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In Memoriam: Harold L. Talisman

It is with great sadness that Wright & Talisman, P.C. reports the passing of Harold L. Talisman, the firm’s namesake and former President. In a career spanning nearly fifty years, Mr. Talisman earned the respect of those with whom he practiced, and was a long-time leader in energy regulatory practice before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its predecessor, the Federal Power Commission. Mr. Talisman was 93. He will be remembered for his kindness and generosity as well as for his legal acumen.

After serving as an officer in the United States Navy, Mr. Talisman joined Wright & Talisman’s predecessor in 1956 (the firm’s origins date to 1949). He represented interstate natural gas pipelines and distribution company clients in complex rate, certificate, abandonment, curtailment, import, and enforcement proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal Power Commission. His practice included representing clients before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals.

Mr. Talisman retired from active practice in 1997, though he remained of counsel to the firm for many years thereafter. He continued to spend time in the firm’s office, follow industry developments, and mentor the firm’s attorneys until shortly before Wright & Talisman temporarily closed the office in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Talisman made it a tradition to take new associates to lunch as a welcome to the firm, and continued this tradition well into the late 2010s. Mr. Talisman received his B.S.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Ohio State University in, respectively, 1950 and 1953. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the Ohio State Law Review from 1952-1953. He was a member of the District of Columbia Bar, as well as the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals. He also served as President and as a member of the Board of Directors of St. Mary’s Court Housing Development Corporation, a subsidized housing facility for low-income elderly and disabled persons.

Firm Vice President and Secretary Paul Flynn, who Mr. Talisman hired to the firm in 1986, commented: “We count ourselves so lucky to have known and worked with Harold. He was a dogged advocate, with unsurpassed judgment, unerring legal instincts, and a ready story for any occasion. His example shaped the firm for decades, inspiring admiration and loyalty. He will be deeply missed, and we offer our sincere condolences to his sons Rick and Jon and their families.”