Norman J. Barry, Jr. is a highly accomplished trial lawyer, specializing in complex commercial disputes, securities litigation, insurance coverage, professional liability and toxic tort defense litigation. He has been lead counsel in more than 50 jury and bench trials in both state and federal courts. Included in Mr. Barry’s courtroom victories is a $86.7 million dollar jury verdict on behalf of the Government of American Samoa in an insurance coverage dispute that ranks as one of the largest such verdicts in the nation’s history.
Highly regarded by his peers, Mr. Barry is a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers, former President of the Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago and the past Vice-Chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law Council. He has represented such high profile clients as one of the nine defendants sued by the Rev. Duane Scott Willis and his wife following the immolation deaths of their six children. Following the global settlement of $100 million, Mr. Barry pursued a contribution action against the sole non-settling defendant and obtained a verdict representing all of the client’s settlement contribution—$14.5 million. Mr. Barry has also represented NASDAQ market makers in the context of Department of Justice and SEC actions, securities brokerage firms in national class actions involving payment for order flow, one of the largest Illinois banks in shareholder derivative suits and major London-based insurers in coverage matters.
Mr. Barry has been named a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law, Personal Injury Defense Law, Professional Malpractice Defense Law: Including Legal/Technical/Financial, and Toxic Torts Defense Law. The list of Leading Lawyers is the result of thousands of contacts with Illinois lawyers asking them which of their peers they believe comprise the top lawyers. Only those lawyers who are most often recommended qualify as Leading Lawyers. He has also been named a Super Lawyer in Illinois in the area of Insurance Defense: Personal Injury every year since 2005. Super Lawyers are the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state, as chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics.
Mr. Barry joined the firm as a partner in 1995. He was previously a partner at Baker & McKenzie, which he joined in 1975 upon receiving his JD. He obtained both his undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Notre Dame.
Among Mr. Barry’s most significant trial accomplishments is a jury verdict arising out of the tragic case of the Reverend Duane Scott Willis and his wife, whose six children burned to death when a taillight assembly from a trailer manufactured by Mr. Barry’s client separated from the trailer and punctured the fuel tank of the Willis vehicle. Following a global settlement of $100 million by eight of nine defendants, Mr. Barry pursued a contribution action against the sole non-settling defendant and obtained a verdict representing all of his client’s settlement contribution – $14.5 million.
Mr. Barry also successfully represented the U.S. Territory of American Samoa in an insurance bad faith case after its insurer, having issued an All-Risk Property Insurance policy, denied coverage of damage caused by a hurricane that devastated the territory. The case was tried to a Los Angeles jury, which returned a verdict awarding Mr. Barry’s client $86.7 million.
In 2012, Mr. Barry represented a motor carrier sued under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act after a semi tractor-trailer plowed into a line of stopped traffic on the Edens Expressway spur ramp. As a result of the accident, a 47-year-old father was rendered a quadriplegic. Following an admission of liability, the case was tried to a jury on damages only. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $103 million. Mr. Barry recommended that the jury award $21.9 million. The jury returned a verdict of $23 million – less than the last settlement offer.
Mr. Barry has represented the NASDAQ market makers in the context of Department of Justice and SEC actions, securities brokerage firms in national class actions involving payment of order flow and antitrust.
He is a former President of the Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago, a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers, and a past Vice Chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law Council.
Over the years he has been named a Leading Lawyer in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance coverage and reinsurance law, personal injury defense, and professional malpractice defense.
He has also been named a Super Lawyer in Illinois in the area of insurance defense and personal injury law.