On the Pulse…Thriving ‘Here in Allentown’

Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019

By Jason Banonis, Esq.*

Allentown, Pennsylvania bears little resemblance to its description in the 1982 Billy Joel hit song, written to depict a depressed, blue collar world of the Lehigh Valley in the wake of Bethlehem Steel’s decline. Today, the greater Lehigh Valley, conveniently located in close proximity to two major metropolitan areas in Philadelphia and New York City, remains a manufacturing stronghold and has become a warehouse distribution mecca—attracting many Fortune 500 companies and foreign corporations. In the Valley’s three major cities—Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton—revitalization efforts have led to significant real estate development. These include billions of dollars of health care, higher education, sports and entertainment, major retail, and residential and commercial projects. The many beneficiaries of this growth continue to look to the Allentown office of Marshall Dennehey for its wide-ranging legal services, depth of experience, and unparalleled stability and reputation.

Marshall Dennehey has advanced steadily in Allentown since the pioneering days of the early 1980s. Today, it is the largest, most established and highly-regarded defense litigation office in the region. Our attorneys defend and try civil cases in every state and federal court within the six counties of east-central Pennsylvania and beyond. Currently, we have ten attorneys, all of whom have deep local ties to the community, as well as ten excellent administrative staff, many with over 25 years with the firm. Our office manager, Donna Stauble, keeps us on our toes to ensure that everything runs efficiently and smoothly.

While we are one of the firm’s smaller offices, we cover the full spectrum of claims across the firm’s four practice departments: Casualty, Health Care, Workers’ Compensation and Professional Liability.

The Casualty Department in Allentown is the largest group and handles all areas of third-party civil actions involving personal injury or property damage. Our attorneys in this group include shareholders Brent Green, Wendy O’Connor, Dave Williams, and myself and associate Steve Keim. Collectively, we have more than 100 years of experience handling cases throughout the Lehigh Valley, we all are highly active in the bar, various local, charitable and civic organizations, and local government. We are well-known to local judges and are well-respected as formidable, ethical and experienced litigators. The cases we handle range from the smallest of claims to complex matters, including catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases. Practice areas in which we are experienced include transportation and trucking, construction accidents, construction defects, premises liability, automobile liability, liquor liability, sports and entertainment, product liability and warranty cases, intentional torts and more.

The Allentown Health Care Department is led by Paul Laughlin, a trial attorney with over 30 years of experience. Paul’s trial resume is rare and accomplished—he is regularly consulted and substituted as lead counsel on many types of complex matters. Paul, Dave Williams and Wendy O’Connor represent institutional clients such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician practice groups, surgical centers and individual health care providers, such as physicians, nurses, dentists and a variety of other individuals who deliver medical care. The nature, complexity and monetary exposure involved with the matters defended by this practice group fuels the necessity for extensive trial practice before courts all over Pennsylvania.

Paul Lees leads our Professional Liability Department. Paul has 30 years of experience defending all manner of professionals outside of the health care industry. These clients include higher education institutions; lawyers; real estate agents; architects, engineers, and construction industry professionals; insurance agents, insurance companies and claims professionals; and employers, public officials, municipalities and law enforcement officers. As well, Paul represents clients in all stages of employment proceedings, including matters pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and, thereafter, within state trial courts and federal district courts.

The Workers’ Compensation Department, headed locally by accomplished workers’ compensation attorney Bill Scott, defends state claims across our entire practice region. Bill and Judd Woytek remain in high demand for workers’ compensation defense litigation, particularly for matters involving claims under the Federal Black Lung Benefits Act.

For more than 30 years, the Allentown office has provided excellence in civil defense litigation services at the crossroads and forefront of the greater Lehigh Valley area and beyond. We stand ready to assist with your litigation needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or inquiries, or feel free to stop by if you are passing through.

*Jason Banonis is the managing shareholder of our Allentown, Pennsylvania office. He can be reached at 484.895.2338 or jmbanonis@mdwcg.com.



Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2019 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.