David Kwass and Robert Zimmerman joined Sonny Banks and co-host Joe Dougherty on “The Pain and Wellness Hour with Sonny Banks.”
Listen to the podcast below.
About the podcast hosts and guests.
David Kwass does not have the usual lawyer resume—some of his not typical credentials include a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Georgetown, a summer job at the FBI Academy, a bartender in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a brief stint as a member in an early version of the Dave Matthews Band (before they hit it big).
And after nearly seven years of doing insurance defense work for corporate clients at one of the big Philadelphia law firms, he joined Saltz Mongeluzzi to become a plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer. As a defense lawyer, Dave felt like his clients were winning cases that they shouldn’t given the underlying facts about what they did (and failed to do). He thought the plaintiffs on the losing side would benefit from a lawyer with the financial clout to really invest in the case.
Once he landed at Saltz Mongeluzzi he had an opportunity to develop the kind of well-resourced plaintiffs’ practice that he always wanted. And given Dave’s academic background, he was drawn to categories of cases that required very technical, detailed subject-matter focus—accidents involving cranes, aerial lifts and guardrails.
Backed by a team of four associates and three paralegals, Dave’s practice has a national footprint. Most of his weeks are spent traveling around the country working on his own crane and lift cases—and partnering with other law firms that need his help with the technical aspects of the complex litigation that results from crane and lift accidents.
Construction equipment cases are not an easy road for the victims. The litigation typically takes between four and seven years to get resolved and, in the meantime, the employer and insurance company are blaming the victim, OSHA is blaming the employer, and the survivors are hearing rumors that the injured or deceased plaintiff is really the one at fault. The family’s normal life is gone and everyone is upset, angry and confused.
Bob Zimmerman has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky clients and is a leader of the trial lawyer bar in the city of Philadelphia and throughout the state. For nine straight years between 2012 and 2020, Robert has been selected by his peers as a “Rising Star” in Philadelphia Magazine’s SuperLawyers edition, an honor reserved for the top 2.5 percent of attorneys under 40 years old. His results include a $124 million dollar verdict in an assault and battery case in Montgomery County, a confidential settlement mid-trial arising from an escalator derailment at the former Giants Stadium that seriously injured 8 individuals, and a $24 million dollar settlement mid-trial in a product liability action against an industrial machine manufacturer.
Robert has hands-on experience with the tools and equipment used by the construction workers he represents. He is a Certified Aerial Lift Operator, Forklift Operator, Crane Operator, Rigger, and Signalman. Robert has also completed the OSHA 10 hour workplace safety course, has taken courses in Architectural Drawings, and is certified in the use of Automated External Defibrillators and CPR.
Robert is a graduate of King’s College, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, where he was a member of the Mu Kappa Tau Honor Society and student government, and was the basketball team’s play-by-play radio broadcaster. He is currently a board member of the college’s Philadelphia alumni association.
Robert holds a law degree from the Villanova University School of Law (2008), where he served a judicial externship in the Civil Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and was a member of various legal interest groups, including the Pro Bono Society and Child Advocacy Law Association. As a member of Villanova’s Civil Justice Clinic, he was authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to represent clients who could not afford to hire attorneys in civil lawsuits while he was still in law school. Robert clerked during law school for one of Philadelphia’s major civil defense litigation firms before joining Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky in the summer of 2007.
In May 2011, Robert graduated from the nationally ranked LL.M. (Master’s of Law) in Trial Advocacy Program at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. He now serves as a Lecturer and Judge Instructor for the program.
Halmon L. “Sonny” Banks, III, Esq., is the founder of Banks Law. Mr. Banks has practiced exclusively in the area of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation since 1985, and is a Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist as certified by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He is a member of the Pennsylvania State Bar as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals of the Federal Bar. Mr. Banks is a member of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association. He is also the past Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He is also on the Program Planning Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He assists in putting together and presenting programs for the Workers’ Compensation Fall Section Meetings. These seminars are attended by attorneys throughout the state of Pennsylvania who practice in the area of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. In 2008, Mr. Banks was awarded the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section’s Martha J. Hampton Award. That award is presented to the workers’ compensation attorney or judge who best exemplifies a commitment to the profession while maintaining a unique and close relationship with members of the bar and bench, as well as exemplary compassion, dedication and professionalism. Mr. Banks was recently named the Best Lawyers 2014 Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Law-Claimant’s “Lawyer of the Year.” He is also a member of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania Association for Justice.
He remains active in both the State and Local Bar Associations in their Workers’ Compensation Sections. Mr. Banks regularly attends continuing legal education seminars on workers’ compensation. He continues to practice on a regular basis before Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judges and the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.
Mr. Banks resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Kim, and his three boys, Jake, Griffin, and Mason.