Mourns Passing of Special Counsel and Former U.S. Representative William D. Delahunt

April 2, 2024

National law firm Eckert Seamans joins the legal community in mourning the death of William D. Delahunt, former U.S. Representative and longtime Special Counsel with the firm. Delahunt passed away on March 30th at the age of 82.

“Bill was a cherished member of both Eckert Seamans and the Massachusetts community,” said Eckert Seamans Executive Committee Member Michael P. Flammia. “We are honored to have called him a friend and are grateful for his countless accomplishments and dedication to public service.”

Delahunt served as the Norfolk County District Attorney from 1975 to 1996 after serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975. During his time as district attorney, he developed numerous inaugural programs for the commonwealth and nation, including the nation’s first prosecutorial unit dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault cases and the first juvenile diversion program. Many of these pioneering programs became national models as his office achieved a reputation for innovation. 

Delahunt was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts’s 10th congressional district, where he served from 1997 to 2011. During his 14-year tenure, he built a legacy as a champion for bipartisan efforts, showing consistent efforts to create alliances and partnerships where few saw possibilities. Delahunt also dedicated much of his government service to foreign affairs efforts, serving on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for six terms, where he navigated complex affairs in Latin America, Europe, and around the world. He also served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, among other designations.

After his retirement from government in 2011, Delahunt joined Eckert Seamans’ Boston office as Special Counsel, where he provided strategic counsel to clients on complex regulatory issues, including aviation, international affairs and transactions, health care, financial services, and energy and environmental matters.  

In 2016, Delahunt was instrumental in assisting firm client JetBlue in operating the first direct commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in nearly 60 years. The Eckert Seamans team, including Delahunt, assisted the airline with securing operating authority from both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Cuban Civil Aviation Administration, as well as addressing local business issues and advising on contracting with Cuban government entities. Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was among the historic flight’s 150 passengers.

Evelyn D. Sahr, Eckert Seamans Member and Chair of the firm’s Aviation practice group, commented: “Bill was unparalleled in his willingness to get to know the firm’s clients and make personal connections wherever possible. He was a valued resource, confidant to many in the community, and a cherished friend. He will be greatly missed.”

In 2022, Delahunt was recognized with the naming of the Norfolk County Superior Courthouse in his honor. Several civil and community leaders attended the William D. Delahunt Courthouse dedication in October 2022, including U.S. Senator Edward Markey, former U.S. Senator John Kerry, former U.S. Senator Paul Kirk Jr., former Governor Michael Dukakis, former Attorney General Francis Bellotti, Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano, and many more.

Delahunt is survived by his fiancée, Julie Pagano; his daughters, Kirstin of Dorchester and Kara Delahunt Bobrov of Milton; and two grandchildren. Services honoring his life will take place on April 5th and 6th in Massachusetts.  

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