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A longtime lawyer reflects on career

  • Rindge resident David Tower has retired after a legal career spanning nearly 50 years. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • David Tower, who is retiring after spending nearly 50 years as an attorney, opened Tower, Crocker & Smith P.A. in 1974.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident David Tower has retired after a legal career spanning nearly 50 years.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • David Tower, who is retiring after spending nearly 50 years as an attorney, opened Tower, Crocker & Smith P.A. in 1974.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • David Tower was honored at the 2016 Rindge deliberative session after he retired from being the town’s moderator for 44 years.  Ledger Transcript file photo

  • David Tower was honored at the 2016 Rindge deliberative session after he retired from being the town’s moderator for 44 years.  Ledger-Transcript file photo

  • David Tower sits with his two grandsons, Nicholas, left, and Alex, as he waits to receive the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership award in 2015 at the Jaffrey Civic Center.  Ledger-Transcript file photo

  • David Tower was honored in 2015 as the Jaffrey Civic Center’s Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership award recipient.  Ledger-Transcript file photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 16, 2017 6:35PM

After a legal career spanning nearly 50 years, attorney David Tower has decided to retire. 

Tower, a Rindge resident who has practiced law in Jaffrey for the past 47 years, said there were a couple major factors that influenced his decision to retire, namely loosing a “number of friends” in the past few years, a desire to spend more time with family, and some of his own health issues. 

“I enjoyed being a lawyer, but it’s a good time to go,” said Tower, in an interview Wednesday at the Tower, Crocker & Smith, P.A. office on Main Street in Jaffrey. “I decided that whatever time I have left, I don’t want to be worrying about legal issues.”

Prior to becoming an attorney, Tower had spent a few years as a high school teacher and football coach in Fitchburg, Massachusetts after graduating from University of New Hampshire. 

Tower first became interested in the idea of becoming a lawyer during his teaching tenure, when a college friend would tell him how much he enjoyed studying law.

“After a couple years I decided that law was of interest to me, and I decided to take a run at it,” said Tower. 

Getting a degree from Suffolk University Law School in the late 1960s was an exciting time according to Tower, as he was able to witness a lot of interesting court cases in the federal district court in Boston, including a cases against mob boss Ray Patriarca and hitman Joseph "The Animal" Barboza, both of the infamous Patriarca crime family. 

“It was a very interesting experience,” said Tower. “Several of us would go to the federal district court and watch some of the more notorious trials.”

Tower would graduate in 1970 and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1970 and the New Hampshire bar in 1971. Tower practiced law in Massachusetts for four years before deciding to open his own law office in Jaffrey in 1974, originally located where the Jaffrey town offices currently stand. 

Being relatively new to the community at the time – Tower and his wife moved to Rindge in 1965 – Tower would begin to run for various offices and volunteer to get to know people in the community better.

“I grew up in Fitchburg and didn’t know many people when I came up,” said Tower. “I decided it was the best way to get to know people.”

Tower has served on Rindge’s planning and zoning boards and on the Jaffrey-Rindge school board, and spent 24 years as the Jaffrey-Rindge School District moderator and 44 years as Rindge’s town moderator. 

Tower has been honored on a number of occasions for his contributions to the community. Tower was honored for his years as town moderator for the town of Rindge at deliberative session in 2016 and was given the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award – an award that annually honors a citizen who has “worked tirelessly for civic goals” – by the Jaffrey Civic Center in 2015. 

“He has held leadership roles in more programs than you can count,” said friend Clay Hollister, during the Civic Center award ceremony in September 2015. “The great thing about Dave is that he engages in projects and engages others in them as well.”

Spending time on the planning and zoning board also help to shape Tower’s expertise and interest in law, as much of his career has been spent handling real estate, business, land use, and municipal law matters. 

“You kind of evolve into it,” said Tower, of what types of law an attorney becomes interested in. “After a while you learn what you like, and what you don’t.”

Tower would practice by himself until 1979, when he brought in Jeffrey R. Crocker, who would become “like a brother” to Tower. 

“It was the best thing I ever did,” said Tower, of hiring Crocker. “He really is the top gun [at the firm] now, so to speak.”

Crocker said that Tower’s retirement is a “bittersweet” moment for him and the firm, but he is happy that Tower will be able to pursue things that he enjoys, like playing golf and spending time with family. 

“It’s been a wonderful, enduring, warm relationship… he’s been an older brother and a mentor to me,” said Crocker. “He played a very formative role in my life.”

Tower has already retired – and is listed as “inactive” with the bar association – but he still spends some days in his office while he tidies up loose ends. Tower said he hopes to travel down to his family home in Daytona Beach, Florida, sometime in November to spend the winter down south. 

“When I look back, I really enjoy the time, representing people, and learning and keeping up with the laws,” said Tower. “Law is alive and I enjoy that immensely.”