Rawle & Henderson Announces the Promotion of Eight New Firm Partners

Published on January 9, 2023

Rawle & Henderson, LLP is pleased to announce that the following eight attorneys have been promoted to Partners of the Firm: Matthew Chapman, Susan Dean, Thomas DiStefano, Joelle Florax, Iolanda D’Ambrosi-Francavilla, Patrice O’Brien, Jocelyne C. Peregoy and David Samlin.

This new group of Partners – which is comprised of five women and three men – come from five of the Firm’s 13 offices across the Mid-Atlantic region. The addition of these individuals will continue to provide Rawle & Henderson a greater ability to handle diverse matters across all areas of law.

“We are excited to promote eight exceptional lawyers to partners in the oldest law firm in the United States. Their exceptionalism honors the firm, their individual achievements honor their clients and the practice of law,” said John C. McMeekin II, Partner in our Philadelphia office and member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

“Our new partners were selected by the partnership generally demonstrating that they have the respect of their colleagues and peers in their legal communities. This is also the most diverse group of partners in Rawle & Henderson’s history. We are continuing to develop and promote exceptional lawyers as we head toward the firm’s 250th anniversary.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Susan Dean has represented major petrochemical companies, REITs, and owners of contaminated properties on environmental obligations and liabilities and in the defense of claims by third parties for property damages, diminution of property value, loss of use, trespass, personal injury and medical monitoring. She has experience defending clients in environmental and LUST class actions. She works directly with regulators, consultants, remedial contractors and clients to develop and implement best practices for cost effective remediations and no further action determinations. She is an active participant in the MTBE MDL. Ms. Dean is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Widener University School of Law.

Patrice S. O’Brien has practiced as a civil trial lawyer for more than 30 years in the areas of medical malpractice, products liability, catastrophic loss and premises liability in the Mid-Atlantic region. Patrice served a two-year term as co-chair of the Medical–Legal Committee of the State Civil Litigation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. In December of 2022, the firm awarded her the William Rawle award for Public Service based on her continued dedication to volunteer work in the community. Ms. O’Brien is a graduate of Delaware Valley College and The Catholic University of America.

Jocelyne C. Peregoy is an experienced trial attorney with numerous defense verdicts in product and premises liability cases. Ms. Peregoy has argued cases before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and prepared appellate briefs in matters of first impression before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Ms. Peregoy authored articles on liability resulting from injuries adjacent to commercial enterprises and forum non-conveniens. She serves as an arbitrator in the Philadelphia County compulsory arbitration program. Ms. Peregoy is a graduate of The College of New Jersey, the Temple University School of Law and recently earned her MBA from La Salle University.

David J. Samlin concentrates his law practice on general litigation, environmental torts, product liability, premises liability, and construction. Mr. Samlin has represented clients in the defense of environmental matters including underground storage tank (UST) cases, groundwater contamination cases, and claim eligibility determinations. Mr. Samlin has worked with national and multi-national corporations in the defense of claims brought in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including premises and construction cases, and regularly consults with engineers and risk-management professionals. Mr. Samlin is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Villanova University School of Law.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Thomas DiStefano focuses his law practice in the areas of insurance coverage, commercial motor vehicle defense, casualty & premises liability, medical professional liability, product liability, and environmental, toxic and mass torts. Thomas is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania (2006) as well as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Rawle & Henderson LLP, he was an attorney with a business and real estate law firm in Pittsburgh. He served as Assistant District Attorney for the Bucks County District Attorney’s office in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, from 2007 to 2011. Mr. DiStefano is a graduate of Penn State University and the Villanova School of Law.

Wilmington, Delaware

Joelle Florax concentrates her practice in environmental, mass and toxic torts, medical professional liability, casualty and premises liability, property damage, construction accidents and product liability claims. Her experience includes serving as a Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice, where she successfully tried numerous cases prosecuting adult and juvenile felony and misdemeanor cases and assisting the police agencies in Delaware with all aspects of their investigations. Joelle also established an educational program for local police departments and educated officers regarding compliance with Delaware law. Ms. Florax is a graduate of Temple University and the Widener University School of Law.

New York City, New York

Iolanda D’Ambrosi-Francavilla is a Partner in the Downtown Manhattan office of Rawle & Henderson LLP. She concentrates her practice in the area of medical professional liability. Admitted to practice law in New York, Ms. D’Ambrosi-Francavilla is a graduate of the New York Law School and St. John’s University.

Wheeling, West Virginia

Matthew G. Chapman focuses his law practice on environmental, mass and toxic torts, product liability, construction, insurance coverage and employment relations. Matthew was selected as a West Virginia Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and he has been appointed to, and serves as, the Chairman of the West Virginia State Elections Commission. He is a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Law.

For more information or to reach an attorney directly, please visit www.rawle.com.

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