When Shanin Specter speaks,
med mal juries listen
BY NICK DIULIO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUIGI CIUFFETELLI
SHANIN SPECTER · CO-FOUNDER, KLINE & SPECTER · PERSONAL INJURY PLAINTIFF: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE · PENNSYLVANIA SUPER LAWYERS: 2004–2011 · TOP 10 PENNSYLVANIA SUPER LAWYERS: 2005, 2007–2011
Something remarkable happens whenever Shanin
Specter tells a story about a client or a case. His voice
becomes hushed, almost reverent. He starts off slowly,
making sure the smallest details are clear. And then
he’ll build the emotional tension, digging deeper
into his memory, closing his eyes and tilting his head
upward ever so slightly, as though summoning a muse.
Specter does this several times during a conversation inside his high-rise
Philadelphia office, its enormous windows displaying vistas of Center City.
Wearing a pale-blue cardigan and white button-down shirt accented by a
University of Pennsylvania tie, the 53-year-old malpractice lawyer often comes
across as a skilled and humble storyteller.
The stories he tells are tragic.
Consider a recent case in federal court. It concerned a 53-year-old former
Marine who worked as a machine calibrator in the Philadelphia suburbs. “He
had steady hands,” says Specter, holding out his own hands. “Very steady
hands. And a very good eye.”
Four years ago, Specter says, this man went to a dental clinic run by
Veterans Affairs to have some teeth extracted. During the procedure, his
blood pressure dropped several times. Nonetheless, the resident and dental
student performing the extraction continued, then sent the man on his way.