William L. Banton Jr.

Co-Chair, Behavioral Health Risk and Liability Practice Group
Senior Counsel

    William is a member of the Human Relations Committee and serves as vice-chair of the Hiring Committee at Marshall Dennehey. He is also the co-chair of the Behavioral Health Risk and Liability Practice Group.

    Since 1994, William has focused his practice primarily on medical malpractice litigation and long-term care liability. He has also practiced in the areas of mental health (e.g., foster care abuse and sexual abuse), general liability and civil rights defense. William has defended major asbestos manufacturers in toxic tort matters and has represented the interests of numerous municipalities in the state of Pennsylvania in various civil rights cases litigated in federal court.

    Ninety-nine percent of the cases William has tried were to a jury. He obtained defense verdicts in a large number of these cases, and some trials ended in a verdict or settlement significantly below the settlement demands. For example, William successfully defended a pediatrician in a case where the settlement demand was $7 million. He obtained the dismissal of his physician client following oral argument, just prior to trial. William also obtained favorable settlements for clients in several cases involving demands in excess of $3 million. In addition, he obtained a directed verdict in a trial involving the death of a juvenile following a methadone overdose.

    William is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following graduation, William attended the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he obtained his juris doctor in 1983. William returned to the Philadelphia area and accepted a clerkship with the Honorable Theodore A. McKee, formerly of the Court of Common Pleas and, currently, Chief Judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Upon completion of a challenging one-year clerkship, William served as an assistant city solicitor and eventually obtained the status of assistant chief city solicitor for the Philadelphia Law Department, where he tried numerous cases involving alleged civil rights violations by the Philadelphia Police Department and corrections officers for the Philadelphia prisons.

    In June 1985, William entered the private practice of law, where he refined his skills in a wide variety of litigation matters at two area law firms before joining Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin in November 1990. 

    William has lectured before various insurance organizations, educating physicians about the litigation process. He has also participated in mock trial seminars, including a seminar for the Philadelphia Aids Law Project whose goal is to educate the public on issues of discrimination encountered by people with a diagnoses of HIV/Aids. William was also invited by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to participate in a mock trial at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Additionally, he participated in a mock trial competition for high school students in the Philadelphia School District in association with the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

    William has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates since 2005. He was recently honored by his peers and chosen for membership to a select group of lawyers in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was also selected for membership into the American College of Trial Lawyers. William has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2006 in the area of personal injury defense – medical malpractice.

    William is also the president of the Latham Park Home Owners Association and serves on the board of directors of Intercommunity Action, Inc. 

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    The Do's and Don'ts of Trial Advocacy, Health Care and Health Law Seminar, Marshall Dennehey, November 5, 2015

    Masters in Trial Program, faculty member, The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 9, 2014

    Training Seminar/Medical Update Regarding "Never Events"; Medicare/Medicaid Reporting and Its Effects on Medical Record Documentation,County Commissioner's Association of Pennsylvania, August 2009

    Managing Complex Litigation, The National Judicial College, July 2008

    Published Works

    "Child Protective Services Law: Implications for Behavioral Health Organizations," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, March/April 2021

    Southern University Law Center (J.D., 1983)
    Temple University (A.S., 1979; B.A., 1980)
    Honors & awards
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
    Associations & memberships
    American Board of Trial Advocates
    American College of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    Philadelphia Bar Association
    Year joined