J. Dillon Hoey
Our firm is deeply saddened by the loss of our wonderful friend, J. Dillon Hoey. Dillon passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2003, from pancreatic cancer.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Dillon’s wife Mary Ann, and other family members. The funeral mass was held at St. Michael’s Church, 1633 North Cleveland Street, Chicago, Illinois, on Thursday, May 1. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be sent to The Alzheimer's Association.
Dillon will be greatly missed by the 35 families of Hoey & Farina, and by so many more in the railroad and legal communities. We want to thank everyone who has sent their sympathies. We have passed these condolences along to Dillon’s wife and family.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Dillon was the son of a Chicago policeman and the grandson of a railroad worker who was fatally injured on the job. With an entire career representing injured workers, Dillon’s professional life manifested the personal values that grew from his strong south side roots.
Dillon grew up in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. He attended Leo High School, where he was part of the legendary football squad that won the city championship. Later, at Yale University, Dillon was on the undefeated 1959 freshman football team with Dick Cheney, the current vice president of the United States. After Yale, Dillon returned to Chicago where he attended DePaul University’s College of Law.
Twenty five years ago, Dillon started his own firm. He was appointed Designated Legal Counsel for the United Transportation Union in 1991, and appointed Designated Legal Counsel for the Transportation Communications Union in 1998. Never one to rest on his accomplishments, Dillon continued to build the firm, which now holds seven union designations. During these years, Dillon’s leadership was instrumental in Hoey & Farina, obtaining many of the largest verdicts and settlements for railroaders and their families in the United States.
In the process of building the law firm, Dillon also expanded the definition of Designated Legal Counsel. Dillon offered more than the best legal representation to railroaders and their families. His mission -- the firm’s mission -- was simple -- inform railroaders of their unique rights under the law. The fruit of his efforts is an array of resources; a collection of books, videos, email and print newsletters, websites and seminars that are available for free to railroaders and their families. Dillon raised the bar for what it means to serve as Designated Legal Counsel, and the union membership is the better for it. We know that this is exactly what Dillon envisioned and what he delivered.
Dillon's long list of professional associations include the Academy of Railroad Labor Attorneys, American Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. Dillon’s involvement in the community was equally impressive. Dillon served on the executive board of Leo High School, where he was an active contributor to the school and a sponsor of Leo students. Dillon also served as chairman of the Art Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago, a leading civic and community organization. We have highlighted only a few of Dillon’s many community and educational involvements over the years.
St. Francis of Assisi reminds us, “When you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage." Dillon left us on Sunday, April 27, 2003, and it is certain that he left with a wonderful heart filled by a lifetime of giving to others.
Hoey & Farina pledges to continue the firm and the mission that Dillon built as a tribute to his life. We will continue to honor and celebrate his life in our work, in our hearts and in our prayers.