It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William D. McDowall on February 10, 2024. Will was born on July 24, 1930 and was a friend, mentor, and an incredible advocate. He joined the firm of Nagle Vale in the mid 1960’s, became a partner, and thereafter was the managing partner of the firm for decades. He was the first person from Visalia to attend Harvard University and he later attended Stanford University’s School of Law. Will’s skills in advocacy were recognized by his colleagues, the court, and through his membership with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) which he joined in 1969. He tried hundreds of cases and authored numerous appellate briefs and consistently achieved favorable results on behalf of his clients.

He was a person of unquestionable integrity. He was brilliant and always available for consultation. To have spent time with him was to know a person of faith with a keen intellect who was nonetheless humble and engaging. He treated adverse counsel and the court with civility and respect, and consistently exhibited patience and thoughtfulness that would smooth waters and allow for favorable outcomes in the most trying of cases.

Will was a loving husband, a doting father and grandfather, and a supporter of the bar and the community at large, at one time assisting to create financing needed to fund the construction of a school for his church. In his service as the leader of the law firm, his willingness to mentor and work with young attorneys was manifest in the open door to his office for all to enter. While Will retired from active practice in the early 2000’s, firm members still refer to ‘McDowallisms’ and are heard to ask, ‘what would Will do in this situation’.

He was a great lawyer, mentor, spouse, and father. His willingness and ability to do good deeds are eclipsed only by the humbleness of his service. It is our aspiration to continue his legacy of decency, honor, and good works. Our firm is honored to bear his name.