Donald L. Carmelite


    Donald is a member of the Professional Liability Department where he focuses his practice on the defense of public entities, police, prison and correctional officers, as well as elected officials in civil rights, employment and land use matters.  

    In addition to the core areas of his practice, Don also handles a wide array of complex litigation involving liability for environmental, liquor/dram shop and professional claims.  He has additional experience representing real estate professionals in every type of claim arising from the sale of a property covered by E&O policies and has defended claims made against licensed Brokers and Agents in a property manager capacity for HOAs.  He also has years of experience defending motor vehicle and premises liability suits.

    During his career, Don has served as first chair in over 10 jury trials and bench trials.  He also has extensive mediation experience.

    Don is very active in his community. He currently coaches a 10U travel hockey team, and previously served as a member of Vestry (board of directors) for Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in York, Pennsylvania.  He is also the past president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Harrisburg Chapter.  Additionally, he previously served as a committeeman for the Dauphin County Republican Committee in Harrisburg, 5th Ward, and remains active in local politics.

    Don received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University and his juris doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Thereafter, Don served as law clerk to the Honorable Michael L. Krancer at the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.





    Significant Representative Matters

    Obtained dismissal, in favor of liquor licensee, of all claims in general negligence; reaffirming that the exclusive remedy for an injured person is statutorily found in the Dram Shop Act based upon service of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron, January 2018

    Obtained summary judgment in favor of a police office and township in excessive use of force and failure to train claim, October 2017 

    Obtained summary judgment, upheld by the Third Circuit, in favor of County Children and Youth Services Agency its social worker in parental rights claim, August 2017

    Obtained discontinuance in favor of county vo-tech for negligence claims precluded by the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, April 2017

    Obtained dismissal in favor of  District Attorney in a Malicious Prosecution Claim, March 2017 

    Obtained dismissal from EEOC of Township employee's age discrimination claim, August 2016 

    Obtained summary judgment in favor of county prison and corrections officers for claims of excessive use of force, October 2016 

    Obtained discontinuance in favor of regional police department and its officers for claims of illegal search and seizure of personal property, July 2016 

    No causation jury defense verdict in a claim where plaintiff was determined to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, through the use of surveillance video and plaintiff's social media postings, January 2013 

    Successfully obtained a zero dollar defense verdict in an admitted liability motor vehicle accident and motorcycle case, which had a pretrial demand for policy limits, July 2010

    Successfully obtained a zero dollar defense verdict arising from a drunk driving accident with a pretrial demand for policy limits, October 2010

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Mobile Devices: Don't Let Good Reception Be Game Over, Dauphin County Bar Association, January 2018 and Cumberland County American Inns of Court, December 2017 

    Personal Training For Client on All Aspects of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, March 2016

    Political Subdivision Claims Act, School Claims Services LLC, December 12, 2014

    Social Media in Litigation: Reloaded, a Closer Look at Using Social Media in Your Cases, Dauphin County Bar Association, Harrisburg, PA, June 24, 2014

    How To Try a Case in State Court, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA, June 16, 2014

    Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, Real Property Exception, client seminar, February 2014

    Basics of Litigation Involving State and Local Government, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2013 

    Published Works

    “Discovering, Authenticating & Utilizing Social Media in Litigation: Strategy Considerations,” co-author, Defense Digest, Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2014

    "Thumbs Up for Qualified Immunity," co-author, Defense Digest, 2011-03, Vol. 17, No. 1

    "The Bar Is Set: A Liquor Licensee's Duty to Third Persons in a Civil Suit," Defense Digest, 2008-09, Vol. 14, No. 3

    U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
    University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D., 1999)
    Pennsylvania State University (B.A., 1996)
    Honors & awards
    BV® Distinguished™ Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star
    Susquehanna Valley Select Lawyers™
    Associations & memberships
    American Inns of Court
    Cumberland County Bar Association
    Dauphin County Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Year joined