Francis J. McShalley Sr., 51, a former government trial attorney who was a partner in the Washington law firm of McGee & Ketcham, died at George Washington University Hospital on Sept. 11 after a heart attack.

Mr. McShalley began his government career with the General Services Administration in 1955 and remained there until 1960, when he joined the Federal Power Commission as a trial attorney.

He left the Federal Power Commission in 1973 to become an associate in the firm of McGee & Ketcham and was named a partner about a year later. He was a trial attorney and rates specialist with the firm, which specializes in law relating to utilities.

He was a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Since 1960, Mr. McShalley also had been a member of the parish of the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Garrett Park.

Mr. McShalley was a native of Ilion, N.Y. He did his undergraduate work at Georgetown University and earned his law degree there in 1955. Three years later, he earned a master's degree in law at Georgetown. He served in the Army in the early 1950s.

He had lived in the Garrett Park Estates section of Kensington since 1958.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth (Betty), four daughters, Mary Elizabeth, Anne Patricia, Colleen Agnes, and Liz, and a son, Francis Joseph (Frank) Jr., all of Kensington.