It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Julian J. D’Agostine, our dear friend, colleague and architect of our firm.

Julian earned a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1953 and an M.A. from Boston College in 1962. He attended Army Military Justice School in 1954 and served as Trial Counsel Judge Advocate, General Corps in the U.S. Army, litigating the Korean War Treason Trials from 1954-1957.

Prior to founding Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, Julian was a founder of the law firm of D’Agostine and Levine in Acton, MA. Julian was much more than a mentor and teacher to the attorneys within those firms, as he redefined what it meant to be a real estate lawyer: expanding beyond title and conveyancing into real estate development, environmental permitting and land use litigation.

Julian’s intellectual strengths, along with a rare combination of experience from working in construction, serving as trial counsel advocate with the JAG, and being a leader of the conveyancing bar, made him uniquely qualified to become one of Massachusetts’ first and foremost land use litigators.

Aside from his strong commitment to his clients, Julian lectured and wrote extensively on land use laws and was a drafter of the Massachusetts subdivision control law. He was active in and served in leadership roles in numerous bar associations, real estate industry associations and organizations, and the Board of Bar Overseers.

All of this was done while learning to ski at the age of 35 and later competing in Swiss senior down-hill ski racing competitions, playing hockey, and developing the Nashoba Valley Olympia, where professional hockey players and Olympic figure skaters have trained. Julian was also passionate about supporting Boston College and its athletics programs, including establishing an endowed athletic scholarship for BC students and contributing to renovations of the Conte Forum.

“Julian didn’t tolerate slackers, and he taught me and other members of our firm to fight hard but fairly for our clients,” said Michael Malm, one of Julian’s fellow founding shareholders. “At the same time he never allowed us to forget where we came from, lose our sense of humor, or fall into the trap of self-importance. Even after he retired, he called often to make sure the firm was living up to his standards and to coach us from the stands. He was larger than life, a dear friend and an exceptional colleague. His example and teachings will always be with us.”

For more information contact: Joanne Thorud; (617) 589-3894;

Return to Resources