Philip H. Corboy

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Philip H. Corboy
Born Philip Harnett Corboy
(1924-08-12)August 12, 1924
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died June 12, 2012(2012-06-12) (aged 87)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Resting place Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Education Attended St. Ambrose College after stateside service in WWII but transferred to Notre Dame. Without graduating from either he was admitted to Loyola University School of Law and graduated first in his class in 1949. After a brief stint working for the city of Chicago he was hired by James Dooley, former Supreme Court Justice, as a trial lawyer.
Alma mater St. Ambrose University,
Loyola University Chicago School of Law,
University of Notre Dame,
Occupation Lawyer
Years active 1949 - 2012
Home town Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Board member of Corboy & Demetrio,
See Later Career and Boards
Spouse(s) Doris Corboy with whom he had five children. Divorced in 1985; Mary Dempsey
(1992 – 2012; his death); 5 children

Philip Harnett Corboy (August 12, 1924 – June 12, 2012) was an American trial lawyer who was involved in personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice cases across the United States for more than half a century. He founded the law firm Philip H. Corboy & Associates which later became Corboy & Demetrio. Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean, David Yellen, stated: "There are very few living lawyers who have had the kind of impact Phil Corboy has. He largely transformed the practice of personal injury law. He was a teacher and mentor to a couple of generations of leading lawyers in the country."[1] His career was featured in a cover article in Chicago Lawyer entitled "Corboy College: Chicago Trial Lawyers' Alma Mater".[2][3]


The National Law Journal listed Corboy as one of the top 100 most influential lawyers in America [4] and one of the nation’s top 15 trial lawyers;[5] Chicago Magazine included him in its lists, The Power 100 and Power Lawyers,[6][7] and called him one of the 30 toughest lawyers in Chicago.[8] Law & Business listed him as one of America’s top trial lawyers.[9] He has been in The Best Lawyers in America book since its inception in 1987.[10]

Corboy wrote more than 100 articles on legal and business topics and has been the subject of news and features in many publications and television shows. He has appeared on 20/20, 60 Minutes, Face the Nation, Nightline with Ted Koppel, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[11]

Corboy was a lecturer and panelist at legal, medical and insurance meetings and conventions around the world and profiles have been written about him by the Wall Street Journal,[12] USA Today,[13] Chicago Magazine,[7] and the Chicago Tribune.[14]

In 2010, he and his wife, Mary Dempsey, made the largest single gift ever to the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. In recognition, Loyola renamed its law school building the Philip H. Corboy Law Center.[15] In addition to numerous honors from religious organizations, legal associations and publications, Corboy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the John Marshall Law School [16] and St. Ambrose University.

Later career and boards[edit]

He was a president of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association [17] and a former chairman of the Section on Litigation of the American Bar Association. Corboy served as general counsel for the Illinois Democratic Party and has served on the boards of directors of business, legal and charitable groups and as a member of task forces for courts, judicial and medical-related entities. He was also active in national and international associations such as the Inner Circle of Advocates, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers, American Board of Trial Advocates, and American Association for Justice.[citation needed]


Corboy died at home in Chicago on June 12, 2012 at age 87. He is survived by his wife Mary Dempsey whom he married in 1992. He had five children, Phillip Jr., John, Thomas, Joan Marie and Robert. Joan Marie and Robert predeceased their father.[18]


  1. ^ Loyola University Chicago (LUC) archived Archived 2010-07-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Corboy College: Chicago's Trial Lawyers' Alma Mater", Bob Yates, Chicago Lawyer, October 2007
  3. ^ Marquis Who's Who, LLC (1982). Who's Who in the Midwest, 1982-1983. Marquis Who's Who, LLC. ISBN 9780837907185. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Profiles in Power, The Nation's 100 Most Powerful Lawyers," The National Law Journal, April, 1985
  5. ^ "Winning - 15 of the Nation's Top Trial Lawyers Talk about Their Winning Tips and Techniques", The National Law Journal, April 1985
  6. ^ "The Power 100", Chicago Magazine, January 1998
  7. ^ a b "Power Lawyers", Chicago Magazine, July 1994
  8. ^ "30 Tough Lawyers," James Ylisela, Chicago Magazine, March 2002
  9. ^ America's Top Trial Lawyers, Who They Are & Why They Win, Prentice Hall Law & Business, 1994
  10. ^ The Best Lawyers in America, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Woodward/White
  11. ^ "Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Corboy Demetrio | Illinois Accident Attorney". Corboy Demetrio. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  12. ^ "For the Plaintiff ... Lawyers Specializing in Personal-Injury Suits Find Business is Good," The Wall Street Journal, August, 1972
  13. ^ "Fighting for 'the brave,' Personal Injury Lawyer Loves to Take on Deep Pockets," USA Today, December, 1995
  14. ^ "The Million-Dollar Attorney for the Maimed", Chicago Tribune Magazine, April 1977
  15. ^ "Giving". Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  16. ^ "In The News", Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 28, 2008
  17. ^ "Corby & Demetrio Chicago Bar Webpage". Chicago State Bar. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  18. ^ "The Passing of Philip H. Corboy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 

External links[edit]