CHICAGO, IL, July 03, 2019 — Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present James K. Toohey, Esq., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Toohey celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Mr. Toohey is a tenured attorney of 50 years who joined Johnson & Bell Ltd. in Chicago as partner in 2005. Focusing his practice on business law, litigation and toxic tort, he is also the co-chair of the firm's toxic tort defense group. Mainly representing manufacturers in products liability, toxic tort and commercial breach of contract and breach of warranty claims from alleged failure of product performance, he is also well versed in defending clients in asbestos litigation matters and class action litigation cases against major automotive manufacturers. Further, Mr. Toohey is renowned for his work as a lead trial counsel in both state and federal courts across several states. Prior to joining Johnson & Bell, he was a partner at McGuire Woods LLP and Ross & Hardies in Chicago.
Prior to embarking on his career, Mr. Toohey attended the University of Notre Dame, receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting in 1966. From there, he went to Northwestern University School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctor in 1969. That same year, he received his license to practice law in Illinois. Subsequently he received certifications to practice in the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois, the Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Toohey served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1971 through 1974 under United States Attorneys William J. Bauer and James R. Thompson, primarily handling a wide variety of civil suits and petitions for injunctions in which the United States was named defendant. Thereafter, he went into private practice at Ross & Hardies and McGuire Woods LLP before moving to Johnson & Bell in 2005.
Mr. Toohey has recorded an unbroken string of defense verdicts over four decades for Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Audi AG, BMW AG and BMW of North America, Mercedes Benz USA, and Ford Motor Company in automotive crashworthiness cases. He also represents Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz in class action cases. The most prominent class action was the defense of Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America in which a putative national class of plaintiffs claimed that the 1978-1985 Audi 5000s were prone to unintended acceleration, a claim which posed an existential threat to the Audi brand in the United States in the late 1980s. Although it took some time, Mr. Toohey directed the defense to a complete defense victory. More recently, he and his team obtained summary judgment for Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America against the Illinois Attorney General's class action claim that the defendants sold diesel engine VWs which did not meet emission standards. His team is currently counsel for VWGoA and VWAG in the Attorney General's appeal of that dismissal. Mr. Toohey is an active member of the Illinois Society of Trial Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, and Illinois Association of Defense Counsel. Mr. Toohey has also published articles in various legal journals and served on the faculty of Harris-Martin Asbestos Seminars.
Mr. Toohey was actively involved in the initial organization of the Chicago Area Runners Association, serving in 1978-1980 as an original board member, drafting of its by-laws, serving as editor and principal writer of its 24-page quarterly, and creating the CARA Race Circuit and the Shamrock Shuffle, listed as the 9th largest run in the U.S. with a field limited to the first 30,000 registrants. He has also served on the Parish Counsel of St. Mary of the Wood. He was active in the Edgebrook-Sauganash Athletic Association, serving on the board, acting as a league commissioner, organizing annual player drafts, and coaching. He also coached girls' softball and basketball. Mr. Toohey played fullback on the Notre Dame Rugby Football team, which was undefeated through the 1964-65, and played for the Chicago Lions Rugby team while attending law school. He played competitive Chicago 16-inch softball from his youth until retiring on his 70th birthday after playing in two playoff games. He continues to compete in his Parish bowling league and golf at Evanston Golf Club and at PGA Village courses in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Toohey has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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