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The Passing of Philip H. Corboy

Corboy & Demetrio announces with profound sadness that its founding partner, Philip H. Corboy, died this morning in his home in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife, Mary Dempsey, at his side. Phil was 87 years old.

“Phil Corboy was an extraordinary lawyer but an even better human being. His accomplishments in the courtroom pale in comparison to his contributions to his fellow man,” said Thomas A. Demetrio, co-founder of Corboy & Demetrio.

“Phil Corboy’s life was long and filled with much love, happiness and success –at all levels. While he’ll be missed greatly, his spirit and legacy will live on for generations,” Demetrio added.

Philip H. Corboy graduated first in his class from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and was sworn into the Illinois bar on January 17, 1949. He promptly became an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. Exactly one year after receiving his license, he argued his first case on behalf of the City of Chicago before the Illinois Supreme Court at age 26. He won the case. He was on a professional roll. James Dooley, recognized at the time as the dean without peer of plaintiffs’ personal injury trial lawyers, singled out Corboy and asked him to recommend someone in his age group to work for him. Although he knew almost nothing about that discipline of the legal profession, Phil jumped at the chance and recommended himself.

In November of 1950, he tried his first jury trial. The rest is history. That history includes his involvement in every major airplane disaster since the 1950s and his representation of the families of the Tylenol poisoning victims, which led to tamper-resistant packaging for pain relievers.

A nationally-acclaimed trial lawyer, Philip H. Corboy was a champion of the injured, a pioneer in the area of personal injury law and a relentless lobbyist against tort reform. He was as generous as he was successful, and he was very successful.

He represented thousands of clients over 60 years and was proud and honored to represent people who placed their destinies in his hands. As he once said “to have an opportunity to do the right thing for each client is why I remained a trial lawyer.” Representing injured people in genuine need of advocacy consumed him. He knew there were people who needed him. His mentoring and training honed the trial skills of countless attorneys who practiced law under his tutelage.

“Phil lived a long, productive life. I am not sad. I am happy that he will now enjoy the fruits of his labor – eternal life,” Demetrio said.

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Corboy & Demetrio
33 N. Dearborn Street
21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602