Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Scott Conley


San Francisco Chronicle
Obituary--December 13, 2015
Scott Conley
November 7, 1923 - December 6, 2015

"Scott Conley, a trial attorney who also excelled in writing poetry and singing, passed away peacefully on Dec. 6. He was 92. Scott was born in New York City in 1923 and later moved to Groton, Conn., where his father rode out the Depression by running a shipyard. An extremely bright and precocious student, Scott attended college at age 16 (Yale University class of 1944) and continued on to Yale Law where he earned his JD in two years (class of 1948). In between, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and captained a PT boat in the South Pacific. He used to joke that he had an easy service, as he never encountered a Japanese submarine.

Scott moved to San Francisco after law school and became one of the founding partners of the firm that eventually became Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold. Scott specialized in insurance and drug and device cases and was well regarded for his courtroom eloquence. He served for many years on the Board of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and was elected national president for the 1986-1987 term. In later life, Scott specialized in mediation and occasionally served as a Judge Pro Tem in the San Francisco Superior Court. A moderate Republican, Scott also had a passion for politics; he was a delegate for Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican Convention in San Francisco and was the northern California chair for the 1974 gubernatorial campaign of Houston Flournoy.

Outside the courtroom, Scott enjoyed playing tennis with his friends at the Burke's tennis club, singing in the Aviary chorus at the Bohemian Club, and sleeping under the teepees at Medicine Lodge at the Bohemian Grove. Late in his life, he called upon his excellent command of language to write beautiful poetry, some of which was published in the Bohemian Club newsletter.

Scott's beloved second wife, Georganne Conley, died five years ago. He is survived by three children, Terry, or Traidas (Krsnaloka), Jim, and Katherine (Chris), as well as three stepchildren . . . ."