ALTON, Illinois – Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s leading mass tort and product liability law firms, is pleased to announce the posthumous induction of named shareholder Paul J. Hanly Jr. into the National Trial Lawyers Association’s “Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.”
The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame honors exceptional trial lawyers who have exceeded the expectations of the public and their peers by clearly establishing themselves through their practice as true champions and crusaders for justice. Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes and honors attorneys – both past and present – who have left an indelible mark on the legal community. To be eligible, nominees must have more than 30 years of service, demonstrate devotion to the preservation of the constitutional right of a trial by jury, and have achieved a substantial number of favorable results in high-profile or publicly significant cases.
Hanly was recognized along with other recipients at a luncheon on Monday, Jan. 31, during the Trial Lawyers Summit. Shareholder Jayne Conroy, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019, accepted the posthumous honor on his behalf.
“Paul’s impact on the legal community—as well as on our firm—cannot be overstated,” said Chairman John Simmons. “During his 40-year career, he fought and won on behalf of so many who didn’t have a voice within the system. He is dearly missed, but his legacy lives on, and we continue to fight in his memory. We are gratified to see his work honored in this way.”
Hanly passed away in May 2021 after a months-long battle with an aggressive cancer. At the time, he was at the forefront of the mass tort litigation seeking to resolve the ongoing opioid crisis. In October 2019, 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. He also continued to hold leadership roles in state litigation until his passing.
During his career, Hanly held key roles in some of the largest multidistrict litigations in the country and helped his clients who were unjustly harmed in every conceivable way: child abuse, defective drugs and devices, toxic exposures, economic conspiracies, and even the terrorism of 9/11.
Hanly’s induction into the NTL Hall of Fame is one of many honors. In 2020, he received an Elite Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Law Journal, and in 2021, he was posthumously recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Association for Justice for his work on the prescription opioid crisis. He also was listed as a New York Metro Super Lawyer from 2007-2021 and as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers from 2019-2021.
Hanly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, his master’s degree in philosophy from Cambridge University, and his J.D. from Georgetown.