Phila. attorney receives AAJ pro bono award for work on distracted driving
A shareholder with the Philadelphia law firm Anapol Schwartz was slated to receive the American Association for Justice’s 2013 Pro Bono Award for his work to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Anapol Schwartz, which bills itself as a national leader in products liability and pharmaceutical litigation, announced in a news release issued late last week that attorney Joel Feldman was scheduled to be one of two lawyers across the country to receive the award during the AAJ’s annual convention in San Francisco on July 21. A program begun by Feldman called End Distracted Driving, or EndDD, has earned Feldman a national reputation as an advocate for safe driving, the firm stated. The program has apparently thus far reached nearly 100,000 teenagers nationwide. “Our campaign is growing every day with the help of so many trial lawyers from across the country,” Feldman said in a statement. “I know our communities are safer as a result of our efforts. “Trial lawyers are volunteering thousands of hours of their time to save lives,” he continued. “I am so proud to be a trial lawyer, and to have AAJ honor me for what I do in memory of my daughter Casey is very special.” Feldman’s daughter was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. Following his child’s death, Feldman embarked on a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of being preoccupied behind the wheel. In addition to being awarded the AAJ’s Pro Bono Award, Feldman this year was also the recipient of the 2013 Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Humanitarian of the Year Award and the 2013 Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys Courageous Advocacy Award for his community volunteerism. According to a professional biography, Feldman, who obtained his law degree from Villanova University in 1981, has primarily focused his law practice at Anapol Schwartz on securities litigation and personal injury cases. On the securities front, he has handled cases for both investors and governmental entities, and his civil work has included motor vehicle accident and products liability cases to matters involving liquor liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and premises liability. “Mr. Feldman frequently combines law and counseling and speaks to lawyers as well as community groups on topics relating to grief and loss and has written articles on improving the dialogue of loss, empathetic listening for attorneys and maximizing damages arising from intangible losses,” his bio reads. Feldman also speaks to litigators about being “compassionate lawyers.” With End Distracted Driving, Feldman speaks to various school, community and professional groups, and he was integral in producing a public service video for the U.S. Department of Transportation that is used across the nation. Feldman has been the recipient of various awards and accolades, he has authored and co-authored a variety of legal publications, and he is active with groups such as the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.