Phila. attorney becomes fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers

By Jon Campisi | Apr 9, 2013

Philadelphia law firm Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin recently

announced that one of its lawyers, William Banton, Jr., has become a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Banton, who serves as the assistant director of the Health Care Department at Marshall Dennehey, was inducted into the ACTL during the college’s spring meeting in Naples, Fla.

A practicing attorney since 1984, Banton has focused mostly on medical malpractice litigation for the past two decades, according to Marshall Dennehey.

According to his biography at the law firm, Banton has handled more than 200 medical malpractice cases since 1994, and has also been involved in a number of foster care abuse and sexual abuse cases.

Banton has also defended major asbestos manufacturers in toxic tort matters and has represented the interests of Pennsylvania municipalities in civil rights cases litigated in federal court.

His law firm claims that 99 percent of the cases Williams has tried went to a jury.

Banton has obtained many defense verdicts or settlement agreements “significantly below” settlement demands, according to Marshall Dennehey.

An example given was that of a case in which Banton successfully defended a pediatrician where the settlement demand was $7 million, with the attorney obtaining the dismissal of his client following oral argument, just before the case went to trial.

And he also obtained favorable settlements for clients in a handful of cases involving demands in excess of $3 million, his firm stated.

Banton, who obtained a bachelor’s degree from Philadelphia’s Temple University, and his juris doctor from Southern University Law Center in Louisiana, previously clerked for Theodore A. McKee, a former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge who currently serves as chief judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is also based in Philadelphia.

Banton also previous served as chief solicitor for the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department.

He entered private practice in 1985 and he joined Marshall Dennehey five years later.

Fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers is extended by invitation only, and only experienced trial attorneys who have “mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality,” can become a part of the college, Marshall Dennehey stated in a news release.

Lawyers must also have a minimum of 15 years of trial experience under their belts before they can be considered for the fellowship.

According to the firm, there are currently 5,879 members of the ACTL in the United States and Canada.

The college, the firm stated, strives to improve and elevate the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the trial professionals.

In addition to his fellowship with the ACTL, Banton is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, he was recently chosen for membership in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and he has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer each year since 2006 in the area of personal injury defense.

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