Robert McDonald, a prominent plaintiffs' personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis in the 1930s and 1940s, died on July 5, 1947, at age fifty-one. In a memorial for the Hennepin County Bar Association on February 28, 1948, William H. DeParcq, a former law partner, recalled the attributes that contributed to his success:
"His reputation as a trial lawyer in his chosen field grew until at the time of his death it was national in scope. Specializing in negligence work, he devoted his life to representing the unfortunate victims of industrial and other accidents and their widows and children. The outstanding characteristic of his professional career was an undivided loyalty and devotion to the cause of his clients, whom he always represented with great ability and zeal and fidelity.
"Even those whose enmity he aroused by attacking their financial interests admired his keen and intelligent mind, his sense of honor and fair play, his outstanding ability and energy, and, above all, the full measure of devotion which he gave to his clients' cause. . . .
"In the latter part of his professional career he confined his work exclusively to the handling of claims for personal injury and death against railroad and insurance companies. He was recognized by the members of the Bench and Bar as the ablest trial lawyer in his field, and the record of large verdicts and settlements which he established was truly a remarkable one and, perhaps, unparalleled in our entire national history."