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., Robert J. Bingle, 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. Robert J. Bingle was conferred a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago. While a valued executive with the Hilton Hotels Corporation, he attended law school in the evenings. He became a Corboy & Demetrio associate in 1983 and was appointed the firm’s managing partner in 1995.
Francis Patrick Murphy, known to all as simply Patrick, after earning a degree at Northwestern University on an athletic scholarship, also 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.
Two additional partners, Michael K. Demetrio and Susan J. Schwartz, were named in 1994. Michael K. Demetrio 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.
Susan J. Schwartz was hired as a law clerk at Philip H. Corboy & Associates in 1979. Upon passing the bar in 1980, she became an associate. She quickly distinguished herself by her work on medical negligence cases, on which she continues to concentrate her professional career.
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.
René A. Torrado, Jr., joined the firm in 2003 as a partner with a vast amount of experience in anti-trust and commercial litigation. He was a partner at Vedder Price Kaufman & Kammholz, a partner at Reuben & Proctor, and a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice in the Antitrust Division. René is the chair of the commercial litigation department at Corboy & Demetrio.
In 2011, Daniel S. Kirschner became a partner. Kenneth T. Lumb and Edward G. Willer became partners in 2015.