Charles Weiss, known in Pittsburgh as a giant within the legal field for his 40-year career as a trial attorney, died May 23. He was 82.
Mr. Weiss joined the law firm Thorp Reed & Armstrong in 1956, eventually becoming a partner. He stayed with the company until his retirement in 1996.
He was also elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization designed to honor the best attorneys in the courtroom.
For 30 years, Bob Shoop worked at the same firm as Mr. Weiss, carpooling to the office for several years out of both necessity and convenience.
Mr. Shoop, 75, of Oakmont, said he still chuckles when thinking of all the "terrible" jokes Mr. Weiss told throughout their professional and personal relationship. Mr. Shoop said he was always impressed by Mr. Weiss' ability to keep his great sense of humor while remaining so effective in the courtroom.
"I thought Charlie Weiss was and is one most intelligent attorneys I ever met," Mr. Shoop said. "He was far and away the brightest attorney our firm has had."
Mr. Weiss' intelligence was recognized at a young age. He was named valedictorian of Girard College, a K-12 school for fatherless boys in Philadelphia, in 1947.
From there he graduated from Harvard College in 1951 and Harvard Law School in 1954.
After completing his law degree, Mr. Weiss enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Orleans, France, for two years. While serving in the Army, Mr. Weiss married his first wife, Mary Augusta Plumer, who died in 1971. He married Robin McKinney in 1973.
Even after his retirement, Mr. Weiss put his legal skills to use. He offered advice to the president of Girard College and members of St. James Episcopal Church in Penn Hills.
Through the church, he was able to meet longtime friend Joseph Fish 40 years ago.
Mr. Fish's two children loved to visit Mr. Weiss' home because it was always "action-packed" -- the result of nine children living under one roof.
Their families traveled around the world together, Mr. Fish's favorite being a trip to Ireland. Mr. Fish laughed as he remembered sitting in a pub with Mr. Weiss as the attorney entertained everyone there with jokes.
Describing Mr. Weiss as a quality person, Mr. Fish said "that man never had a bad word to say about anyone. You can't say that about many people."
Mr. Weiss is survived by his wife and nine children: James Langdon Weiss, Christopher Ingham Weiss, Charles Sumner Weiss, Robert Wallace Weiss, Jeffrey Michael Weiss, Mary Weiss Aiken, Craig Curtis Scott, Douglas McKinney Scott and Heather Sharon Scott; and his brother, Marvin Weiss of Philadelphia. He also has 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. James Episcopal Church, 11524 Frankstown Road. The family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. in the parish hall.
Jessica Tully: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1159. Twitter: @jessalynn4.