Top Lawyers 2009
The area’s best in 12 specialties.
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Referrals speak volumes. After hundreds of attorneys from Bala Cynwyd to Downingtown offered their opinions on who’s the best among their peers, a select 12 garnered the most votes. So here they are—along with an inside look at how each made it to the top of their game.
For a full list of this year's Top Lawyers nominations, click here.
Reidenbach & Associates, LLC, Radnor Financial Center, 150 N. Radnor-Chester Road, Suite F-200, Radnor, (610) 977-2025, reidenbachlaw.com
Years in practice: 11
Education: J.D., Widener University School of Law (1997)
Worth knowing: When Scott Reidenbach was growing up in Lancaster, he thought he’d become a writer, a newscaster or a teacher like his dad. “But when everyone is telling you, ‘You’d be a great lawyer,’ you start to listen,” he says.
Today, Reidenbach relishes the success of his 2-year-old firm. It likely has something to do with his respect for deadlines and the firm’s sophisticated dealings with leaders in various industries, from banking to retail. Or it could be something more basic. “At heart, I’m a country boy,” says Reidenbach. “I’m cognizant of how small the big old world is, and that what comes around goes around. I prefer to work with people instead of working against them.”
Rubin, Fortunato & Harbison, PC,
10 S. Leopard Road, Paoli, (610) 408-2000, rubinfortunato.com
Years in practice: 15
Education: J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (1993)
Worth knowing: After 10 years of representing employers, Julie Uebler switched sides in 2003. Three years later, she took on a racial harassment case no one else would touch, negotiating a significant settlement for her client. “I thought it had merit, and the harassment egregious,” she says. “In employment law, the work we do is financially riskier than defense work (because it’s done on a contingency-fee basis). But if you take the risk, you can get good results.”
Uebler prides herself on her practical approach to employment disputes, presenting realistic options, plus the costs and benefits of those options. Her reward: referrals, referrals, referrals.
Platt, DiGiorgio & DiFabio, 1800 E. Lancaster Ave., Second Floor, Paoli, (610) 647-7500, pddlaw.net
Years in practice: 31
Education: J.D., Villanova University School of Law (1978)
Worth knowing: In the early 1990s, Dale Brison’s future hinged on Vincent DiFabio’s handling of what would become a landmark case. Charged with rape, the indigent Brison couldn’t afford DNA testing to prove his innocence. The result: a conviction at trial.
In an appeal, DiFabio argued that no one should be denied testing because they can’t afford it—and that the state should pay the tab. The court agreed. Brison was tested, and in 1993, he was exonerated. “It was a hard-fought case,” says DiFabio. “The issue was novel, and it set a precedent in the state for indigent individuals. I still get calls on that case from around the country.”
The Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, PC, 755 N. Monroe St., Media, (610) 892-3877, lamonacalaw.com
Years in practice: 15
Education: J.D., Widener University School of Law (1994)
Worth knowing: In 2005, Gregory LaMonaca was in his physical prime, practicing martial arts and bodybuilding regularly. Then one of the many unexplained benign tumors he’d developed as a teenager upset his spine, causing paralysis. The next five months comprised a tumultuous—but successful—recovery for LaMonaca, inspiring a chapter of The Brutally Honest Life Management Journal, co-written by his partner, James Grim, and due out this year. The book broadens the reach of a three-step soul-searching, journal-writing process LaMonaca has used with his clients for years. “We put a proactive, goal-oriented plan in effect for them to address all their fears and concerns,” he says. “That’s our goal—to take them to a point of empowerment, so they can feel good about themselves and move forward.”
Vetrano & Vetrano, 455 S. Gulph Road, Suite 410, King of Prussia; (610) 265-4441, vetranolaw.com
Years in practice: 29
Education: J.D., Widener University School of Law (1980)
Worth knowing: Every Christmas, Kate Vetrano’s office is flooded with cards from the families who’ve found post-divorce happiness thanks to her good work. “I believe in finding solutions that meet the needs of all the family members,” she says. “The mother and father will always be the mother and father, and the family will always be a family, if the parents divorce. I like to help people see their way to the other side.”
To Vetrano, an amicable divorce means resolving all issues out of court, keeping animosity and costs in check. “A good family lawyer is one who doesn’t fuel the fire or the rage of the divorce,” she says. “I love it when parents tell me they were both at the soccer game after the divorce watching their child.”
Personal Injury Litigation:
Timothy F. Rayne
MacElree Harvey, Ltd., 211 E. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 840-0124, macelree.com
Years in practice: 14
Education: J.D., Widener University School of Law (1995); LL.M., Temple University Beasley School of Law (2008)
Worth knowing: When a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike after a collision with a pickup truck, Timothy Rayne wasn’t there to catch him. But when the victim needed representation, Rayne had his back. Both parties were insured, but it wasn’t enough for his client, who fractured both legs and a wrist. “Most attorneys would’ve been satisfied with securing the insurance payment, but my goal is to obtain full and fair compensation,” says Rayne. “I felt a payment from the driver’s personal assets was warranted.”