Burns White Grows Medical Malpractice Defense Practice, Adds Premier Legal Team

Burns White added a team of five to its medical malpractice defense practice. Attorneys David Johnson, Ashley Griffin, and Daniel Margonari joined the firm as members. Deborah Durkin and Pamela O’Roark joined as paralegal and legal assistant, respectively. The majority of their practice is focused on healthcare matters representing hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professionals with medical malpractice claims.

“I’ve known Dave Johnson for many, many years. He’s recognized as one of the premier medical malpractice lawyers in this region,” said David White, Burns White Executive Committee Member. “We are extremely pleased to welcome this skilled team, and expect that they will add bench strength in the healthcare sector of our practice.”

Prior to joining the firm, all five worked at Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie, PC, where Mr. Johnson was a founding member and President. “Being part of a larger firm brings efficiencies, and allows us to draw on other resources that will benefit our clients,” noted Mr. Johnson. “The medical malpractice defense practice that we’ve built over the years fits in seamlessly within the Burns White structure, and I am confident that we will be able to grow our client base and expand our geographic footprint.”

Burns White Promotes Seven Attorneys to Membership Status

Burns White announced the promotion of seven attorneys to Member, effective Jan. 1, 2018. These talented attorneys, located in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have diverse legal practices that support the needs of our clients, and the growth of the organization.

Laura E. Benson joined Burns White as an Associate in 2013, and assists clients in a wide range of industries—providing counsel in complex and commercial litigation, white-collar defense, corporate compliance, and government investigations. She received her legal degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

In 2008, Patrick M. Horvat joined Burns White’s Pittsburgh office. He primarily concentrates his practice in transportation law, and is well versed in matters relating to products liability, general litigation, and business matters. Mr. Horvat is a graduate of Barry University School of Law in Miami, Florida.

Attorney Matthew A. Meyers focuses his practice in the areas of insurance litigation, insurance coverage and extracontractual litigation, commercial litigation, and trucking law. He joined the firm in January of 2016, and is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law.

For more than 20 years, Ralph M. Monico has represented clients in a wide range of commercial and civil litigation matters, with a focus on professional liability defense and licensure. He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.

Dorothy C. Wolbert joined Burns White as an Associate in 2015, and is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Family Law practice where she manages, among other issues, complex divorce, custody and support matters, and protection from abuse cases. She received her legal degree from Cleveland State University.

Kirsten B. Hare has more than 25 years of experience handling professional liability matters as part of the firm’s Healthcare and Long-Term Care Group, defending hospitals, physicians, residents and nurses in major medical malpractice matters. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Law.

Elizabeth A. Stefanski joined Burns White as an Associate in 2012. She is experienced in complex state and federal litigation, and focuses her practice on the defense of healthcare facilities and medical professionals. Ms. Stefanski is a graduate of Widener University School of Law.

Philadelphia Office to Host Employment Seminar

Burns White will be hosting an Employment Law Seminar on Friday, January 19th from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Topics will include:

  • Current status of Department of Labor Regulations
  • Workers’ Compensation best practices
  • Non-Discriminatory reasons for termination
  • Immigration
  • Sexual harrassment
  • Practical lessons in Employment Law

Participating attorneys include: Jeffrey Adler, Stuart O’Neal, Angela Cronk, Meghan Campbell, Max Kimbrough, Mark Sottile, Gilda Arroyo, and Katherine McLay.

Attendees can receive three (3) CLE and SHRM credits. To sign up for the seminar, please contact Jennifer Love at jllove@burnswhite.com by January 10th, 2018.

Burns White to Host Employment Law Seminar December 7th

Burns White will host a seminar on Employment Law on Thursday, December 7th at its offices in the Strip District. The half-day session will review, among other topics:

  • EEOC Enforcements Actions and Priorities
  • Family Medical Leave Act/ADA
  • Immigration
  • Overtime/Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Media/Background Checks

Attendees will receive 2.5 CLE and 2.5 SHRM PDC Credits. (Approval pending)

To register, please contact Jennifer Love at jllove@burnswhite.com by November 30th.

Employment Law Seminar Details


Attorney Granaudo-Gesty Obtains Motion to Dismiss for Radiologist

A medical negligence action was filed against a Delaware radiologist for allegedly contributing to a patient’s death by misinterpreting CT scans. In response, Attorney Maria Granaudo-Gesty filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for failing to comply with the requirements to toll the statute of limitations. The Court granted the motion after accepting Ms. Granaudo-Gesty’s proposed interpretation of the statute. The radiologist was dismissed as a party, saving the client significant discovery costs.

Laurie Barkman Named Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer

Burns White announced that Laurie Barkman has been named as Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer to grow the Firm’s presence in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Ms. Barkman is an accomplished executive with marketing and business development experience across various industries including transportation and logistics, technology, and retail. During her 20+ year career, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in diverse businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining Burns White, Ms. Barkman was Managing Partner of Topanga Partners, a private equity firm, and served on the Board of Managers for the portfolio companies. Previously, she was CEO of GENCO Marketplace, a subsidiary of GENCO Corporation, acquired by FedEx Corporation in 2015. Ms. Barkman has more than 15 years of experience in senior-level marketing positions including American Eagle Outfitters, The Art Institutes, as well as venture-backed technology companies.

Ms. Barkman received her Masters of Business Administration degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

“I’m excited to join Burns White to amplify the growth of our business and footprint in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region,” Ms. Barkman said. “Burns White was an early innovator of alternative fee arrangements, and our attorney practice groups take a flexible business approach to providing value to clients.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Laurie to the Burns White team,” said Burns White Executive Committee Member, David B. White. “Laurie brings an incredible breadth of leadership experience and business skills to the Firm, and we look forward to developing new opportunities for growth in the transportation, healthcare, energy, and technology industries.”

Ms. Barkman can be reached at 412-995-3003 or by email at: lrbarkman@burnswhite.com



Burns White Ranks Among Best Law Firms

Burns White LLC has been recognized among the Best Law Firms, earning 13 rankings in the 2018 U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” survey. The firm received a national first-tier ranking in Railroad Law for the eighth consecutive year, and a national tier three ranking in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions — Defendants.

“This award is based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations, and peer reviews from leading attorneys in their fields nationwide,” said David White, Executive Committee Member. “We are very pleased, once again, to be recognized nationally as a top firm among our peers.”

Those surveyed provide feedback on the individual practice group’s expertise, responsiveness, an understanding of business needs, cost-effectiveness, civility, integrity and likelihood of referral.

In addition to the national rankings, Burns White’s Pittsburgh office was recognized in the Metropolitan rankings in three separate tiers.

Tier One: Insurance Law, Legal Malpractice Law—Defendants, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Medical Malpractice Law—Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation—Defendants
Railroad Law, Workers’ Compensation Law—Employers

Tier 2: Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Media Law

Tier 3: Litigation—Construction

A complete listing of law firm results is available online: http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/

Burns White Funds Diversity in the Law Scholarship at Duquesne University


Burns White announced its plans to fund a scholarship for first-year, diverse law students at Duquesne University’s School of Law. The annual Burns White Diversity in the Law Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving candidate who adds diversity to the incoming class, and will include a paid summer clerkship at the firm following the successful completion of the recipient’s second year of law school. In addition, each awardee will be paired with a mentor from Burns White for the duration of his or her legal education.

“Burns White is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in Pittsburgh’s legal community,” noted David White, Executive Committee Member. “This annual scholarship—which includes practical work experience and mentoring—will help to broaden opportunities for individuals with diverse backgrounds. We are pleased to be working with Duquesne University’s School of Law on this exciting new initiative.”

The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year. “Scholarship funds help us to ensure that all students have access to a legal education at Duquesne Law,” said Dean Maureen Lally-Green. “We are most grateful to partner with Burns White to announce this incredible new opportunity.”

Admitted students under consideration for the award submit a resume and personal statement for review. A scholarship committee, which includes a Burns White representative, recommends the candidate. More information is available by contacting Duquesne Law’s Office of Admissions.





Attorneys Cronk and Adler Obtain Defense Verdict for Nursing Home Client

Following a bench trial in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Angela Cronk, Esquire and Jeffrey Adler, Esquire obtained a defense verdict in favor of their Nursing Home Employer Client on an American with Disabilities Act Retaliation claim filed by a former employee. Four out of five of Plaintiff’ original claims, including ethnic discrimination and violations under the FMLA, were dismissed via summary judgment prior to trial. As a result, the client was successful on all counts.

Attorneys DiFrancesco and Beresky to Present at Kentucky Mineral Conference

Attorneys Jenna DiFrancesco and Jennifer Beresky will present, From Fracking to FERC to Finland: A Case Study of the Rover Pipeline and an Analysis of Federal Regulations and Market Factors Impacting Interstate Transportation and Export of Liquefied Natural Gas, at the Kentucky Mineral Conference in Lexington, October 18th – 19th. The session explores the federal regulations affecting the transport of natural gas from the well site, across state lines, to liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and the market factors and regulations affecting LNG exports.

To learn more about the conference, click here.


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