Ralph P. Bocchino

Chair, Social Services & Human Services Liability Practice Group
Senior Counsel

A member of the firm since 1980, Ralph P. Bocchino is a senior shareholder and the chair of Casualty Group I in Philadelphia. In this role he oversees the workflow and administration of files for 15 attorneys and support staff.

Ralph has litigated a plethora of civil defense matters in the areas of product liability, premises liability, construction law and defect litigation, and motor vehicle liability including truck and bus accidents. Ralph was formerly the chair of the firm's Amusement, Sports & Entertainment Litigation Practice Group and, as such, represents amusement parks and entertainment venues.

In addition to his many achievements in the Casualty Department, Ralph has also litigated defamation and legal malpractice cases. He has represented universities, special needs schools, and institutions in claims alleging sexual, physical, and emotional abuse on behalf of the Elwyn Institute and a number of 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations, individual schools and entities in all types of liability, including but not limited to child molestation and abuse. He has also counseled nursing homes in elopement and sepsis cases.

When Ralph started at the firm, he was assigned to handle asbestos matters. At the time, the firm represented Johns Mansville Corporation, the largest producer of asbestos, and Ralph was the youngest attorney in the nation to successfully defend the company. His work earned him the "Order of the Salamander Award" for litigation excellence from Johns Mansville. (Coger v. Johns Mansville Corporation, et al.)

Ralph frequently lectures for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Young Lawyers Association of Philadelphia on current civil procedure and legal issues. Ralph has also lectured at LaSalle University where he taught Real Estate, Business Law and Corporation courses. He has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer consecutively since 2006 and holds an AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell rating for more than 25 years.

If Ralph is not in the office or in a courtroom, he can be found coaching various youth sports teams. Ralph is a licensed soccer coach and licensed referee. He has been coaching soccer for more than 25 years. He is the President of the Hunter Soccer Club, a non-profit youth organization in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Ralph and all of the volunteers at Hunter were honored by the Abington Community Task Force for Hunter's service to youth since 1962. Ralph was elected to the Bishop McDevitt High School "Hall of Fame" for more than 30 years of coaching, referring and umpiring youth sports in the community.

Significant Representative Matters

Defense verdict for manufacturer of concrete mixers in a suit claiming defective design in a truck roll-over matter.

Defense verdict for a garbage truck manufacturer for alleged defective design and failure to warn a truck driver who fell from the truck and required multiple surgeries.

Represented a personal care home in an elopement case where a resident left the premises and was found three weeks later drowned in the Delaware River. The court granted a compulsory non-suit based on the law of Pennsylvania and personal care homes.

Defense verdict on behalf of a manufacturer of a saw when a worker inadvertently sawed off part of his arm in a work-related accident.

Was the first attorney in Philadelphia to have an Azzarello hearing granted in a product liability case. A hearing was conducted before trial and then after the motion was granted, trial was commenced with product liability removed from the case, and a defense verdict was rendered thereafter by the empanelled jury. [Azzarello deals with having a court decide if a product is defective before trial, as a matter of law and fact.]

Received a defense verdict representing a 'mom and pop' hair salon when one of the customers claimed that they had a severe fall down the salon steps and required a hip replacement and knee replacement surgery.

Defense verdict received in representing an amusement park where a teenager drowned.

Defense verdict in a ski death case in upstate Pennsylvania.

Defense verdict in an asbestos case representing Johns Mansville Corporation, the largest manufacturer of asbestos products in the world in Philadelphia County, in 1980.

Defense verdict for an amusement park where a young child had severe lacerations and fractures from being injured in a sliding board accident.

Defense verdict in a gymnastics accident involving allegations of torn hamstrings, ruptured piriformus muscle and low back surgery following alleged improper stretching and warm-up exercises by a gymnastics instructor and coach.

Argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in an elevator accident case trying to maintain a Rule 50(A) Motion, which was granted at trial by the trial court, involving multiple back surgeries following an elevator accident.

Two defense verdicts in fraud matters involving staged automobile accidents.

Classes/Seminars Taught

Hills and Ridges Doctrine and discussion of Collins v. Philadelphia Suburban Development Co., Client Seminar, May 2018

Lights, Camera, Evidence!, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI), Philadelphia PA, December 5, 2017

Accident Prevention and Investigation: Strategies for Risk Mitigation, Client Presentation, April 2017

Risk Shifting and Indemnity and Additional Insured Status, Ohio Casualty, April 2013

Nuances of the Political Subdivision Torts Claims Act, Ohio Casualty, April 2013

Dram Shop Liquor LiabilityMarkel Insurance Co. and Markel International Insurance, August 2011

The New Fair Share Act, Markel Insurance Co. and Markel International Insurance, August 2011

Comparative Negligence Act of Pennsylvania; Alternatives in Discovery; Jury Verdicts and Jury Issues in Philadelphia and Outlying Counties, Ohio Casualty, April 2010

Potpourri, "The Black Box," discuss varying topics including computer chips and information, equipment in various vehicles, automobiles, and trucks (2005/2007).

Discovery, Rules of Civil Procedure and Bad Faith in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Bar Institute

Releases and Uniform Contribution Among Joint Tortfeasors Act, LaSalle Alumni Law Luncheon

Discovery Techniques and Trial Techniques, Young Lawyers Association of Philadelphia

Published Works

Risk Shifting and Indemnity and Additional Insured Status, Ohio Casualty, April 2013

“MAP-21 and the Role of Black-Box Recorders in Discovery,”  The Legal Intelligencer, June 5, 2012

"When Pucks and Foul Balls Fly No Duty Rule of Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 2002

"Punitive Damages and Deceased Defendants," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, March 8, 1999 and, Defense Digest, Vol 4, No. 6, 1998

"The Blizzard's Backlash: A Symposium on Issues Confronting Pennsylvania and New Jersey Property Owners," Co-Author, Defense Digest, March, 1996

"Challenges to Venue Produce Positive Result," Defense Digest, Fall, 1992

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Temple University School of Law (J.D., 1979)
La Salle College (B.A., 1976)
Honors & awards
Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
Honored Member of Who's Who in Practicing Attorneys
"Order of the Salamander Award," 1990
Associations & memberships
American Bar Association
Justinian Society
Lawyers Club of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pennsylvania Defense Institute
Philadelphia Bar Association
Year joined

OSHA 10-Hour Construction Certification