Tom Kline and Shanin Specter have been named to Lawdragon's Leading Lawyers in America, those lawyers chosen as the best 500 in the nation. Lawyers selected by Lawdragon, a national online and print legal-services information company, included lawyers from across a broad spectrum, ranging from academics to private attorneys, prosecutors to judges, even including members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 500 lawyers are the best of the best, comprising less than one-tenth of one percent of the more than 1.2 million attorneys in the United States. The list was compiled from among some 30,000 nominees and 3,000 finalists chosen by a group of veteran legal journalists who culled through reports of outstanding lawyers and judges practicing in nearly 100 different practice areas. Winners were selected based upon "their sustained excellence and role in defining American law."

Law dragon

The 500 winners are announced in Lawdragon Magazine. Shanin Specter has been named to the list for several years, while Kline has been chosen every year dating back to 2005, Lawdragon's inaugural list, qualifying him as one of 50 lawyers chosen recently by Lawdragon as "The Legends" -- "a dazzling array of law firm leaders, plaintiff icons, Supreme Court justices, corporate counsel and public interest attorneys." Kline was among Lawdragon's national listing of Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers, a recognition spanning more than 20 practice areas. Lawdragon called this designation "the most elite given for American lawyers."

Also, Kline and Specter earlier were named to the exclusive list of Leading Litigators in America by Lawdragon.

"From the sultans of securities to the kings (and queens) of class actions, these courtroom favorites wow us with their talent and tenacity," said Lawdragon in one listing of the nation's top litigators. The service held voting and conducted interviews in arriving at its list of "the best and brightest of the legal profession" from among many thousands of nominees.

In selecting its top 500 Leading Lawyers, Lawdragon, headed by award-winning legal journalists and lawyers, conducted nationwide voting and interviewed thousands of litigators, professors and judges. As Lawdragon noted: “Our only goal: hunt down the best legal talent the country had to offer.”

In 2011, it recognized Specter for a case settled the previous year, stating: "The unstoppable Specter negotiated a $12 million settlement with the Philadelphia Housing Authority for a child injured by mold exposure in public-subsidized housing. (See The McKinney Case)

It also cited a 2010 case in praising Kline for winning "a $10.5M settlement and measure of justice for the family of a troubled Philadelphia teen strangled to death in a Tennessee Treatment Center." (See The Leach Case)

One it's website, Lawdragon additionally saluted Kline's career by noting: "This former sixth-grade teacher has become the leading personal injury plaintiffs' lawyer in Pennsylvania." Thomas Kline is no stranger to personal injury wins. During one week in 2004, Kline settled two cases - one for $29.6 million for the families of three women killed in a pier collapse, and the other for $10 million for the family of a kindergarten er who was killed when a lunch table collapsed on him. Kline won national acclaim in 1999 after winning a $51 million verdict on behalf of a 5-year-old boy whose foot was torn off in a subway escalator.

Click here to view the entire Lawdragon list

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The Lawdragon 500:

Inclusion in the Lawdragon 500 is based on votes that are submitted to our website or that Lawdragon reporters solicit from clients, judges and attorneys across geographic and practice-area divisions. Lawdragon then conducts independent research on the information submitted and compiles the list. Our editorial staff and an advisory board also review the votes to ensure the credibility of each entry and to ensure the breadth and depth of each practice area and geographic region has been maintained.