August 18, 2020

October 2016: NY Super Lawyers, Conference Speakers, Constitution Program


Rawle & Henderson LLP is pleased to announce that Robert A. Fitch has been named a 2016 New York Metro Super Lawyer by the publishers of Law & Politics. Super Lawyers selects attorneys each year for recognition through a rigorous nomination process that includes peer review by practice area and independent research on candidates. Only the top 5% of the lawyers in the New York metro area are chosen annually for this honor. Bob was also selected as a Super Lawyer in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He is the resident partner in the Rawle & Henderson LLP New York City office. Bob concentrates his practice in the defense of architects and engineers, construction, medical and oral surgery malpractice claims, and commercial motor vehicle litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law. He is admitted to practice in New York since 1974, as well as in federal courts in Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He has tried over 100 cases to verdict and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Federal Bar Council, PIAA and Trucking Industry Defense Association. He has a peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell of AV (the highest).

Bob can be reached directly at: (212) 323-7060 •

James Modzelewski, a partner in the Long Island office of Rawle & Henderson LLP, has been selected as a 2016 New York Super Lawyer.  James focuses his practice on defending health care professionals—including dentists, oral surgeons and physicians—in malpractice matters and defending general liability matters. He has over 15 years of experience in these areas and handles all phases of civil litigation, including trials, as well as alternative dispute resolution. James also has considerable appellate experience, including appeals in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division in the First, Second and Third Departments, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. James earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998 and his B.A. in Political Science from the University at Albany in 1995. He was also chosen as a New York Super Lawyer in 2014 and 2015.

James can be reached directly at: (516) 294-2007 •


Iolanda V. Francavilla has joined our New York City office as an associate. She concentrates her practice in the area of medical professional liability. Iolanda earned her J.D. from New York Law School in 2009. While she attended law school, she served as Executive Editor of the Media Law and Policy Journal. She was President of the Italian Law Student Association and speaks fluent Italian. She served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Anthony I. Giacobbe in the Supreme Court of Richmond County, Staten Island, New York, from September 2009–January 2010. She earned a B.S. in Communication Arts, magna cum laude, from St. John’s University in 2005. She was on the Dean’s List from 2001 to 2005. Iolanda is admitted to practice in New York State.

Iolanda can be reached directly at: (212) 323-7079 •


Gary N. Stewart, a partner in our Harrisburg office, will speak at the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) Annual Seminar in Baltimore on October 13. Gary will be a panelist for an October 13 session titled “The Intersection of Criminal Law & Trucking: Send Lawyers, Guns & Money.” The session will include a discussion of some of the complex issues that arise in serious and fatal trucking accidents where the truck driver faces criminal charges for his or her actions or conduct related to the accident.

Gary N. Stewart is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Rhode Island, the District of Connecticut and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Third Circuits. He graduated magna cum laude from the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, and holds U.S. Coast Guard professional licenses as Master of Oceans, Steam or Motor Vessels up to 1600 gross tons as well as Chief Officer, unlimited tonnage, all oceans. Gary has been selected by his peers as a Transportation/Maritime Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in 2016, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

Gary can be reached directly at (717) 234-7730 •


John C. McMeekin II and Julie Nord Friedman participated in a panel presentation at the Annual National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) Conference on September 22 in Chicago. Their session was titled “Challenging the Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction and the Rise of Specific Jurisdiction Post-Daimler.” They discussed how and when to best avail clients of a challenge to personal jurisdiction and the potential pitfalls to consider. In addition, their presentation covered forum non conveniens and removal as strategies to challenge the plaintiff’s choice of venue. If you were unable to attend and are interested in learning more on this topic, John and Julie are available to present the session at your offices.

John C. McMeekin II is a partner in our Philadelphia office. He represents clients as local, national and trial counsel in environmental, toxic and mass torts product and related class actions, products liability, insurance coverage and aviation litigation. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law. John is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and related U.S. District Courts as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. He has been published in professional and law review journals on a variety of topics related to toxic tort and environmental litigation throughout the United States and at law schools in Japan, China and Korea. His significant cases can be found in the BNA Law Reports and Law 360. He has volunteered as an emergency medical technician and is a volunteer firefighter with HazMat certification. He is a past Chair of the ABA TIPS Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee and the International Law Committee, Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Environmental and Toxic Tort Law Committee and is a Barrister with the Environmental Inn of Court. He served as Revenue Officer and is a member of the ABA TIPS Council. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. John is a member of Rawle & Henderson LLP’s Executive Committee.

John can be reached directly at: (215) 575-4324 •

Julie Nord Friedman is a partner in our Pittsburgh office. She concentrates her practice on the defense of manufacturers, suppliers and contractors in mass and toxic tort litigation, with an emphasis on asbestos litigation. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to regional contractors and suppliers. She is a National Coordinating Counsel for one client and she also acts as trial counsel in the defense of claims in mass tort and toxic tort litigation and regularly handles matters for multiple clients in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Julie is active in the Defense Research Institute and is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. Julie has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. She earned her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her B.A. from the American University in Washington, D.C. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of West Virginia.

Julie can be reached directly at: (412) 261-5709 •


Deborah A. Beck (l.) and Erin E. Lamb (r.) present a program on the U.S. Constitution at Laurel Hill Mansion.

Rawle & Henderson attorneys Deborah A. Beck and Erin E. Lamb presented a program on the U.S. Constitution to attendees at Laurel Hill Mansion in East Fairmount Park on September 18. The presentation served as the closing event to celebrate Women for Greater Philadelphia’s 40th Anniversary programs as Stewards of Laurel Hill Mansion since 1976.  Deborah and Erin discussed firm founder William Rawle’s 1825 book A View of the Constitution of the United States of America and showed how the country’s view of the Constitution has changed over the years to the present day.

Rawle & Henderson has partnered with Women for Greater Philadelphia ( on numerous Constitution Programs over the years, begun at the suggestion of former Rawle & Henderson LLP attorney Lowell A. Reed, Jr.  Reed was a partner at Rawle & Henderson from 1963 until 1988, when he was selected as a federal judge. He has been a strong supporter of Women for Greater Philadelphia dating back to the Bicentennial in 1976. Reed served as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He assumed senior status in 1999.

L-r.: Bette Young, Alma Jacobs and Karen Phinney of Women for Greater Philadelphia with Erin Lamb and Deborah Beck at Laurel Hill Mansion. A portrait of William Rawle hangs on the wall behind them.

The land on which Laurel Hill Mansion stands was purchased in 1760 by Francis Rawle, William Rawle’s father. The house was erected in 1767. William Rawle, who founded Rawle & Henderson as “The Rawle Law Offices” in 1783, spent many summers with his family at Laurel Hill Mansion after inheriting the home in 1819. A portrait of William Rawle hangs in the Octagonal Room at the mansion.

Deborah A. Beck is Of Counsel to the firm in our Philadelphia office. She focuses her law practice in the area of workers’ compensation litigation. She earned a J.D., cum laude, from Duquesne University in 1996. She was a research editor for the Duquesne Law Review from 1995 to 1996. Deborah earned a B.A. in Political Science from Gannon University in 1990. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Deborah can be reached directly at: (215) 575-4243 •

Erin E. Lamb is an associate in our Philadelphia office. She concentrates her practice in the area of catastrophic loss. Erin earned a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2010. She was on the Dean’s List and was runner-up in the Temple Law 2009 ABA Client Counseling Competition. She graduated from George Washington University with a B.A., cum laude, in International Affairs in 2006. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Erin can be reached directly at: (215) 575-4425 •

Laurel Hill Mansion, which served as the summer home of William Rawle.


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