The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association Board recently announced the 2010 recipients of its prestigious Distinguished Service Award. Three of the recipients are people from our community: retired Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Pomaro, Salvatore “Sam” Tornatore and Mary Ann (Iantorno) Hynes. The announcement was made by the president of the Alumni Association Board of this 120-year-old law school, Katherine Amari, who also serves as president-elect of the Justinian Society of Lawyers.
The Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize graduates and their contributions to the school, the profession and to the community. These recipients are hard-working members of the legal profession, and contributors to the improvement of the Italian-American condition as well as the community at large.
As the first blind man to prosecute major felony cases in Cook County, and Cook County’s first blind judge, Nicholas Pomaro has faced and overcome many obstacles. After graduating from DePaul University and later earning his juris doctorate from JMLS (1964), Pomaro began his career in private practice before becoming an assistant Cook County state’s attorney. In 1976, Pomaro was appointed to the bench, where he tried everything from simple traffic cases to complicated capital crimes, including murder, and served with recognized distinction.
In 2005, Pomaro announced his retirement from the bench after 29 years. Two days later, he established the Legal Clinic at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, the most comprehensive private rehabilitation and educational facility in Illinois dedicated exclusively to assisting children, youth and adults who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled.
Salvatore J. “Sam” Tornatore is a graduate of JMLS (1974), and a practicing attorney for the past 34 years with offices in Bloomingdale. He handles civil and criminal litigation and represents many corporate and business clients. Sam is an active member and past-president of both the Justinian Society of Lawyers and the National Italian American Bar Association, as well as a member of the Chicago Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association.
Earlier this year, Sam was elected a Bloomingdale Township Trustee. Sam has also been entrusted with duties of treasurer for the Bloomingdale Township Republican Organization. He is involved in numerous local organizations, many of which he has served as president, including the Roselle Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Sam continues to serve on the board and remains an active and valued member of the chamber, and was recently named its Business Person of the Year.
Sam has been a leader for the Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization in many successful fundraising activities and also serves as co-chair of the Justinian Society Scholarship Committee, which awards, with law school matching funds, about $70,000 annually to needy Italian-American law students.
Sam has received numerous awards for a variety of accomplishments honoring his leadership. Most recent, Sam was presented with the Man of the Year Award from CIACO. He proudly accepted the Mentoring Award from the Justinian Society, the largest and most respected ethnic lawyer group and the third largest bar association in the state.
Mary Ann (Iantorno) Hynes, a JMLS graduate (J.D. 1971, Taxation 1975) is an officer and member of the executive committees of various international Fortune 500 corporations, including Corn Products International, presently, and such recognizable companies, historically, as IMC Global, Inc., Sundstrand Corp., and Wolters Kluwer Corp. (formerly known as Commerce Clearinghouse) among others. Her responsibilities have been far-reaching and she is recognized for strategic thinking.
Mary Ann serves as a member of the board of trustees of the John Marshall Law School, chairing its important Audit/Budget Committee, as well as serving as chair of its foundation board. She has demonstrated her leadership with contributions to the community, including, among others, participation in the Justinian Society, Economic Club of Chicago, Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago and Women’s Bar Foundation, and as director of the Doctor Scholl Foundation and chair of the Audit/Governance Committee.
Previous JMLS DSA recipients from our community include Katherine Amari, Judge Cheryl Cesario, Rep. Franco Coladipietro, Umberto Davi, Anita DeCarlo, Michael Favia, Lawrence Ferolie, Joseph Gagliardo, Alfred Gallo, Celia Gamrath, Judge Thomas Hoffman, Mia Jiganti, Judge Dan Locallo, Joseph Locallo, Joseph Marconi, Enrico Mirabelli, Prof. Michael Polelle, Antonio Romanucci, Regina Scannicchio, and this author.
Recognizing these three outstanding individuals from our community, the John Marshall Law School can be proud of the quality of such alumni historically and on a continuing basis. Our community should be very proud of having leaders such as Judge Pomaro, Tornatore and Hynes.