Tablet Special Sections

St. Thomas More Award – Thomas A. Tormey

The Great Irish Fair presents this award in honor of the brilliant author, the chancellor and head of the English Judiciary, a great spiritual leader and moral force who was martyred for his Catholic faith. St. Thomas More is the patron saint of lawyers and is an inspiration to judges.


Lawyer Thomas A. Tormey Jr. is receiving the St. Thomas More Award. Born and raised in the Grant City section of Staten Island, Tormey is one of five children born to Tom and Virginia, nee Monks. The family lived with Tormey’s maternal grandparents, whose ancestors were from Dublin. His paternal forebears were from Roscommon. His childhood centered around his parish, St. Christopher Church, where he attended grammar school and served as an altar server and lector. He went on to Msgr. Farrell H.S., Staten Island; Pace University, Manhattan; and earned his law degree at St. John’s University School of Law, Jamaica. A private practice attorney since 1990, Tormey is engaged in the general practice of law with a concentration in the litigation, arbitration and trial of complex criminal, personal injury, commercial and construction cases. He is also of counsel to the Florida-based law firm of Becker & Poliakoff. He previously served as New York Counsel for The Exxon Corporation and Safety Insurance Company. In 1978, he began his legal career as an assistant district attorney under Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. He started in a trial bureau and eventually moved to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. He later was promoted to the position of bureau chief of the elite Special Investigations Bureau, where he worked on major narcotics cases. He sat as president of the Staten Island Trial Lawyers Association, 2009-11. He now serves as a director on the boards of the nonprofit Serpentine Art and Nature Commons, the Seaview Historic Foundation, Inc., and the Richmond County Country Club, for which he is also the chairperson of both the legal committee and the admissions committee. Tormey and his wife of 37 years, Jill, reside in Grymes Hill, Staten Island, and attend Sacred Heart Church. They have two daughters, Caitlin O’Donnell Tormey and Killian Maeve Tormey Clifford.