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Joel A. Kozol, 83; Boston lawyer was the first call for a range of clients

Mr. Kozol was skilled at negotiating settlements without going to trial.
Mr. Kozol was skilled at negotiating settlements without going to trial.Credit:

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At Friedman & Atherton, a Boston firm whose reputation and caseload belied its modest size, Joel A. Kozol was the first call for clients in an uncommonly wide range of high-profile cases.

In the late 1980s, he represented the Sullivan family when it sold the New England Patriots and handled Mort Zuckerman’s fraud case against the former owners of The Atlantic Monthly. Over the years, Mr. Kozol’s clients also included Patriots coach Bill Parcells, Cassius Clay before he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, and a mistress that a millionaire tried to evict from his Four Seasons condo.

Mr. Kozol, an ardent squash player who won tournaments and championships into his 70s, died Wednesday. He was 83 and had lived primarily in his Melvin Village, N.H., home.

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