Donald focuses his practice on the defense of claims made and suits brought against public entities, municipal authorities and local governments, including the defense of elected officials, police officers, corrections officers, prison wardens and District Attorneys' offices. As well, he handles a wide array of casualty cases, including motor vehicle and transportation litigation, premises liability, environmental, product liability and liquor liability.
Don is very active in his community. Specifically, he served as a committeeman for the Dauphin County Republican Committee, in Harrisburg, 5th Ward and remains active in local politics. He is the past president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Harrisburg Chapter. Additionally, he supports the Harrisburg community as a member of the High Council of Erin, which is comprised of former Friendly Sons' presidents. Don serves as a member of vestry (board of directors) for All Saints Episcopal Church in Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Don graduated from Penn State in 1996 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in business. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and achieved his juris doctor in 1999. After graduation, Don served as law clerk to the Honorable Michael L. Krancer at the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.
Significant Representative Matters
•Successfully defended a police officer from civil rights claims for alleged excessive use of force.
•Successfully defended a borough from civil rights claims for its alleged failure to train its police officers in the use of force.
•Successfully defended a District Attorney's office from civil rights claims concerning the prosecution of the plaintiff for possession of a large amount of marijuana.
•Successfully defended a county from a claim for contractual unconscionability arising from a real estate transaction.
•Successfully defended District Attorney's Office and county detectives from civil rights claims regarding the prosecution of plaintiff for bigamy.
•Successfully defended corrections officers and warden from civil rights claims for excessive use of force.
•Successfully defended county and warden from claims of civil rights violations, conspiracy and ethnic intimidation.
•Successfully defended police officers, police chief and borough from civil rights claims and malicious prosecution.
•Successfully defended county from claims for invasion of privacy.
•Successfully defended police officer and city from claims of civil rights violations, malicious prosecution and retaliation.
•Successfully defended oil company from historic underground storage tank release liability.
•Successfully defended hazardous waste disposal company from hazardous waste release.
•Successfully defended home heating oil company from above ground storage tank release.
•Successfully assisted in settling a $4 million UIM claim made by a bicyclist by retrieving critical electronic data from the cyclist's bike that plaintiff's counsel did not know was available.
•Successfully obtained a zero dollar defense verdict in an admitted liability motor vehicle accident and motorcycle case, which had a pretrial demand for policy limits.
•Successfully obtained a zero dollar defense verdict arising from a drunk driving accident with a pretrial demand for policy limits.
•No causation jury defense verdict in a claim where plaintiff was determined to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, through the use of surveillance video and plaintiff's social media postings.
•Successfully bifurcated first party UIM claim from third party tortfeasor claim in a post Koken civil suit.
•Successfully defended surplus lines insurance broker from claims of negligence and bad faith arising from the cancellation of an insurance policy and overlapping subsequent fire loss.
•Successfully defended real estate agent and broker from claims of fraudulent concealment.
•Successfully defended real estate agent and broker from claims of negligent and fraudulent concealment.
•Successfully defended home inspector from breach of contract and negligence claims.
•Successfully assisted in eliminating all claims a third party plaintiff asserted against a liquor licensee to owe the duty to not serve a person who is visibly intoxicated. Claims, such as failing to protect the public from the foreseeable dangers of an intoxicated person and failing to prevent an intoxicated person from driving, were dismissed through preliminary objections.
•Successfully settled a workplace OSHA accident where the demand was $7.5 million by developing liability defenses supported by two experts and testing these defenses with a mock jury program.
•Discovering, Authenticating & Utilizing Social Media in Litigation: Strategy Considerations, co-author, Defense Digest, Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2014
•Thumbs Up for Qualified Immunity, co-author, Defense Digest, 2011-03, Vol. 17, No. 1
•The Bar Is Set: A Liquor Licensee's Duty To Third Persons In A Civil Suit, Defense Digest, 2008-09, Vol. 14, No. 3
•Social Media in Litigation: Reloaded, A Closer Look At Using Social Media in Your Cases, Dauphin County Bar Association, Harrisburg, PA, June 24, 2014
•How to Try a Case in State Court, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA, June 16, 2014
Honors & Awards
•Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2011-2014
•BV Distinguished Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
Year Joined Organization: 2004