During virtual celebrations as part of Pro Bono Week, PILI will recognize the extraordinary pro bono contributions of five attorneys through its Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees. PILI has a full schedule of events for its 2020 Pro Bono Week celebration, and the award presentations will be part of the virtual celebration in the respective circuit. After the video’s premiere on PILI’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, they videos will remain available for achieved viewing on the event pages.
The recipient of the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Award is Deborah Crouse Cobb. Deborah has volunteered many hours as either a GAL in adoption cases or helping attorneys who are new to adoptions complete their cases. She has never turned down anyone who asks for help with adoptions, including judges. Deborah makes pro bono work a priority. She also helps organize the Madison County Circuit Court National Adoption Day. Deborah is a senior partner at her law firm Crouse Cobb & Bays.
The recipient of the 2020 Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Award is David Ryan. David has been a steady pro bono volunteer at Land of Lincoln for many years, taking on family law cases and filling some of the greatest needs in that area. He retired at the end of 2018 and was proactive about continuing his pro bono service. He’s been helping Land of Lincoln with uncontested matters in Vermilion County, allowing their attorneys to serve even more clients. David also takes plenary order of protection cases and has volunteered at the Vermilion County expungement and sealing summit.
The recipient of the 2020 Sixth Judicial Circuit Community Legal Services Award is John T. Phipps. John was one of the founders of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation in 1973. John served in numerous leadership capacities for the ISBA, earning him many deserving recognitions and awards. Most importantly, John loved serving his clients and the law. His name, and with it his legacy, will be honored by the renaming of the Land of Lincoln’s Champaign office as the John Phipps Community Law Center. John sadly passed away in August at the age of 82. His daughter, Anne M. Martinkus, is accepting the award on his behalf.
The recipient of the 2020 Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Award is Michael Fleming. Michael is known for always having a pro bono case among his regular cases. Since he started practicing in 1974, Michael has been involved with Prairie State Legal Services, having served on its board of directors, and the Peoria County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee, where he has served as a past chair. He also works closely with Strides for Justice, which organizes a 5K & 1 Mile Walk to support Prairie State Legal Services. Michael routinely volunteers with PILI’s self-represented litigant help desk in Peoria County.
The recipient of the 2020 Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Award is Patrick Edgerton. Patrick is an invaluable member of the DuPage County Bar Association’s Ask-A-Lawyer program, volunteering every single month for 4 hours or more and sometimes bringing his father to help too. Pat is one of the strong pillars of the program, which provides a stable foundation to offer not only legal aid to the poor but also to offer hope. Patrick is a partner at Edgerton & Edgerton in West Chicago.