Attorney Brian Loncar Found Dead Days After His Daughter's Suicide

Late Sunday afternoon, staff at the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the death of high-profile Texas attorney Brian Loncar. An examination to determine cause of death will occur during the late afternoon. They could not confirm other media reports that his body was found at the attorney's office at the 400 block of S. Cesar Chavez, and police did not return calls to determine if they responded to calls to that location on Sunday morning. Staff said they are receiving Loncar's body from Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Two days ago, Brian Loncar buried his daughter, Grace. The 16-year-old student at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts killed herself last Saturday. "Unfortunately, Grace suffered from the often underestimated and misunderstood disease of depression," the obituary reads. "From the time she was diagnosed at age 11, until her death, she struggled." Last week the Observer heard praise for the girl's talents and surprise at her darker side, which she shared with people on social media.

Grace Loncar acted at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, which was started by her mother, Sue Loncar. In late November the theater announced its closure after 14 years. “The CTD Brand and the building and the Loncar name are inextricably linked in the minds of the audience, critics, and theatre community,” the theater said in the announcement of its closure. “One element cannot exist without the others."

An extensive profile of Brian Loncar the Dallas Observer published in 1997 describes the rise of the attorney's career:

Loncar, the son of a middle-class businessman, was born in Iowa, grew up in Indiana, and came to Dallas after graduating from Texas Tech University Law School in 1987. A good student, he was associate editor of the school's law review and clerked at one of Dallas' blue-chip firms, Winstead Seachrest & Minick. They didn't invite him back with a job, several sources say. Instead, Loncar went out on his own as a personal injury lawyer and within a few years began applying his efficient formula of attention-grabbing ads.

Those ads generated attention, and revenue. Brian Loncar & Associates now operates in 11 Texas cities and, according to the firm's website, takes on 7,000 clients a year.

The Observer's profile also reveals a volatile personality. Former employees reported verbal outbursts and profanity, and female staff filed harassment lawsuits. His family life was also complicated, particularly the relationships with his ex-wives. One of his ex-wives, Mary Loncar, accused him of bigamy in a criminal complaint. A Dallas County grand jury indicted him on the charge. The bigamy indictment was dropped for lack of jurisdiction.

The Medical Examiner's office said results of the examination would likely be made public on Monday. Update: 9:46 p.m. — Loncar's law firm, Brian Loncar and Associates, released the following statement Sunday night:

Brian Loncar’s colleagues and employees are shocked and enormously saddened by these tragic events. We are remembering and honoring his passion, commitment to his clients and skillful representation of people who are in pain and need the firm’s assistance. You know his message as being ‘the strong arm’ for people who have been injured. Please know the team Brian built here is resolved to continue service to you that is reflective of Brian’s winning record, strength, expertise, wisdom as well as his deep sense of caring for his clients and people in need of help. We will continue to fight for you.
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Joe Pappalardo is the former editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Joe Pappalardo