Posted Jun 05, 2013 02:39 pm CDT
A veteran Chicago criminal defense lawyer who took on “impossible cases” has died in an apparent suicide.
Police found the body of Rick Halprin, 73, on Tuesday as they were serving an eviction notice, report the Chicago Tribune the Chicago Sun-Times and WLS-TV. He died from a single gunshot to the head. Halprin’s clients had included mobster Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, cops accused of misconduct and drug dealers. He gave up his law license because of back pain from a Vietnam War injury that became disabling in his later years.
Halprin faced $500,000 in tax liens and significant debts following several divorces, friends told WLS-TV. The Sun-Times says he was married twice, while the Tribune says there were three marriages. One of his ex-wives was actress Robyn Douglass, who starred in Breaking Away and other films, the Tribune says. She told the newspaper that Halprin was “a guy who was committed to the Constitution.” When Halprin took on cases, “it was going to be a professional fight with no shenanigans,” she said.
Fellow lawyer Joseph “The Shark” Lopez recalled in a Sun-Times interview that Halprin loved a court challenge. “We took on a lot of impossible cases in the 90s,” he recalled.
Halprin was also a former minor league hockey player who continued to play until pain forced him to give up the game when he was nearly 70.
ABAJournal.com: “State bar president calls recent lawyer suicides ‘disproportionate’ and ‘disconcerting’”