Jason Banonis

Office Managing Attorney

Jason is a highly accomplished defense attorney with more than 20 years of experience handling complex casualty litigation. He serves as the Allentown office managing attorney and supervisor of the office’s casualty litigation.

Throughout his career, Jason has defended hundreds of premises liability, sports and entertainment, retail, dram shop, motor vehicle and product liability matters, trying several cases to verdict. He has also represented Fortune 500 companies and a considerable number of service providers in sports and entertainment, retail, corrections, healthcare, facilities, restaurant and bar industries. 

In addition to his seasoned trial advocacy skills, he regularly uses focused discovery and technology to effectively and creatively represent his clients in a cost-efficient manner.  He was also involved in the MDL litigation for a distributor of latex products. He regularly serves as a court-appointed arbitrator in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also serves as a Judge Pro Tem and Discovery Judge Pro Tem in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Among his numerous professional affiliations, Jason is the Past President and Board Member of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI), a 400-member organization comprised of lawyers, insurance company executives, self-insurers, and independent adjusters who are focused on promoting the interests of the civil litigation defense bar.  In July 2020 he received the PDI's "Defense Attorney of the Year" Award for his statewide efforts in conjunction with the plaintiff’s bar to reopen Pennsylvania courts and law offices during the Covid-19 pandemic.  He also has received the Defense Research Institute’s Exceptional Performance Citation for 2019-2020.  He has participated extensively as a panelist or moderator for various Continuing Legal Education programs.  He most recently presented to the Northampton County Bar Association on the topic of Representing Your Client at an Online/Virtual Mediation.  

Jason is also an appointed member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Covid-19 Task Force.  As one of the civil defense bar representatives, he is developing processes, technologies and rules recommendations that will enable the legal system to continue operations under crisis conditions.

Devoted to community service, Jason is Vice President of Lower Saucon Township Council.  He formerly served for ten years as the Chairman of the Lower Saucon Township Zoning Hearing Board, deciding substantive and procedural challenges to the validity of land use ordinances. 

Significant Representative Matters

Obtained a unanimous defense verdict in a civil jury trial in Northampton County, Pa. under COVID restrictions. In this premises liability case, the plaintiff claimed he had slipped on snow and ice on a sidewalk and suffered a comminuted tri-malleolar fracture, requiring two surgeries. The demand was $130K and Jason’s best offer was $75K. At trial, Jason demonstrated that the plaintiff failed to establish that the accident occurred on the property his client maintained as power-of-attorney and that his client breached any limited duty owed to a licensee. The socially-distanced jury returned its verdict in an hour. 

Obtained summary judgment for a hospital operating room management consulting company for premises liability claims resulting in alleged traumatic brain injury where demand was $1.9 million.

Obtained defense verdict for a bowling alley for premises liability claims resulting in alleged brachial plexus injury where demand was $250,000.

Obtained a summary judgment in a Monroe County apartment complex slip and fall on snow and ice case.  The Court determined that the evidence adduced by plaintiff did not meet the requirements for the Hills and Ridges Doctrine (i.e. that snow and ice had accumulated on the ground in ridges or elevations of such size and character as to unreasonably obstruct travel and constitute a danger to pedestrians). The Court also found that there was no proof of a dangerous condition or notice of the condition to establish a breach of duty.  The Court did not reach the merits of our assumption of risk arguments.

Obtained summary judgment for a correctional services food services provider for toxic tort claims of correctional officers alleging exposure to mold in the prison where demand was in excess of $1 million.

Successfully and economically resolved a complex premises liability case at an air cargo distribution hub through creative use of meteorology experts and discovery.

Successfully and economically resolved a complex industrial shelving unit collapse case resulting in catastrophic head injury through creative use of biomechanical and engineering experts.

Successfully and economically resolved a medical product liability case involving a catheter sheath through effective use of engineering and design experts.

Successfully and economically resolved a products liability case involving a motorized yard truck through effective use of engineering and human factors experts.

Obtained summary judgment for a tree removal service based on plaintiff's failure to file action within statute of limitations.

Obtained defense verdict at trial in a low speed motor vehicle accident through effective use of photographs, damages estimates and medical experts.

Successfully obtained dismissal of the distributor of an allegedly defective log splitter.

Successfully defended construction liability case where the demand was $10 million by showing that the action of my client was not the proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries.

Classes/Seminars Taught

Civil Litigation State of Affairs – The Impact of COVID-19 in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida & What’s Next – Moderator, Marshall Dennehey Client Webinar, June, 2021

Civil Litigation Updates in COVID-19 Litigation – Where Do We Stand One Year Later? Marshall Dennehey Webinar , May, 2021

How to Represent Your Client in Virtual Mediation, webinar presented by Northampton County Bar Association, May 21, 2020

An Overview of Pennsylvania Law and Effective Litigation Management Strategies, Marshall Dennehey Client Seminar, June 2015

An Overview of Pennsylvania Automobile Liability, Marshall Dennehey Client Seminar, April 2015

Issues and Defenses in Pennsylvania Premises Liability Cases, American National Red Cross' Dedicated Liability Unit, July 2011

Pennsylvania Liability Seminar, Crawford & Company

Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Liability Seminar, Laidlaw Transit, Inc.

Persuasion, Civility and How Jurors Make Decisions, Panelist and moderator, Pennsylvania Defense Institute North Region Ethics CLE Program

Advanced General Liability Seminar, organizer and moderator, PDI East with federal and state judges

Published Works

“Social Media: the Discoverable Window to the Trust,” LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell,  September 21, 2011 and  Defense Digest, Vol. 17, No. 3, September 2011

New Jersey
Widener University School of Law (J.D., 1999)
Bucknell University (B.S.B.A., 1994)
Honors & awards
2020 Pennsylvania Trailblazer, The Legal Intelligencer
Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) COVID-19 Task Force
Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI), Defense Attorney of the Year, 2020
Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star
Associations & memberships
American Bar Association
Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Defense Research Institute
Lehigh County Bar Association
Lower Saucon Township Zoning Hearing Board
Northampton County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pennsylvania Defense Institute, (PDI) Co-chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee 2021; President 2019; Executive Vice President 2017-2018; Treasurer 2016-2017; Secretary 2015-2016; Board of Directors 2011-Present
Temple American Inn of Court, 2000-2001
Year joined