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What the Delaware Valley Can Learn from Hurricane Isaac: Disaster Preparedness

As Hurricane Isaac continues its swath through New Orleans, Louisiana, Alabama and other hard-hit areas, the massive storm is dumping rain by the foot and bringing powerful and destructive flooding as well as high winds.

Here in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, we often see the remnants of such storms as they travel here from the Gulf of Mexico, just like we did in late August of 2011 as Hurricane Irene slammed the east coast with a vengeance. Residents saw massive flooding from Irene in Vermont and New Hampshire, where flooding like that had not happened in decades, as well as here in the Tri-State area where floods and high winds caused havoc across the area.

As Isaac continues to move northward from the Gulf, sparing New Orleans from the massive destruction from Hurricane Katrina back in August of 2005, it’s a good time to recall what to do when an Atlantic hurricane hits our area. Isaac’s remnants could still affect our weather, according to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, days after it has pummeled the south.

Trees lay toppled after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. Image credit: ©

These kinds of storms and other natural disasters always remind us and teach us to be prepared for their approach and to be ready for clean-up and rebuilding after they are gone.

With that in mind, whether it is an approaching hurricane or a tornado, blizzard, ice storm, flooding, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, high winds or any other types of natural disasters, we here at MyPhillyLawyer want to remind you of important steps to take to prepare for and recover from such incidents.

The best time to prepare for disasters is long before they happen, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • As with most all disasters, FEMA recommends that residents start by preparing with the basics – by building an emergency kit and making a family communications plan.  A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. Be sure to have on hand enough food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days, according to FEMA.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • Know the elevation of your land and whether your property is flood-prone to help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecast.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Cover your home’s windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.

Because hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas, you should consider buying flood insurance protection.

During a hurricane, FEMA recommends that residents:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
  • Evacuate if instructed to do so by local emergency management authorities.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

After a hurricane dissipates, FEMA recommends that residents:

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact FEMA or the American Red Cross.
    • FEMA has established the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which has been developed to help reunite families who are separated during a disaster. The NEFRLS system will enable displaced individuals the ability to enter personal information into a website database so that they can be located by others during a disaster.
    • The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬ out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, if floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

You can also get valuable tips on disaster recovery for a variety of scenarios from the American Red Cross.

Storms like Hurricane Isaac don’t just happen in tropical locations. Their destructive effects can be felt elsewhere, as we saw again last year when our area was hard-hit by Hurricane Irene with severe flooding, high winds and massive destruction across the northeast coast.

Protect your family, your property and give yourself some peace of mind by preparing for such disasters ahead of time and having a plan for how you will respond.

This message has been a public service announcement from MyPhillyLawyer.

MyPhillyLawyer Attorney Profile: Kenneth C. Edelin Jr. Brings Criminal Defense Experience and Respect for His Clients to His Work

After graduating from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1990, Ken Edelin Jr. went to work as a counselor in a Washington, D.C. community-based shelter for teens who got themselves into very serious trouble with the law.

The shelter was a place for them to stay until the courts decided what to do with them, including options from probation to prison.

Kenneth C. Edelin Jr.

Kenneth C. Edelin Jr.

It was difficult and emotional work with kids whose lives were often affected by  poverty and difficult home situations. And from those trying experiences working with troubled teens every day in that shelter, that’s where Edelin found the inspiration to become a criminal defense lawyer.

“Part of my responsibility in that job was to go back and forth with them to court,” Edelin says. “But I didn’t like the representation that they were getting in court. I decided that poor people needed good attorneys, too. My perception was that they weren’t really getting help from the lawyers who were there for them. So I went to law school to become a public defender.”

Today, Edelin brings that same compassion to his work with MyPhillyLawyer.

His total dedication to his clients is one of his greatest strengths as a lawyer.

“I will represent them as I would want someone to represent any of my four children, with that same absolute care and concern,” Edelin says. “That’s what comes from me and this office. I want them to know they are in good hands as much as they can be. At the end of the day, they should be secure in the knowledge that we did everything that we could for them.”

More than anything, Edelin understands that the lives and livelihoods of his clients are on the line when they enter a courtroom.

“I understand the magnitude of the responsibilities,” he says. “I take it very seriously. I enjoy when I am able to help somebody. I strive to do everything I can to be sure the system treats them fairly.”

Edelin was born in Dayton, Ohio, on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where his dad was in the U.S. Air Force. He was raised in Boston, Mass., and Washington, D.C. In high school, he was an All-Star basketball player for Brookline High School.

After graduating from Morehouse College, Edelin went to the Howard University School of Law, earning his law degree in 1996. He then headed to Philadelphia where he became a staff attorney position at The Defender Association of Philadelphia, which is one of the premier Public Defenders offices in the U.S. He worked as a staff attorney in both the State and Federal divisions of the office and litigated major trials in both.

In 2008, Edelin left the group and opened his own law office in Philadelphia. A year later, he joined MyPhillyLawyer.

Edelin has been admitted to the Bars of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is also a Criminal Justice Act panel member for the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, where he takes court appointments for indigent clients. He has extensive litigation experience both in jury and non-jury trials throughout Pennsylvania in both State and Federal Court.

His experience in both the public and private sectors has enabled him to develop a reputation as a staunch advocate for the downtrodden and disenfranchised.

In his legal career, two separate criminal cases years ago left a strong impression on him, he says. Both were jury trials where neither client showed up for court because they were afraid that no one would believe them. “They went AWOL because they were so scared that they’d be found guilty,” he says. Instead, Edelin presented their cases in court and both were found not guilty.

“I felt a great sense of relief and amazement and of pride in the system,” he says.

Edelin and his wife have four children and recently moved to Delaware after living in West Philadelphia for many years.

His hobbies revolve around his children. “I enjoy watching my children excel and grow and being an active participant in their lives,” he says with a smile. “I like listening to music, including R&B and any kind that’s relaxing. And I enjoy taking my wife out on a date every now and then.”

Edelin is also active in his community, volunteering in a wide range of community events, including food and clothing drives, highway clean-up projects and Ronald McDonald House events.

MyPhillyLawyer Attorney Profile: Saul L. Langsam, Founding Partner and Compassionate Advocate for His Clients

As a boy, Saul Langsam was encouraged and inspired by his parents to do something good in the world, to make a mark, to help people.

His parents, who were both born in Poland, were Holocaust survivors who were held in separate German prison camps during World War II. Somehow they survived, eventually ending up in Sweden after the war, where they met and later married. Langsam was born in Falun, Sweden, and lived there until he was six years old, when his family moved to the United States and settled in Philadelphia in 1953.

Attorney Saul L. Langsam of MyPhillyLawyer

Attorney Saul L. Langsam of MyPhillyLawyer

His parents worked hard to make better lives for the family and they consistently told their children that the road to success was reachable through a good education.

“One of my dad’s favorite sayings was ‘if you put it between your ears, nobody will ever be able to take it away,'” Langsam says. “My parents put me on my journey to go to college and find my place in the world. Education was a top priority in the homes of many Holocaust survivors and it was this way in my family.”

The messages left a huge imprint.

In his junior and senior years at Temple University, Saul took some pre-law classes and they opened up an amazing world for him. His sister had the same experience from their parents and she became a medical technologist.

“I was reaching out for a profession and found the law,” he says. “It caught my fancy.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Temple, he left Philadelphia and headed to Chicago to attend the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1974.

After law school, he returned to Philadelphia and went to work in the City of Philadelphia’s Solicitors Office, where he tried cases early in his career as an Assistant City Solicitor. In 1976 he left his job and joined another attorney, the late Arnold Silver, in a private practice they called Silvers & Langsam. Together they worked on cases including estate law and personal injury for clients.

That small practice grew to become what is now MyPhillyLawyer.

“I’ve always taken my work extremely seriously,” he says. “If someone is reaching out to me with a legal problem, I want to achieve whatever goal is established for that client. I think it’s a very, very honorable profession. There are a lot of people out there who need legal representation. Often we see our clients at the worst times of their lives and we are there to help them.”

Langsam has extensive experience in litigation involving personal injuries at all levels of the judicial system. He is particularly well-versed in arbitration matters and has chaired arbitration panels in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and in the Court of Common Pleas. He has also served on panels for the American Arbitration Association and sat on Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist arbitration panels.

His legal experience also includes estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate transactions, probate, incorporation small business, and commercial transaction litigation.

Langsam is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Lawyer Referral Information Service and the American Arbitration Association. He is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

He is also the recipient of the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV, which is only awarded to lawyers operating at the highest level of professional excellence and who uphold the highest ethical standards.

One of his memorable recent cases, he says, involved a disabled man who was threatened with eviction after his late mother’s home was hit with a lien and was scheduled to be sold at auction.

“The son of my client had medical disabilities and he wanted to stay in house but no one would listen to him,” Langsam says. “This was the roof over his head otherwise he’d be out in the street.”

Langsam filed a hardship petition on behalf of his client, which eventually caused the lien to be abandoned. The deed for the home was then able to be recorded in his client’s name in a transfer from the mother’s estate. Today, the client remains in the home and can now legally live there.

“We were able to help someone who really needed help and who didn’t have the financial wherewithal to make it happen on his own,” Langsam says. That’s the part of his legal work that he finds to be very fulfilling.

Langsam and his wife have been married for 36 years. They have three sons and live in Eastern Montgomery County.

He is passionate about exercising, the Jersey Shore, bicycling, boating and downhill skiing. He also is an avid collector of postage stamps from the U.S., the United Nations and Israel.

MyPhillyLawyer Attorney Profile: John M. Logue

For MyPhillyLawyer attorney John M. Logue, the first spark of interest and passion for the law began when he was a young boy in grade school, sitting around the dinner table at the home of his best friend and classmate from School of the Holy Child in Rosemont.

At that table, his friend’s dad, the late John R. McConnell, a well-known Philadelphia lawyer and a former chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, held court each night, regaling his family and guests about his work.

He was a prominent defense attorney for the railroads,” Logue says. “He used to tell us about his cases when I would have dinner with the family. He’d tell stories about the courtroom, court arguments, opening statements and funny witnesses. I used to spend a lot of time at their house because my mom worked. She was a single mom after my dad died when I was six, so I’d go to the McConnell’s house after school. I’d be there for dinner a lot.”

John M. Logue, an attorney for MyPhillyLawyer

John M. Logue, an attorney for MyPhillyLawyer

Listening to the stories Mr. McConnell told captured the interest of the grade school student. “I just knew that I liked the sound of what he did for a living. It was about helping people, about seeing that the right thing was done, that the law was followed and that things happened the way they should happen.”

Those thoughts stuck with Logue throughout high school and college as he eventually pursued his own career in law.

He was a great mentor to me,” Logue said. “He was just a man with a lot of wisdom and a twinkle in his eyes.”

Those feelings were cemented by similar stories and experiences with his uncle, William T. Gennetti, who was a longtime lawyer in Philadelphia practicing in City government during Mayor Richardson Dilworth’s administration and for the U.S. Small Business Administration in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. where he was Chief Counsel.

Logue, who joined MyPhillyLawyer in 1999, carries those lessons with him everyday as he represents his clients today in cases from personal injury to other types of civil suits and everything in between.

Born in Philadelphia, Logue grew up in Newtown Square in Delaware County and attended Devon Preparatory School. He received his bachelor’s degree in History and English from Villanova University and his Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law. “I’m extremely fortunate and grateful that I had a mother who made sure that I received a good education.”

At Pepperdine, Logue was on the Dean’s List and ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

After college, Logue returned to his old high school and taught Geography for a year before heading off to law school.

His law career has spanned more than 28 years, including time in private practice and as an attorney for the Federal government with the U.S. Department of Defense where he handled cases involving acquisition contracts for the Armed Services, personnel law, discrimination cases and other litigation.

He’s also handled cases involving worker’s compensation, motor vehicle law, medical benefits issues for claimants and providers, slip and fall and other premises liability cases, and injuries and illnesses from tainted food.

Logue served on the Zoning Hearing Board for Newtown Township, Delaware County, for four years in the late 1980s and has served on arbitration panels in both Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

His philosophy for the law and for representing his clients is simple, he says. “I do have a passion for the law. I like to talk. I like to write. I like to advocate. I like to win and accomplish what my clients want to accomplish, fairly and professionally working through the justice system.”

One of the most important lessons he’s ever learned in the courtroom is one he recalls each day. “I think the biggest thing that any lawyer has to be on top of is preparation,” Logue says. “You have to really know your case cold. You also have to see the big picture and be passionate.”

That means being proficient in many different fields and a wide range of specialized terminologies. “The law forces you to learn about many different types of professions, medicine, engineering, science and other fields,” he says. “You have to be prepared to soak up information on many different subjects.”

Had he not gone into law, he might have worked as an on-air radio personality, he says.

I really wanted to be a disc jockey,” he says. “I’m a good talker. I’d be a good radio host. I love music and know music really well.”

Away from his work, Logue is a big fan of theater and art. Both of his parents were artists – his mom still paints and his dad was a commercial artist. “I get my love of art from them,” he says. “I also did a lot of theater in high school and college.”

Logue is a collector of many things, most notably a collection of old and fascinating maps. He also enjoys burning his own mix CDs of a wide range of music to listen to and share with friends.

Logue lives in Chester County.

MyPhillyLawyer Attorney Profiles: Frank Breitman, 30 years of legal experience in personal injury, criminal cases,real estate and more

When Frank Breitman joined MyPhillyLawyer in January of 2007, he had already covered the waterfront in the practice of law.

In his diverse career, he’s worked in a public defender’s office and has handled tax cases, real estate matters, civil cases, collection cases and just about everything in between.

But the work that really gets his legal juices flowing is representing clients in personal injury cases and helping them get their lives back on track after devastating injuries.

Frank Breitman, MyPhillyLawyer

His passion for the law and for helping his clients began with his first exposure to the courtroom as a summer intern in the Philadelphia Public Defender’s Office during his first year of law school at Boston University School of Law.

Breitman returned to his hometown of Philadelphia for the internship and dove right in.

“I fell in love with the rush of the court and working with clients,” he said. “There is no better job than public defense work for a young lawyer.  It’s total thinking on your feet.  You get 50 to 60 cases a day and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Those feelings of passion he has for his work, for caring for his clients and their diverse cases, continues today in his work at MyPhillyLawyer.

“In a criminal case, the defendant is going to go to jail if we lose, so that’s a lot of stress,” Breitman said.  “In a personal injury case or civil case, my client’s financial future and ongoing quality of life is in my hands. For me, I take it all personally because I’m the one who is standing there with the client.”

That compassion and dedication has been honed through three decades of practicing law with a host of other attorneys who have mentored him and displayed that same drive and determination, he said.

Born in the Philadelphia suburb of Bala Cynwood, Breitman attended public schools through 8th grade and graduated from Friends’ Central High School. His father was a doctor – a general practitioner and a pharmacist – who had an office at Broad and Erie streets. As a boy, his dad would take him on house calls to see patients, giving him lasting impressions about caring for others.

Just as Breitman was about to finish high school and enter college, his father died suddenly. It was then that Breitman decided he wanted to become a lawyer and work to help others as his dad had done before him.

Breitman even signed his high school yearbook, “Frank Breitman, Esquire” – long before he earned his law degree. He had his calling and he would not be stopped.

Breitman went on to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Chinese and earned two degrees in 1977 – a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Oriental Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.

One year later, Breitman received his Masters’ of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Oriental Studies.

He received his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law in 1981.

Breitman is currently admitted to the Bars of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

He was in private practice for 18 years before joining MyPhillyLawyer.

“When I was younger, like others at the time in the late 1960s, I wanted to grow up and be James Bond,” Breitman said. “I wanted to be a spy.”

He even applied to the CIA after he inquired and learned that the legal career he wanted to pursue could be a good track into the agency.

Eventually Breitman learned that working closely with clients on their cases and helping them in the courtroom was what made him happy and satisfied.

His dreams of becoming a spy dissipated.  “It was just something that never worked out,” he said.

Has there been one legal case that has had its greatest impact on his work as an attorney?

That one, Breitman said, would be the one involving the family of a longtime client some 10 years ago.

It was a Memorial Day weekend. His client’s brother was driving a car southbound on I-95 near Philadelphia when a northbound tractor-trailer pulling a tanker of petroleum went out of control and flipped over the median, smashing into the man’s car, killing him instantly. The heat from the flaming petrol was so severe that I-95 was heavily damaged and was closed for about a month while road workers repaired the busy highway.

“I got a call from my client,” Breitman said.  “It was his brother in the crash.  They asked me to represent the estate.  I was dealing intimately with the law, the trucking company, the state Department of Transportation due to the damage to the highway, and with the grieving families.  That changed my outlook and made me realize how much was at stake for my clients.  That case was honest and real, there was no question.  I was up against huge firms that had unlimited resources.  And I won the case for my clients.”

Breitman has been married to his wife, Carla, for 28 years.  They have three children.

He’s an avid woodworker and has built many pieces of carefully crafter furniture.  He’s also a devoted gardener who grows flowers, vegetables and rare Japanese cut leaf maple trees.  He also enjoys fixing up his house, combing for antiques and is a voracious reader, consuming at least one to two thrillers and mysteries each week.

MyPhillyLawyer Attorney Profiles: Dean I. Weitzman talks about being a legal advocate and about his dedication to his clients

Attorney Dean Weitzman is the public face of MyPhillyLawyer’s lively, catchy, full-color advertisements on billboards, buses and on TV in the Philadelphia area.

He’s also out in the public eye as the host of an hour-long Court Radio show on legal issues every Sunday morning on WRNB-FM 107.9, helping local residents by talking with them about their rights in everything from car accidents to wills, trusts and real estate matters.

As the managing partner of MyPhillyLawyer, Dean is always busy somewhere, helping his clients get the best legal representation that they can find in every case the firm handles.

Dean I. Weitzman, photo courtesy

That kind of advocacy has been one of his personal goals since he was a teenager, when several incidents helped shape the direction of what would become his legal career.

When he was about 13 years old, Dean was in a doctor’s office, waiting for an appointment in a very crowded waiting room.

“I had gotten to the appointment a little bit late and the waiting room was busy,” he said.  “I sat down and soon the doctor came in. He pointed to me and said quite loudly, ‘that people like you who are on medical assistance shouldn’t come in late for an appointment.  My family had a rough time financially but that wasn’t something that I wanted to share with the entire waiting room.”

“Obviously, it made me feel horrible terrible,” he said. “I was embarrassed.  I felt like I was worth nothing.  I later decided that when I grew up that I wanted to give a voice to those who didn’t have a voice, to help others avoid feeling like I felt that day in the doctor’s waiting room. That life experience made me feel like I needed never to be in a situation where someone could treat me like that or denigrate me like that.  I realized I wanted to stick up for other people who were in a similar situation and be their advocate.  I didn’t feel like I had an advocate in that situation.”

A few years later, a testy legal situation involving his parents propelled Dean even deeper into his growing passions to work as an advocate for others.

“Another one of those life-changing experiences was that my parents owned a beauty shop and they weren’t savvy business people,” he said.  “They had a lease that was month-to-month and one day, the landlord – a large property management company – called and told them they had 30 days to move out.  It was really tough.”

His parents were essentially blind-sided after being in that location for many years.  The family was forced to move the beauty shop into the basement of their home.

One thing Dean remembers most about the incident is that his parents had no one to help them or fight for them in a difficult situation.

He started thinking about becoming an attorney.

His parents had some friends who were attorneys and Dean admired their work.

“They were guys who represented their clients, proved their points and made sure that they advocated on behalf of them and that that person’s point of view or needs were heard and were addressed.”

“That’s someone who I wanted to be.  I wanted to be the kind of person who didn’t let other people get away with things at someone else’s expense, like that doctor got away with the day I was in his office.  That doctor went home to his family, had dinner and went to sleep and didn’t feel anything.  I was left feeling badly and hurt.”

“I wanted to make sure that people didn’t do that to others,” Dean said.  “I became a trial lawyer because of that kind of behavior.”

Every day, that’s what Dean and his team of lawyers, legal assistants and other staff members do here at MyPhillyLawyer – they work tirelessly on behalf of their clients to ensure that they are well-represented and heard.

“The underlying principle at MyPhillyLawyer is that each client is an individual who deserves our respect,” he said. “They’re a part of the whole team here and we need to take care of them.  Often you hear from people that their lawyers don’t talk to them about their cases or keep them up to date on what’s happening.  Not here.  The client is our most important asset, and that’s the person who we have to make sure is doing OK throughout the whole legal process.  We make sure that they know what’s going on with their case.”

The two-year-old weekly call-in radio show is one example of how Dean and MyPhillyLawyer help their clients and prospective clients with everyday legal matters that arise in their lives.

“We endeavor to answer legal questions for people who might not have access to an attorney,” he said.  “We get great feedback from our callers.  They love the show and it really provides a venue for people of ordinary means to gain legal information in a timely fashion.  A lot of these people don’t have a relationship with an attorney where they can just walk in and ask a question.  On the show, they can do that for free and get some help.”

Dean earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University in 1984 and his Juris Doctor in 1987 from Temple University School of Law.  He worked throughout college to put himself through school working as the supervisor in a group home for mentally-handicapped adults.  Dean is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania trial lawyer’s associations.

He has extensive litigation experience throughout the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Courts as well as the Federal district courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  His trial experience includes medical malpractice, products liability, wrongful death, motor vehicle and trucking accidents, workman’s compensation, and estate litigation.

He’s an avid Philadelphia sports fan, following the Phillies and the Eagles as well as Temple’s football and basketball teams.

“I’m a big booster for Temple University,” he said.  “I spent seven years there as a student.  I believe in the principles of a quality education, inexpensively and in the city.  Temple’s first president, Russell H. Conwell, talked about finding educational ‘diamonds’ in Philadelphia’s own backyards.  I believe in that and I’m a product of the Philadelphia public school system and Temple University.  That’s really who I am.”

Dean is also a volunteer in his community, serving as a Big Brother and as a business sponsor for several non-profit groups,  including the American Cancer Society, the Bread of Life Foundation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Dean lives in Meadowbrook, Montgomery County.  He and his wife, Lisa, have two children.