B.A., Denison University, 1974
J.D., Northwestern University, 1977
Citation awarded June, 2005
Dean Hansell began his legal career as Assistant Attorney General of Illinois for environmental and energy prosecution. There at the beginning of modern environmental law in hazardous/ toxic/nuclear-waste fields and air/water pollution, he filed the first Resource Conservation and Recovery Act law suit in the country. He has written and lectured extensively in the environmental field.
In 1980, Dean joined the Federal Trade Commission to coordinate an energy-fraud program in the 24 western states. He also successfully brought consumer protection/antitrust prosecutions against many industries including housing, recreation and energy.
In his law firm, Dean has successfully represented major companies in law suits including antirust, unfair competition, bad faith, fraud, and real estate litigation. With 24 offices in 10 countries, he is called upon to handle matters worldwide. His latest trial was a fraud case tried successfully in American Samoa, and he is preparing for a London arbitration and an oral argument before the California Supreme Court. Dean has written and spoken extensively on unfair competition, antitrust, insurance law and litigation.
Dean serves on the Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine editorial board of, is a Judge Pro Tem with the Los Angeles Superior Court and was past chair of the Antitrust Section of the L.A. County Bar Association. He has been Information Technology Commissioner of L.A. for four years, having been appointed by Mayor James Hahn. He is also president of the Board of Information Technology Commissioners, among whose duties is the regulation of cable television.
Former L.A. mayor, Richard Riordan, appointed Dean Police Commissioner of Los Angeles, a post he held for four years. He was also vice president of the Board of Police Commissioners and chaired a number of police task forces, including use of force, fiscal management, housing for police and firefighters, hate crimes, the mentally disabled and intellectual property.
Dean is director/advisory-board member for several organizations including the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, the Shanti Foundation, CommUnity Advocates, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. He also co-chairs the board of directors of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, the world’s largest gay and lesbian organization.
Dean has also received the Herman Humanitarian Award in Los Angeles, at a luncheon sponsored by Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim. He is a recipient of the Los Angeles Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal, the Lawyers for Human Rights Co-Presidents’ Award and the Asian Pacific American Legal Pro-bono Award.
Dean’s Denison volunteer service includes being president of the Denison Clubs of Chicago and Los Angeles, VP of Clubs for Alumni Council, and a member of the Harris Tight Huffman Society.
We honor Dean Hansell for his dedication to the law in all its many forms, his passion to protect the environment, and his steadfast advocacy of even-handed justice