Paul J. Scoptur
1953 - 2018
Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services
10121 West North Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI
Scoptur, Paul J. (1953 to 2018). We all have a story, and here is Paul's. Paul was a Tosa boy. He began Tosa life on 84th Street with adoptive Greek parents James and Mary. He went to McKinley, Longfellow and Tosa East. He spent a good part of his life at his home-away-from-home, the Tosa playgrounds. Twenty-three years ago, Paul traveled west on North Avenue and put down roots on 100th Street. Paul was an athlete. For more than 40 years, Paul was fortunate to learn and play a variety of team sports. He enjoyed the challenge of competition, the camaraderie of team play, and the intricacies of the mental side of the game. Along the way, he discovered an equal enjoyment in passing on what he learned to the next generation of athletes. As a high school, college and law school student, he worked for the Tosa Rec Dept. as a playground director for 10 years. Paul was a lifeguard, baseball umpire, basketball, football and soccer referee, and a coach for YMCA T-Ball, Tosa Rec Mighty Mites and Youth Basketball, Wauwatosa Kickers soccer, AAU basketball and Christ King grade school and CYM basketball. Paul's personal claim to fame: in all the years of coaching basketball, he never got a technical foul. (Though he may have come close a few times when it came to protecting his children on the court.) His biggest regret: he wished he could've still dunked a basketball. Paul was committed to his profession. He graduated from UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University Law School. For 30 years, Paul was a trial lawyer representing plaintiffs. But his advocacy went above and beyond trial practice. He continued to learn and contribute to his profession. He was on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Association for Justice and was a trustee and past co-chair of the National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees. Paul was one of the Best Lawyers In America and one of Wisconsin's top 50 Super Lawyers. He was a Diplomate of the NCA and was one of the first lawyers to complete the Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy curriculum. Paul was also a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. As with athletics, he discovered an equal enjoyment in passing on what he learned to students of the law as well as practicing attorneys. Paul served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School. He also became a frequent lecturer to practicing lawyers around the U.S. and Canada. His teaching even spilled over to writing and co-authoring two books, "Advanced Depositions Skills" and "Focus Groups: Hitting the Bull's Eye." His most unusual legal accomplishment was being awarded honorary Newfoundland citizenship by the Canadian trial lawyers through a "Screech-in" ceremony. He kissed the cod like he belonged there. But, first and foremost, Paul was a family man. Paul met his wife Christina in law school and won her over with a necklace made of paperclips. They married four years later and celebrated their 36th anniversary last November. The arrival of his four children, James, Katherine, Mark and Alexandra, were the marvels of his life. He fully embraced parenthood, from changing diapers, bath duty and doctor visits to carpooling, homework, teacher conferences and the occasional "dad" joke and Rocky and Bullwinkle impression. And like athletics and his career, Paul just enjoyed passing on what he has learned in life to his children, whether it was words of wisdom from Homer Simpson, reflecting on a life experience of his own or helping them see their situation in a new light after extensive questioning (he couldn't forgo a chance to depose his own children!). And finally, Paul found joy and amazement in his grandchildren Evelyn, Charlotte, Madeline, Owen and Benjamin, and was thrilled to introduce them to the deliciousness of freezer treats, now known in our household as "Boppa" treats. Paul is survived by his wife Christina (nee Engel), children James (Carolyn), Katherine Lawton (Edward), Mark and Alexandra, and grandchildren Evelyn, Charlotte and Owen Scoptur and Madeline, Benjamin and almost Baby Girl Lawton. He is also survived by a HUGE number of wonderful and rambunctious family and friends. (You know who you are.) Memorials may be made to the Scoptur Family Woman of Character Scholarship Fund at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, 4257 North 100th Street, Milwaukee WI 53222. Paul, a grateful scholarship recipient in his youth, felt strongly about supporting proactive and dynamic students who are enthusiastic learners, bold explorers, courageous achievers and community builders. Family and friends are invited to greet Paul's family and share stories at an open house celebration on Friday, June 8, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. For details, visit the funeral home website. As Paul would say, "Time to go!"

Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jun. 6, 2018.
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Celebration of Life
9:30a.m. - 12:30p.m.
Funeral services provided by:
Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services
Sponsored by Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services.
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31 Entries
Another year, another message. The loss has not lessened, neither has the respect and true feelings for the man he was. To have missed the funeral will always be a miserabe memory for me. The many,many memories of Paul will continue to assure me I had a friend well beyond the defininition of . Remain in Peace, Paul, you are sorely missed.

Michael Uporsky
michael Uporsky
June 1, 2020
March 21, 1971

"And even though we will never talk again, know that I am forever changed by who you were..."
a fellow basketball fan
January 6, 2019
I had the pleasure of cutting Paul's hair for the last 10 years. We had some amazing conversations that made a normal 30 minute appointment last a good hour. We discussed everything from politics, music, religion, family, traveling, work and both of our childhoods. I was always amazed by the man Paul was and how much he helped others and had accomplished in his life. I am beyond heartbroken to hear he passed. I am so grateful to have had the chance to get to know Paul. Hopefully now Paul will not have the stress of the forever uneven sideburns. My deepest sympathy to the family.
Amber Youngblood
July 26, 2018
I did not get a chance to say goodbye to a man who helped me in my darkest hours of life in 1978/79.
I feel terrible that I have lost such a friend. He was one in a million and was ALWAYS there.

RIP Paul, I am at a loss for words.

Michael A. Uporsky
michael uporsky
July 21, 2018
My heart is in my mouth. I feel terrible, as Paul e mailed me in May of 2018 and I never returned the e mail or called him. I will feel bad the rest of my life for that bit of laziness, Paul Scoptur was a man's man and my assistant coach when I was the head Basketball coach at Brookfield Academy and before that a teammate on some damn good softball teams. In my darkest hour in 1978 he was there to make sure his fried Michael had the best lawyer in the world. He took a lot of abuse for being my good friend. I had no idea Paul was ill, and at least I know now he is looking down on me and forgiving me for not getting in touch. You do not lose a friend like Paul Scoptur and ever recover from it. I am so sorry and I hope his family gets this message. A few years ago he invited me to Wauwatosa, to stay at his home and reminisce. I am so spoiled as to have had a Paul Scoptur in my life and he knows I appreciated the gift he was. To his wife and children, I know you know what a loss you have endured. I feel the same way and what a way to find out. Sorry, I put brother down as my relationship. He told me one day that I was the older brother he never had. I know Pete too, and Pete was in my graduating class at Tosa East, in 64. My sincerest sympathy to you all, Michael A. Uporsky
michael uporsky
July 21, 2018
Scoptur Family-

While I only knew Paul for a few short years, the impact he had on me as a younger attorney, and as a person, made me feel like I knew him for a lifetime. His lessons in law and in life will be missed by me and my wife. I will never forget the time we spent together, either on client matters, or at Shaw's enjoying seafood and good company. Paul will always be a mentor, friend and a part of my family.

Jeff and Kaisa Katz
Jeff Katz
June 14, 2018
Paul, good luck in your future endeavors!
Larry Towers
June 10, 2018
June 8, 2018
Chris and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Paul was a lovely man and I appreciated the times that I worked with him. He was a generous person. He will be missed by many around the country. I hope that you will be able to find comfort in seeing him in his children and grandchildren as you go forward.
Anne Stodola
June 8, 2018
Paul was a good friend in grade school and junior high. He was a better baseball player than I, so he played short or 3rd while I was at 2nd base!

We reconnected through Facebook in the last two years, texting memories from grade school and planning to meeting for lunch in the near future.

He joked that "as we get closer to the finish line, the more we reminisce". The finish line came way too soon.

Today at his memorial, I met his wife Cyndi and his 4 dear children. It is clear that Paul left the world a better place than he found it.

Rest in peace old friend.
Brian Lochen
June 8, 2018
Oh my! We were so sad to hear of Paul's death. Our hearts ache for your family. He was such a sweet man, who cared about his wife and kids, and obviously did so many wonderful things without fanfare. The best kind of guy. Know that your entire family is in our prayers, and we hope your memories of a great husband, dad and bumpa will bring you laughter and peace. Julie and Greg
Julie Hoesly
June 8, 2018
Blessings to my old Mckinley classmate, Paul, and to his family.
June 8, 2018
Dear Scoptur Family,

I am deeply saddened to learn of Paul's passing, with this news shared from my dear friend Kathy Stecker Engel. Just last summer we celebrated Courtney's wedding with Paul's presence in the foreground and the background. Such a special, accomplished and loving person.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Lari Wenzel
June 7, 2018
Paul was a gifted athlete, especially on the softball field and basketball court! His fierce competitiveness was admired by both his teammates and his opponents. Yet, there was a compassionate and loyalty side to this wonderful man that he displayed constantly to his family and friends. Deepest condolences. Scoop' will be dearly missed by all! Sincerely, Ron Bruce
Ron Bruce
June 7, 2018
Dear Scopturs, shocked and very sorry to hear about your loss. Paul was an awesome coach and always put a smile on your face. Deepest condolences.
Dan Meyer
June 7, 2018
I am so sorry to hear of Paul's passing. I met Paul when I was a starry eyed law student in 1996. I had the privilege of having him pass his wisdom on to me at several NCA colleges over the years. It is often said that trial lawyers stand on the shoulders of the giants that preceded them. Paul is one of the giants whose shoulders I am proud to stand on as a trial lawyer. Despite being blessed with the skills of a great trial lawyer, Paul was never a braggart. Too often the taste of success in the courtroom leads trial lawyers down a path in which their egos get the better of them. Paul was a shining exception to that. He never spoke down to anyone. He treated his fellow trial lawyers as peers, not underlings. Over the years, when we would see each other at AAJ conventions or events, he always started our conversation off by asking me how my family was before we ever got to the subject of our respective legal careeres. Again rare at a gathering of trial lawyers in which conversations often start with... "Let me tell you about this verdict I just got...." Whenever you talked to Paul, what immediately became abundantly clear, was how caring of a person he was. Over the years Paul has continued to encourage and inspire me as a person and a trial lawyer. I cannot begin to Fathom the depths of your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. To me Paul will always be a shining example of what every trial lawyer should strive to be.
David Harak
June 7, 2018
I met Paul at AAJ's Ultimate course in 2005 where he was an instructor and I a student. I took an immediate liking to him, he had great style, warmth and a fantastic sense of humor. And, he did not take himself so seriously. I attended many other AAJ events and if Paul was on the faculty, I wanted to attend since I knew I would learn from him. I also hired him as a trial consultant several times.
He has made be a far better advocate and has benefitted my clients. I can't believe he is gone, so young, so vibrant. I miss him. I will never forget him.
My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Kevin Morrison
June 7, 2018
A mentor, friend, and great trial lawyer who worked for justice. Condolences to his family.
Bruce Berger
June 7, 2018
Paul was a great mentor of mine. I respected him tremendously, and he helped me and in turn my clients. In addition to being a tremendous trial lawyer, he had a great sense of humor and did not take himself too seriously. I will never forget him.

My deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.
Kevin Morrison
June 6, 2018
I have so many great memories of Paul at Tosa East (mostly on the basketball court) and UWM. So glad that he joined us on the 40th Tosa East Reunion Committee.
Condolences to Paul's family, you have lost a bright light in your life. Hold on to the special memories.
Jeanette Barkhausen Roncke
June 6, 2018
Condolences to Paul's family and friends. He was a good man and a fine lawyer.
June 6, 2018
I remember Paul from high school as a guy with a ready smile for whoever was around. He was one of those people who could light up a room just by walking into it. His life story certainly confirms all that. He will be truly missed and remembered in a lot of hearts.
Susie (Voltz) Lochen
June 6, 2018
I met Paul only a half dozen times but felt like I knew him for decades. He was an Instructor (and my group's advisor) at the Ultimate Trial Advocacy College, and we stayed in touch. Just last week I recommended the Maine Trial Lawyers Association invite Paul to speak to us at a Maine CLE designed around his books, Depositions and Focus Groups.

I will miss that congenial nature, bright intellect, and lover of the law. God bless Paul, rest in eternal peace.
Christopher Largay
June 6, 2018
I met Paul the first few days of law school. We hit it off right away. We were partners for appellate advocacy, legal research and writing. He helped me wade my way through it. Our senior year we were teammates on the Marquette University touch football championship team. He caught the winning touchdown pass in the last minute of play (after I had put us behind on a bad snap from center). Those days were a combination of hard work, good friends and good times. I will remember him and those times fondly. He was a great lawyer, but he was an even better person.
Tony Rosario
June 6, 2018
he was a great friend i am sad
mark sherman
June 6, 2018
Dear Chris and Family, I am so sorry for your sudden loss. Please know that many are thinking of you at this sad time and sending blessings of hope, comfort and peace.
Kiett Takkunen
June 6, 2018
Dear Chris and family,

I met Paul the first few days of law school. We hit it off immediately, and we were friends from then on. I will always fondly remember our Marquette University touch football championship team. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great lawyer and even a better person. I hadn't seen him in a few years, but I will remember him for the rest of my life.
Tony Rosario
June 6, 2018
Scoptur family - very sorry for your loss.
Paul was a great guy, excellent coach and an all-around sporty kind of guy. He gave a lot of himself to the community he lived in.

John Sweeney
June 6, 2018
I met Paul in the mid-1970's through the National Greek Youth Association. Our initial connection was our common love and admiration for Bob Dylan. Paul He knew the lyrics of all Dylan's songs and poems. He had all the bootleg albums. Our friendship was ephemeral through the years and recently was rekindled and we managed to get in contact for the major and some of the minor events in our lives. Paul was a deep thinker, philosophical and wise. My sincere sympathies to his family. A Hui Ho, dear friend.
Tina Arapkiles
June 6, 2018
a loved one
June 6, 2018
Mrs. Scoptur, James, Kate, Mark, and Ali - I am so sorry to hear this! I have such fond and fun memories of Mr. Scoptur from grade school and high school and always appreciated how welcome we were in your home. I'm sorry I can't be there on Friday for the celebration but will definitely be thinking of you all. Take care, Molly Hogan
Molly Hogan
June 6, 2018
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