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Northern Illinois

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.

Franklin S. Wallace
Franklin S. Wallace
Long-time Rock Island resident Franklin Sherwood Wallace, 85, a prominent attorney and larger-than-life character, died peacefully Friday night, February 1, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio after a long battle with cancer. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 1:00 pm at Congregation Beth Israel at the Tri City Jewish Center, Rock Island. Burial is at the Hebrew Cemetery, Rock Island. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Frank Wallace Memorial Fund at U.S. Bank. The money will be given to groups working to inspire the love of art and music in children and to a local animal shelter.

Robbins Schwartz continues to expand and invest in its statewide practice to ensure we are meeting the needs of our clients on a local level.  In response to those needs and client requests, we are pleased to announce we have opened an office in Rockford to more efficiently service our clients in the north and west region of Illinois. 

Our new Rockford office is located at: 

  • 6957 Olde Creek Road #2300, Suite 310
  • Rockford, Illinois 61114
  • T: 815.390.7090


Bar leaders toured the River Bend Foodbank in Moline on Jan. 31 to call attention to the Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyers Feeding Illinois campaign, a food and fundraising drive Feb. 18-March 1, whose goal is to provide one million meals to the hungry. Pictured (from left) are John O'Brien, representing Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., a major sponsor; Tom Laughlin, executive director of the River Bend Foodbank; ISBA President John E. Thies; and State’s Attorney John McGehee, president of the Rock Island County Bar Association. Lawyers and lawyer teams are currently signing up to participate in the campaign. For more information, visit

In the photo at right, a Quad Cities TV cameraman captures a discussion about the River Bend Foodbank in Moline during Thursday’s visit by Illinois bar leaders. Above are (from left) Mary Laughlin, of the foodbank, ISBA President John Thies, and Moline lawyers Bob Park and Frank Nowinski.

Gene Kwas
Gene Kwas
Eugene Stanley Kwasniewski “Gene Kwas” died Nov. 16, 2012, in his home in Austin, Texas.

Gene Kwas, to all who knew and loved him, was born Eugene Stanley Kwasniewski on Oct. 14, 1922, the middle of seven boys, to Joseph and Josephine Kwasniewski.

Though he couldn’t speak English until second grade, athletic ability earned him many sports letters in Evanston Township High School. His strength was speed, breaking the 100-yard dash time in high school in under 10 seconds, bettering Jim Thorpe’s record. He attended a state dinner with the governor, unheard of for an immigrant’s son, and received a football scholarship to the University of Illinois. He did not become an opera singer, as encouraged by the choir mistress of Evanston HS Elite Concert Choir.

World War II interrupted his sophomore year in college, sending him to the Air Force, a “90 day wonder,” drafted and “instantly” made an officer. A bombardier at age 19, he was taught how to fly a B-17 bomber, and was off to Bari, Italy.

The War over, the decorated war veteran resumed his career as a football halfback hero, with a win against UCLA in the Rose Bowl of 1947. Playing poker nights, he was able to fund his law degree in 1950, then practiced law in Peru to be close to his college sweetheart. Gene married Lillian Marie Forcht in 1950, a happy 63-year union.

Gene joined the FBI, assigned to San Mateo, Calif., where daughter Anne was born. He was a special agent for five years during the McCarthy era.

George M. Shur
George M. Shur
George Michael Shur, 70, of DeKalb, IL, died Sunday, Nov. 25 in Chicago. Born in 1942 in Portland, ME, to Barnett and Clarice (Geller) Shur, George spent his childhood in Portland and attended Colby College, then Boston University School of Law.

He returned to Portland and joined the law firm of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer, and Nelson, where he later became partner. In 1970, he met Martha West. From their first date on Valentine's Day she remained the love of his life, and they were blessed to celebrate their 42nd anniversary November 14.