Judge Luther W. Simmons, Jr. (Ret.) is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy after retiring as an associate circuit judge of the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois in Madison County. He brings more than 40 years of law experience to the firm, working in the Complex Litigation Department on matters involving catastrophic injury, wrongful death, environmental cases, and class actions. He also works with the Asbestos Department, helping to manage the motion practice for the Madison County trial docket.
With over 40 years practicing law, Judge Simmons brings an abundance of experience in the courtroom to the firm. He was involved in civil, criminal and complex construction litigation trials, which went to verdict. As a trial judge, he presided over numerous jury trials.
A Judge’s Viewpoint
“I think I bring a different viewpoint for our clients,” Judge Simmons said. “Judges are essentially referees, and because good referees are compelled to have an overview at all times, judges bring an ability to see the big picture as well as the individual components of many issues.”
At the firm, Judge Simmons uses his vast knowledge of the law to help his clients have a voice against companies who have wronged them through no fault of their own. He treats every case with extreme care and looks at the facts of each individual client to secure the best possible outcome.
Community Service and Background
Judge Simmons is very active in the community and has been a recipient of many awards. To name a few, he has received the Alton NAACP’s Community Service Award, the 100 Black Men of Alton’s Presidential Award and the New Shining Light (NSL) Venice Township Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award. He has been invited to serve on the Executive Committee of The National Trial Lawyers Association. For decades, he has mentored and counseled the minority youth of Alton and Madison County.
In January 2018, he announced his retirement from the Third Judicial Circuit Court, where he was appointed associate judge in 2015. Prior to that, he worked at Madison County’s Office of the Public Defender, where he was the first African American Public Defender in the history of the county. Previously, he was a partner in a law firm with retired Judge Ralph Mendelsohn, worked as an assistant state’s attorney under Bill Haine and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois.
Since 1974, he is admitted to practice law in Illinois and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. He received his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law and his bachelor of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in Alton, where he has resided most of his life, and is the father of five children. He credits his father as being the one who taught him to give back to his community.