The Legal Team

Michael Anthony DeFino

A Summa Cum Laude graduate, Phi Beta Kappa member and 1978 graduate of Villanova University School of Law, Michael Anthony DeFino’s has tried a multitude of high-profile cases reported by CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, ESPN, ABC, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Chicago Tribune and New York Times.

Mr. DeFino is the lone attorney to secure an acquittal for his client in one of the most complex multi-defendant federal criminal cases in Philadelphia’s history. He has represented a plethora of civil clients in medical malpractice and personal injury suits and obtained several multi-million dollar settlements.

Mr. DeFino has appeared before every level of state & federal court in Pennsylvania and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He has served as a senior hearing officer of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board.

Voted a Pennsylvania “super Lawyer” Every Year Since 2005

Mr. DeFino has been voted as a member of the Pennsylvania Super Lawyer List for sixteen consecutive years (2005 – 2020). Super Lawyers are nominated and voted on by other lawyers in the state. Only 5% of all lawyers in the Commonwealth of PA reach Super Lawyer status in a given year, and Mr. DeFino has made it for 16 years in a row!


De Fino
Nicholas J. Starinieri

A 1988 graduate of Villanova University School of Law, Nick Starinieri is the managing attorney for DeFino Law Associates, P.C. Mr. Starinieri has handled the firm’s most complex civil litigation cases, setting legal precedent in the case of Suburban Delivery v. W.C.A.B., where the Court established workers’ compensation claimants’ right to keep more of their recoveries from accident cases involving structured settlements. He focuses his practice on personal injury, probate & estate, real estate, and other civil litigation matters, including medical malpractice. Mr. Starinieri is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is an associate member of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.


  • Villanova University School of Law - 1988
  • Villanova University - 1985

Bar Licenses

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • United States Distirct Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • United States for the District of New Jersey
Vincent Anthony Defino

A 1990 Graduate of Temple University and 1993 Widener Law, and the Son of The Late Anthony J DeFino and Rose DeFino, Vincent Anthony DeFino(Partner DeFino Law Associates) has excelled in the field of Civil Law. Mr. DeFino’s skills in negotiations have allowed him to settle millions of dollars in personal injury claims each year while his personable disposition, charm, and sense of humor endears him to all his clients, and has forged unparalleled ties in the Legal and Business Community.

Mr. DeFino performs a multitude of Pro-Bono work representing Community Groups as well as The SPBA. Mr. DeFino served as President from 2004 through 2007, is a current Board Member, and was instrumental in Creating The South Philadelphia Business Association Scholarship Fund, as we know it today. He has assisted in raising and doling out Scholarships in excess of Several Hundred thousand Dollars to graduating South Philadelphia High School Seniors from diverse and multi-cultural backgrounds.

The Person of the Year event is his favorite night of the year, watching all his favorite friends in Business come together for this benevolent Cause. Mr. Defino is a Proud Family man, happily married for 25 years to Nella DeFino with 3 Beautiful Children, Nicole, Rose, and Vincent, and his Yorkie Pal Bubba DeFino.

Mr. DeFino was the winner of the South Philadelphia Business Association Person of the year award for 2017. The South Philadelphia Business Association is a community organization dedicated to helping small businesses thrive in South Philadelphia. In addition to helping small businesses, and with the help of Vincent’s leadership on the scholarship committee, the organization raises thousands of ($10,000.00 in 2017) in scholarship funds that are given to deserving South Philadelphia natives for higher education each year.

Nicholas L. Palazzo

Cell: (267) 767-5218
Email: [email protected].com
My name is Nick Palazzo, and I am a Philadelphia Trial Lawyer. When I first began practicing law, I quickly realized that “there is no fight too big and no case too small." Everyone deserves his or her day in court.

I strive to return big results for the underdog. I confidently and aggressively represented my clients in over 25 jury trials, countless arbitrations and have collected millions of dollars in settlements for my clients.

I was one of the youngest attorneys in Pennsylvania to obtain a jury verdict for damages in excess of one million dollars (2013 Philadelphia County). That verdict ranked as one of the top 40 verdicts in PA for the year 2013.

I was born and raised in South Philadelphia and grew up in the shadows of Veterans’ stadium. Our law firm is just steps away and is currently on South Broad Street. At DeFino Law Associates, we will make sure you “Don’t Get Bullied” by the insurance companies or the criminal justice system.

Let me fight for you.
Call me for any legal needs at (267) 767-5218 and speak directly with me.

Super Lawyer Rising Star

Mr. Palazzo has been voted as a member of the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star List for four consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020). Rising Star status is reserved for the top attorneys under age 40 in PA. Attorneys are nominated and then voted on by other PA attorneys. Only 2.5% of all attorneys in the Commonwealth of PA are given the prestigious honor of “Rising Star,” and Mr. Palazzo has reached this status for four years in a row.

De Fino

Some proud victories:

  • $1.2 million dollar verdict for a 15 year old girl who suffered a laceration resulting in a 3 inch scar above her knee. She injured her knee while riding her bicycle alongside a building with a protruding fire department standpipe. The offer pre-trial was only $25,000 as the defense argued that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover because she was illegally riding her bicycle on the sidewalk. Mr. Palazzo proved to the jury that the girl’s young age made her negligence excusable in comparison to the premises owner, who allowed the dangerous condition to exist for an extended period of time. This was one of the top 40 verdicts in the state of PA for that year.
  • $750,000.00 for an aggravation injury for a client who had already previously suffered from a similar injury for over ten years prior to the accident. The injury occurred from a slip on ice due to a defective roofing system. Mr. Palazzo was able to recover hidden evidence that suggested that the defense was delaying repairs to the facility for over a four year period for financial gain.
  • $250,000 verdict for woman who had a knee injury in a rear-end auto accident. There was minimal 4 figure offers in the case pre-trial because the defendants (insured by Statefarm and Allstate) argued that the accident was too minor to cause the injury and that the Plaintiff didn’t seek out medical attention for over four months. The Jury disagreed.
  • $500,000 settlement for injured moped driver against a Church who was operating a van and in Philadelphia for a missionary event. The Defense refused to negotiate in good faith initially because the Plaintiff was allegedly intoxicated, and the Defendant was a Church. Mr. Palazzo was able to convince the Court to negotiate a settlement for the Plaintiff who suffered a scar on his face from the accident despite the difficult liability and the sympathetic defendants.
  • Not guilty verdict for a 19 year old defendant charged with first-degree murder and facing a life sentence. The Defendant gave statements to the police about his involvement in causing the death of the student; but Mr. Palazzo argued that the police never fully recorded the entire statement, and although he did admit that he caused her death, there was insufficient evidence to convict him of intentionally killing his ex-girlfriend. The Jury found the Defendant not guilty of first-degree murder.
  • $450,000 settlement for a man who struck his head in a restroom stall when the handicapped railing collapsed. The man sustained a head injury, with post-concussion syndrome and aggravation of pre-existing injuries but had minimal treatment beyond pain and headache medication.


  • Delaware (widener university) school of law — graduate 2010 — cum laude
  • Pennsylvania state university — b.S. Economics — graduate 2007
  • St. John neumann high school — graduate 2003

Bar Licenses

  • Pennsylvania
  • New jersey
  • Eastern district of pa — federal court admission
  • Western district of pa — federal court admission


  • Philadelphia trial lawyer’s association
  • Pennsylvania association for justice
  • Pennsylvania bar association
  • American bar association young lawyers’ division
  • South philadelphia business association
  • Member and scholarship recipient of the philadelphia justinian society.
  • Member of the sigma phi epsilon fraternity
  • Proud member of the jacks new year’s brigade #1 2019
Ben Simmons

Ben practices in general civil litigation and criminal defense and has successfully represented Plaintiffs, civil and criminal Defendants in arbitrations, binding arbitrations, and jury trials in Philadelphia and throughout the surrounding counties. He has also litigated appeals in the Pennsylvania Superior Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Ben has been selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars List for each of the last three years (2017, 2018, and 2019).

Practice Areas

  • Premises liability, slip/trip-and-fall accidents
  • Civil rights and prisoner litigation including medical neglect, excessive force, malicious prosecution, and state-created danger
  • Criminal defense (drug offenses, assault, DUI, firearms offenses, etc.)
  • Medical/nursing malpractice
  • Motor vehicle accidents (third-party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits)
  • Breach of contract and small business representation
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Property forfeiture
  • Property code violations
  • Firearms permits
  • Traffic offenses

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania

Prior to joining DeFino Law Associates, Ben completed a Drexel University co-op placement with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in their Corporate Finance and Business Litigation departments, and a clerkship with Koller Law PC in Plaintiff’s civil rights and employment litigation. He was also a founding member of the fellowship program at Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, performing due diligence evaluations of growth-stage companies for private investment.

Ben graduated cum laude from the Drexel University College of Law with a concentration in Business and Entrepreneurship, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from Bloomsburg University. Ben lives in Graduate Hospital with his wife, who runs her own personal training business.