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Roger Pascal 1941-2015

Roger PascalAttorney Roger Pascal, a litigator who spent 50 years with the firm of Schiff Hardin in Chicago, also did pro bono work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, where his legal skills served some of the state's most disadvantaged citizens.

"Roger was a passionate, passionate advocate, particularly for people who couldn't afford a champion or didn't have one," said Thomas Quinn, who succeeded Pascal as the Schiff Hardin practice group leader for litigation in Chicago.

"He was the general counsel for the ACLU for many years and in that time led some of the real significant impact litigation that has shaped the whole state system for the care of foster children and also for the treatment of people with developmental disabilities," Quinn said.

Pascal, 74, died of pancreatic cancer Sunday (December 27, 2015) in his Evanston home, according to his wife, Martha, whom many know as "Missy." He moved to Evanston shortly after returning to the Chicago area following law school in the mid-1960s.

He joined Schiff Hardin in 1965 after graduating from Harvard Law School and never retired. He became a partner in 1972 and served as a leader of the firm's litigation group for more than 20 years. In a statement on its website, the firm noted that Pascal focused his complex and multiparty litigation practice on intellectual property, antitrust and trade secrets, and also successfully tried cases in the fields of aviation, criminal law and commodity futures trading.

His work for the ACLU began almost as soon as he joined Schiff Hardin.

"He held his very active day job (at Schiff Hardin), and his work at the ACLU and on behalf of our clients was all pro bono," said Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois. She said Pascal was the organization's general counsel for almost 31 years.

Pascal was an active litigator in a number of ACLU cases. Shortly after graduating from law school, he joined the legal team in the Gautreaux case, which successfully challenged the discriminatory placement of public housing facilities in Chicago and led to fundamental change in Chicago Housing Authority housing over the past 20 years, according to the ACLU.

Pascal also is survived by two daughters, Deborah and Diane; a son, David; two brothers, Charles and Ross; and three grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Morgan Yingst