Dean P. Laing is the President and Managing Shareholder of the law firm of O'Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C., a 40-attorney firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been with the Firm for more than 33 years, since graduating cum laude from Marquette University Law School in 1983.
Mr. Laing's personality and trial skills have allowed him to be one of a select few attorneys who have been able to successfully practice both commercial litigation and personal injury litigation. In addition to representing Fortune 500 companies and other variously sized companies in their commercial litigation needs, Mr. Laing represents severely injured persons in prosecuting their personal injury claims. His passion for those cases is partially derived from his having two brothers with cerebral palsy. As a result of growing up in that environment, Mr. Laing understands what families go through in caring for loved ones with special needs, and is able to communicate that to insurance companies, defense counsel, judges, and juries.
Dean P. Laing
Recognized in:Commercial LitigationPersonal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs...
Law School:Marquette University Law School
Location:111 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1400Milwaukee, WI 53202
- Marquette University Law School , J.D., graduated 1983
- Wisconsin, State Bar of Wisconsin
- National Board of Trial Advocacy - Civil Trial Specialist
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers for:
- Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Milwaukee (2016)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for work in:
- Commercial Litigation
- Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
- Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
- He was selected in 2012 and 2016 as one of the “Top 10 Lawyers” in Wisconsin by Super Lawyers/Milwaukee Magazine. Super Lawyers surveys all attorneys and judges in Wisconsin and, based on the results of that survey and other independent research, selects the top 10 attorneys in Wisconsin, regardless of area of practice.
- He was selected for the past eleven straight years as one of the "Top 50 Lawyers" in Wisconsin by Super Lawyers/Milwaukee Magazine (2006–2016) -- one of only seven attorneys out of over 15,000 attorneys in Wisconsin, and the only commercial litigator in Wisconsin, to make the list all eleven years. The honor is given to the 50 Wisconsin attorneys receiving the highest point totals in the statewide balloting, research, and blueribbon peer review process, regardless of area of practice.
- He was selected as one of the "Top 25 Lawyers" in the Milwaukee area by Super Lawyers/ Milwaukee Magazine each year since it began publishing the list (2011–2016). The honor is given to the 25 Milwaukee area attorneys receiving the highest point totals in the statewide balloting, research, and blue-ribbon peer review process, regardless of area of practice.
- He was selected twice as the "Lawyer of the Year in Wisconsin" by The Best Lawyers in America, "the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession." In 2012 he was selected as the “Personal Injury Litigator of the Year,” and in 2016 he was selected as the “Product Liability Litigation–Defendants Lawyer of the Year.” He is believed to be the only attorney in Wisconsin to receive “Lawyer of the Year” as both a plaintiff’s attorney and a defense attorney.
- He was selected as a "Top 100 Trial Lawyer" by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 (2013), an invitation-only organization in which "membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified [trial] attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile."
- He was selected as one of the "Top 10 Attorneys" in Wisconsin by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys (2013), which selects the "best of the best" personal injury attorneys in each state by use of a "meticulous, independent selection process [to] resolve the challenge of attorneys claiming to be the best without basis for such a claim, leaving no doubt as to whom the preeminent personal injury attorneys are in each state."
- He was elected a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (2010), an "invitation only trial lawyer honorary society" based upon "effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation."
- He was selected as a "Leading Lawyer" by M Magazine (2012–2016), which lists "Milwaukee's highest-ranked attorneys" based on a "proprietary algorithm [used by Avvo which] rates all lawyers on a 10-point scale, factoring in peer endorsements as well as experience, education, training, speaking, publishing, and awards."
- He has an AV Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0 rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible and "a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."
- He has a 10.0 out of 10.0 rating by Avvo, a national attorney rating service which uses a mathematical model to rate attorneys based on experience, professional achievements, industry recognition, and professional conduct.
- He was selected as a recipient of the 2005 "Leader in the Law Award" (its second year in existence) presented by the Wisconsin Law Journal, the statewide weekly newspaper for Wisconsin attorneys and judges. The award is given annually to 10-20 Wisconsin attorneys and judges "whose efforts represent some of the best from our legal community."
- He was described by Judge Kitty K. Brennan, then a trial court judge and now a judge with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, as an attorney "of the highest standing in [his] profession" and his team as one of the "best sets of lawyers I've ever seen" in a Decision issued on April 15, 2005 in Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District v. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Case No. 02-CV-60.
- He was described by the late Judge Rudolph T. Randa, then a judge with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, as "an aggressive and indisputabl[y] qualified independent counsel" in a Decision issued on September 27, 2001 in Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co. v. Leslie, Case No. 97-C-427.
- He was selected as one of "Milwaukee's Best Lawyers" by Milwaukee Magazine (June 1990), after being in practice for only seven years. The magazine called Mr. Laing "a brilliant, hard-working attorney who has an impressive record and is a guaranteed star in the immediate future. He's streetwise and he's bright and that's tough to get both.”
- He was selected as one of "Milwaukee's Best Lawyers" by Milwaukee Magazine (Feb. 1995). The magazine stated that Mr. Laing is "very bright, hardworking and intense -- no one will outwork him."
- He was selected as one of the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" in Wisconsin by The National Trial Lawyers (2007-2016) for his "superior qualifications, trial results, leadership, influence, reputation, stature, and profile in the trial attorney community."
- He was selected as one of Lawdragon 3000 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America (2007– 2016). The publication lists the "best lawyers nationwide” who are “noted for getting the best results and their leadership of the plaintiffs' bar." A total of 11 Wisconsin attorneys made the initial list.
- He is listed in three categories for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America based on a "peer-review survey comprising more than 2.5 million confidential evaluations by the top attorneys in the country:" Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation– Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation–Defendants.
- He was profiled as the Cover Story of the Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine (2014).
- He was selected as a Member of The Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (2015), whose rosters “Consists of the leading legends of the legal profession.”
- He was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (2016), an “honorary organization of lawyers, judges and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communicates and to the highest principles of the legal profession.”
- He was selected as one of “Americas Most Honored Professionals–Top 1%” (2016) by American Registry. The award is given to the top 1% of all professionals based upon “repeated, publicized honors from the press, peers, trade groups and clients over a five year period.”
- He was elected as a founding member of “America’s Top 100 Attorneys” (2016), an invitation only organization consisting of the “nation’s most exceptional attorneys.”
Mr. Laing is board certified in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is a frequent author and speaker on legal issues involving evidence, torts, insurance and trial tactics.
He has authored 40 journal articles and book chapters, including the Evidence Chapter of the Wisconsin State Bar's annual book entitled Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law each year (but two) since 1987; been an invited speaker at 27 legal seminars/workshops; and been counsel in 53 published/reported decisions, some of which made new law.
Attorney Case History
Among numerous other high-profile cases in which he has been involved, Mr. Laing was the lead trial attorney for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. in a lawsuit relating to the construction of the retractable roof of Miller Park (the home of the Milwaukee Brewers), which Judge Kitty K. Brennan called "the biggest case [Milwaukee] County has ever seen." The case, filed by the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, sought $50 million in damages from Mitsubishi for alleged defects in the retractable roof constructed by Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi denied liability and filed a counterclaim seeking additional costs incurred in constructing the roof due to material changes made to the roof's design after Mitsubishi bid the job. The case involved claims of $140 million, and generated the taking of 162 depositions in three countries, the production of 2.9 million pages of documents, the filing of 96 substantive motions, and several trips to the appellate court. After three days of mediation involving 22 attorneys from seven states, a settlement was reached one week before the scheduled trial, resulting in Mitsubishi paying nothing on the Baseball Park District's claims and receiving $18 million on its counterclaim.
Verdicts and Settlements
During his career, Mr. Laing has obtained more than 20 million-dollar settlements and jury verdicts for his clients, including the following:
- $24.7 million (medical malpractice) (co-counsel)
- $18.0 million (construction)
- $5.4 million (corporate fraud)
- $5.3 million (breach of contract)
- $3.5 million (insurance coverage)
- $3.1 million (medical malpractice)
- $2.6 million (insurance)
- $2.2 million (forklift accident)
- $2.1 million (breach of contract)
- $2.0 million (Americans with Disabilities Act)
- $1.7 million (product liability)
- $1.6 million (breach of Asset Purchase Agreement)
- $1.5 million (medical malpractice)
- $1.4 million (medical malpractice) (co-counsel)
- $1.3 million (insurance coverage)
- $1.3 million (breach of contract)
- $1.2 million (wrongful death)
- $1.2 million (auto accident)
- $1.1 million (breach of contract)
- $1.1 million (prepayment penalty)