Erica A. Sabatini

Erica A. Sabatini

esabatini@willmanlaw.com

esabatini@willmanlaw.com

  
Erica A. Sabatini joined Willman & Silvaggio in 2013. Since then, her focus has been on civil defense litigation and the area of toxic torts. Ms. Sabatini earned her Juris Doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law in 2013. She was an active member of Duquesne’s Trial Advocacy team and was deemed an Outstanding Advocate for the First Year Appellate Argument Exercise. In her second year, Ms. Sabatini led her team to victory and her team was named regional champion of the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition. In the fall of that year, her team placed second at the National Civil Trial Competition.

During her time at Duquesne University, Ms. Sabatini received numerous awards including the Katie Elisabeth Westbrook, the Shalom Moot Court Award, and the Lynette Norton Memorial Award. Most notably she was chosen for membership in The Order of the Barristers — an honorary society that recognizes excellence in trial advocacy. She has previously served as a coach for the Duquesne University School of Law National Trial Advocacy Team and annually serves as a judge for mock trial competitions.

Prior to attending the Duquesne University School of Law, Ms. Sabatini graduated with honors in 2010 from Allegheny College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and minored in French. As a result, she is fluent in the language.

Ms. Sabatini is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2013. She was subsequently admitted to the West Virginia Bar and the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in 2014. She is an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division.

In addition, Ms. Sabatini had the honor of being a selected as a member of 20th Anniversary Class of Fifty Finest for the Western Pennsylvania Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She personally raised over $10,000 for research and funds to assist families with children impacted by Cystic Fibrosis. In her free time, Ms. Sabatini is an active member of her church as a lector and serves on the CORE team of her church’s youth group. She is also an avid obstacle course racer.
 
  
  
Erica A. Sabatini joined Willman & Silvaggio in 2013. Since then, her focus has been on civil defense litigation and the area of toxic torts. Ms. Sabatini earned her Juris Doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law in 2013. She was an active member of Duquesne’s Trial Advocacy team and was deemed an Outstanding Advocate for the First Year Appellate Argument Exercise. In her second year, Ms. Sabatini led her team to victory and her team was named regional champion of the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition. In the fall of that year, her team placed second at the National Civil Trial Competition.

During her time at Duquesne University, Ms. Sabatini received numerous awards including the Katie Elisabeth Westbrook, the Shalom Moot Court Award, and the Lynette Norton Memorial Award. Most notably she was chosen for membership in The Order of the Barristers — an honorary society that recognizes excellence in trial advocacy. She has previously served as a coach for the Duquesne University School of Law National Trial Advocacy Team and annually serves as a judge for mock trial competitions.

Prior to attending the Duquesne University School of Law, Ms. Sabatini graduated with honors in 2010 from Allegheny College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and minored in French. As a result, she is fluent in the language.

Ms. Sabatini is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2013. She was subsequently admitted to the West Virginia Bar and the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in 2014. She is an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division.

In addition, Ms. Sabatini had the honor of being a selected as a member of 20th Anniversary Class of Fifty Finest for the Western Pennsylvania Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She personally raised over $10,000 for research and funds to assist families with children impacted by Cystic Fibrosis. In her free time, Ms. Sabatini is an active member of her church as a lector and serves on the CORE team of her church’s youth group. She is also an avid obstacle course racer.
 
  
Admitted to:
 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • West Virginia 
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia 
Admitted to:
 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • West Virginia 
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia 
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Willman & Silvaggio, LLP Obtains a Court ruling for the Elks Which Upholds an Important Common Law Principle  
 

5/31/2010
 
In a Per Curiam Order dated April 16, 2010, the Pa. Supreme Court denied an appeal by Richard Bisher, a member of the Scottsdale Elks Lodge No. 777, who sought recovery for injuries arising from a bizarre state of facts. On December 20, 2002, Mr. Bisher was assaulted in his home by another Elks Lodge member, Frank Moore, who had been drinking at the Elks Lodge the night before. Following the assault, Mr. Moore took his own life.
Mr. Bisher subsequently commenced a lawsuit against both the Elks Lodge and the Estate of Frank Moore for his injuries. Because Mr. Bisher was a member of the Elks Lodge, which was an unincorporated association, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Elks Lodge. This ruling was based upon the Common Law principle that states that members of an unincorporated association may not recover from the association in tort, because the negligence of a member, including the association and its officers, is imputed to all of the members.
Despite the fact that Mr. Bisher was not engaged in a function associated with the lodge, and, in fact, was not even on lodge property when the assault occurred, the court nevertheless found that as a member of an unincorporated association he could not recover for his injuries in a tort lawsuit from that association. Following this ruling by the lower court, Mr. Bisher appealed to the Pa. Superior Court which upheld the summary judgment verdict in favor of the Elks Lodge. Prior to that appeal, Mr. Bisher had obtained a $900,000 verdict against the Estate of Frank Moore.
Following the Pa. Superior Court’s ruling, Mr. Bisher sought review by the Pa. Supreme Court. The Pa. Supreme Court, in turn, denied Mr. Bisher’s Petition for Review, thereby finalizing the lower court’s award of summary judgment in favor of the Elks Lodge.
This verdict is important for all unincorporated associations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania such as churches, fraternal groups and volunteer fire departments. The court refused Mr. Bisher’s plea to change the law holding that if such a determination is to be made, it must be made through the legislature.
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