One of the most well known defense attorneys in Onondaga County collapsed inside a Northern New York courthouse and died today.
James McGraw started practicing law in 1973 and has been a trial attorney for decades.
McGraw has represented many high profile clients including former Syracuse mayor Lee Alexander, Roger Springfield and Cynthia Pugh.
He was also involved in the Roy Brown case, the man who spent 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. According to his biography, "One of McGraw's most rewarding experiences as an attorney results from his work with the Innocence Project. Working in conjunction with another attorney, McGraw presented DNA evidence which led to the exoneration of an innocent man who had spent fifteen years in jail for a crime he did not commit."
Longtime Syracuse Attorney John Cirando was saddened to hear of the passing of his friend today. " He was a great lawyer. He was a good friend. He will be sorely missed, " said Cirando. Cirando added McGraw always kept great legal records which helped clients when they would appeal decisions. Cirando specializes in appellate law.
McGraw's family confirmed he collapsed on the second floor of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
He was married to Terri McGraw, who many people know as Mrs. FIXIT, a national home and garden television personality and author.