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General Defense
1818 Market Street, 13th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-3638Locate in Google Maps
Telephone: 215-569-2800
Fax: 215-569-1606
E-Mail: email@zarwin.com
www.zarwin.com
Practice Areas
About Us
Additional Locations
Client Information
Personnel
Insurance Law Podcasts
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Established: 1960

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Defense
  • Automobile
  • General Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Property and Casualty
  • Dram Shop
  • Coverage Issues
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Subrogation
  • Dental Malpractice
  • Truck Liability
  • Commercial Vehicle
  • Toxic Torts
  • Environmental Law
  • Employment Law
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About Us
Zarwin Baum's Casualty and Professional Liability Defense Practice Group has been a cornerstone practice area for the firm for over twenty-five years. The practice continues to grow and prosper based on the Firm's commitment to provide the highest quality legal service while still maintaining economic efficiency. Zarwin Baum has pursued this commitment by employing talented, skilled and practical attorneys who understand the unique and challenging needs of our casualty and defense clients.

The Firm has been become the "go-to" firm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for numerous insurance carriers, third-party administrators, program managers, syndicates and self-insured clients. Martindale-Hubbell rates the firm as an "AV rated, Preeminent Law Firm." Further, many of the firm's attorneys have been annually honored as "Super Lawyers" in the insurance defense practice area.

In this highly competitive insurance market, the casualty world is focused more than ever on controlling legal spend. Maintaining economic efficiency on behalf of our clients has always been a guiding principle for the Firm. Zarwin Baum has an extensive history of actively assisting insurance and self-insured clients to achieve the desired result in a cost-effective manner. We employ a department policy requiring immediate evaluation and settlement efforts, efficiency of attorney time, frequent use of paralegals and when appropriate, aggressive use of mediation and binding Arbitrations.

We fully understand that "success" is defined by our ability to bring the case to a swift and favorable resolution. For us, "life of claim" is not amorphous insurance jargon used by our clients, but a concept that we fully understand and target as the measuring stick to evaluate our own in-house performance metrics. We pride ourselves in our ability to promptly and efficiently close files.

The firm brings a unique and practical perspective to the handling of defense matters that positions Zarwin Baum ahead of the typical insurance defense firms. Unlike most defense firms, Zarwin Baum is a full-service law firm with numerous practice areas beyond insurance defense. As a result, when a defense matter involves an unusual area of the law, members of the Casualty and Professional Group are able to collaborate with Zarwin Baum attorneys, experienced in that area of the law, who will provide practical guidance and serve as an in-house consultant, without the need to use costly experts simply to understand the background of a case.

Zarwin Baum's network of investigators, expert witnesses and in-house 24 hour Emergency Response Team, allows us to provide on-scene fact gathering, securing of evidence and hiring of on-scene experts in the event of a sudden catastrophic claim. Our firm has handled numerous emergency responses over the years, including some of the most high-profile emergency responses in the Country.

The Firm is a founding member of the Themis Advocates Group, a national network of highly-experienced insurance defense litigators. Themis allows Zarwin Baum to provide insurance and self-insured defense clients with a national footprint of insurance defense litigators, high-level educational opportunities and an enhanced means of attorney-client communication. The Firm utilizes the Themis network to assist with emergency responses or partner on a multi-state litigation.

While prompt resolution is always our goal, often the demands of the plaintiff are excessive and unreasonable. When litigation is necessary the firm's attorneys do not shy away from the courtroom. At the core of Zarwin Baum's Casualty Defense Group lies its experienced trial team that has tried numerous casualty and professional liability cases to verdict... The Firm is regularly hired to defend many of the largest exposure cases in the region against some of the most notorious plaintiff attorneys in the country. The attorneys at Zarwin Baum are technologically savvy, battle-tested, resourceful and utilize an aggressive, no-holds-barred litigation style designed to place our clients in the best position to achieve a favorable result.
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Additional Locations
Marlton, New Jersey
525 Route 73 North, Suite 303
Marlton, New Jersey 08053
Telephone: 856-810-3454
Fax: 856-810-3494
Jersey City, New Jersey
30 Montgomery Street, Suite 960
Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Telephone: 201-432-7840
Fax: 201-432-3945
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
2101 North Front Street, Building 3
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110
Telephone: 717-695-4639
Fax: 717-695-6036
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Client Information
Insurance Clients
AIGAllied Risk Management
American European Insurance Group, Inc.AmTrust Group
Aspen InsuranceAXIS Insurance
BroadspireCorporate Claims Service, Inc.
Crum & Forster InsuranceEndurance Insurance
First Mercury Insurance CompanyGreat American Insurance Company
Hallmark Insurance CompanyHouston International Insurance Group c/o Tristar Risk Management
Infinity Insurance CompanyJames River Insurance Company
Lancer InsuranceMAC Risk Management, Inc.
Markel Insurance CompanyMaxum Specialty Insurance Group
Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance CompanyMiddleOak
National Specialty InsuranceNautilus Insurance Company
Navigators Insurance CompanyNew York Marine & General Insurance Company
Preferred National Insurance CompanyProPoint Claim Services, LLC
ProSight Specialty InsuranceRepublic Western Insurance Company
Risk Enterprise Management, Ltd.Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.
Sompo Canopious SyndicateStarstone Insurance
State National Insurance Company, Inc.Verus Underwriting Managers, LLC
Non-Insurance Clients
CenturyLink, Inc.City of Atlantic City
Coach USACovenant Transport, Inc.
Fleming & Hall, LTDKeystone Freight Corp.
NFI IndustriesPennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT)
Philips Electronics, N.A.The Redwoods Group
Schneider National, Inc.SIRVA
U-Haul International, Inc.
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Personnel Information
Managing Shareholder
Mitchell S. Kaplan
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9696
E-Mail:mskaplan@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Liquor Liability
  • Malpractice
  • Premises Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
  • Workers' Compensation
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1982
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Mitchell S. Kaplan has been an attorney at Zarwin Baum for his entire legal career and is the firm's managing shareholder. He primarily focuses his practice in the area of casualty defense, particularly trucking and transportation, liquor liability, commercial property liability, professional liability and insurance coverage. He is retained by an impressive list of insurance carriers and third-party claim administrators to represent their insureds. Kaplan takes great pride in his problem solving ability and often consults with firm clients and attorneys for innovative approaches to legal and non-legal issues that may arise.

In addition, Kaplan is often selected by attorneys and insurance carriers to serve as mediator or arbitrator. He also regularly serves as a Judge Pro Tempore and an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

During Kaplan's tenure as managing shareholder, the firm has tripled its number of attorneys, added many additional practice groups, expanded its offices in Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and North New Jersey and opened satellite offices in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. Furthermore, Kaplan has spearheaded Zarwin Baum's community and charitable initiatives that last year raised charitable donations in excess of $100,000.

As managing shareholder, Kaplan's goal is to familiarize potential Zarwin clients with the high-level of skill and expertise possessed by Zarwin attorneys. He has also instituted a firm philosophy to maintain the highest level of economic efficiency on behalf of the Firm's clients.

Kaplan has annually been named one of Pennsylvania's "Super Lawyers" by Philadelphia Magazine since 2006, an honor received by only five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers each year. He has also been profiled in the Philadelphia Business Journal and featured in articles appearing in the Legal Intelligencer and USA Today.

Kaplan is a founding member and leader of the Themis Advocates Group, a national network of elite insurance defense litigators. Themis provides Zarwin with a national footprint, high-level educational opportunities and an enhanced means of communication for its insurance and self-insured defense clients. Kaplan has been a regular presenter on varied insurance topics at Themis Conferences around the country.

Kaplan has served on the faculty at Temple University as an adjunct professor in the master’s program at the School of Communications where he teaches "Legal Issues in Communications Management." He has lectured on numerous insurance and casualty issues for the National Business Institute, HMS Continuing Legal Education and insurance carrier and claim administrators across the county.
Memberships:
  • Pennsylvania, New Jersey State and Philadelphia Bar Associations
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • Temple University, B.B.A. (magna cum laude), 1979
  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1982
Born:1957
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Shareholders
Theodore M. Schaer
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9606
E-Mail:tmschaer@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Bad Faith
  • Cyber Liability
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Liquor Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1987
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1992
Theodore M. Schaer is regularly hired by some of the nation's largest insurers, third party administrators, motor carriers and businesses to defend lawsuits. Since 1987, Ted has routinely defended GL, transportation retail, strict liability, and professional liability claims. He serves as National and Regional Counsel to several national accounts.

Under Ted's guidance and supervision, Zarwin Baum has a uniquely experienced Catastrophic Accident Response Team ("CAT Team") staffed 24/7, 365 days per year. Working with a team of experts and investigators, numerous carriers and self insureds rely on Ted's expertise to direct the CAT team's early investigation and manage large claim exposure.

Ted has tried more than 50 trials to verdict in a number of states. He is an AV rated attorney, a Certified Trial Attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has been consistently recognized by his peers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a Super Lawyer since 2006.

He is board certified in Privacy and US Data Protection (CIPP/US). Ted advises clients on privacy and cyber related issues and leads the Firm's Data Breach response team. He is the Chief Information and Security Officer to the Firm.

At Zarwin Baum, Ted serves as Co Chairman of the Property and Casualty Defense Department and Chairman of the Cyber Liability, Privacy and Data Security Department.
Memberships:
  • American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
  • Trucking Industry Defense Association
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • American University, B.S., 1982
  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1987
Born:1960
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Joseph M. Toddy
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9666
E-Mail:jmtoddy@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile
  • Employment
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1984
  • New Jersey, 1998
  • New York, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
As co-chair of Zarwin Baum's casualty defense department, Joseph M. Toddy focuses his practice on litigation matters, including defense of trucking companies, dentists, auto and premises liability and taverns. He assists insurance carriers in bad faith litigation as well as issues involving employment litigation and white-collar criminal defense.

With nearly 25 years in practice, Joe has gained extensive jury trial and appellate experience. Prior to joining Zarwin Baum in 1993, Joe was employed at another large Philadelphia law firm and also as an assistant district attorney in the Northumberland County District Attorney's Office, where he handled all types of felony criminal trials, including murder and arson matters.

Joe has tried more than 50 cases to verdict in numerous states and serves as national trial counsel for a leading asbestos manufacturer and trucking company. He is also actively involved in handling catastrophic injury matters from the outset with Zarwin Baum's CAT team.

Joe has been selected numerous times for inclusion in Pennsylvania "Super Lawyers" as published by Philadelphia Magazine and voted into "New Jersey Super Lawyers" as published by New Jersey Monthly. He is an A.V. rated attorney.
Memberships:
  • American, New Jersey State, New York State, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
  • Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1979
  • Delaware Law School of Widener University, J.D., 1984
Born:1957
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Michael Dankanich
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-7344
E-Mail:mdankanich@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile
  • Product Liability
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1984
  • New Jersey, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Supreme Court
As a member of the Zarwin Baum insurance defense litigation group, Mike Dankanich handles a variety of matters including premises liability, professional malpractice, construction and products liability, and professional liability in construction matters, including architects and engineers. Mike has extensive trial practice in the courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This includes approximately 20 jury trials and numerous bench trials, arbitrations and mediations.

Mike graduated from Temple University School of Law where he served as a research editor at the Law Review and authored several articles on litigation intervention and right of assembly/freedom of speech in public places.
Memberships:
  • Camden County and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • Temple University, B.A., 1984
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1984
Law Review:
Editor, Temple Law Review
Born:1959
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Paul M. Schmidt
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9636
E-Mail:pmschmidt@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Energy
  • Environmental Law
  • Governmental Relations
  • Real Estate
Admitted
  • Colorado, 1992
  • Pennsylvania, 1998
  • New Jersey, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Paul M. Schmidt chairs the Zarwin Baum Environmental and Energy Practice Group. He provides legal services to a wide range of clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and across the country.

For real estate clients, Mr. Schmidt advises on developing brownfields, conducting environmental due diligence, obtaining funding, cleaning up contamination and addressing numerous other issues, such as storm water runoff, sewage facilities, wetlands, asbestos and mold. He also represents clients on permitting and compliance issues in industrial operations, including waste, water quality, air, oil and gas drilling, pipelines, CNG stations, storage tanks and radiation.

In addition, Mr. Schmidt represents clients in property damage, personal injury, cleanup cost-recovery, and other litigation. He has appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the Superior Court of New Jersey in most counties, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Schmidt counseled the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PA DEP) Water Management, Sewage Facilities, Storage Tanks, Waste Management and Environmental Cleanup Programs. Prior to joining PA DEP, he was a Colorado Assistant Attorney General, assisting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on cutting-edge Superfund risk assessment, remediation and enforcement activities for major Superfund sites, including the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant and several mining sites.

Mr. Schmidt received his law degree and Certificate of Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law where he served as Managing Editor of the Pace Environmental Law Review. He received a B.S. in Biology from Kent State University and spent several years with environmental and industrial hygiene consulting firms before attending law school. Mr. Schmidt is a member of the board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation and a member of the board of the Philadelphia Traffic Club. He previously served as Chair of the Environmental Advisory Commission of Springfield Township in Montgomery County, as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Land Use Subcommittee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Real Property Section, and as member of the board of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council's Advocacy Committee.
Memberships:
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
Certifications:
  • Certificate of Environmental Law, 1992
Education:
  • Kent State University, B.S., 1986
  • Pace University School of Law, J.D., 1992
Law Review:
Managing Editor, Pace Environmental Law Review
Born:1963
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Timothy P. Mullin
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-7345
E-Mail:tpmullin@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile
  • Bad Faith
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Liquor Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Transportation
  • Trucking Law
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1998
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
Timothy P. Mullin practices in a wide range of areas but primarily devotes his practice to litigation matters associated with products liability, construction, premises, transportation and liquor liability. Many of Tim’s cases involve serious catastrophic injuries and wrongful death claims. He also handles appellate and commercial matters, including trademark, construction lien and petroleum litigation.

Tim joined Zarwin Baum in 2003 after practicing litigation at two other law firms in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Tim is an experienced litigator and practiced in the fields of insurance defense, products liability and toxic torts. In addition, Tim has argued cases before the appellate courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the landmark case in the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Hubbard v. Reed.

In law school, Tim was member of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, Widener University School of Law’s most prestigious and respected law review. He also served as a judicial intern for Chief Justice Norman E. Veasey of the Supreme Court of Delaware in 1998.

Tim was selected to "New Jersey Rising Stars" by New Jersey Monthly from 2006 to 2010.
Honors and Awards
• Law Review: Delaware Journal of Corporate Law
• Judicial Internship: Chief Justice Norman E. Veasey Supreme Court of Delaware
• Super Lawyers Rising Star 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
Education:
  • Saint Joseph's University, B.A., 1993
  • Widener University School of Law, J.D., 1998
Law Review:
Delaware Journal of Corporate Law
Clerkship:
Law Clerk for Chief Justice Norman E. Veasey, Supreme Court of Delaware
Born:1971
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Michael Seth Misher
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9607
E-Mail:msmisher@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers' Compensation
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Michael S. Misher has been practicing law for twenty years with his primary focus in matters of personal injury and worker’s compensation.

Michael is a graduate of Ohio Northern University College of Law. He secured his Bachelors of Arts degree from Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, majoring in Economics and minoring in Political Science. Michael was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1996 and has also been admitted to the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He has also prepared briefs for and has argued in the Pennsylvania Appeals Court, and the Third Circuit.

Michael was selected for inclusion among Pennsylvania's "Rising Stars" in 2006 and 2008 by Philadelphia Magazine.
Education:
  • Ursinus College, B.A., 1990
  • Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law, J.D., 1995
Born:1968
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Charity A. Heidenthal
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9618
E-Mail:caheidenthal@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Construction Defect
  • Construction Liability
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • Liquor Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2004
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
Charity A. Heidenthal is a shareholder practicing in Zarwin Baum’s insurance defense litigation department. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of construction defect, professional liability, products liability, premises liability and insurance coverage.

Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Heidenthal served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Patricia McInerney of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Civil Division. Heidenthal earned her law degree from Villanova University School of Law. While enrolled, she also clerked for the Honorable Bernard A. Moore of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Civil Division and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Heidenthal earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Dickinson College.

Heidenthal is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, as well as the District of New Jersey. Heidenthal is also a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. In 2008, 2010, 2013-2016, Heidenthal was named by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”
Memberships:
  • Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • Dickinson College, B.A. (cum laude), 2001
  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2004
Born:1979
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Brendan G. Lamanna
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9629
E-Mail:bglamanna@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Premises Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
  • Workers' Compensation
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Brendan is a shareholder in Zarwin Baum’s Commercial Litigation and Professional Liability practice groups. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has handled a variety of defense related matters, including professional liability, construction defect, product liability, trucking and transportation, automobile liability, premises liability and workers' compensation. More recently, Brendan's practice has focused on complex commercial litigation, including business torts, contracts, shareholder's rights and real estate. Brendan handles all aspects of civil litigation from inception through conclusion, including arbitration, trial, complex settlement and appeal.

In addition to litigating, Brendan also represents a national provider of mobile diagnostic services, negotiating of business agreements, including professional services agreements, consulting and employment agreements, commercial leases and a wide variety of vendor agreements.

In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Brendan was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star, an honor received by only 2.5% of Pennsylvania Lawyers each year. Rising Stars are chosen by their peers as being among the top promising lawyers in the state.
Memberships:
  • American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S., 2003
  • University of Dayton School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 2006
Law Review:
Staff Writer, University of Dayton Law Review
Honors:
Moot Court
Born:1981
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Joseph F. Longo
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9622
E-Mail:jflongo@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
  • Workers' Compensation
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2000
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
As a shareholder in the firm’s insurance defense department, Joe defends a wide range of clients from large commercial enterprises to individuals in general liability matters with a focus on premises liability. Joe handles a wide variety of cases including slip and falls, retail store accidents, assault and battery, retail theft, products liability, legal malpractice, and motor vehicle accidents including trucking and transportation. Joe defends insurance companies, state agencies, self -insured employers and Third Party Administrators in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation matters as well.

Joe has more than ten years’ experience and he has tried cases before juries in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. Joe also has tried cases before arbitrators in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Joe serves as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Memberships:
  • Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • Temple University, B.A., 1996
  • Michigan State University School of Law, J.D., 1999
Born:1973
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J. Fred Lorusso
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:215-825-3582
E-Mail:jflorusso@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile Liability
  • Casualty Defense
  • Construction
  • Liquor Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Property Damage
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
J. Fred Lorusso concentrates his practice in the areas of general casualty defense litigation, including premises, motor vehicle, construction and product liability matters.

Fred graduated from Boston College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Finance and Marketing from the Carroll School of Management. He is a 2003 graduate of the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he received recognition for distinguished performance in trial advocacy and recognition for outstanding oral advocacy. He is a member of the Bars of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Law & Politics Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine named Fred as a "Rising Star," Rising Stars are the top 2 ½ percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania who are 40 years old or younger.

In 2011, Fred was selected to participate in the National Trial Academy sponsored by the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Called the country's top "Boot Camp for Lawyers" in the September 2002 issue of the ABA Journal, the intense 4 ½ day program is held at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, and offers a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from the country's top trial lawyers.

Fred has also volunteered with Philadelphia VIP to provide consistent, high quality pro bono representation to low income clients with critical legal needs. He was a recipient of the 2011 "Pro Bono Roll of Honor" award from the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
Education:
  • Boston College Carrol School of Management, B.S., 1999
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2003
Born:1977
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Senior Associates
Noah Sinclair Shapiro
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9638
E-Mail:nshapiro@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • Liquor Liability
  • Nursing Home Defense
  • Nursing Home Liability
  • Nursing Home Litigation
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2007
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
As an senior associate at Zarwin Baum, Noah S. Shapiro is a member of the insurance casualty defense team focusing his practice on dram shop litigation, personal injury defense, catastrophic loss defense, negligent security defense, premises liability defense, professional liability defense, and insurance coverage.

Noah's primary focus since joining the firm has been the defense of Liquor Liability claims. Noah works closely with Theodore M. Schaer, the team's chair, in the oversight and defense of these claims. Together they have defended numerous bars, restaurants and taverns faced with significant claims arising out of the service of alcohol. Noah is experienced in all areas of state and federal litigation up to and including trial.

Noah began his career at Zarwin Baum in 2006 as a law clerk while attending Temple Law School. He was hired as an associate in 2007 as a result of his excellent academic record, high quality work product, innate understanding of law, and impressive writing talent.

While attending Temple Law School, Noah earned a position on the dean’s list, was noted for distinguished class performance and outstanding oral argument, and was awarded the Hon. Louis C. Bechtle merit scholarship for outstanding academic performance.
Memberships:
  • American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 2004
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2007
Born:1982
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Bryan Werley
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-7368
E-Mail:bpwerley@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile Liability
  • Automobile Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Liquor Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Retail Liability
  • Transportation
  • Truck Liability
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 2004
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
Bryan P. Werley, Esquire, joined the firm in 2012 after many years at his previous firm, and his practice concentrates on complex litigation primarily defending our clients in trucking, construction, mass transit, products and premises liability matters. He comes to our firm with extensive trial experience in these areas and with significant first chair trial experience in both state and federal courts. He has represented Fortune 100 companies, closely held companies, and individuals. In the past, he has also represented clients in matters dealing with wrongful arrest and detention, corporate litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes. He handles a variety of matters involving serious injury and death occurring in connection with transportation, trucking, construction, demolition, premises liability and the use or misuse of consumer products.

Bryan lectures his fellow colleagues with respect to federal practice, having moderated a panel at the 2011 Federal Bench/Bar conference and presented a course, together with fellow attorneys and members of the judiciary, titled "My First Federal Jury Trial," a primer CLE course designed to help younger lawyers prepare for their first trial. Bryan is designated as a "Rising Star," a distinction given by Philadelphia Magazine to only the top 2.5% of lawyers under the age of forty.

In his practice, he defends his clients against claims for serious injuries and catastrophic loss in a wide range of industries. Although he values and tries to resolve cases early in their life, he is ever conscious that many cases will go to trial and prepares them accordingly.
Education:
  • American University, B.A., 2001
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004
Born:1979
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D. Deone Powell
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-0355
E-Mail:ddpowell@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile Liability
  • Casualty Defense
  • Governmental Relations
  • Liquor Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Professional Liability
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
D. Deone Powell focuses his practice on civil defense litigation. Working closely with the firm's litigation chair, he is a member of the insurance casualty defense team where he defends insureds and self-insureds in liquor liability/dram shop litigation, personal injury and general casualty matters. Deone began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge George W. Overton in 2008 then joined Atkins & Cohen, PC as outside counsel to Temple University in 2010.

While attending Temple University School of Law, Deone served as law clerk to the Honorable James Colins, then-President Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. He received multiple notations for distinguished class performance in Civil Procedure, Employment Law, Taxation and Parents, Children & the State. For outstanding performance in Trial Advocacy, Deone was awarded the Barrister's Award in 2007 and has demonstrated his trial acumen since then when second-chairing several major jury trials and independently handling myriad cases resolved by way of alternative dispute resolution.

Deone has had success representing clients pro bono in Family Court for custody and support issues, in Landlord-Tenant Court for wrongful eviction, and before the Board of Revision of Taxes in civilian disputes with the City of Philadelphia over real estate liens.

He is a member of the Youth United for Change Board of Directors and the Lawyers Club of Philadelphia.
Education:
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 2004
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2007
Born:1982
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Associates
Keith G. Gomer
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9633
E-Mail:kggomer@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile
  • Premises Liability
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1988
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Keith focuses his practice on civil defense litigation. He also works with Zarwin Baum senior counsel on a variety of complex litigation matters where there is catastrophic loss and highly technical legal issues.

After graduating from Delaware Law School in 1991, Keith practiced law for seven years at the firm of Datz and Goldberg. Immediately prior to joining the firm of Zarwin Baum, Keith practiced as an insurance defense litigator for eleven years at the firms Mednick, Mezyk and Kredo and Ruthrauff and Associates, primarily handling trial level cases on behalf of insureds with American Independent Insurance Company. Over the years, Keith has litigated more than one hundred trials.

Keith attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Psychology. He received his Juris Doctor from Delaware Law School in 1991.
Education:
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S., 1988
  • Delaware Law School at Widener University, J.D., 1991
Born:1964
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Christopher Mavros
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-0349
E-Mail:cgmavros@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Construction Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2003
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Christopher G. Mavros focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, both locally and throughout the United States. He routinely handles a wide array of catastrophic injury cases from inception through trial, primarily in the areas of construction, products liability, transportation and premises liability. Chris is familiar with a broad range of companies of different sizes and specialties. He has represented a variety of companies in complex litigation, including the automotive, heavy equipment and insurance industries, in both state and federal courts.

Chris' prior experience includes working as national and regional trial counsel for Ford Motor Company and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. on rollover cases and other complex product liability matters. Chris also worked for several years as an associate at a well-respected civil defense firm in Philadelphia, where he acted as one of the lead attorneys of a National Coordinating Counsel team for a national insurance company's Crane and Heavy Machinery Program. Chris attributes much of his success in defending heavy equipment and crane companies to the fact that he has been certified in mobile crane operation and safety since 2007.

Chris' experience also includes litigating advanced product failure claims involving a broad range of products, such as automobiles, medical devices and industrial equipment. These cases include large scale fires, crashworthiness claims and gas line explosions. With an extensive background in product failure cases, Chris has considerable knowledge of fire, electrical and mechanical engineering issues.

Chris was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2012-2015, as well as a New Jersey Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2012, a distinction reserved for only the top 2.5 percent of attorneys 40 and younger.
Memberships:
  • American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1999
  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2002
Born:1977
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Sharlenn Pratt
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:267-765-9617
E-Mail:sepratt@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Automobile Liability
  • Construction Liability
  • Employment
  • Liquor Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2003
  • New Jersey
  • New York, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Sharlenn E. Pratt is an associate practicing in Zarwin Baum's insurance defense litigation department. Her practice focuses on a diverse range of civil litigation matters, including restaurant and hospitality liability, professional, products, premises, and liquor liability as well as construction defects. Before joining the firm, Sharlenn was an associate at Barker, Scott & Gelfand, where for more than five years she defended municipalities and municipal employees in numerous complex civil matters involving federal and state civil rights and statutory employment discrimination.

Sharlenn is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. She is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts, District of New Jersey and United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

In 2002, Sharlenn earned her law degree from Rutgers University School of Law, Camden Campus. While attending law school, she participated in the Hunter-Advanced Moot Court Competition and received the Excellence in Litigation Award from the Center of Forensic Economic Studies. She also served as a judicial intern for the United States District Court Judge, Joel A. Pisano. Upon graduation, Sharlenn served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Michael J. Nelson of the New Jersey Superior Court.

Sharlenn earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Drexel University in 1999, where she was awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for three consecutive years and the Dean Popadakis Award for Senior Excellence in Academics.
Education:
  • Drexel University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1999
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 2002
Born:1977
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Katelyn Czarnik
Philadelphia, PA
Telephone:215-569-2800
E-Mail:KTCzarnik@zarwin.com
Practice Areas
  • Construction Liability
  • Liquor Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 2013
Katelyn Taylor Czarnik joined Zarwin Baum in 2011 as a law clerk after her first year of law school and continued with the firm through her remaining two years. After graduating from Villanova University School of Law in May of 2013, Katelyn joined our defense group under Theodore M. Schaer, group chair, concentrating her practice on complex litigation, primarily defending our clients in trucking, mass transit, products liability and premises liability matters.

While at Villanova, Katelyn was chosen by Pepper Hamilton, LLP to participate in their Business and Entrepreneurship Program in their Berwyn office as one of two interns for the spring of 2012. During law school Katelyn was an active member of the Corporate Law Society and she also represented Villanova Law in the 2013 Transactional LawMeet Competition held at Drexel Law. During her third year at Villanova, Katelyn participated in the Villanova University School of Law Federal Tax Clinic. Through the Clinic, Katelyn represented low-income tax payers in reaching an amicable resolution of their issues with the Internal Revenue Service.

Before attending law school, Katelyn worked as a Claims Consultant for a local brokerage firm where she facilitated the claims process for many national trucking companies and commercial property owners. Through her previous work experience, Katelyn brings constructive knowledge of the insurance industry and a valuable insight into the handling of insurance claims. Katelyn graduated from La Salle University with a B.S. in Finance and Business Management. She was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and participated in many community service projects through her membership.
Memberships:
  • New Jersey State and Philadelphia Bar Associations
Education:
  • La Salle University, B.S., 2009
  • Villanova Law School, J.D., 2013
Born:1988
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