Michael R. Galasso
In Loving Memory of Our Partner and Friend
Michael R. Galasso
January 23, 2015
As a young lawyer in the 1960s, Michael R. Galasso represented individuals in difficult divorces and child custody battles and saw up close the need for the justice system to do more to help families and couples in crisis. During a 16-year judicial career he was able to do something about it, instituting reforms for the system’s handling of divorce cases and offering help to troubled youths. And in the final decade of his career in private practice at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck he shared his expertise and wisdom with young lawyers and with clients.
Judge Galasso died Friday, January 23 at the age of 78.
“Our firm lost an outstanding attorney, a respected, admired judge and a good friend with the passing of Mike Galasso,” said Donald C. Schiller, senior partner, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. “He showed great foresight as a judge, bringing psychological services, mediation and evaluation to divorce cases in DuPage County. He was so respected he was appointed to the Appellate Court. Mike simply excelled at everything he did.”
Mr. Galasso spent the bulk of his career litigating family law cases in DuPage County after graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1961. He was appointed an Associate Judge in DuPage County in 1984 and went on to serve as Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations and Law Divisions and Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of DuPage County.
While heading the Domestic Relations Court, Judge Galasso developed a program to require custody disputes to be assigned to a court-approved clinical psychologist for mediation and evaluation. He also created a Divorce Evaluation Program to help families cope with divorce. As Chief Judge, he created a literacy program for the DuPage County Juvenile Detention Center. He also led reforms in the civil and criminal courts including expedited child support and enforcement and a specialized drug court. He also helped to found CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of DuPage County providing assistance to abused and neglected children.
Galasso received many awards and honors during his long career including IIT Chicago Kent’s 125 Alumni of Distinction award in 2013, the Illinois Judges Association Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001 and the DuPage Bar Association “Man of the Year” award in 1987.
“He gave us the honor of joining our firm when he decided to return to his roots in family law practice in 2000,” said Mr. Schiller. “We will forever be grateful for his contributions and we will miss him as a colleague, mentor and friend.”
A memorial visitation is planned for Thursday, January 29 from 3:00-9:00 p.m. at Salerno’s Rosedale Chapel, 450 W. Lake Street, Roselle with a celebration of life ceremony beginning at 7:00 p.m.
To read the article "For Galasso, law was way to provide helping hand," published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin regarding Michael's career, life and legacy, please click here.
Awards and Honors
ITT Chicago Kent's 125 Alumni of Distinction (2013)
DuPage Bar Association “Man of the Year” (1987)
Illinois Judges Association Outstanding Achievement Award (2001)
Leading Lawyers Network (2013-2015)
Best Lawyers in America (2015)
Court Positions Held
Illinois Appellate Court Judge (1999-2000)
DuPage County Circuit Court Judge (1984-1999)
Appointments by the Illinois Supreme Court
Child Support Advisory Committee (1986)
Committee on Legislation (1988)
DuPage County Legal Secretaries Association (1983)
College of DuPage (1986-1988)
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College Law Review, 1960-1961.Circuit Court Judge, 1988-1999. Appellate Court Judge, 1999-2000.