Burns White Attorney, Gilda M. Arroyo, Named Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow

Burns White attorney, Gilda M. Arroyo, has been selected as a 2018 Fellow by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). As a participant in this nationally recognized program, Ms. Arroyo will be trained to help identify, educate, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.

Ms. Arroyo joins a select group of talented attorneys, from diverse backgrounds, recognized for their potential as leaders at their organizations, and within their communities. According to LCLD President, Robert J. Grey, Jr., the Fellows Program offers high-potential attorneys “an extraordinarily rich year of relationship-building, in-person training, peer-group projects, and extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership.” The goal of the year-long, professional development program is to produce a generation of attorneys with strong leadership and relationship skills who are committed to fostering diversity within their institutions and the legal profession at large.

“We are so pleased that Ms. Arroyo has been selected among her peers to participate in this year’s LCLD fellowship program. She is extremely deserving of this honor, and we are confident that she will have a positive impact in helping to shape the legal profession with her insights and experiences with diversity,” said David B. White, Executive Committee Member of Burns White.

Ms. Arroyo focuses her practice in the areas of products liability, premises liability and toxic tort litigation. She is also the co-chairperson of Burns White’s Immigration Practice Group where she counsels businesses and individuals to insure they comply with all applicable immigration laws. Ms. Arroyo also serves as the chair for the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

An active member of the legal community, she is currently vice-chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Hispanic Attorneys Committee. She served as a Delegate in the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s House of Delegates from 2011-2014, and authored an article in La Jornada Latina titled, “Custodia,” addressing child custody in relation to the relocation statute.

Founded in 2009, LCLD is a growing organization of more than 260 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. The LCLD Fellows program, which has trained more than a thousand mid-career attorneys since 2011, is one of LCLD’s most important initiatives. For more information, visit: www.lcldnet.org.

Respected Employment and Business Attorney, Mary-Jo Rebelo, Joins Burns White

Seasoned litigator, Mary-Jo Rebelo, has joined Burns White LLC as an equity member in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. Rebelo will focus her efforts on continued growth in the Employment and Business Practice areas at the firm.

“Burns White is a leader in the City’s legal market, and is known for offering clients creative solutions in and out of the courtroom,” notes Rebelo. “I’m excited to join this growing firm—working with the excellent attorneys in the Employment and Business Practice areas.”

Rebelo has 30 years of experience successfully representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers, property owners, business owners, physicians, physician practices, health systems, and other medical service providers in a broad range of legal matters. From violations of federal and state securities laws and business fraud to misappropriation of trade secrets, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful discharge, she has delivered positive outcomes in the most difficult cases.

“Mary-Jo is an excellent litigator—respected among her peers, and known for her legal acumen,” says David B. White, member of Burns White’s Executive Committee. “We are extremely happy she has joined the firm, and look forward to her leadership as we continue to grow our Employment and Business Practice client base.”

The Honorable Ronald W. Folino Joins Burns White, Focuses on Alternative Resolution Dispute Practice

Burns White welcomes The Honorable Ronald W. Folino to its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practice effective March 1, 2018. Judge Folino joins Burns White’s team of court-qualified mediators, early neutral evaluators, and arbitrators who have extensive experience conducting broad-based litigation throughout the United States.

“Judge Folino brings a high-level of depth, knowledge, and understanding to our growing Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice,” said David White, Burns White Executive Committee Member. “For more than two decades, he has worked tirelessly in our judicial system with honesty and integrity, and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to Burns White.”

Judge Folino served as a trial judge for more than 24 years on the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. In his years on the bench, Judge Folino presided over hundreds of trials and settlement conferences in a wide array of categories, including: medical malpractice, employment discrimination, personal injury, products liability, intellectual property, commercial construction, breach of contract, fraud, defamation, and many more. Most recently, Judge Folino served as Administrative Judge of the civil division where he oversaw all aspects of the court, including the Commerce and Complex Court, the Arbitration Court, the Trial Court, and the Board of Viewers. In addition, Judge Folino presided as the Calendar Control judge, hearing motions for every case listed on a published trial list.

“After 24 years on the bench, I am excited to be moving into private practice—continuing to provide sound legal counsel, and to use the knowledge I have gained from my years of service to make a positive impact,” noted Judge Folino. “Burns White has an excellent reputation, and the firm’s ADR practice is widely recognized among the best in the region. I am very happy to contribute to its ongoing success.”


Attorneys Lyda and Palmer Obtain Defense Verdict for Railroad Clients

Following a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, T.H. Lyda, Esquire and Edwin B. Palmer, Esquire obtained a defense verdict in favor of two railroad clients. Plaintiff had filed suit under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (“FELA”) against his former railroad employers alleging that he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of occupational exposures to diesel exhaust, asbestos, benzene, and creosote. After a one week trial, the Jury returned a defense verdict for both railroad employer clients, finding that the railroads were not negligent, and that they had provided the plaintiff with a reasonably safe place to work.

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Motion to Dismiss

Burns White attorneys, Maria Granaudo Gesty and Randall Teti, recently received a favorable outcome for their visiting nurse association client. A medical negligence Complaint was filed against the visiting nurse association in the Superior Court of Delaware. The Superior Court granted a motion to dismiss the Complaint, and Plaintiff appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court. After considering Ms. Granaudo Gesty and Mr. Teti’s briefing on appeal, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the visiting nurse association in a one page order.

Risk Insights Offered at Workers’ Compensation Seminar

On January 25th, Burns White hosted a Workers’ Compensation Seminar entitled Staying Ahead in 2018. The event, co-sponsored by Marsh & McLennan Companies, brought together a host of risk experts to discuss key insurance market developments and innovations. Topics ranged from the current opioid crisis, medical marijuana, and Medicare Set Asides, to pre-employment testing, Senate Bill 936, and wearable workplace technology.

“The seminar was a chance to bring together a variety of professionals to address some of the most pressing issues in Workers’ Compensation today,” said Scott Newman, chairman of Burns White’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group. “The program was a great opportunity for area executives to share ideas, ask questions, and prepare for the workplace challenges that they’re facing.”

(Image: Dr. Stephen M. Thomas shares insights on the impact of opioids and guidelines for their prescription.)

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