Legacy of Former BLS Chair John J. McCann Lives On

2 Min Read By: Rick Paszkiet

John J. McCann, former chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section (1992–1993), passed away on March 13, 2024, but his work as a lawyer and leader of the Business Law Section (BLS) lives on. Most notably, McCann was instrumental in his leadership role in creating a new publication for the Business Law Section: Business Law Today (BLT). Debuting in 1992 as a print magazine, it evolved during the last thirty years into an electronic magazine and then a dedicated business law website, www.businesslawtoday.org.

“The work of John McCann ensured that our members would receive a steady stream of analytical articles on a wide range of business law practices,” said Lynette Hotchkiss, BLT’s current editor-in-chief. “In many ways, John was a true visionary, and he has left this amazing content resource for business lawyers, students, and academics.”

Over the course of more than forty years in business law, McCann’s legal expertise and knowledge was invaluable to both his clients and his business law colleagues. A graduate of Columbia Law School, John was admitted to the New York, New Jersey, and Florida bars and was partner in the New York law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine; in-house counsel to the Prudential Insurance Company; and in-house counsel to Orion Specialty Insurance Company.

His contributions to BLS content allowed him to be recognized as a BLS leader and led to his appointment as an officer, and then as chair of the Section for the 1992–1993 bar year.

“I clearly remember that one evening at a BLS leadership meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Florida,” said Maury Poscover, former chair of the Business Law Section (1997–1998). “I was in the chair’s suite with Lorrie, my spouse, talking with Herb and Ruthie Wander. John walked in, and he was so excited because he had just been told that he would be nominated as secretary of the Section. The memory stands out because Lorrie and I were equally excited because our son had just told us he was engaged.”

In September 1991, McCann announced to the membership the creation of a new periodical, Business Law Today, that would have its debut during his bar year. “This 64-page magazine will be a significant member benefit,” said McCann. “Business Law Today will enable us to publish many of the excellent submissions that we are unable to publish in The Business Lawyer. It will provide committees with a vehicle for regular content on all the practice areas of business law.”

And John’s Business Law Today has now morphed into a website that features articles, videos, podcasts, and other business law resources. Truly, a significant contribution to the ABA’s Business Law Section and the legal profession.


By: Rick Paszkiet


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