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Colombo & Colombo

Our History

Louis J. Colombo, Sr. founded the law firm in 1905. In the beginning he largely represented immigrants. While the firm’s focus has gradually evolved from criminal defense work to a general civil practice, a glimpse of the founder, a man who achieved prominence in the days of great courtroom oratory, provides an insight into the attitude and environment that he created and which still prevails today in the firm.

Throughout his life, Louie Colombo was torn between two loves: music and the law. He studied voice under Campanari, a contemporary of Caruso, who one day told Louie to “enjoy your voice and give it to your friends, and turn to law for your career!” Perhaps a blow to the young Colombo, but music’s loss was the law’s gain. So Louie became busy enriching his friends with music and rescuing clients from trouble and prison.

Louie Colombo practiced courtroom law in a Detroit era of towering courtroom lawyers. The late Alex J. Groesbeck, an early Detroit civic leader, once commented that Louie Colombo was as inspired a man before a jury as he ever knew. He had, according to Groesbeck, the gift of utter conviction that all his clients were innocent.

As the practice grew, Louie was joined by his two sons, Louis J. Colombo, Jr., and Frederick Colombo. Louis Jr. passed away in 1979, and Frederick in 1999.


Emphasis on Integrity

The thoughts of Louie Colombo that he jotted down during his lifetime say something about the man—his sense of justice and fair play, the emphasis which he placed on integrity:

    • “Laws are not enacted among men to destroy them; they are enacted to secure their God-given and inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
    • “I have always prized my moral character above professional success.”
    • “The right to answer, the right to defend, the right to be heard are necessary requisites of due process of law.”
    • “A change in a man’s situation often produces a change in his ideas.”
    • “Bigness is not greatness… power is not justice.”
    • “I believe that knowledge, religion, and morality are the three brightest ornaments of the mind of man… his most valuable possessions.”

At Colombo & Colombo, these core values remain at the heart of our firm, as we live and practice by these principles today.


P.O. BOX 2028

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