Edward F. Shea Jr., 70, lawyer who prized decorum

April 03, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Edward Fitzgerald Shea Jr., an attorney known for his efforts to uphold courtroom decorum, died Saturday of complications of coronary artery disease at St. Agnes Hospital. He was 70 and lived in Catonsville.

Mr. Shea, who had been a lawyer for more than 40 years, was a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Kaplan, Greenberg, Engleman & Belgrad. His specialty was public utility law.

His efforts locally and nationally to improve attorneys' courtroom conduct earned him recognition as the "Father of Professionalism," according to colleagues.

Last month, he was awarded the fourth annual award for professional legal excellence and the advancement of professional competence by the Fellows of the Maryland Bar Foundation.

"What we hope to instill is pride, dedication and adherence to the highest standards of integrity, civility and compassion," he said at that time.

His efforts led the Maryland Court of Appeals to create a required course in professionalism in 1990. More than 7,200 people who are members of the Maryland bar have taken the one-day course. Lawyers are not allowed to practice until they complete the course.

Herbert J. Belgrad, a longtime friend and law partner, said, "Ed grew up in an era when civility and courtesy were the standard that governed the practice of law. In his nearly half a century at the Bar, he continued to practice those qualities and became a model for a new generation of lawyers."

He described Mr. Shea as a "giant in the profession" who "endeared himself to all who knew him as a man of character and integrity as well as a kind and gentle man."

Roger Redden, a managing partner in the Baltimore firm of Piper & Marbury, said, "He taught by example in both his professional and private life. He was the exemplar of the highest standards of decency and politeness. This was a civilized human being who directed to all, regardless of station or rank, nothing but civility and respect."

Mr. Shea was a member of many professional groups, including the city, state and national bar associations.

The 40-year resident of Catonsville was born and raised on East 22nd Street in Baltimore and was a 1943 graduate of Loyola High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1949 from Loyola College and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1953.

During World War II, he served with the Marine Corps in the Pacific and was discharged in 1946 with the rank of staff sergeant.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church on Melvin Avenue in Catonsville, where he was a communicant.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, the former Mary Lou Dean; five sons, Edward F. Shea III of Catonsville, Michael J. Shea of Clearwater, Fla., Kevin M. Shea of Hamilton, Va., Dennis G. Shea of State College, Pa., and Brian J. Shea of Hanover, Pa.

Also three daughters, Kathleen Holden of Laurel, Mary Hendricks of Elkridge and Patricia A. Turlington of Timonium; a brother, John "Ty" Shea of Baltimore; two sisters, Katherine Troxel of Winchester, Va., and Marceline Molinaro of Baltimore; and 17 grandchildren.

Pub Date: 4/03/96

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