Arthur G. Raynes, 72 Internationally Renowned Trial Lawyer

Arthur G. Raynes, 72, founder and senior partner of the Philadelphia law firm of Raynes McCarty, died July 24. He was a resident of Wynnewood.

An internationally recognized trial lawyer who had represented high-profile and seriously injured clients for more than 45 years, Raynes was a pioneer in pharmaceutical litigation, having successfully represented more than 50 Canadian and American children born with severe birth defects in the 1960s as a result of their mother's ingestion of the teratogenic drug Thalidomide during pregnancy.

During a 17-year span, he traveled the world gathering scientific evidence to prove these children's birth defects were caused by Thalidomide.

The landmark results he eventually achieved changed the landscape of international tort law.

His work was featured by the London Sunday Times, and made into a book, Suffer the Children: The Story of Thalidomide.

Other noteworthy cases that Raynes successfully handled was his representation of the estate of Jessica Savitch, the NBC national news anchor who drowned in an automobile accident in New Hope; the families of 46 oil riggers killed in a Boeing Chinook helicopter accident at an oil rig off the coast of Scotland; and the 1,354 Spanish HIV-infected hemophiliacs and their families who contracted the HIV virus as a result of defective blood products.

He also served as co-counsel negotiating the largest wrongful-death settlement from a private person in U.S. history for the family of the Olympic wrestler David Schultz, who was murdered by John E. DuPont.

He was also one of the lead lawyers who successfully challenged the terms of the New York Stock Exchange's merger with Archipelago. And he represented the Philadelphia School District in a precedent-setting asbestos abatement and removal case involving more than 800 Philadelphia schools.

Raynes graduated from Duke University in 1956, and then earned his law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1959. A catcher on the baseball team at Duke, he was voted Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic Coast Conference as a goalie of its varsity soccer team.

His professional success led to numerous honors, including the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's Justice Michael A. Musmanno Award, and continual recognition in the publications Best Lawyers in America and Top Lawyers in America.

He was a fellow and board member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

In 2004, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers featured Raynes in its History of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers: Legends book.

He was widely involved in civic and philanthropic affairs. In 1990, he served as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and as chairman of its Board of Governors in 1985.

Raynes supported scholarships at each of the Philadelphia-area law schools, including one at the Temple University School of Law that bears his name.

He had served as a trustee of Temple University, and was a member of the Board of Visitors, as well as chairman of the Centennial Campaign of Temple's law school.

The lecture hall at Temple's law school is named in his honor in recognition of his leadership and philanthropic contributions to the institution.

He was also a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and served on the boards of Duke University, Trinity College and the Duke University Library.

A lecturer in tort litigation and trial advocacy, Raynes served as a faculty member of Temple law school's Master Degree Program in Trial Advocacy. He received the Temple University Order of the Owl Award in 1992, and was its 1996 Distinguished Service Award recipient.

He served on the board of directors of the YMCA, the Philadelphia Heart Institute, the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Moss Rehabilitation Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, in addition to the Lawyer's Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Publication Society.

Raynes is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Diane Slavitz; daughter Nancy Dubow; sons Michael Raynes and Stephen Raynes; sister Estelle Judith Bernstein; and four grandchildren.


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