Longtime Philadelphia lawyer Michael C. Rainone died October 17 in Binghamton, N.Y.
Rainone was involved in three leading cases in Pennsylvania: Pinto v. Pinto, Back Salary v. Smith and Parker v. Yellow Cab, according to information provided by Dan Cirucci, a public relations consultant and lecturer in corporate communication at Penn State Abington.
He also belonged to several legal organizations, including as president of the National Italian American Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Club of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. He was a board member of the PTLA and the Justinian Society of Italian-American Lawyers, and chaired the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s Andrew Hamilton Ball and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Conference. He served as secretary of the Philadelphia Bar Association and as a member of its board of governors.
Rainone was also instrumental in creating two awards, serving as chair emeritus of the Cesare Beccaria Award Committee, which honors the memory of Italian legal scholar Cesare Beccaria, and the Justice Michael A. Musmanno Award Committee. He was behind efforts to place a bust of Beccaria in the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Cirucci said.
In 2003, at the age of 85, Rainone was told by the then-Philadelphia Bar Association chancellor: “‘We are proud to count you as a former officer, a former board member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and a treasured member of our professional family. … We are happy that you continue to remain active and give of yourself to lead and encourage others in so many positive ways,’” according to Cirucci. In 2011, Rainone was inducted into the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 65 Year Club, recognizing his 65 years in the legal profession.
As with his legal work, Rainone was also an avid advocate of Italian-American advancement. He was the international president of Orphans of Italy Inc., the regional vice-president of the National Italian American Foundation, the president of the Columbus Day Committee of Pennsylvania and a founder and president of two lodges of the Order Sons of Italy in America. He was also recognized by the president of Italy with the title of cavalier and later, as commander.
“Mike Rainone was a passionate advocate for all of the many causes that he championed,” Cirucci wrote in a post for his blog, dancirucci.blogspot.com. “He was an indefatigable civic and community leader, a champion of Italian-American advancement and recognition, a lover of all things Italian, a tireless leader of the organized bar, a proud defender of freedom and justice and a devoted husband and father.”
Rainone is survived by his wife, Ledena; his son, Sebastian; his daughter, Francine; his grandson, Christopher; his granddaughter, Alexandra; his great-granddaughter, Seraphina Lillian; and his sister, Connie. •