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Lane Evans paycheck

Ray Choudhry, who started the Quad-Cities Legal Clinic, says this is Lane Evans' first paycheck after starting at the firm in 1978

Longtime Moline attorney Ray Choudhry remembers Lane Evans as sharp-witted and down to earth.

"He was an excellent attorney," said Choudhry, owner of Mid America Law Offices in Moline.

In fact, Choudhry said he offered Lane his first job as an attorney right after he passed the bar exam but just before he was formally sworn in.

Evans, who represented the 17th Congressional District in Illinois for parts of three decades, died Wednesday following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 63.

According to Quad-City Times archives, Evans worked as the managing attorney for Western Illinois University's Legal Assistance Fund between 1978 and 1979 and worked in private practice in Rock Island beginning in 1980.

Choudhry, a former attorney for Deere & Co., opened his firm, then known as the Quad-Cities Legal Clinic, in February 1978. The firm handled divorce, probate, real estate and bankruptcy cases.

Several months later, Choudhry needed another attorney to help him when business picked up.

Evans applied for the job, he said.

Evans' first paycheck, a copy of which Choudhry shared with the Quad-City Times, was for $296.43. The check was dated May 30, 1978.

His annual salary was $9,000.

Choudhry said Evans left the firm near the end of 1978. The two did not stay in contact, he said.

In 1982, Evans was elected to Congress.

“The main message here: In the history of the United States, a meteoric rise like that is unimaginable,” Choudhry said.

“This guy (went) from (a) $9,000 salary, two-and-a-half years later, a member of Congress,” he said.

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