In Memorium: Hugh Reynolds Jr.

AuthorBy Terrance L. Brookie
THE CONSTRUCTION LAWYER40 Volume 42 Issue 2 2022
In Memorium: Hugh Reynolds Jr.
By Terrance L. Brookie
On December 22, 2021, Hugh
Reynolds Jr. passed away at the
age of 92. Hugh was an extraor-
dinary person, a brilliant lawyer,
a great leader both at Locke
Reynolds and in national orga-
nizations, a Napoleonic and
Civil War historian, a veteran,
a mentor, a devout Catholic, a
family man, and the smartest
person I have ever known. His death is mourned by all
lucky enough to have known him.
Hugh was a versatile, talented, and passionate litigator,
handling cases of remarkable complexity, breadth, and
scope. He specialized in construction and surety law, a
specialty in which he was a nationally recognized expert.
His incisive and succinct arguments often concluded with
encouragement to the court to rule in his client’s favor
“for reasons too obvious to require discussion.” Judges
usually did.
His innumerable awards, appointments, and honors
include the following: annual recognition in Best Lawyers
in America; admission to both the American College of
Trial Lawyers and the American College of Construction
Lawyers; appointment as the 7th Circuit representative to
the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on
the Federal Judiciary; election to the House of Delegates
of the ABA, chair of the ABAs Torts and Insurance Prac-
tice Section (TIPS), president and chair of the Federation
of Insurance and Corporate Counsel, and chair of both
the ABA’s Forum on Construction Law and Fidelity and
Surety Law Committee; one of the drafters of the Revi-
sion of the Restatement of Law of Suretyship for the
American Law Institute; and recipient of the Corner-
stone Award for Lifetime Achievement from the ABA’s
Forum on Construction Law and the Defense Research
Institute’s Lewis Potter Award for outstanding service
to the defense bar.
Not only was Hugh a giant in surety and construction
law, but he accomplished so much outside of those areas.
While on active duty with the U.S. Army, he taught and
wrote on military affairs, international law, and other
subjects. Hugh served on the Commercial Law Proj-
ect for Ukraine shortly after the breakup of the Soviet
Union and spent time in Ukraine helping write commer-
cial laws for that country. He was especially proud of his
service as the 7th Circuit Representative to the Standing
Committee on Federal Judiciary of the American Bar
Association. This is the ABAs peer review for nominees
for federal court positions. Hugh conducted interviews
and prepared reports that were submitted to the Senate
for further consideration of the candidates under nomi-
nation. Hugh attended all of the swearing-in ceremonies
for the nominees he reviewed.
Hugh served a lengthy period as managing partner
of Locke Reynolds. Despite being the rm’s primary
rainmaker, he led by example through fairness, compas-
sion, and generosity. He was known for his even-handed
approach to governance. He mentored generations of
lawyers, who owe their growth and success to his exem-
plary leadership.
Hugh relaxed by hand-painting battalions of tiny
gures in authentic uniform colors. He was a found-
ing member of the Great Lakes War Game Association,
where his knowledge of military history and mastery of
archaic and convoluted rules (usually written by him)
allowed him to overwhelm his opponents in weekend-
long reenactments.
Hugh was a mentor to young lawyers and was very
instrumental in the development and advancement of
female lawyers through his law rm and national organi-
zations. Hugh was a champion for female lawyers when
not many champions existed.
He was the most optimistic person I have met. I spoke
to him shortly after he moved to assisted living. Rather
than complain about the conditions that required assisted
living, Hugh chose to tell me how excited he was that
COVID restrictions had been lifted and he had been able
to nally have family visitors earlier that day. In that same
discussion, Hugh also told me of the books he had been
reading. Not once did he complain about his physical
conditions. At Hugh’s funeral, his son said two songs
describe his father: My Way by Frank Sinatra and Don’t
Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. No truer words
have been spoken.
Shortly after 9/11, Hugh and I were in a mediation
in an Indianapolis ofce building. For security reasons,
the building had to be evacuated. As we huddled outside
on a cold winter day, I lost track of Hugh. After about
an hour of wait, we were told it was safe to reenter the
building. The room full of about 20 lawyers settled in to
continue the mediation session, but Hugh was absent. I
immediately knew where to nd him. I went down to the
rst oor of the ofce building and found Hugh seated in
a leather chair in the Borders Bookstore reading a book
on the Civil War. He was never one to pass a bookstore
without stopping to browse. Hugh was a brilliant trial
attorney, and his passion for military strategy played a
part in his success as a trial attorney.
Hugh spoke with eloquence and authority on many
Terrance L. Br ookie

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