Daral Mazzarella died unexpectedly of a heart attack on November 20, 2021, at 69, leaving behind many people to miss him. This Memorial Hall is named in his honor because he epitomizes how a successful trial lawyer can balance a law career, full as it is of daily troubleshooting, with the intrinsic rewards that come from devotion to friends and family and the enjoyment of life.
His brother and law partner, Mark Mazzarella, describes Daral as everyone who knew him would: “He was a great lawyer, husband, father, family member and friend, who enjoyed woodworking, motorcycle racing, gardening, fishing, camping and shooting, and lived life as every person should—with a healthy inner balance and a positive enthusiastic attitude.”
Daral Mazzarella was a zealous trial advocate who showed everyone how to end every case as a friend of opposing counsel and how to earn the respect of judges and the love and loyalty of clients. With all of that, Daral had the high ethical standards and dedication to excellence that earns the title of an extraordinary attorney, although he would demurrer with humility to the accolades, of which there were many. Daral was recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer, San Diego Magazine “Top Lawyer in San Diego,” Los Angeles Magazine “Top Attorney in San Diego,” one of the “Best of the Bar” published by the San Diego Business Journal and was named as one of America’s Top 100 “Bet the Company” Litigators. Worthy of those rankings, he mastered the art of being a strong and effective advocate for his clients without sacrificing courtesy, humility, humor, or a cooperative spirit. He exemplified true civility, the kind that comes from a place of mental harmony, full of the intention of cooperation. Often elusive, that kind of civility came naturally to Daral.
Although Daral deserved recognition for his soft but effective advocacy that made him a well-liked trial lawyer, he is known to those closest to him as a teacher, a builder, a motorcycle racer, a woodworker, an outdoorsman, and most of all, a devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend.
Daral graduated from United States International University, California Western College in 1974, with undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry. He later added a master’s degree in education before receiving his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Diego in 1986 magna cum laude.
He taught high school science and coached wrestling at Bonita Vista High School, in Bonita, California, for 10 years before graduating from law school. He was beloved by his students, always willing to work for causes in which he believed, even serving as a union representative with the California Teachers Association. He was a doer, not a watcher.
During his last 4 years as a teacher, Daral went to law school at night while raising a family; he made time for his passion for woodworking and building, a love that he nurtured for decades. Indeed, he obtained his California General Contractor’s License when he was in his 20’s and always kept it current; on top of that, he became a master woodworker, creating everything from ornate furniture to fountain pens, and put his skills to use by building his beautiful house in Bonita almost entirely with his own hands. Later he added an extensive woodworking shop and garage for his motorcycles. Add to that, his vegetable gardens amazed everyone lucky enough to see them; he routinely brought broccoli clusters a foot across and bags of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables into the office to be enjoyed by all.
Daral’s first priority was always family. Daral made sure he spent time on weekends, holidays, school breaks, and vacations with family, and it was a large and connected one. Becoming experienced at off-road racing from S.C.O.R.E. events, such as the Baja 500, when he was younger, Daral continued to ride off-road motorcycles with his children, Kellen, Jillian, Dillon and Jordan, and his youngest brother, Scott. Also, he spent much of his free time in the desert off-roading, or fishing in Wyoming, where his oldest brother, Dayle, operates a fly-fishing outfit. He made time for friends, family, and fun because he knew the importance of those things to a happy life.
Everyone who knew Daral professionally knows that he will forever serve as an example of a balanced life, meeting the ideal of true “Lawyer wellness,” and an inspiration to us all.
By Mark Mazzarella
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