Joseph H. Kenney, an accomplished trial lawyer and lifelong New Jerseyan who was devoted to his family and to the Catholic Church, died in Cherry Hill on December 13 at the age of 83 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Until 2009, Mr. Kenney was a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department who focused on complex civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He was resident in the firm’s office in New Jersey, the state where he was born and raised his family. Mr. Kenney is survived by his wife, Jane, a former nurse and a lawyer, and his four children, Joseph, Mary, Anne Marie, and Daniel.

He is remembered as a superb trial lawyer and a dedicated partner and friend, a busy and successful litigator who always took the time to mentor young lawyers and help them learn the intricacies of trying a case. An old school litigator who could try any type of case, Mr. Kenney loved the practice of law, the mental challenge of working through a tough matter but also the satisfaction that came with helping people find solutions to their problems.

He was born in Camden and attended St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia and then Villanova University. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he enrolled in Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, where he was editor in chief of the Temple Law Review.

Mr. Kenney began his career at Archer & Greiner and went on to form his own litigation boutique firm, Kenney & Kearney. He and his partner, John B. Kearney, joined Ballard Spahr as litigation partners 10 years ago. Mr. Kenney retired as senior counsel in 2011.

"Joe was a lawyer and gentleman of the highest order," Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart said. The two men met the summer after Mr. Stewart's first year of law school, when he was hired to work for Mr. Kenney as a summer associate at Archer & Greiner. "He was the guy," Mr. Stewart said.

Twenty-five years later they became partners when Mr. Kenney joined Ballard. "Integrity and kindness were Joe's hallmarks and he was a wonderful addition to our firm."

Mr. Kenney was devoted to his family and his church. Last year, he was presented with the St. Thomas More Society Award by Dennis J. Sullivan, the Bishop of Camden. The annual award is given to a member of the legal profession who exemplifies the principles of St. Thomas More, a 16th century English lawyer who stood by his moral convictions even when they conflicted with government authority.

Mr. Kenney was an active member of St. Thomas More Church in Cherry Hill for the past 20 years. He served as Eucharistic Minister, distributing Holy Communion at Mass and taking it to homebound members of the parish. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Lifelong Faith Formation Endowment, which supports and provides scholarships for Catholics interested in studying lay ministry.