Madison County Bar Association gathers for memorial to own

Amelia Flood May 26, 2011, 8:00am

Bagpiper Marty Petrie plays a solemn rendition of "Amazing Grace" following eulogies given in honor of seven members of the Madison County Bar Association who passed away last year.

Larry Taliana eulogized attorney Lance Mallon as a "Renaissance man," who enjoyed crossword puzzles, photography and painting. Paintings by Mallon hang in the Law Library and in the chambers of Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

Attorney Joan Spiegel grew emotional as she remembered Joseph Bartylak, the longtime head of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. Spiegel highlighted Bartylak's national reputation for his work with legal services agencies and his passion for working with the poor and disabled.

They remembered a painter, a judge, an advocate for the poor, a real estate lawyer, scuba diver, a Missouri Tigers' fan, and "Zeke."

The Madison County Bar Association came together Thursday morning in an Edwardsville courtroom to remember seven of its members who died last year.

As John Stobbes, the bar association's president, told those gathered those seven "were legends in the their field."

It is the 16th year that the bar association has met on the Thursday before Memorial Day to honor colleagues who have passed.

Seven attorneys stood one by one to eulogize their deceased colleagues.

The seven at the heart of the memorial service were Lance Mallon, Art Wendler, Bob Bosslet, Joseph Bartylak, Harold Clark, Ted Diaz Jr., and Marshall "Zeke" Smith.

The courtroom at times burst into laughter as stories and highlights of the seven's lives were told by those giving the eulogies.

Larry Taliana, speaking about Mallon, recalled Mallon's many skills.

"He was a Renaissance man," Taliana said. He noted Mallon's love of crossword puzzles, his MENSA membership and Mallon's talent for painting and the examples of that talent that are displayed in locations throughout Edwardsville, including Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder's chambers.

Taliana also noted Mallon's love of the bar association's "Bar Rag," and the jokes the two men came up with to fill it.

"Some of you may have thought some of those crossed the line," Taliana said of the jokes. "Believe me, you should have seen the ones we didn't include."

Attorney Allen Gilliard detailed Wendler's history of serving in the Air Force during WWII and his focus on real estate law.

Bosslet's law partner of 34 years, Terry O'Leary, recalled Bosslett's obsession with the Missouri Tigers sports programs and his habit of bringing highlighted sports pages to the pair's law offices.

O'Leary also recalled Bosslet's $1 million verdict in a welding fumes case that went through two 28-day trials.

Joan Spiegel, eulogizing Bartylak, was emotional as she described the former longtime executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

"He never abandoned his dream of providing legal services to all who need them," Spiegel said, also calling Bartylak a "tireless advocate for access to justice for the poor and disabled."

Bartylak, she told the room, was known nationally for his work with legal aid services.

Ed Moorman recalled trying his first case before Clark, a Madison County Circuit Judge and federal admininistrative judge.

"Judge Clark always seemed to be a man conscious of his duty," Moorman said. "He was formal but he was fair."

He remembered bearing the brunt of the judge's dry sense of humor when he managed to send part of metal decoration flying in Clark's court.

The judge, he said, informed him that he would be happy to get Moorman another piece of metal to "play with."

David Dugan described Ted Diaz Jr.'s family history of practicing law and Diaz Jr.'s love of scuba diving.

Dugan told those gathered he believed Diaz Jr., "the guru of workers' compensation," was at heart a peacemaker whose dream of owning a dive shop reflected that quality. Dugan was a former partner of Diaz Jr.

Marshall was recalled for his method of testing new attorneys in "trial by fire," according to his eulogist, Ben Allen.

"Zeke was an interesting character," Allen said.

Allen also remembered Marshall's compassion and ability to build bonds with his fellow attorneys. According to Allen, Marshall had a number of partners in his career.

"Zeke never litigated or had a cross word with any of his ex-partners," Allen said.

Allen also recalled when Marshall was brought up before a disciplinary panel for helping some of his workers' compensation clients get by as they waited for their awards.
Doing so violated ethics rules.

Eventually, Allen recalled, the panel informed Marshall's defense team that if he took the stand and testified he would not do so again, the panel would close the file.

When Marshall took the stand, he did not exactly promise to refrain from giving his clients money if they needed it.

He instead said, according to Allen, "I'll do what I can."

Allen cited Marshall as "a man of principal," and noted that the panel closed the complaint file without taking action against Marshall.

After bagpiper Marty Petrie played "Amazing Grace," the memorial ended with motions that transcripts be made and preserved.

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