CPT Eugene F. Bannigan was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 11/15/2011 at the age of 70.4
Jupiter, FL
Flight Class 65-5
Date of Birth 07/01/1941
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by Les Hansen

More detail on this person: I'm deeply sorry to share the news that one of our former partners, Eugene F. Bannigan, passed away on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 70. Gene came to Morgan Lewis in 1994 and retired in 2006, serving part of that time as leader of our New York Litigation group and as a member of our New York Office Management Committee. Our thoughts are with Gene's wife, Kathe, and the rest of his family.

A U.S. Army veteran who flew a combat helicopter in Vietnam, Gene began his legal career as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Narcotics Unit. He then practiced with Lord Day & Lord, Barrett Smith before joining us. As his background might imply, Gene was practical, shrewd, and tough, and a gifted trial lawyer. Yet he also was a patient and encouraging mentor, generous in providing praise, opportunity, and a sly smile, and showing genuine pride and pleasure in the development and success of many associates who are now partners. He was a loyal partner _ a strong and decent human being who always aimed to do the right thing.

Gene's practice at Morgan Lewis focused on business and corporate litigation, and he successfully tried dozens of cases and arbitrations, many of them high profile. But perhaps one of the best illustrations of Gene's talent and integrity was his handling, while he was a prosecutor, of a matter stemming from a narcotics bust that went awry, resulting in the killing of an undercover agent. Authorities were embarrassed by the case, but Gene was determined to secure justice, and he worked with the FBI in the field to identify and arrest the only surviving suspect in the incident, Ismael Rivera. Two others had died at the scene.

Gene won an indictment against Rivera, but, ultimately, jurors deadlocked after struggling with a confusing aiding and abetting charge. Gene was relentless. He retried the case, won a conviction, and argued the appeal, eliciting an admiring opinion by Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The opinion (United States v. Ismael Rivera, 513 F. 2d. 519 (2d Cir. 1975)) is online at Rivera died in prison.

Outside of work, Gene remained passionate about flying, and about his family. He was a loving husband to Kathe and father to Elizabeth and Gene Jr., and a doting grandfather to Charlotte, Niall and Addison Quinn. After retiring, Gene also continued to devote himself to the law, working as a volunteer with the Office of the Palm Beach County State Attorney.

A graveside service was scheduled for this morning at the South Florida VA National Cemetery in Lake Worth, Florida. The family suggests contributions to Hospice of Palm Beach County, Inc., 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33407. You may also express condolences or make donations online at

Please join me in remembering Gene and all he brought to Morgan Lewis.

From: Francis M. Milone, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP at

age 70, of Jupiter, FL passed away Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Gene was a veteran of the US Army and served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. After attending law school, he became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and then practiced as a trial attorney in New York City. He was recently a volunteer with the Office of the Palm Beach County State Attorney. Gene was also a member and president of the 1st Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches. Survivors include his wife, Kathe Bannigan; one daughter, Elizabeth Bannigan and her husband Dennis Quinn, one son, Gene Bannigan, three grandchildren, Charlotte, Niall and Addison Quinn, one brother, Peter Bannigan and one sister, Fran Cox.

A Graveside Service will be held at 11:15 AM, Friday, November 18, 2011 at the South Florida VA National Cemetery, Lake Worth, FL. The family suggests contributions to Hospice of Palm Beach County, Inc., 5300 East Ave., West Palm Beach, FL. 33407. For online condolences, please visit

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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