July 12, 2010

Polsinelli Shughart PC honors the life of John Muir (Jack) Kilroy who passed away Friday, July 9, 2010 at the age of 92. As a law firm leader, outstanding trial attorney and mentor to young attorneys, Kilroy helped build Shughart Thomson & Kilroy P.C. into a highly-respected law firm admired for its outstanding trial practice. In 2009, the firm merged with Polsinelli Suelthaus Flanigan Shalton PC to become Polsinelli Shughart PC, the second largest law firm in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Jack Kilroy was a superb lawyer, a great trial practitioner and a terrific partner,” said R. Lawrence Ward, chair of the firm’s business litigation practice and chairman emeritus. “He taught me more about trying a lawsuit than any other lawyer. His contributions to the development of our firm are immeasurable. He will be greatly missed not only as a mentor, but as a friend.”

Kilroy practiced law in Kansas City for more than 40 years.  A Kansas City native, he earned his law degree from The University of Missouri Law School in 1942, and served in World War II achieving the rank of Captain. After the war, he joined what was The Law Office of Henry M. Shughart in 1946 and became a partner two years later. In the late 1950’s the firm became Shughart, Thomson, Stark & Kilroy. Kilroy helped establish the firm’s strong reputation in products liability and medical malpractice defense, and into a trial powerhouse. Along the way, Kilroy also mentored young attorneys who would rise to become key leaders and help carry the firm forward

Kilroy was an icon in the legal profession and the trial bar. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization of experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Less than one percent of all trial lawyers in the U.S. are invited to be Fellows.

“Our firm would not be what it is today without the fortitude, drive and passion of previous partners of the caliber of Jack Kilroy,” said Polsinelli Shughart Chairman W. Russell Welsh. “Our gratitude to his legacy cannot be underestimated. We extend our warmest thoughts and prayers to the family during this difficult time.”

Kilroy leaves two sons who are shareholders at Polsinelli Shughart; Vice Chairman John M. Kilroy, Jr. (Jack) and Labor and Employment Practice Chair W. Terrence Kilroy (Terry).

About Polsinelli Shughart PC
With more than 500 attorneys, Polsinelli Shughart PC ( is a national law firm that is a recognized leader in the areas of business litigation, financial services, real estate, business law, construction, life sciences, environmental and natural resources, health care, insurance coverage/bad faith, and labor and employment. Serving corporate, institutional and individual clients regionally, nationally and worldwide, Polsinelli Shughart is known for successfully applying forward-thinking strategies for both straightforward and complex legal matters. The firm has 16 offices located in Kansas City, St. Louis, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Washington, New York City, Wilmington, Overland Park, St. Joseph, Springfield, Jefferson City, Topeka and Edwardsville.

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Kathryn Anastasio