Dion G. Rassias
As recognized by American Lawyer Media, “Dion meets that supreme standard of being a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’. That is to say, if I were in trouble, I would want him representing me.” In a world where everyone claims to be a “trial lawyer”, Dion really is. He has stood victorious in the courtroom in all types of cases, from cases involving catastrophically injured members of our community, to business disputes, complex litigation(s) and insurance matters. As you will see, trying cases is what he does.
Dion has extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts and regulatory agencies throughout the six states where he is admitted to practice. He has tried and settled a growing list of cases which have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, all of which have been collected in full, for people and families who have been catastrophically injured and damaged as the result of medical malpractice, professional malpractice, partnership disputes and law firm disassociations, defamation and false light, products liability, civil rights violations, discrimination and harassment, and related personal injury actions. In addition, he has tried and settled many complex commercial litigations involving business disputes, antitrust claims, contracting disputes, healthcare issues, bank fraud and trade secret litigation. Dion’s cases have been covered by some of the most significant media outlets all over the world, including the New York Times and the London Independent. His clients include Taylor Swift, former heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes, Baseball Hall of Fame’s Harry Kalas, as well as numerous elected officials throughout the Tri-State area, including Mr. Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, whose lawsuit against The Philadelphia Inquirer has been described as one of the most significant First Amendment cases in the history of Pennsylvania.
Dion grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. He completed his undergraduate studies in three (3) years at Stanford University and Dickinson College (B.A. 1984). He graduated from Duquesne University School of Law (J.D. 1987), where he was an academic selection to the Law Review, and a two-time trial moot court champion. He is admitted to practice in the bars of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Claims, and the numerous corresponding Federal Courts in the states where he is admitted. He serves on various professional committees and associations and also maintains an extensive pro bono commitment.
When smart people have done bad things to you, you’ll want someone with Dion’s experience, tenacity and background on your side.
Accomplishments & Honors
By Order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania dated February 9, 2018, Dion was appointed as a Member of the Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania, an independent agency under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, which includes ten attorneys and two non-lawyers from across the state. The Disciplinary Board was created to assist the Supreme Court in all matters involving attorney licensing and attorney discipline. Dion has been the Chair of the Rules Committee since January 2019.
Dion serves as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
In 2017, Dion was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement selection as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys.
Dion is a member of the most exclusive group of plaintiffs’ attorneys in the United States, The Summit Council. The Summit Council is by invitation only, and its criteria for membership is the most selective and rigorous of any such group across the country.
Dion has a “Superb 10.0” rating from AVVO, and a “Judicial AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and also the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum.
Dion has been selected as a Pennsylvania ‘Super Lawyer’ by Philadelphia Magazine and Law & Politics, and has continuing recognitions for being in the Top 100 lawyers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and also the Top 100 of lawyers in Philadelphia since the inception of “Super Lawyers” in 2004. This recognition is based upon a survey of over 34,000 lawyers and judges from the Commonwealth to determine the top 5% of attorneys practicing in Pennsylvania, and can be viewed in the “Ultimate Guide to the Top Lawyers in Pennsylvania”, found at Super Lawyers.
From 2010 through 2016, Dion served as a Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as a Hearing Officer, where he presided over disciplinary cases and claims brought against lawyers throughout the Commonwealth.
In June of 2010 he was appointed by the Pennsylvania Senate to participate in the Joint State Government’s Commission (Senate Resolution 344 of 2010), to study and investigate the criminal justice system in Philadelphia and to develop solutions for the problems involving high violent crime rates, low conviction rates, the bail system, witness intimidation and other matters of significant and important public interest. This advisory committee is comprised of approximately thirty judges, lawyers and prosecutors.
In October of 2011 and 2007, he served as the moderator for the television coverages of The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s en banc oral arguments at the National Constitution Center. Dion provided case introductions, commentary and analysis of the Court arguments.
From 2002 until 2010, Dion sat as a member of the Architects Licensure Board. Pennsylvania governors Edward G. Rendell, in 2006, and Mark S. Schweiker, in 2002, appointed Dion, with the advice and consent of the Pennsylvania Senate, to serve on the Board for two 4 year terms. This Board, acting under Pennsylvania’s Department of State, is responsible for licensing, investigating and disciplining the Commonwealth’s architects.
In January of 2004, he was appointed by the Pennsylvania Senate as a member of the Joint State Government Commission Task Force on Real Property Law (Senate Resolution 244 of 2002). This Joint Commission is a standing group of attorneys and judges from across the Commonwealth who provide legal experience and advice to assist the General Assembly by recommending improvements and changes to Pennsylvania laws.
In October of 2003, Dion was selected by America Lawyer Media, The Legal Intelligencer and the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, as one of Pennsylvania’s forty best lawyers under the age of 40. This award represents the Pennsylvania legal world’s recognition of lawyers across the state who have worked tirelessly in their professional, personal and civic lives to improve the legal landscape and the future of others.
In May of 2002, he was requested to testify before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 1376, on Joint and Several Liability. His diverse experience representing corporations, plaintiffs and insurance defendants helped clarify and articulate issues and concerns about the proposed legislation.
In January 2001, he became one of the youngest members ever appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to serve as a member of the Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee, the group which drafts and revises the rules which govern appellate practice in Pennsylvania.
Dion has published in Butterworth’s Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, and has been approved by Continuing Legal Education, Inc. to provide continuing education lectures in the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida, and California. He has provided accredited CLE for Montgomery County Bar Association and was a Keynote seminar presenter at the 2004 Luzerne County Bench/Bar Seminar on the topic of Appellate practice.
Some of the cases Dion has worked on include the following verdicts and settlements:
- $24 million for an insurance company battling a rival over a contract dispute concerning the coverage for medical services
- $18 million in total settlement value for a delayed birth injury in Delaware County causing cerebral palsy
- $17 million for a local bank against its former law firm for poor loan documentation and bad collateral
- $12.6 million pool for children in a school bus collision
- $10.1 million in total settlement value for a hypoxic brain injury caused by nursing negligence and inattentiveness in Northeastern Pennsylvania, leading to a lifetime of tax free monthly payments for the injured plaintiff
- $7 million for a gas line explosion as a result of negligent digging by a construction backhoe operator
- $5.5 million for a bicycle/motor vehicle collision resulting in a skull fracture and loss of hearing
- $5 million total settlement value (full insurance policy limits) for a birth injury/delayed birth/cerebral palsy case in rural central Pennsylvania
- $5 million for a parking lot attendant crushed by the booth he was working in at the Philadelphia sports complex
- $4.5 million for an underride truck/automobile accident in Montgomery County
- $3.75 million for a Dram Shop case where plaintiff was three (3) times the legal intoxication limit
- $3.75 million involving birth injury medical malpractice and a misdiagnosis of preeclampsia in Delaware County
- $3.5 million for a medical malpractice birth injury caused by aspirated meconium and delayed delivery
- $3.1 million for medical malpractice involving neck surgery and the failure to monitor patient carefully enough after surgery
- $3.0 million – When a kiss is more than a kiss, #metoo. A waitress was awarded $3 million by a Philadelphia jury for an unwanted kiss from a restaurant patron. Case settled confidentially/judgment marked satisfied
- $3 million for a tractor trailer/auto underride accident
- $3 million for medical malpractice involving the removal of tonsils and overmedication
- $2.5 million for medical malpractice involving colon cancer treatment and subsequent leak
- $2.5 million for medical malpractice involving an aortic dissection and the failure to recommend corrective surgery
- $2 million for a motorcyclist who was struck by a delivery vehicle
- $2 million for medical malpractice involving a hip replacement
- $1.9 million in a medical malpractice case involving an overdose of Dilantin and the failure to properly monitor
- $1.8 million for a college student who was hit by a trash truck
- $1.8 million for medical malpractice involving poor anesthesia care in a hip replacement surgery
- $1.7 million for the failure to diagnose endocarditis resulting in a stroke
- $1.65 million for legal/medical malpractice involving a child’s personal injury and failure of his lawyer to file within applicable statute of limitations
- $1.65 million involving the medical malpractice caused by an overdose of pain medication by a hospital treating kidney stones
- $1.5 million in an antitrust case for a physician who was excluded from practice at a Pennsylvania hospital
- $1.5 million for an intoxicated guest who fell from a third floor hotel balcony
- $1.5 million for medical malpractice in failing to diagnose a pulmonary embolus
- $1.2 million for a fireman involved in an intersectional collision involving the loss of a spleen
- $1 million for a tractor trailer/automobile collision
- $1 million for a one-year imprisonment in a case of false arrest and defamation
- $1 million as a result of minority shareholder oppression against one of the country’s largest financial services companies over a business transaction in rural Pennsylvania
- $1 million for medical malpractice involving the transfusion of the wrong blood type
- $1 million pool for several riders in the Duckboat tragedy
In addition to his work on commercial litigations and for catastrophically injured plaintiffs, Dion also represents one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing domestic insurance companies. He serves as that company’s lead trial counsel on major litigation matters throughout the Commonwealth and defends bad faith claims, civil rights cases, discrimination and harassment, fire and explosion cases, subrogation, general liability claims and coverage disputes.
A Philadelphia County jury handed down a $3 million verdict in favor of a waitress at a local upscale restaurant who was assaulted by a drunken patron. In filing her lawsuit, the waitress only wanted the restaurant to stand up for her rights, help her get her medical bills paid and identify the man who assaulted her. What was at first a simple request to get her back wages and medical bills paid ultimately became a significant legal victory, and a pronouncement that a young, single woman should not have been treated as outrageously as she was, with impunity. There are thousands of cases like hers throughout the country where the underdog never gets a chance in court, because the case (allegedly) does not seem big enough to pursue or worth the time and often bloated expense of the legal process. However, when examined more closely, such cases also stand for the bigger proposition that the “worth” of a case should always be set by a jury of a plaintiff’s peers and never by what an insurance company or a defendant believes the case is about. #MeToo cases are extraordinarily powerful because when tried correctly, they do not focus only on a woman’s wage loss or the amount of her medical bills; instead, it is the true, lasting nature of the insult, the loss of self-esteem, self-worth and ultimate self-doubt, that drives the case in the context of a male-dominated environment. Trying cases like these requires a lawyer to break through decades’ long established theories that wage loss and medical bills define the case. In reality, the ultimate economic worth of a case far exceeds those traditional notions and shatters antiquated industry-based norms and values. Don’t let lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, insurance companies, defendants, and even judges tell you what your case is “worth,” or what will likely happen at trial.