Gayle Ronan Sims
Inquirer Staff Writer
July 26, 2006
Arthur G. Raynes, 72, founder of Center City law firm Raynes McCarty, who represented high-profile wrongful-death cases for more than 45 years, died of complications of lung cancer Monday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He lived in Wynnewood.
From 1960 to 1977, Mr. Raynes represented more than 50 children who were born with birth defects after their mothers took Thalidomide during pregnancy. The landmark cases were featured in the book, Suffer the Children: The Story of Thalidomide, written by investigative reporters for London’s Sunday Times.
Mr. Raynes also successfully represented the family of Jessica Savitch, the NBC News anchor who drowned in 1983 after the vehicle she was riding in plunged into the Delaware Canal in New Hope; 46 oil riggers who were killed in a Chinook helicopter crash off the coast of Scotland in 1986; and 1,354 HIV-infected hemophiliacs in Spain who contracted the virus in the mid-1990s as a result of defective blood. Mr. Raynes was co-counsel in the settlement for the murder of Olympic wrestler David Schultz in 1996 by John E. duPont.
Mr. Raynes’ practice was varied. In the last year, he successfully challenged the New York Stock Exchange’s merger with Archipelago. He represented the Philadelphia School District in an asbestos case.
“Arthur Raynes was not just a great lawyer – – that pales in comparison to what a wonderful human being he was,” said lawyer Richard A. Sprague. “He was caring and compassionate. This loss is very deep and personal . . . the community has lost an outstanding person.”
In 2004, Mr. Raynes was featured in the book The History of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which profiled elite lawyers from around the world.
Mr. Raynes was involved in civic and philanthropic affairs. He served as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 1990 and was head of its board of governors in 1985.
Mr. Raynes supported scholarships at each of the Philadelphia-area law schools, including one at Temple that bears his name. The lecture hall at Temple’s law school is named in his honor. He taught at Temple from the 1980s to the late 1990s. The university awarded him its Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
Mr. Raynes also served on the board of directors of the YMCA, several area hospitals, the Federation of Jewish Agencies, and the Jewish Publication Society.
After graduating from Yeadon High School in 1952, Mr. Raynes earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts in 1956 from Duke University, where he was a goalie on the varsity soccer team. He earned a law degree from Temple in 1959.
“Notwithstanding his professional accomplishments, he was a family man first and foremost,” said son Stephen, a partner at Raynes McCarty. “Anyone who came to his office, or who knew him, knew that he was a grandfather, a Poppy, husband and father before anything else.”
Mr. Raynes is also survived by his wife of 47 years, Diane Slavitz Raynes; a daughter, Nancy Dubow; another son, Michael; four grandchildren; and a sister.