The truly gifted lawyer is one who generates praise not only from clients, her partners and judges, but attracts it also from her courtroom opponents.
Shannon McNulty, an attorney with Chicago's Clifford Law Offices, has earned just this kind of praise. And it's little wonder why: At just 35, McNulty routinely handles the most complex of product-liability cases. She does so with flair, regularly earning positive settlements for some of the largest manufacturers in the country.
Daniel Boho, a partner and defense lawyer with Hinshaw & Culbertson says, "Shannon is one of the top young women lawyers in the litigation business in Chicago, and will likely be one of our top women litigators in the city."
In her relatively short legal career, McNulty's attention to detail, legal prowess, courtroom demeanor and work ethic have earned her a reputation as one of the top litigators in the Chicago area. For proof, just ask those attorneys who've opposed her in the courtroom.
"An obvious sign of success as a trial lawyer is gaining the respect of opposing counsel," said Thomas Gorman, an attorney with the Chicago firm of Schiff, Gorman & Krkljes. "On multiple occasions, I have witnessed defense counsel compliment Shannon on her attention to detail in all aspects of her case."
McNulty handles product-liability cases that include aviation matters, rollover cases and design-defected cases. Currently, she is serving as counsel on one of her highest-profile assignments, the 21 consolidated cases involving the fatal fire that took place Oct 17, 2003, in the high-rise Cook county headquarters building in Chicago's Loop.
McNulty has been heavily involved in the discovery portion of this case that has attracted newspaper headlines and news stories across the country. McNulty's opposing counsel credits her with doggedly pursuing discovery, both oral and written, which will support her case.
"Shannon is very detail-oriented.," said Robert Duncan, with the Chicago law firm of Dolan & Nisivaco, LLC. "She puts in what must be an incredible amount of work to produce a very good work product. She is bulldog-like in her determination to do the best she can for her client, but at the same time never loses her cool. She is unflappable even in the face of contentious argument during depositions."
In addition to her impressive professional success, McNulty has contributed time to her community and profession. She actively initiates, supports and participates in programs designed to help police officer in a variety of ways. This support includes coordinating the Chicago Police Officers NYPD Memorial Fund, which raised more than $250,000 for children of New York Police Department officers killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
McNulty is also the vice-chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Committee on Trial Skills and Professionalism, and recently coordinated and moderated a portion of the Chicago Bar Association All-Stars presentation. As if this wasn't enough, McNulty has served her community, too, volunteering as a committee member at Saint Michael's House, a counseling and addiction facility for police officers and their families, and working pro bono on real estate closings for disadvantaged senior citizens.
"Ms. McNulty has exhibited the highest quality of standards that you would expect from a premier litigator," said Michael Craddock, with the Chicago firm of Stride, Craddock & Stride. "Her courtroom demeanor is professional and courteous. She also exhibits a high level of knowledge of the law."
Speciality: Personal Injury
Law School: DePaul University College of Law