Lawyering is in John Healy’s blood.
His dad, Howard, is a lawyer and so are two of his sisters. So it wasn’t a surprise that the bug bit him, too.
“I think I knew it ever since I was a kid,” Healy said. “I was 6 when the O.J. Simpson verdict came out, and I was hooked on the courtroom ever since.”
Flash forward decades later, and the University of Wisconsin Law School graduate now does defense work in medical-malpractice and personal-injury cases at Madison-based Corneille Law Group, providing vital assistance in trial preparation and taking responsibility for discovery and mediation in dozens of civil cases.
Healy says he enjoys confronting complex legal issues as well as working with clients and other lawyers. He noted that the reality is that most cases will settle and not go to trial, but he approaches each case with the expectation that there will be a trial.
One of the toughest parts of the job for Healy stems from the difficult circumstances that come with each case.
“That’s why it’s important to be objective and do what’s in the best interests of the client,” he said. “The adversarial system is not necessarily about winning. It’s about a just result.”
With just three years under his belt, Healy has taken on a lead-counsel role in significant cases involving personal injury and property damage. He’s also had success in developing client relationships and has even helped the firm develop new areas of practice by forming referral networks with lawyers in other practice areas.
Steve Hurley, Healy’s evidence professor and mentor, said it’s no surprise that his student has become a successful practitioner.
“He was a really good student, really smart but also has the interpersonal skills you need to be a practitioner,” Hurley said. “He’s quiet and understated but extraordinarily personable and smart — everything you’d want.”
Healy, who is the youngest of eight children, credits his parents for instilling in him the work habits and ideals that have helped him in his career. His father has been a lawyer for 40 years. His mother, Eleanor, spent her career as an educator.
“It was from them that I learned about the value of a work ethic, and on top of that the example they set for me was one of service and sacrifice,” he said.