John P. Scanlon
CHICAGO – Veteran attorney John P. Scanlon was selected to lead the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association as the 64th president after being officially installed during the group’s annual convention at the Westin Hotel.
“As president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers, I will do everything possible to help our members in pursuit of justice for their clients,” he said.
Scanlon, 55, specializes in malpractice cases, representing individuals injured by defective products and workers injured while at their place of employment.
A graduate of Benedictine University, Scanlon received his bachelor’s degree in business and economics. He started a career with American Stores, a chain of supermarkets and drug stores, working as a financial auditor.
His work at American Stores laid the groundwork for his legal career as he planned on capitalizing on his business experience to specialize in corporate law. He attended DePaul College of Law and served on the DePaul Law Review.
While working as a summer law clerk, Scanlon had a chance encounter with Martin Healy, who was in trial, handling a challenging case against the Chicago Transit Authority.
He eventually ended up working with Healy and specialized in workers’ compensation cases at the Chicago law firm. He's worked with Healy for more than 25 years.
Over the last 15 years, Scanlon has worked with cases that include nursing home abuse, medical negligence, product liability and interstate trucking.
In many cases, Scanlon has represented the interests of people who were injured or killed in unsafe working conditions or while using dangerous products.
Throughout his career, Scanlon has represented individuals who have been injured or killed by dangerous products, unsafe work environments or by negligent professionals.
He said he was attracted to the camaraderie of being on a team as it prepares for a challenging trial.
“It reminded me of participating in sports with good friends while in school,” he explained. “However, I soon realized that the camaraderie and excitement demanded a price in return. Any of us who choose to help people who have been harmed or injured must have the courage, compassion and commitment to take on powerful opponents with significant resources.”
During his career, Scanlon has forged a reputation of securing awards and verdicts for clients who were injured, including a record $24 million verdict for a man who was paralyzed as a result of a defective product. He also received a $21 million judgment for a mother and daughter injured by a defective minivan and a $4.6 million judgment for an elderly woman who suffered injuries as the result of medical malpractice.
Scanlon was recognized by the National Law Journal with its Verdict of the Week for his work on a trial against an international motorcycle manufacturer that distributed motorcycles with a dangerous defect.
Scanlon has been admitted to the Trial Bar of the United States District Court and also has successfully appealed cases before the Illinois Appellate Courts. He serves as vice-chairman of the Illinois Supreme Court Jury Instruction Committee.
Prior to his selection as president, Scanlon has long been an active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, serving on several key panels over the years. This includes a stint as past chairman of the Product Liability Committee.
Over the years, Scanlon also has served on the Illinois State Bar Association’s Tort Law Section and the American Association for Justice’s Motorcycle Litigation Group.