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Northern Illinois

Bernie Shapiro (center) receives the 2013 Bartylak Award from outgoing ISBA President John E. Thies and incoming ISBA President Paula H. Holderman.
Bernie Shapiro (center) receives the 2013 Bartylak Award from outgoing ISBA President John E. Thies and incoming ISBA President Paula H. Holderman.

Honored in recognition of his commitment to equal justice and exemplary career as a civil legal services attorney

By Wendy Vaughn, Clinical Assistant Professor,
NIU College of Law, Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic

During its 137th Annual Meeting, the Illinois State Bar Association awarded Bernard H. Shapiro with the Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award at award luncheon on June 21, 2013.  For the last 35 years, Bernard H. Shapiro (Bernie) has dedicated his legal career and devoted his considerable intellect and legal acumen to meeting the basic needs of residents of Northern Illinois in his role as attorney, mentor, advocate, trainer, and Director of Litigation at Prairie State Legal Services (Prairie State). 

In her nomination letter, Sarah Megan, who also serves as Director of Litigation at Prairie State, writes that Bernie is “the lynchpin of our legal aid program,” “the soul of our organization,” and “a role model for not only all our staff, but for all legal aid staff.” Ms. Megan explains that Bernie’s fellow attorneys “rely on his superb legal analysis and strategy as well as his pragmatic problem solving skill.  We learn from his example of excellence; always focused on achieving our clients’ goals, providing our clients the highest caliber legal services in a most compassionate and respectful way.”

John L. Nickels
John L. Nickels
John L. Nickels was raised on a dairy farm in rural Illinois, started his education in a one-room country schoolhouse at the age of four and rose to become a Justice on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Justice Nickels passed away in the company of his family on Monday after a long illness. He had served on Illinois’ highest court from December 1992 to his retirement in December 1998, earning a reputation as a quiet, private man but one who was unafraid to express his fidelity to fundamental beliefs and to call out publicly those he felt had abused their trust. Justice Nickels was 82.

"He was a gentle and most hospitable man," Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride said. "He carried a wealth of compassion and internal resolve to bring out the best in all of us -- to be respectful professionals. He was a real role model and epitomized that it was quite acceptable 'to agree to disagree.' "

William James Wimbiscus Jr., 86, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Born Aug. 29, 1926, to Judge William J. and Mae (Walsh) Wimbiscus of Spring Valley, he married Eleanor Bruder Sept. 24, 1955. She survives.

He was a 1944 graduate of St. Bede Academy and then served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree in law, he then earned a juris doctor in law from DePaul University College of Law in 1951, passing the Illinois State Bar exam while still a student. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois in 1951, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 and the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit in 1981.

He joined his father, Judge William J. Wimbiscus Sr., at the Wimbiscus Law Firm in 1951. The firm was established in 1917 and continues to this day. He also served as Spring Valley City Attorney from 1965 to 1981 and DePue Village Attorney from 1975 to 2010.

He was a member of Illinois State Bar Association, past president and member of Bureau County Bar Association and a member of LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Bar Association. He was a member and past president of St. Margaret’s Hospital Board of Directors, as well as a member of Hall Township High School Education Foundation, Prairieland Home Care Advisory Committee and Dominic O’Berto Post 182 of the American Legion. He donated legal services to many community and civic organizations.

Also surviving are six children, John (SangHui), Sarah, Bill (Sara), Tom (Maureen), Neal and Mary (Phillip) Telfer; one brother, Judge James (Jude) Wimbiscus; one sister, Jane Johnson; 11 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Julius Lytton
Julius Lytton
Julius M. Lytton, 99, of East Moline, passed away Wednesday April 24, 2013, at Hope Creek Care Center, East Moline.

Services are 11 a.m. Friday at Temple Emanuel, Davenport. Burial will be at Tri-City Jewish Cemetery, Davenport. There will be no visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Temple Emanuel, Davenport. Arrangements are entrusted to Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island.

Julius was born Aug. 10, 1913, in Chicago, a son of Morris and Minnie Friedman Litvin. He graduated from DePaul University Law School in 1935.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II.

Julius married Beverly J. Stewart on Feb. 4, 1940, in Chicago. She preceded him in death Oct. 26, 2003.

Julius practiced law in Chicago before moving to the Quad-Cities in 1947. He practiced law locally until 2005, when he retired at the age of 92.

Julius was a member of Temple Emanuel, Davenport, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Rock Island County Bar Association and East Moline Rotary Club.

Surviving are his son, Tom Lytton and his wife Mary Lind, of Moline; and one granddaughter, Emilie Lytton, and her husband Brian Dout, University City, Mo. Julius was preceded in death by his parents, wife and two brothers, Daniel Litvin and Albert Litvin.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato
NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Justice Robert R. Thomas, McHenry County Chief Judge Michael J. Sullivan, and NIU Law Dean Jennifer L. Rosato cordially invite you to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice Listening Conference. The conference will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 from 1:30-4:00 p.m. at the Northern Illinois University College of Law (DeKalb, IL) in the Riley Courtroom (Room #170). 

The purpose of this conference is to hear from people engaged in the judicial system about problems confronting the poor and vulnerable in our communities and to hear about possible solutions.

Additional speakers/panelists for the conference includeJustice Mary S. Schostok (2nd Judicial District), Patrick M. Kinnally (MCLE Board/Kane County Bar Association), Michele Meyer (Mutual Ground), Mike O’Connor (Prairie State Legal Services), Professor David H. Taylor (NIU College of Law), and Michelle Rock (Director of Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice).

Hon. Joseph F. Beatty
Hon. Joseph F. Beatty
Retired Circuit Court Judge, Joseph F. Beatty, 64, of Rock Island, died Sunday, April 14, 2013 at Methodist Hospital, Rochester, Minn.

Joseph Frank Beatty was born Nov. 10, 1948 in Rock Island, a son of Russell and Helen Just Beatty. He married Jacqueline Spala on May 15, 1976 in St. Louis.

He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1966 and from St. Ambrose College in 1970. Judge Beatty received his Juris Doctor from St. Louis University Law School in 1973 and did additional course work at the National Judicial College, Reno, Nev. He was licensed to practice law in Missouri in 1974 and in Illinois in 1978. Judge Beatty was elected a Judge of the 14th Judicial Circuit Court in 1983 and retired from the bench on Dec. 31, 2007.

Judge Beatty was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island, a member of the Board of Trinity Regional Health System, Alternatives for Older Adults, Quad Cities Youth Build and Prairie State Legal Services. He was also a member of the Rock Island Kiwanis Club, and served ten years as a coach or assistant coach with A.S.A. Girls Softball. He loved baseball and was a St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Pamela (Richard) Hostetler, Shreveport, La, Helen Elizabeth “Beth” Beatty (Eric Alvine), Chicago, and Emily Beatty, Chicago; grandsons, Drew and Dillon Hostetler; sisters, Sandra (Bill) Coopman, Moline and Sharon (Charles) Killion, Springfield, Ohio; brother, Daniel (Karen) Beatty, St. Anne, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride announced on Friday that the Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Thomas Keith to fill a judicial vacancy for the Stark County Resident Circuit Court Judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Paul Scoma
Paul Scoma
Paul M. Scoma, 60, of Princeton passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, at his home.

Paul was born Nov. 14, 1952, in LaSalle to Charles and Anne (Kump) Scoma. He married Nancy Forgus May 5, 1979, in the Kent State University Newman Center Chapel in Kent, Ohio. She survives.

Paul graduated from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1970 and continued his education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, graduating in 1974. He was subsequently hired by Union Oil Co. of California in marketing and worked there for five years until 1979 when he enrolled in law school. Paul received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago in May 1982. He elected to begin his law career near his hometown with the Princeton law firm now known as Russell, English, Scoma and Beneke, PC, where he became a partner and practiced for 28 years until his retirement at the end of 2010.

He was an active member of St. Louis Catholic Church where he served as a Trustee and lector. He was a Trustee and Board President for the Adeline E. Prouty Charitable Trust (Greenfield Retirement Home). Paul also served as Director and Board Chairman for the Perry Memorial Hospital. He was a member of the Illinois State and Bureau County Bar Associations as well as the Knights of Columbus.

Experienced attorneys working in the juvenile court arena can tell you that the terminology is different and the atmosphere unique – and that representing a delinquent minor or parent accused of abuse or neglect requires a learning curve, to say the least. Don’t miss this introductory program in Rockford on April 12th that more experienced practitioners wish had been available to them when they began practicing in juvenile court!

Brian R. Tunis
Brian R. Tunis
Califf & Harper, P.C. is pleased to welcome Brian R. Tunis to the firm as a new associate attorney. Mr. Tunis focused his undergraduate studies in Finance at the University of Iowa graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2009. While attending law school at the University of Iowa College of Law from 2009 to 2012, Mr. Tunis was a member of the Iowa Law Review. 

Mr. Tunis was also heavily involved with the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which provides free income tax assistance for lower-income taxpayers.  Graduating with distinction in 2012, Mr. Tunis passed the Illinois Bar in November 2012.

Califf & Harper, P.C. has offices in Moline and Naperville.