Remembering Tom Leahy – Our Founder & Partner
(1951 – 2014)
Tom Leahy passed away on August 23, 2014, after a short but valiant struggle with cancer. During his long and illustrious legal career, Tom represented his clients with a unique combination of skill, passion and personality. At Leahy Hoste Alkaraki, we continue to honor and represent these ideals that were established by our founder, partner and friend.
Mr. Leahy was born and raised in the Chicago area. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he studied law and graduated from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1977. After graduating, Tom became an associate attorney at a well-known Chicago personal injury law firm prior to establishing the Law Office of Tom Leahy in the 1980s. Tom joined forces with Pete Hoste in the late 1990s, and they established Leahy & Hoste in 2002.
Tom’s legal career was notable for obtaining record-setting settlements and verdicts throughout the state of Illinois. Tom was a fearless litigator who was renowned for his mastery of complex issues, his revealing cross-examinations, and his soul-stirring closing arguments.
Mr. Leahy was well known for his work with various civic groups and legal organizations. Most notably, in 1993 he was elected President of the 30,000 member Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), the largest voluntary state bar association in the United States. Mr. Leahy served as Chairman (1994) of the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company, and served on the Board of Directors there for many years. Mr. Leahy also spent over ten years as an elected member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates, and for many years was a Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation and an active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, the Chicago Bar Association, and many other legal and civic groups. From 2007 until his death, Mr. Leahy served as an appointed member of the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, an independent Illinois state agency that investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct against active Illinois state court judges.
Tom Leahy was a brilliant lawyer who fought for the truth, so that his clients could obtain the justice that they rightly deserved. At Leahy Hoste Alkaraki, we continue to represent our clients with the dedication, passion and knowledge that Tom has passed on to each and every one of us.
SERVICE TO PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Service to the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
ISBA Mutual Insurance Company
1989-Present:* Board of Directors (Since ISBA/MIC Inception)
2004-Present: Claims Committee
1994-Present: Finance Committee
1995-2002:* Personnel Committee
1993-98:* Underwriting Committee
ISBA Board of Governors
1995-96: Member of Committee on Legislation
1994-95: Chair of Committee on Legislation / Board Liaison to Committee on Legal Education, Admission & Competence
1993-94: ISBA President
1992-93: ISBA President-Elect and Board of Governors / Chair: Committee on Personnel and the Committee on Budget & Audit
1991-92: ISBA 2nd Vice-President and Board of Governors / Member of these Committees: Budget & Audit, Personnel and Scope & Correlation / Board Liaison to: Committee on Illinois Bar Journal Editorial Board
1990-91: ISBA 3rd Vice-President and Board of Governors / Member of these Committees: Budget & Audit, Personnel, Scope & Correlation / Board Liaison to: Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council and Young Lawyers Division
1989-90: Board Liaison to: Committee on Membership & Bar Activities and the Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council
1988-89: Board Liaison to: Committee on Membership & Bar Activities and the Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council
1987-88: Board Liaison to: Committee on Membership & Bar Activities and the Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council
1986-87: Board Liaison to: Committee on Membership & Bar Activities and the Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council
1985-86: Board Liaison to: Commercial Banking & Bankruptcy and the Corporations & Securities Section Councils
ISBA Assembly Member:
Service to the Chicago Bar Assocation
1984-1992: Legislative Committee
1983-1986: Judicial Evaluation Investigative Hearing Division
1981-1983: Judicial Evaluation Investigator Division
1978-1979: Aviation Law Committee
* Dates for ISBA/MIC are approximate