Why Patrick Maloney’s Wedding (and His Life) Was Darn Near Ruined

Published in 2008 Southern California Rising Stars — July 2008

Patrick Maloney's life seemed almost perfect when he suddenly encountered a frightening detour.

Maloney, 38, was a partner at Baute & Tidus in Los Angeles and was preparing to get married when he suffered a seizure on Father's Day 2006. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"I had never experienced any similar health problems. I had some headaches, but frankly, when you have my job you assign those to stress," Maloney says.

Doctors told Maloney that the slow-growing but benign tumor may have been present for as long as 12 years. With the wheels of his July 15 wedding already in motion, doctors agreed to postpone surgery; so he and his fiancée Maria put on happy faces and walked down the aisle.

The honeymoon was swapped for a hospital gurney and Maloney underwent surgery, or as he puts it, "They cut the top of my forehead, lifted up my brain and went to work." A 10-inch scar runs over the top of his head from one sideburn to the other.

Maloney knew the road to recovery would be long and difficult. With his firm's full support, he didn't rush back. By mid-October—a mere three months after the surgery—he was already attending depositions and working in the office, but only for short stints.

"I felt like I was doing pretty well, but if I put in one hard day, the next day was a total write-off."

Even late into 2006, the setbacks were more painful than the advancements were encouraging.

"It's not good when you're lying on the floor at home telling your neurologist on the phone that you can't concentrate. I'm thinking, ‘I built a life around having a career that was going to reward me for productivity. Am I going to ever be able to go back and do it again?'"

He persevered and was close to full-speed when doctors discovered in March 2007 that the tumor had returned. Doctors attacked it with radiation treatment at Stanford University Medical Center and, thus far, the prognosis is positive.

Last May, Maloney's fears that his medical problem might affect his performance were allayed by the favorable jury verdict he won for his first client upon returning to work.

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