(1945 - 2015)
Terry OReilly, 70, of Hailey, Idaho, died peacefully at home on October 16, 2015. His death was the result of pancreatic cancer.
Terry was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, England on April 12, 1945. He immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 16. He received an undergraduate degree at Loyola University Los Angeles and a law degree from Boalt Hall at the University of California Berkeley.
Terry began practicing law in 1970, and was one of the most distinguished and successful trial lawyers in the country, not only in the number and magnitude of cases won, but also in the many impressive awards and honors bestowed upon him by his peers. Despite his long career and love of the law, he treasured the stillness of the Wood River Valley and made it his permanent home in 2010.
Terry had a larger-than-life personality that brought joy to many people across many walks of life. His passion for rugby, his love of music, his enthusiasm for classic cars and his great service as a litigator are just a few of the diverse pursuits that define him. His intelligence, humor, and generosity of spirit were as big as the man himself. He lit up a room whenever he walked into it. He will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife, Andrea Pierceall, his two sons, Toby and Matthew, his mother, Doris OReilly, his brother Stephen OReilly, and his sister, Kathleen Owens.
Services will be held on Wednesday, October 28 at 4:00 pm at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum.
The family would like to deeply thank the hospice staff and the caregivers for the loving care and kindness they provided to Terry, and that any donations be made in honor of Terry to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley or St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Bio: For forty years and more, Terry O'Reilly has lead the fight for safer automobiles and aviation. This resulted in a rare honor, with Autoweek naming him one of the top five automobile US lawyers, the only trial lawyer named. This caps his repeated nomination to every list of top US lawyers, from US News & World Report to Superlawyers. His peers named him California Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2003. Perhaps more importantly, his work on tire safety has lead to changes in industry practice and hopefully, in lives saved. In 2008 his $24 million dollar verdict against a reckless ambulance was one of the top verdicts in the nation.
His interest in automobiles goes far beyond litigation, however. Long an avid collector and rally driver, he has driven in the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana, recently completing the 2400 mile London to Lisbon Rally. He currently rallies AEN 546, the legendary 1951 Le Mans Jaguar XK120 OTS.
Mr. O'Reilly has been trying aviation cases since 1974, with the crash of Turkish Airlines 981, a DC10 accident near Paris. He has been on the plaintiffs committee of virtually every major accident since then, settling five disasters in 2009 alone. His work has resulted in over a billion dollars for his aviation clients alone.
An enthusiastic Rugby player, Mr. O'Reilly has served as a Trustee of the U.S. Rugby Football Foundation since 1987, following his playing days with the University of California and the Old Blues Rugby Club.