About the ISBA

2008 Laureate Award Winners

Michael W. Coffield, Posthumous

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Michael Coffield died March 27, 2007, in his Chicago office at age 67. A partner in Kirkland & Ellis until he became a founder of Coffield & Ungaretti in 1974, he formed Michael W. Coffield & Associates in 1996. He served on the Boards of the 7th Circuit Bar Association, the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and was founding President of the Chicago Inn of Court and a Trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation. Robert P. Cummins, a 2004 Laureate, said Coffield "exemplified all that was good about the legal profession" and "was legendary for his talents in the courtroom and his generosity outside it."

Bruce N. Cook, Belleville

A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and a past President of both the St. Clair County and East St. Louis Bar Associations, Bruce Cook is the principle of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin in Belleville. A benefactor of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for more than two decades, his financial contributions enabled purchase of a headquarters building in East St. Louis. A charter Member of the St. Clair County Bar Pro Bono Program, he was the first Recipient of the Richard A. Hudlin Memorial Award for Public Service. LLLAF Executive Director Lois Wood, a 2006 Laureate, said Cook "never wavered in his belief that society has an obligation to provide the poor with access to the court."

Alfred E. Gallo, Hillside

A graduate of The John Marshall Law School who served as a Member and President of its Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, Alfred Gallo has had a general west suburban law practice since 1978. A trust officer and executive of several banks after Army service during World War II, he is a past President of the Illinois Bankers Association Trust Division. President of the Justinian Society of Lawyers in 1960, he received its Award of Excellence in 2003. He also received the Star of Sodality from the Republic of Italy for efforts to foster artistic and cultural relations. ISBA past President Leonard F. Amari noted that at John Marshall, Gallo "gave many students the opportunity to be admitted even though their LSAT scores were low."

Jack E. Horsley, Mattoon

An ISBA Member since he graduated in 1939 from the University of Illinois College of Law, Jack Horsley is a retired partner in Craig & Craig and a past President of the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association and Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in Europe, he is the author of several textbooks on elements of trial practice and a history of his law firm. He is a past Chair of the ISBA Grievance Committee and Insurance Law Section Council and a past President of the Central Illinois Reserve Officers Association. Willis R. Tribler, a 2001 Laureate, called Horsley "the sort of all-purpose lawyer who has become rarer and rarer in this age of specialization."

Malcolm L. Morris, DeKalb

A law professor and interim dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law, Malcolm Morris is a nationally recognized legal scholar. The founder of three student academic associations, he developed a recruitment program for minority undergraduates. The current Chair of the ISBA Committee on Legal Education, Admission and Competence, he has chaired the Business Advice and Financial Planning Section Council and has received the Austin Fleming Newsletter Editor Award. Founding Chair of the Attorney's Section of the National Notary Association, he is co-author of the first casebook on notary law. Former NIU Law Dean James J. Alfini noted Morris ensures that students "be given every opportunity to develop a strong sense of service to the legal profession and to their communities."

Letitia "Tish" Spunar-Sheats, Chicago

A Member of the ISBA Assembly with an extensive record of service to the bar association for 34 years, Letitia Spunar-Sheats is a past Chair of the Committee on Minority and Women Participation and the Committee on Membership and Bar Activities. A partner in Sheats & Kellogg for 32 years after prosecuting city demolition cases, she is a past President of The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association and an adjunct professor of the National-Louis University College of Management and Business. She has been a certified Cook County Circuit Court arbitrator for 19 years. ISBA past President Thomas A. Clancy said "The soul of our local profession has been warmed and energized by Tish's inspired participation."