About the ISBA

2009 Laureate Award Winners

F. Lance Callis, Granite City

Senior partner in the Granite City firm of Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk & Danzinger, F. Lance Callis is a 1959 graduate of the St. Louis University School of Law who worked in steel mills during his college years.  A past President of the Madison County Bar Association and Tri-Cities Bar Association, he is a Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation who has made countless, significant financial contributions to civic and law-related charities. Retired Justice Philip J. Rarick, who submitted this nomination, said “In addition to a very successful legal practice, Lance has served as a mentor to many young attorneys and provided countless hours of pro bono service.”

John W. Damisch, Northfield

A 1950 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, who is a grain farmer in Kane and DeKalb Counties as well as a civil trial attorney, John W. Damisch is a partner in the Chicago firm of Damisch & Damisch with his son, Mark. A former ISBA Assembly member who chairs the Agricultural Law Section Council, he is a Diamond Fellow and past Board member of the Illinois Bar Foundation. He helped secure unused state farm legal assistance funds for productive use by the Foundation. Damisch has held leadership positions in the United Way, school parent organizations, state and local government boards, scouting initiatives, churches, 4-H and farming activities, and several banks.

Daniel L. Houlihan, Wilmette

A solo practitioner for 46 years in Chicago, Daniel L. Houlihan closed his office at the end of 2008 and retired from 30 years as legislative counsel to the Illinois State Bar Association. A 1961 graduate of the Loyola University School of Law, Houlihan was an assistant state’s attorney and special assistant attorney general before entering private practice. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1972 and served three terms.  Among the civic organizations he has supported are the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Misericordia Heart of Mercy. Senate President John J. Cullerton, who submitted this nomination, said “He has worked tirelessly to positively affect those whose needs are greatest, always with humility and without fanfare.”

Joseph M. Laraia, Wheaton

Joseph M. Laraia of Laraia & Hubbard in Wheaton, “epitomizes every aspect of what a lawyer is supposed to be” and “a man who serves his clients, other lawyers and the community at large,” said Laureate John F. Donahue, his nominator.  A 1963 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, Laraia is a past President of the DuPage County Bar Association and the DuPage County chapter of the Justinian Society, and was a founder of the DuPage County Criminal Defense Association. He chairs the county’s Capital Litigation Trial Bar, lectures in legal education seminars, serves on his church council, supports cancer research and other charities, and mentors lawyers and non-lawyers who need his wise counsel.

Thomas F. Londrigan, Springfield

A partner in Londrigan, Potter & Randle in Springfield, Thomas F. Londrigan is a 1962 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. He is a past Chair of the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure Section Council and former member of the Illinois Bar Journal Editorial Board. Londrigan is a past President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court, and past Chair of the American Bar Association Medicine and Law Committee and the 7th Circuit Bar Association District Court Rules Committee. A supporter of the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center who has served in several leadership roles, he helped establish the Church of St. Jude in Rochester, coached swimming at the YMCA, and made many contributions to the arts, conservation efforts, scholarships and community projects.

Mary Ann G. McMorrow, Chicago

A retired Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Mary Ann G. McMorrow has been a pioneer in opportunities for women in the legal profession since she graduated in 1953 as the only female in her class at the Loyola University School of Law.  A role model and mentor, she was the first woman to prosecute felony cases in Cook County, the first woman to Chair the Appellate Court Executive Committee, and the first woman to sit on the state’s highest court and to serve as its Chief Justice. McMorrow is a past President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, a master bencher of the American Inns of Court, and a volunteer for Misericordia Home. She has received the Illinois Bar Foundation Award for Distinguished Service to Law and Society, the CBA Justice John Paul Stevens Award, and the ABA Margaret Brent Award.

Sheila M. Murphy, Chicago

Sheila M. Murphy of Rothschild, Barry & Myers in Chicago, a retired presiding Judge in Cook County and former member of the ISBA Board of Governors, is a 1970 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law who started her career as an assistant public defender. A Board member of the John Howard Association and the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Murphy served on the Joint Committee on Gender Equality and ISBA Task Force on Gender Bias, and has been a leader of the National Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts. She is past Chair of the International Bar Association Judges’ Forum, a Board member of The Constitution Project’s Death Penalty Initiative and a founder of the Our Children in the Courts Foundation.

Russell K. Scott, Belleville

A past President and Pillar of the Illinois Bar Foundation and former ISBA Assembly member, Russell K. Scott is a 1974 graduate of the Washington University Law School, a partner in Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale in Belleville, and a past President of the St. Clair County Bar Association. He is President of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, an officer of the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, former Co-Chair of the St. Clair County Campaign for Equal Justice and past Steering Committee member for the Illinois Legal Needs Study. Scott serves on the Belleville Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, is a former officer of the Okaw Valley Boy Scout Council, and has been a Board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Joseph L. Stone, Chicago

A past President of the Chicago Bar Association, Joseph L. Stone is of counsel to Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, and founding director of the Business Law Clinic at the Loyola University School of Law. He is a 1959 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law. Stone is a past President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, a former member of the ABA House of Delegates, and a past Chair of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He has served on the boards of Cook County Court Watchers, the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, the Youth Justice Institute, the International Academy of Dispute Resolution, Family Care of Illinois, the American ORT Federation and Jewish Community Centers of Chicago.