Post update, June 21:
In addition to the earlier obituaries mentioned below, the Chicago Law Bulletin ran an excellent remembrance of Phlip H. Corboy by his firm’s longtime administrator, Marcy Twardak, who has been at the firm for 31 years.
Post from June 15 below:
Several news outlets have noted the death, at age 87, of Philip H. Corboy, one of the nation’s most successful and admired personal injury attorneys and the founder of Chicago’s Corboy & Demetrio. In its release, the firm described Corboy as “a champion of the injured, a pioneer in the area of personal injury law and a relentless lobbyist against tort reform. “
Corboy graduated first in his class at Loyola University School of Law and worked as Assistant Corporate Counsel for the City of Chicago before beginning his storied career as a trial lawyer. The Chicago Tribune obituary said that the “debonair, silver-haired lawyer had a commanding presence in the courtroom and a flair for the dramatic.” Corboy was the first personal injury lawyer to be president of the Chicago Bar Association and is credited with raising the reputation of trial lawyers nationally. Fellow name partner Tom Demetrio said, “”When Phil would talk about leveling the playing field, he was talking about retaining good lawyers like him to go up and fight these guys who are trying to minimize a company’s loss.”
Corboy was also known for his mentoring of other lawyers and generosity towards charitable causes and his law school. Loyola law noted in its remembrance that his “leadership and generosity over the years have been instrumental in maintaining Loyola’s reputation for excellence in trial advocacy.” The school in 2009 named its law school building the Philip H. Corboy Law Center. He and his wife, Mary Dempsey, were major donors to the school.
Other survivors include Philip Harnett Corboy Jr., a son who is a partner at Corboy & Demetrio, as well as sons John R. Corboy and Thomas M. Corboy; eight grandchildren; and a brother. His only daughter, Judge Joan Marie Corboy, died at age 45, and his youngest son, Robert J. Corboy, died at age 12.