Thomas A. Demetrio will be awarded the prestigious Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) convention on Friday, June 10, 2016. The convention will be held at the Westin River North in Chicago, Illinois.
“This award is given annually at the convention banquet to someone selected by a committee appointed by the president. The recipient is someone who has devoted, as Leonard did, a substantial part of their life and their practice to ITLA, someone who has done more than is called for. Someone who has the standards of Leonard, the work ethics of Leonard and the commitment to ITLA that Leonard had. At the same time, it keeps alive the memory of Leonard Ring.”
Thomas Demetrio is a prominent trial lawyer and focuses on cases involving medical malpractice, product liability, airplane crash and commercial litigation on behalf of plaintiffs.
Demetrio received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1969 and then fulfilled his active duty military obligation. He began his legal career at the firm of Philip H. Corboy & Associates after graduating from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1973. In 1982, Demetrio was named partner and the firm became Corboy & Demetrio.
A leader in the personal injury field, Demetrio has achieved many professional honors. He has been included in every edition of Best Lawyers in America since 1987. The National Law Journal, in 1990, named Demetrio one of the top 10 litigators in America. In 2014, the National Law Journal named him as one of its inaugural 50 “Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers,” the only Illinois plaintiff’s trial lawyer receiving that distinction.
In 2015, the prestigious Lawdragon, which had previously anointed Demetrio “Dean of the Chicago Trial Bar,” announced that, since its inception in 2005, Demetrio was one of only 50 lawyers who had been named every year as one of its 500 leading lawyers in America, joining a select group that includes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Since 1974, Demetrio has been an active member of ITLA and served as president of the organization in 1988. He also served as president of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) in 1992.
Currently, Demetrio is the Chairman of the Board of Overseers of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Constitutional Rights Foundation; the Dispute Resolution Research Center of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University; Center for Elder and Disability Law; and Big Shoulders – Archdiocese of Chicago. He also has served on the boards of St. Ignatius College Prep and Mundelein Seminary, as well as the Notre Dame Law School’s Advisory Council.
In 1992, Demetrio was inducted into the Inner Circle of Advocates and he has been a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers for over 25 years.
As a leader of the bar, Demetrio has long espoused the important role of continuing legal education. He is a nationally recognized and sought after lecturer on trial techniques and advocacy skills and has authored more than 45 continuing legal education articles in the field of civil litigation.
While serving as president of the Chicago Bar Association, Demetrio expressed a desire to impact the lives of Chicago’s underprivileged children who, he believed, would greatly benefit from mentoring. The Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence was thus created recognizing the efforts of exceptional tutor/mentoring programs in Chicago communities. With Demetrio, the CBA and Chicago Bar Foundation, in 1995, created the Lend-A-Hand program, which, in addition to the annual Demetrio Award, has granted over $1.6 million to mentoring programs for underprivileged youths in the Chicago area.
“I was very fortunate to have been able to call Leonard Ring one of my mentors and dear friends,” said Demetrio. “Leonard was sage, noble and honorable. He engendered nothing other than respect for the law, the profession and himself. In addition to the plaintiff’s bar, defense lawyers and judges both loved and trusted him. Even now, more than 20 years after his death, I remember, with fondness, his legacy and will always impart it to those who follow.”
Past Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Jon G. Carlson, Rex Carr, Robert J. Cooney, Philip H. Corboy, George J. Cullen, Joseph R. Curcio, David A. Decker, James Thomas Demos, Geoffrey L. Gifford, William J. Harte, Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr., Thomas F. Londrigan, Philip F. Maher, Nicholas J. Motherway, Nat P. Ozmon, Eugene I. Pavalon, John G. Phillips, Kim E. Presbrey, Anthony C. Raccuglia, Curt N. Rodin, Larry R. Rogers, Sr. and Michael P. Schostok.