National Law Journal Honors Shareholder Paul J. Hanly Jr. with Elite Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award

Elite Trial Lawyers 2020

Simmons Hanly Conroy named “Law Firm of the Year” for Mass Torts

National Law Journal Honors Shareholder Paul J. Hanly Jr. with Elite Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement AwardSimmons Hanly Conroy attorneys and staff who attended the Elite Trial Lawyers awards dinner include, from right, Trent Miracle, Shareholder and head of the firm’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Group; Julie Bond, legal assistant; Laura Fitzpatrick, Shareholder; Michael Angelides, managing Shareholder; Paul J. Hanly Jr., Named Shareholder; Jayne Conroy, Named Shareholder; John Simmons, chairman; and Laurence Nassif, assistant managing Shareholder, along with Michael Skoler, CEO of Sokolove Law.

ALTON, Illinois  – Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, is proud to announce The National Law Journal has honored Shareholder Paul J. Hanly Jr. with a 2020 Elite Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award. The firm also garnered additional honors with a “Law Firm of the Year” award in the Mass Torts category.

“Paul is relentless in his pursuit of justice for his clients,” said Chairman John Simmons. “Throughout his career, he has led groundbreaking cases against some of the most formidable opponents, always rising to the occasion and setting a precedent of success for those who follow. He has spent a lifetime advocating for the rights of his clients and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Paul Hanly honored at Elite Trial Lawyers 2020
Paul J. Hanly Jr. addresses the crowd during his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hanly is an experienced trial lawyer who has litigated, managed and tried numerous complex jury cases throughout the United States in virtually all areas of civil litigation over the past 40 years. In the last decade, Hanly has represented plaintiffs exclusively in a variety of mass tort and other complex civil cases, playing a leading role in the settlement of thousands of pharmaceutical cases resulting in recoveries in excess of $1 billion.

In October, as co-lead of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the National Prescription Opiate Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), Hanly and his team finalized a $260 million settlement deal with the remaining four defendants just hours before opening arguments were set to begin. The deal brought the total recovery to $325 million and avoided what would have been the first bellwether trial in the litigation. Earlier in 2019, Hanly served as co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit that resulted in a $60 million settlement for more than 170 Haitian boys sexually abused by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz, who oversaw a Catholic school for impoverished children.

In addition to the cases Hanly spearheaded, the firm held leadership roles in several significant MDLs that contributed to its “Law Firm of the Year” award, including:

In addition to Mass Torts, the firm was also named a finalist for “Law Firm of the Year” in the Pharmaceutical Litigation and Products Liability categories.

Significant Products Liability verdicts include:

  • $34 million awarded to Arthur Putt, a former auto mechanic who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos-containing brakes manufactured by Ford Motor Co.
  • $40.1 million awarded to Washington Navy veteran Walter Twidwell, who was exposed to asbestos released from Durabla gaskets manufactured by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
  • $30 million awarded to Norris and Lori Morgan after a California jury found defendant J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc. negligent and strictly liable for distributing the asbestos-cement pipe that led to Norris’s mesothelioma diagnosis.

A strategic partnership between ALM, the publisher of The National Law Journal, and The National Trial Lawyers, a membership organization of civil plaintiffs and criminal defense attorneys, the Elite Trial Lawyer Awards recognize exceptional work on behalf of plaintiffs over the last 15 months. A solid track record over the past five years also was considered. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding trial lawyers who have made significant impacts on the legal community over an entire career, shaping the industry through leadership and impacting society and the profession on behalf of plaintiffs.

The award ceremony took place Jan. 20 during the NTL Trial Lawyers Summit.