Joseph M. Donley



Two Commerce Square
2001 Market St, Suite 2620
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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J.D., University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio, 1976, Editor-in-Chief, Akron Law Review, 1975-1976
B.S., Pennsylvania State University - University Park, State College, Pennsylvania, 1973
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Ct., M.D. of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Ct, District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of International Trade
Large 10 years
Super lawyers 2015

Joseph M. Donley


Joseph M. Donley is a Member of Clark Hill and the Leader of the firm’s Insurance & Reinsurance group. Joe concentrates his practice in complex business and other civil litigation including the areas of insurance and reinsurance litigation. He has extensive experience representing both foreign and domestic clients in a variety of business and insurance related matters, including regulatory matters and agency proceedings. He has successfully handled numerous major reinsurance arbitrations and trials. In addition Joe has experience in representing managing general agents, producers and brokers in most facets of their legal needs.  Joe also has extensive experience representing clients in both jury and non-jury cases in defense of major personal injury, death and property damages claims in both state and federal courts. He has successfully tried and resolved numerous major products liability and tort cases, defending electric and gas utilities, crane and other heavy and light equipment manufacturers, and architects and engineers, including claims concerning toxic torts, construction defects, and general casualty.

Joe earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Akron in 1976 and his Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections from Pennsylvania State University in 1973. Upon graduating law school, he was Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court before entering private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For 16 consecutive years, Joe has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, an honor bestowed upon the top five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers. He has been designated as one of “The Best of the Best USA – Insurance & Reinsurance” by Expert Guides, the Legal Media Group Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers, and also named in The International Who's Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers. Joe has received an "AV Preeminent" Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the International Bar Association. Joe is Leader of Mackrell International’s Insurance Practice Group.


  • Citizen Suits Go Now?” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminars in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, July 1988.
  • Speaker, “Departures from and Lateral Hires into Law Firms”, “What Happens if Whole Firm is Being Merged? Conflicts? Choice of Law if International Firms Merge?” – Presented by the Professional Ethics Committee, the Alternative Business Structures Committee and the Law Firm Management Committee, International Bar Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC, September 2016.
  • Speaker, “Best Practices Around Program Managers,” Society of Insurance Financial Management 54th Annual Conference, September 2013.
  • Presenter, “Procedures of How to Incorporate Companies in Italy vs. US, Differences Between Italian and US Regulations and the Way to do Business in These Countries,” Co-sponsored Seminar with Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia and Studio Legale Pavia e Ansaldo, June 2013.
  • Speaker, “Demystifying Reinsurance: A Basics of Reinsurance Course,” Reinsurance Association of America’s Re Basics Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 2011.
  • Speaker, “Risks and Opportunities in the New Run-Off World,” Reinsurance Association of America’s Current Issues Forum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2010.
  • Speaker, “The Globalization of the Insurance Industry,” Mealey’s Litigation Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 2008.
  • Presenter, “Tropical Storm Allison, The Perfect Energy Storm, Village Green Apartments,” Aegis National Claims Conference, October 2006.
  • Presenter, “New Asbestos Documentation Requirements for Centuries Old Cedent – A Cedent’s Viewpoint,” Mealey’s Reinsurance Summit: Industry Challenges and Solutions Conference, November 2002.
  • Presenter, “Insurance Coverage for Environmental Claims,” National Business Institute Seminar of Current Issues in Pennsylvania Environmental Law, April 1999.
  • Presenter, “Privileges and Other Considerations Regarding the Production of Documents and Things (Pa.R.C.P. 4009; Fed.R.C.P.34),” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 1995 and August 1996.
  • Presenter, “Taking Depositions: Current Issues and Practical Considerations,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 1995, August 1996.
  • “Gwaltney: Where Do Citizen Suits Go Now?” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminars in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, July 1988.


  • Expert Guides – The Best of the Best USA, “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: How it Applies to Reinsurance Agreements,” 2013.
  • Communiqué, “Additional Insureds, Indemnification Agreements, and Certificates of Insurance. Are You Really Covered?” May 2012.
  • Author, "Insurance: The Return to the Fundamentals of Risk Management," ATL Insurance Law 2010: Top Lawyers on Trends and Key Strategies for the Upcoming Year, February 2010.
  • Co-Author, “Hugging the Shore: Can North American Insurers Compete in the Global Market?” Canadian Insurance Business Magazine, December 2009.
  • “Best Practices to Avoid Bad Faith Claims,” Minimizing Insurance Liability, January 2009.
  • Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, “Discovery of Reinsurance Information Remains Unresolved in Most Jurisdictions,” October 15, 1997.
  • Note, 8, Akron Law Review 171, 1974.
  • “Guidelines for Drafting Municipal Noise Control Ordinances.”
2004 - 2020: Super Lawyers - Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania's Super Lawyers & Rising Stars list.
"Best of the Best USA - Insurance & Reinsurance," Expert Guides, the Legal Media Group Guides to the World's Leading Lawyers
International Who's Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers
Philadelphia Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
American Bar Association
Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
International Bar Association
Fellow, International Society of Barristers
Past President, Board of Trustees for The Wyndcroft School
Board Member, The Pottstown Symphony Orchestra 2007-2010
International Law Committee, Philadelphia Bar Association
Italy-America Chamber of Commerce
Chair, Mackrell International's Insurance Practice Group