The immediate past Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, GAETAN J. ALFANO is a partner with Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Alfano served as Assistant District Attorney where he tried cases on a nearly daily basis. In private practice, Mr. Alfano has been consistently recognized as a top commercial litigator by his peers. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in commercial and employment disputes, insurance insolvency and receivership law, as well as complex white collar criminal defense. He has tried hundreds of cases to verdict in both federal and state courts.
As an insurance insolvency practitioner, Mr. Alfano tried a reinsurance recovery case against GTE Reinsurance Company, Limited on behalf of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department as Rehabilitator for the Mutual Fire, Marine and Inland Insurance Company. The case resulted in a post-trial settlement of $44.9 million, which at the time, was the largest reinsurance recovery in Pennsylvania history.
Mr. Alfano represented the Delaware Insurance Commissioner as Receiver for National Heritage Life Insurance Company, where he was responsible for prosecuting a variety of professional liability and asset recovery actions. For over a decade, he represented the Pennsylvania Insurance Department as Liquidator for both Legion Insurance and Villanova Insurance Companies, a $3 billion insolvency.
In September 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania appointed Mr. Alfano as counsel for a Securities Exchange Commission Receiver in a nationwide Ponzi scheme, SEC v. Robert Stinson, Jr., et al.. In this role, Mr. Alfano tried to verdict a private contribution claim under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act against an international ratings agency.
Mr. Alfano has represented public entities, businesses, and corporations in a variety of commercial and employment matters. In a recent case, he represented a law firm sued by a gay associate, over employment related claims in Pennsylvania state court and received a unanimous defense verdict from the jury. He also recently tried a case under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act, one of the few cases ever tried to verdict under the Act.
Mr. Alfano has litigated numerous cases involving business disputes among law firms and attorneys, including dissolutions, separations, client retention and transition, and fee disputes.
Mr. Alfano served for 10 years on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, a bi-state agency. He was appointed by both former Governors Edward G. Rendell and Tom Corbett as the Vice Chair of the agency, the highest Pennsylvania position.
Mr. Alfano has served as a Senior Member of the hearing committee of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and on the Court's Board of Law Examiners.
Mr. Alfano is heavily involved in community service. As a member of the Justinian Society, a group of Italian American lawyers and judges, he has held a number of offices, including Treasurer of the Justinian Foundation, the charitable arm of the Society. He has recently served on the Board of Directors of the Global Philadelphia Association, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent, Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
In 2016, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Mr. Alfano to serve on the statewide Judicial Selection Commission to fill vacant positions in the state's appellate courts. Mr. Alfano was recently appointed to Philadelphia City Council's Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform. The Committee is tasked with overhauling the City's criminal justice system.
Mr. Alfano has been nominated and selected by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for every year from 2004 through 2017, an honor reserved for 5% of the Pennsylvania Bar. He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 for his work in the practice area of Commercial Litigation.Speaking Engagements
"Considerations When Starting Your Own Practice,” Philadelphia Bar Association CLE (Philadelphia, PA), June 15, 2017
"Hot Topics on the Horizon in the Courts," Judges and Journalists: Accuracy and Access, (Philadelphia, PA) November 14, 2016
Portrait Presentation of Honorable Annette M. Rizzo, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, June 14, 2016
"A 360º View of a Jury Trial in Philadelphia," Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting, June 7, 2016
Portrait Presentation of the Honorable Petrese B. Tucker Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, May 20, 2016
James E. Beasley School of Law Commencement, Honors Program, Temple University, May 19, 2016
Supervision to Aid Re-entry Program, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 16, 2016
Naturalization Ceremony, Honorable L. Felipe Restrepo Presiding, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, January 21, 2016
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Memorial Breakfast, The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, Inc., January 18, 2016
Naturalization Ceremony, Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe Presiding, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, December 15, 2015
"Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin," PBI's 10th Constitutional Law Enclave (Philadelphia, PA), October 19, 2015
Naturalization Ceremony, Honorable John R. Padova Presiding, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, September 17, 2015
Portrait Presentation of the Honorable Berle M. Schiller, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, June 12, 2015
"Trial of a Federal Court Case," Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE (Philadelphia, PA), July 23, 2014
Naturalization Ceremony, Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno Presiding, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, July 1, 2014
"New Commonwealth Court Rules for Insurance Insolvency," PBI 17th Annual Insurance Institute (Philadelphia, PA), May 8, 2013
"Risk With a Twist," Willis Seminar (Pittsburgh, PA), December 9, 2009
"Innocence (homicide/arson case): Demonstration of Direct and Cross of an Expert; Ineffective Counsel; Recanting Witness," PACDL's For the Experienced: The Ultimate Criminal Law CLE (Philadelphia, PA), November 9, 2007
"Diversity Best Practices: What You Can Learn from Corporate Diversity Efforts," Philadelphia Bar Association's Chancellor's Forum CLE (Philadelphia, PA), April 30, 2007
"Insolvency Issues: The Lessons of Legion," Nineteenth International Reinsurance Congress (Bermuda), October 20, 2005
"Tort Law Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 19, 2004
"Tort Law Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, November 14, 2000
"Tort Law Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 18, 2000
"Asset Recovery in the NHL Case: The Receiver Strikes Back," Ninth Annual Legal Seminar, NOLGA, July 20, 2000