Four months after his death, champagne attorney John Phipps received the Illinois State Bar Association’s Medal of Merit.
The award is the highest honor bestowed by the nationwide advocacy group and is reserved for attorneys who have “made a significant contribution to the altruistic goals of the profession or the public.”
Mr Phipps, 82, died on August 11th after suffering from lung cancer for 18 months. He had been a lawyer for 55 years and had an office in Champaign throughout his career. He had a general legal practice and was instrumental in initiating mediation in the state to try to resolve disputes outside of a courtroom.
Mr. Phipps chaired the ISBA Solitary Practice Sales Committee, a group that inspired the Illinois Supreme Court to pass its rule allowing the sale or transfer of a legal practice. He also chaired a committee to help lawyers prepare to close their practices in response to planned and unplanned life events. He was also the chairman of the ISBA’s Computerized Research Committee.
His daughter Anne Martinkus, a lawyer from Champagne, accepted the award for her father.
In 2007, the ISBA named him the “award winner” for his career service. Two years later, it was named the “Pillar of the Bar” by the Champaign County Bar Association.