Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, July 20, 2019

East Alton attorney Greg Tobin dies following battle with cancer; Remembered as 'excellent negotiator' who 'bargained from strength'

Attorneys & Judges

By John Breslin | Jul 9, 2019


East Alton attorney Greg Tobin of Pratt & Tobin, who represented railroad workers in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) cases for decades, died July 2 at age 58.

Tobin partnered with his father-in-law, Paul Pratt, and later took over the East Alton-based firm. Tobin was at Pratt & Tobin for 34 years.

His son Ben, who has now taken charge of the family practice with brother Zach, said he remembered his father as a man who drove home the philosophy of always doing the best – and working very hard.

"He was in the office sometimes from eight in the morning to eight at night," Ben Tobin told the Record. "He was an excellent negotiator (who) bargained from strength. He would always work up his cases in a way that was to the best advantage of his clients. The other side always knew we were ready to try the case, and that's what gets the other side to cough up more money that they did not plan on offering."

Greg Tobin continued working after he was diagnosed with gastric cancer in September 2018. He continued to come into the office and also work from home, advising his heirs, making court appearances and taking depositions, Ben Tobin said.

Tobin & Pratt was founded in the 1970s by Paul Pratt, who specialized in FELA cases. He mostly represented railroad employees not covered by workers' compensation. He developed a reputation as an expert in the field and securing many high dollar amounts in damages. 

In later years, the firm branched out into personal injury cases, including auto and trucking accidents and slip and fall cases, Ben Tobin said. 

An obituary for Greg Tobin described him as having "a knack for entertaining and an infectious laugh. He enjoyed cooking and grilling, working out and spending quality time with his family and friends, especially at The Lake House."

Born Sept. 19, 1960 in Jacksonville, Ill., Greg Tobin was the son of William "Bill" Tobin of Grape Vine, Texas, and Patricia "Pat" (Henry) Pinkerton of Jacksonville.

Greg Tobin received his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law. 

In addition to his two sons, Greg Tobin is survived by his wife of 39 years, Carole (nee Pratt), and daughters Dr. Courtney Tobin (Robby Springer) and Emily (Stuart) Hilton. 

Mass was held on July 8 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Bethalto.  A celebration of life will be held Aug. 10.

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