Prominent trial attorney and West Virginia University College of Law
alumnus Paul Thomas Farrell, Jr. is the recipient of the 2023 College of Law Justitia
Officium Award. Established in 1978 to
mark the 100th anniversary of the College of Law, the Justitia Officium is the
highest honor bestowed by the law faculty in recognition of outstanding
contributions and service to the legal profession. Mr. Farrell received his award at Commencement
on May 12.
“Paul understands how lives hang in the balance when injustice exists in our courtrooms and in our communities – and that, often, what can be accomplished in the courtroom can change the lives of countless others outside of it. Although he’s most recently fought for justice from the opioid industry for the devastation it has caused throughout West Virginia, Paul’s passionate advocacy for all and his relentless dedication to the legal profession and its role in society have had an immeasurable impact throughout his career. We are so honored that he and his wife, Jackie, are our alumni and continue the Farrell family’s lasting legacy to the College of Law,” said WVU College of Law Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart.
Mr. Farrell is
a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A. 1994) and the West Virginia
University College of Law (J.D. 1997), where he served as the Managing Editor
of the West Virginia Law Review. He is a
second-generation West Virginia lawyer whose father, the Honorable Paul T.
Farrell, is a presiding circuit court judge in Cabell County (WV).
Mr. Farrell’s diverse background includes criminal defense as well as serving as a prosecutor for murder charges, representing health care providers as well as bringing medical malpractice claims on behalf of birth trauma victims, insurance defense as well as insurance bad faith, teaching appellate advocacy as an adjunct professor at the WVU College of Law, serving as the President of the West Virginia Association for Justice and most recently serving as the Co-Lead of a multi-district litigation, known as In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, which has been described as the largest and most complex mass tort in the history of American litigation resulting in more than $50 billion in settlement proceeds to abate the opioid epidemic.
Mr. Farrell is a founding member of Farrell & Fuller, LLC, which recently relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he operates one of the most successful mass tort law firms in the United States.
Mr. Farrell’s name will be added to a panel bearing the names of recipients at the College of Law.