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Phil Corboy: Remembering a Legendary Chicago Attorney
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Phil Corboy was one of the most legendary personal injury attorneys in Chicago history. Phil Corboy died Tuesday morning at his home at age 87. Over Corboy’s 60 years of practice, he represented thousands of clients, and he was always honored to “do the right thing for each client.” Phil Corboy served as partner with Corboy & Demetrio, and due to his contribution and dedication to train the next generation of personal injury attorneys, the firm acquired the nickname, “Corboy College of Law.”

According to his law firm, Corboy died from natural causes with his wife by his side. Corboy leaves his beloved wife, Mary Dempsey, his three sons, his eight grandchildren, a brother, a sister-in-law, niece, nephews, his most caring in laws, his devoted partners and office staff, and many friends.


According to a statement released by Corboy’s law firm, Corboy was: “A devout family man who considered all of his coworkers to be part of his extended family, Phil never hesitated to help anyone in need. From an employee who needed his guidance to a homeless person on the street or a tragedy-stricken family across the country, his love for mankind and his unique ability to connect with individuals in need and from all walks of life is unmatched.”

Phil Corboy spent his youth growing up in a flat in Rogers Park inChicago. He grew up in an Irish Catholic community, and his father was a local police officer. Corboy graduated from St. George’s high school and later attended St Ambrose College until his education was postponed because Phil served a two-year stint in the army. After graduating from Notre Dame College, Corboy went on to graduate from Loyola Law School in Chicago at the top of his class after only two years.

After graduating from law school, Corboy went to work with the Chicago City Council. One year after joining the Chicago City Council, Corboy argued before the Illinois Supreme Court; he was 26 at the time of the hearing. After two years working for the government, Corboy went on to work with James Dooley until he borrowed $2,500 dollars from a court reporter and started his own office with two other attorneys in 1952.

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Corboy & Demetrio went on to be an incredibly successful and lucrative practice. Phil Corboy fiercely represented his clients in a number of high profile cases including clients who died after taking cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules, victims of construction collapses, and the victims of the 1979 American Airlines crash that killed 273 people.

Corboy is famous for his dedication to his clients as well as his dedication to the practice of law. A lot has been written about Corboy’s method of preparation, or in other words Corboy’s process of “filling up the bathtub.” Before a case goes to trial, Corboy will seclude himself and study everything about the case. He would dissect every detail of the case, and burn every fact, case, or angle into his mind. Although Corboy may have passed away, his intense focus and dedication will always remain an inspiration to the legal industry.

A statement from Mayor Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, describes Corboy as “one of the most outstanding citizens and a giant in the legal community.” The Mayor goes on to describe Corboy’s dedication to justice, and his efforts to ensure “victims of injury and injustice would have their voices heard.”

For more information about Phil Corboy’s life, including a discussion of Phil Corboy’s keys to success, visit



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