Experienced Phila. litigator appointed to three-year-term on Pa. Board of Law Examiners

By Jon Campisi | May 16, 2013

A veteran Philadelphia litigator with substantial experience in commercial and

employment disputes, insurance insolvency and receivership law, and complex white collar criminal defense and civil litigation has been appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve out a three-year term on the state Board of Law Examiners.

In a one-paragraph per curiam order issued May 15, the high court appointed attorney Gaetan J. Alfano to a term on the board expiring in April 2016.

The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners is tasked with making recommendations on lawyers who aim to become members of the state bar.

The group is also charged with recommending to the high court rules relating to bar admission and the practice of law.

A look at Alfano’s professional resume shows an attorney who has been involved with an impressive number of high-profile cases and issues, including a $44.9 million settlement arising out of a reinsurance recovery case against GTE Reinsurance Company Ltd. on behalf of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department as Rehabilitator for the Mutual Fire, Marine and Inland Insurance Company.

The multi-million-dollar settlement, which occurred in the early 1990s, was the largest reinsurance recovery case in Pennsylvania history at that time, according to Alfano’s biography, which is posted to the website of the firm Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick & Raspanti, at which he is a name partner.

Alfano, who serves as co-chair of the Litigation Practice Group at his law firm, and is also a member of the firm’s Employment & Labor Practice Group, is consistently recognized as a top commercial litigator by his peers, his bio states.

On the insurance insolvency front, Alfano also litigated a case involving Mutual Fire, Marine and Inland Insurance Company’s receiver in a large professional liability action against Shand, Morahan & Company Inc., and its former parent company, Alexander & Alexander Inc., which resulted in a $51.6 million settlement for the receiver.

Alfano currently works with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department as a liquidator for both Legion Insurance and Villanova Insurance Companies, which is a $3 billion insolvency, his biography states.

The U.S. District Court in Philadelphia in the fall of 2010 appointed Alfano as counsel for a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission receiver in a matter involving the recovery of investor funds.

That case, titled SEC v. Robert Stinson, Jr. et al., involves a $17 million nationwide Ponzi scheme perpetuated by Stinson and his entities operating under the moniker “Life’s Good.”

In that case, Alfano and his colleagues have “investigated and located the tangible assets of the defendants, seized those assets, negotiated settlements with third parties that received funds from the Ponzi scheme, and filed ancillary actions to collect funds fraudulently transferred to third parties,” his bio states.

The bio goes on to note that Alfano has defended major corporations in a variety of commercial, employment and professional liability matters, including a case where he represented a contractor in a construction dispute dealing with renovations to New York bridges.

Alfano also once helped to secure a dismissal of a case involving an international telecommunications company from a $5 million commercial civil action brought at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Also in Philadelphia, Alfano represented a qui tam Realtor in the government’s $12 million settlement with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania that dealt with allegations of fraudulent Medicare billing back in the year 2000, the biography says.

Alfano was appointed in 2005 by then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to serve on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, which operates seven toll bridges spanning the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Before he went into private practice, Alfano worked as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia under Rendell, who was the city’s district attorney at the time.

Alfano also served on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and he has experience as an arbitrator in Pennsylvania state court and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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