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D. JOSEPH CHAPMAN

Dog Bite Lawyer Joe Chapman

Practice Area: Car Accidents, Dog Bites, Nursing Home Abuse

A trial attorney since 2009, Joe Chapman has helped individuals navigate the insurance system since 1996. He was elected to the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania Association for Justice by his peers, and is the chair of PAJ's End Distracted Driving campaign. This is the state-wide organization for trial lawyers in Pennsylvania. At the beginning of 2013, Mr. Chapman's clients were awarded more than $4,000,000 after a bench trial in Union County. Mr. Chapman provided training for other lawyers in two different venues in November 2014:

  1. He spoke on Resolving Liens with the Department of Public Welfare through the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (Trial Lawyers)
  2. He presented the Plaintiff Perspective on Dog Bite cases at a seminar entitled Handling the Dog Bite Case put on by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute which is the learning arm of the Pa. Bar Association.

In the past he has been called upon to present to other lawyers about: "Effective Direct and Cross-Examination Testimony," to to moderate a PBI course on the impact of joint and several liability on trucking cases. Joe Chapman is an experienced advocate for Schmidt Kramer's clients who were seriously injured in car accidents or bitten by animals. He also represents clients when neglected or abused in nursing homes. Mr. Chapman has worked at Schmidt Kramer since 2007.

He tried and arbitrated cases to judgment for Plaintiffs in Dauphin County and Union County, and settled cases throughout central Pennsylvania. Presently, he is a member of the bars in Dauphin, Cumberland, and Union/Snyder Counties. Mr. Chapman continues to hone the skills needed to secure compensation for injured patients, drivers, and those in the care of others; through the training and work he does through the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (Pa. Trial Lawyers Association). He is also involved with the American Association for Justice's nursing home litigation group.

Mr. Chapman coached soccer and basketball for his boys’ teams in SusquehannaTownship. He attends the Living Hope Church, in Susquehanna Township. He was born and raised in Union County, Pennsylvania, owned an insurance agency in Mifflinburg, PA, and served his community though non-profit organizations. He received his bachelor's degree in history from Eastern Nazarene College in 1995, and graduated cum laude from the Widener University School of Law in 2008.

He was recently named to the National Trial Lawyers 40 under 40 group. The Top 40 Under 40 website explains members must, "exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40."

In 2014 Mr. Chapman had the opportunity to present an award to a young man from Good Hope Middle School as part of Schmidt Kramer's sponsorship of United Cerebral Palsy's essay contest. He wrote a heart-wrenching account of what it is like to be his sister, who must face disabilities. He then went on to explain how she was anchored in friends and family in the context of her disabilities and she was propelled like a rocket to a great future. It was an inspiring read.Schmidt Kramer sponsors United Cerebral Palsy's essay contest.

On November 5, 2014, he spoke at a seminar where other lawyers came to learn about liens in personal injury cases. Many of our cases are affected by different organizations who try to recoup money they spent to provide medical treatment to our clients. In particular, he discussed with the more than fifty lawyers in attendance, how to work with the Department of Public Welfare. DPW is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania entity which pays for medical care and also provides cash assistance for certain Pennsylvania residents. When one our injured clients has medical treatment related to the incident of our representation, and the bills for that treatment are paid for by DPW, then the law says DPW gets paid back –if we recover for our client. It can be a long and painful process dealing with the bureaucracy of a government agency looking for money. Plaintiffs’ attorneys must know how to negotiate the troubled waters created by DPW’s involvement.

Then, he switched gears and went to work for the Pa. Bar Institute on November 12th. There, he was on a panel explaining the nature and planning that goes into representing Plaintiffs injured by dogs. There are a staggering number of dog bite cases in Pennsylvania and across the country. He has worked with clients here at Schmidt Kramer to recover when they were bitten by dogs. He brought that experience to the panel and shared the beginning to end of how the case moves forward from a Plaintiff’s perspective. The panel included a veterinarian, a dog trainer, and two defense lawyers. The information was excellent, and apparently well received.

Admitted to Practice

  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (2008)
  • US District Court for the Middle District of PA (2012)

Bar Memberships

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Dauphin County Bar Association
  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Union/Snyder County Bar Association

Organizations & Committees

  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice
    • Board of Governors
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice – End Distracted Driving Campaign
    • Chairman
  • American Association for Justice
    • Nursing Home Litigation Group
  • Cumberland County Inns of Court

Awards, Memberships & Accomplishments

  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Stars
  • National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40”
  • Susquehanna Style “Select Lawyer”

Education History

  • Eastern Nazarene College, Bachelor Degree—1995
  • Widener University School of Law, Cum Laude—2008

Phone: (888) 476-0807