May 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
Alexander B. Giacobetti, Esquire
May 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
Alexander B. Giacobetti general practice includes Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Products Liability cases.
This year marks my 50th year out of law school. 1971 doesn't seem like it was all that long ago until it's juxtaposed with the number "50". It especially stings when my Millennial opponents refer to case law from the 1970's as "really old". Like those 70's cases, my peer group may be old, but we're still relevant! I am thrilled to be able to continue practicing law on a full-time basis and I'm proud to say that for just about all of those 50 years, I've been a Justinian.
Being actively involved with our Society and The Philadelphia Bar Association is a great source of gratification to me. Service to our members and to the Bench and Bar has been a Justinian hallmark since 1935. Our many Justinian Judges and Bar Chancellors have been, and continue to be, the extraordinary legacy of the Society's founding members. I was privileged to contribute to that legacy by serving as Justinian Chancellor from 2000 to 2002.
It has been my honor to serve our Bar Association as a member of the Board of Governors for three years, Co-Chair of the State Civil Litigation Section, Chair of the Economics of Law Practice Committee, a member of, and investigator for, the Judicial Commission, and Chair of the Fidelity Award. For several years, I was the Association's Judge of Elections. I was privileged to sit as a Hearing Committee Member of the Disciplinary Board for twelve years.
I continue to serve as a Judge Pro Tem and Arbitrator in both C.P. and Federal Court and, for several years at Villanova, was a Moot Court Judge and Judge in their Client Counseling Competition.
I am also proud of, and grateful to, those of our members who donated to the 2020 American British Reliability Run, a two-day charity car drive that benefitted Shriners Hospitals for Children. The pre-event goal was to raise $50,000.00. Thanks to the generosity of our members, Scuderia Italiano, the team of Teri and Alex, raised $3,245.00 for first place on the first day of the run which, in total, raised $66,950.00 for Shriners Hospital. Thanks again for your most generous contributions.
Thank you for including me among the Justinians honored each month. I feel like I've been voted onto an All-Star team!
Una Piccola Conversazione
1. How long have you been a member of the Justinian Society?
I joined the Society in 1971 after attending the Christmas Party as the guest of Judge Theodore Gutowicz for whom I clerked.
2. Why did you join the Justinian Society, and what do you hope to gain from membership?
Unlike Judge Presenza who knew many of the members before he joined the Society, I knew no one. The Society has provided me the opportunity to meet and become friends with many lawyers whose career paths would not have otherwise intersected with mine.
3. What do you love or enjoy most about your job?
The satisfaction derived from doing good work for my clients - particularly when the effort is recognized and appreciated.
4. How would you define success?
I learned in high school that the world should be a better place because you walked through it. There is no better definition of success.
5. Who or what inspires you?
The joy of work.
6. If you could choose anyone in history as a mentor, who would you choose and why?
My parents, particularly my mother, were determined that I'd attend college. Thus, I was the first college graduate in my extended family. My father, the eldest of seven, dropped out of school in 8th grade to help support his family. After World War II, my father opened a tiny grocery in the building we lived in. It was open every day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. I like to think I got my work ethic from my father. From history, I'd choose F.D.R. and Churchill, ex aequo.
7. Name one valuable lesson you've learned in your life and that you would advise other members to follow?
Because we're in a profession in which it's often easy to make a bad choice or to take the wrong road, I try to not be too judgmental of my clients and colleagues. My advice, to borrow from Spike Lee, is to "Do the right thing!".
8. What's something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I have an accumulation (not a collection) of old cars.
9. What's the last book you read?
"The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare" by Christian Brose. This disturbing book was written in 2020 by a former security advisor to Senator John McCain. It is a "wake-up call" to the Department of Defense that its traditional thinking about warfare and its legacy weaponry will fail to protect the U.S. in this age of A.I. I also just read Melville's "Moby Dick" and took a deep dive with him into whales, whaling, and one man's fatal obsession.
10. What's your favorite thing about Philadelphia, i.e., sports team, restaurant, museum, history, music etc.?
Philadelphia's history, traditions, classic architecture and current hip vibe.