Tacoma attorney Jack Connelly’s long-shot cases
have triggered major reforms
BY HARRIS MEYER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY REDSTONE PICTURES
ON A RECENT MORNING, JACK CONNELLY
drove from his Tacoma office through rush-hour traffic to hear a Seattle-area lawyer
pitch him a case involving a less-than-sympathetic victim. One defendant had a
strong argument; the other had no liquid
assets. “There’s a wrong there, but it’s a
difficult case,” Connelly told the lawyer.
He took it anyway.
“Some cases you take for various reasons,
and over time they turn out way better than
you expected,” he says. In this instance,
he was concerned about the terrible harm
done to the plaintiff, and he also wanted to
support his colleague, who had represented
the victim in the past and felt passionate
about the case.
It would hardly be the first time Connelly
took a long-shot case because he saw
a wrong that needed to be righted or
institutional practices that needed to be
reformed. Often, he ultimately lands a
big verdict or settlement. In this case, the
outcome remains to be seen.
Connelly, 56, is a broad-shouldered,
round-faced man. Everyone calls him
Jack. On a recent day, he looked a bit like
a plainclothes cop in his tieless white shirt,
sweater vest and round-toed black shoes
with rubber soles.
JOHN R. (JACK) CONNELLY
· FOUNDER, CONNELLY LAW OFFICES
· PERSONAL INJURY PLAINTIFF: GENERAL
· WASHINGTON SUPER LAWYERS:
2003-2012; TOP 100: 2003-2006,
abuse and other mistreatment at the
privately run O.K. Boys Ranch group home
for troubled youth resulted in more than
$60 million in compensation for more than
60 boys. It led to significant changes in
how the state licenses and monitors group
homes for juveniles.
“The state had to stop and look at what
was going on and make sure it doesn’t