Bernard W. Smalley, Sr.
Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
For more than 35 years, Mr. Smalley has devoted his legal career to advocating on behalf of victims of corporate or professional negligence. He has secured for his clients scores of seven-figure recoveries through his combination of intellect, perceptiveness and warmth.
As a young man, Mr. Smalley cut hair in his father’s West Philadelphia barber shop where he met William H. Hastie, the first African American to become Chief Judge of a Federal Court of Appeals in the United States. It was then that Chief Judge Hastie planted the seed, along with Ronald Davenport, later Dean of Duquesne Law School, Pat Swygert later of Temple Law School and President of Howard University and Judge Harvey N. Schmidt, to launch a career of serving his community by being an attorney.
Later, as a Deputy Court Administrator in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Bernie was privileged to work for and be influenced by Judge Stanley M. Greenberg. It was while working for Judge Greenberg that Bernie saw for the first time the work of a true trial lawyer fighting for his client, Arthur G. Raynes.
A well-recognized and accomplished trial attorney, Mr. Smalley is a Fellow of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been selected as a Philadelphia “Super Lawyer” every year since 2004. He frequently lectures on trial techniques before national, state and local trial lawyer and bar associations.
Mr. Smalley served as president of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and received its Justice Musmanno Award. Mr. Smalley has received also the President’s Award from The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Soaring Eagle Award from the Minority Caucus of the American Association of Justice (formerly ATLA) and the Pursuit of Justice Award from the American Bar Association, as well as the 2008 Justice Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence.
He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Associations’ House of Delegates, National Bar Association and the Barristers’ Association. Smalley sat as Chair of Hearing Committee 1.14 for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board and was a standing member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Evidence Committee. In 2014, Smalley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer.
He was elected by the Judges of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the Board of Directors of City Trusts. He is currently Vice President of the Board and serves as the Chair of the Girard College Committee. He also serves on the Board for the Ellis Trust and the Chairman’s Council of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
Smalley received his bachelor’s degree from Temple University in 1971 and his law degree from Widener University School of Law in 1980. He and his wife, Jacquelyn, live in West Philadelphia where they both grew up.
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
**The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
- Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2022
- Top 100: 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2022 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2021 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2020 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2019 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2018 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2017 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2015 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2014 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2013 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2012 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2012 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2011 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2011 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2010 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2010 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2009 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2006 Philadelphia Super Lawyers
About Bernard W. Smalley, Sr.
First Admitted: 1981, Pennsylvania
Professional Webpage: https://rayneslaw.com/attorneys/bernard-w-smalley-sr/
- Edith Kuys v. Dr. Henry Berkowitz and the Hospital of the University of PennsylvaniaConveying Your Client's Life StoryIn his very first jury trial, Bernie Smalley had the privilege of representing Mrs. Edith Kuys, whose husband died because his physicians did not promptly and effectively treat his impaired blood circulation. Every major trial has within it a life story that has been forever altered, and it is the responsibility of the skilled trial lawyer to tell that story in a way that fully depicts that loss. In this life story, the widow, Edith Kuys was a Jewish refugee who had escaped Nazi Germany during World War II with the help of the brave, Dutch underground. Although not involved in her escape, Edith’s husband-to-be was a member of the Dutch underground and was injured while helping Jews escape Nazi Germany. Years later, the two met in the United States, fell in love and married. During the course of the two week trial, Bernie was able to convey this history and their love story. Edith fought for the memory of her husband, who she loved and believed in, just as he had fought years earlier for what he believed in, freedom for Jewish people trapped in Nazi Germany. At the end of the trial, Defense counsel argued in his closing that the defense medical expert should be believed because the expert had an 86 page resume touting all of his accomplishments. During rebuttal, Bernie reminded the jury that surely former President Richard Nixon had a resume which exceeded 86 pages in length and that Nixon had no trouble playing fast and loose with the truth. After a hard fought two week trial, the jury rendered a seven-figure verdict on a Friday afternoon. That same afternoon, defense counsel told Bernie that there would be no appeal and that the following Monday the insurance company would deliver a check for the verdict’s full amount. The defendant kept its word. For years after the jury delivered its verdict, Bernie would receive on his birthday a small gift of gratitude from wherever in the world Mrs. Kuys was traveling at the time. He has kept each and every one of those tokens of gratitude to this day. The privilege of representing this incredible husband and wife and in allowing the jury to hear their story, was in many ways gift enough.
- Protecting the Health of Our ChildrenChildren are the most vulnerable group in our society. When companies don’t provide them a safe place to play, the results can be catastrophic. Erin J. was among a group of very small children who visited the well-known Montgomery County petting zoo and working farm known as Merrymead Farms. Naturally, young Erin petted the animals. Merrymead Farm, however, didn’t provide any hand washing stations and Erin contracted E-coli. Erin became terribly ill, lost a kidney, suffered permanent liver damage and needed life-time medical monitoring. Without hesitation, Erin’s father donated his kidney to help save Erin’s life. Erin’s parents then turned to Bernie Smalley to not only hold Merrymead Farm accountable for what it did, but also work to ensure that the same thing didn’t happen to any other child. Bernie firmly established that the owners of Merrymead Farm were negligent and then strenuously worked to ensure a financial recovery that would protect Erin for the rest of her life. The result was a multi-million dollar confidential settlement. Bernie is most proud that Erin’s plight caused by Merrymead Farm resulted in the Pennsylvania legislature enacting a law which mandated hand-washing stations in all petting zoos and farms in Pennsylvania.
- Psychiatric Malpractice Confidential SettlementEven though she was younger than 18, a young woman, with a history of psychiatric issues, was admitted to the adult psychiatric unit at Albert Einstein Medical Center and placed with the general population. Without adequate supervision and surveillance, the young woman was sexually assaulted by two adult men. She suffered significant physical injuries as well as emotional trauma from the assault. Bernie Smalley filed suit against Einstein Medical Center on her behalf, establishing that the Medical Center was grossly negligent. After defense counsel heard the compelling testimony of the young lady’s father, Bernie Smalley was able to secure a significant, seven-figure confidential settlement. As part of the settlement, this young lady insisted that part of her settlement funds be set used to help create a foundation to support the post-high school education for other young women with similar circumstances. That foundation exists today.
Pro bono/Community Service
- NAACP, Philadelphia Chapter, Member
- Girard College Committee, Chair
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Board of Directors, 1998
- City Trusts, Vice President - present
- Zoological Society of Philadelphia, Board
- Police Athletic League, Board of Directors, 1999
- City Trusts, Board of Directors
- Ellis Trust, Board
- Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Board, 2004
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Executive Committee, Member
- United States Supreme Court Bar, 2009
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Evidence Committee, Standing Member
- American Association of Justice
- Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, 1990-Present
- Barristers’ Association, Executive Committee, Member, 1999
- National Bar Association, Member
- Philadelphia Bar Association, Board of Governors, Member
- Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1996
- Pennsylvania Bar Associations’ House of Delegates, Member
- Temple University, 1971
- Trailblazer Award, Minority Caucus of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2002
- Justice Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence, 2008
- President’s Award, The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, 1996
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2004
- — Avvo Rating 10.0 Top Attorney
- Pursuit of Justice Award, American Bar Association, 2002
- Outstanding Young Men of America Award, 1981
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer, 2014
- Soaring Eagle Award, Minority Caucus of the American Association of Justice (formally ATLA)
- Justice Musmanno Award, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
- Cited as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Philadelphia - The Legal Intelligencer, 2002
- Legion of Honor Award, Chapel of Four Chaplains
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2003
- — AV Preeminent 5.0 Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2018
- Author, Achieving Diversity in the Profession: A Work in Progress, The Legal Intelligenccer, 2009
- Speaker, Annual Convention, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1989
- Lecturer, Civil Practice Options, Complex Litigation, Harvard Law School, 2001
- Speaker, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2002
- Lecturer, Litigation for Social Change, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2005
- Speaker, American Association of Justice, formerly ATLA, 2006
- Speaker, Widener University School of Law, 2009
- Speaker, Annual Convention, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1994
- Speaker, New Jersey Trial Lawyers Association, 1995
- Speaker, Annual Convention, New York Trial Lawyers, 1995
- Speaker, Annual Convention, Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, 1995
- Speaker, Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, 1996
- Speaker, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1997
- Speaker, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2000
- Speaker, ATLA-NJ Boardwalk Seminars, 2008
Last Updated: 5/15/2022