The Genesis of Corboy & Demetrio
The co-founder of the firm, the late Philip H. Corboy, graduated first in his class from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1949. He began his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, drafting ordinances and writing briefs. One of these, a law prohibiting smoking in public elevators, still prevails. Corboy’s tenure as a municipal lawyer was brief.
A milestone in the firm’s development can be traced to late 1973, when Thomas A. Demetrio, recently admitted to the Illinois and Florida bars, dropped in on judicial mentor, Judge James A. Geroulis, for whom he had clerked in law school. Then president of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), Phil Corboy was on trial before the veteran jurist. Introductions were made. That afternoon, Demetrio was hired by Corboy . . . and the rest is history. It was soon apparent Demetrio had plenty of charisma and talent. He quickly became a consummate professional and seasoned trial lawyer. Demetrio and Corboy became partners in 1982, and the name of the firm was changed to Corboy & Demetrio.
The partnership ranks grew in 1991, when Philip Harnett Corboy Jr. and Francis Patrick Murphy were named partners. Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr., had distinguished himself for seven years as an Assistant State’s Attorney, assigned to the Criminal Trial Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He was ultimately responsible for major felonies and tried forty jury cases to verdict before joining Corboy & Demetrio in 1985.
Francis Patrick Murphy, known to all as simply Patrick, earned a degree at Northwestern University on an athletic scholarship and attended law school at night while working as a salesman for A.B. Dick Company in Niles. From 1975 to 1978, he represented the indigent as a Cook County Public Defender. In 1978, he was hired by Philip E. Howard, a former associate of Philip H. Corboy. He joined Corboy & Demetrio in 1983.
Michael K. Demetrio was named a partner in 1994. He began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in 1979. After five years, he resigned as a felony trial assistant and accepted a position at a personal injury firm. In 1987, Michael chose to join Corboy & Demetrio to practice with his brother.
In April, 2002, David R. "Chip" Barry, Jr. joined the list of partners in the firm. Prior to joining Corboy & Demetrio, Chip was a personal injury attorney working on the defense side prior to joining Corboy & Demetrio in 2002. He, too, is highly respected for his work in the area of medical malpractice, obtaining many record-setting verdicts and settlements.
In 2011, Daniel S. Kirschner became a partner. Dan, a staunch advocate for children’s safety, was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2010 to the Illinois Carnival Amusement Safety (CAS) Board where he served for nine years, five of them as Chair of the CAS Board.
Corboy & Demetrio Managing Partner Kenneth T. Lumb joined Corboy & Demetrio as a Chicago personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in 1995 after a tour of duty in the United States Army. Ken was named Partner in 2015 and Managing Partner in 2019. As a captain in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG Corps), Ken served four years as the Medical Claims Judge Advocate at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which is the Defense Department's largest medical facility.
Edward G. Willer became a partner in 2015. He joined Corboy & Demetrio in 1994 after having practiced with the preeminent law firm of Leonard M. Ring & Associates.
Michelle M. Kohut became a partner in 2019. She heads the firm's Workers' Compensation practice. Michelle served as a Judicial Law Clerk to William D. Maddux, Presiding Judge of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, prior to joining Corboy & Demetrio.
Andrew P. Stevens joined Corboy & Demetrio in 2016. He practices personal injury law in all areas including aviation and environmental negligence.
Michael Ditore joined Corboy & Demetrio in 2018. Prior to joining the firm, Mike served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for six years, litigating over 500 cases, including felony and misdemeanor jury and bench trials. Mike worked extensively on high-level felony matters including first-degree murder cases.
Britney R. Pennycook joined Corboy & Demetrio in 2019 and practices in all areas of personal injury law.
Peter M. O’Malley joined Corboy & Demetrio "Of Counsel" in 2021 after an illustrious 28-year career in public service with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.