September 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
September, 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
George Bochetto is a nationally acclaimed trial lawyer and litigator and has been recognized in countless cases for his unrelenting and persuasive litigation and trial techniques. George has been cited for "Raising the Bar" by the National Law Journal, and has been written about and featured in dozens of trade journals and legal publications throughout the United States. Not only is George a well-known trial lawyer with multi-million-dollar awards against national and multi-national corporations, George is also a very accomplished appellate advocate, having appeared before the highest appellate courts in the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on cutting edge, often controversial legal issues involving free speech, the separation of church and state, campaign finance reform, and legal ethics.
George is an accomplished author and lecturer, offering numerous legal seminars and speaking at various law schools, including frequent engagements as an expert commentator and consultant in areas of wrongful use litigation, ethics, and trial strategies. George is often hired by other attorneys or judges to represent them personally, and he is frequently engaged by parties as an expert witness in wrongful use or legal malpractice matters. George was recently the lead author of a popular legal treatise, Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings and Related Torts in Pennsylvania, published by The Legal Intelligencer currently in its 2d edition.
Often times George is engaged when a litigation matter involves a particularly complicated set of facts or circumstances that requires George's unique set of skills both in the courtroom and as a legal scholar. George appears on countless local and national television broadcasts regarding many of his cases.
In addition to his litigation practice, George has been a lifelong member of the athletic community and was appointed Pennsylvania's State Boxing Commissioner in 1995, serving until 2002, where he completely revamped the regulation of boxing in Pennsylvania. George has been listed in Who's Who in American Law, Men of Achievement, National Registry of Who's Who, Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The National Law Journal and Best Lawyers in America, and was the recipient of the 1996 Chairman's Award from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the 1997 Man of the Year award from the Pennsylvania Veterans' Boxing Association, and the Boxing Commissioner of the Year (1999), award. George's practice areas are in complex civil trial and appellate litigation, with emphasis on white collar defense, defamation, RICO matters, commercial litigation, tax and fraud prosecution and defense, injunctive actions, and appellate litigation.
In a recent legal victory in challenging the decision of the City of Philadelphia to remove the Christopher Columbus Statue at Marconi Plaza, a public space in South Philadelphia.
In a strongly worded opinion, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick ruled that city officials had no legal basis or justification for removing the statue:
"It is baffling to this Court as to how the City of Philadelphia wants to remove the Statue without any legal basis. The City's entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation."
Judge Patrick found that the City's removal of the Columbus statue – which is considered a historical object – was not "necessary in the public interest."
At its core, the important legal battle here centered on the City of Philadelphia's failure to follow the rule of law and its own procedures in denying due process and an opportunity to be heard by concerned citizens over the removal of the statue. Legal due process matters, and arbitrarily disregarding it for the sake of expediency, is never acceptable. If history has taught us anything, it is that legal due process is the critical and necessary first step in preventing mob rule and deterring the denigration of one's ethnicity.
George graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in History from S.U.N.Y At Albany in 1975 and Cum Laude from Temple University School of Law in 1978. His Bar Admissions are Pennsylvania, New York and District of Columbia.
Una Piccola Conversazione
1. How long have you been a member of the Justinian Society?
2. Why did you join the Justinian Society, and what do you hope to gain from membership?
For the fraternity of working with other lawyers, and because they had the best Christmas Party every year.
3. What do you love or enjoy most about your job?
Being on the inside of many major controversies, and looking for resolutions outside the box.
4. How would you define success?
By the number of loved ones and friends I have, which makes me a billionaire.
5. Who or what inspires you?
The "what" is winning when there was no chance of doing so; the "who" was Muhamad Ali while I was growing up an orphan.
6. If you could choose anyone in history as a mentor, who would you choose and why?
Muhamad Ali.: Indomitable. Tough. Fun. Beautiful. Wise.
7. Name one valuable lesson you've learned in your life and that you would advise other members to follow?
If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing. Find your passion and never let go.
8. What's something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
Frequently mistaken for being the son of Joseph Zawrotny, Esq.----that always classy, fun lawyer who never took himself too seriously.
9. What's the last book you read?
Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye, by J Russell Peltz. A learned history of boxing in Philadelphia over the last 50 years.
10. What's your favorite thing about Philadelphia, i.e., sports team, restaurant, museum, history, music etc.?
It's the "smallest" big city in the world, where you can really get to know each other.