(Philadelphia) – The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) honored Brian J. McMonagle of McMonagle Perri McHugh Mischak Davis with the 2022 Alan Jay Josel Advocacy Award at its annual conference on April 29. McMonagle received the award for extraordinary advocacy on behalf of his client in the Amtrak derailment trial.
McMonagle represented Amtrak Engineer Brandon Bostian, charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia on May 14, 2015. A National Transportation Safety Board probe later determined that Bostian most likely lost his bearings as he accelerated into a curve, possibly distracted by radio chatter about a rock striking a nearby train.
The Office of the District Attorney in Philadelphia declined to press charges, and in 2017, a municipal court judge dismissed the case against Bostian, but that decision was later overturned by a common pleas court judge. After a second judge dismissed the charges in 2019, a higher court reinstated them in 2020, resulting in a criminal trial in February of this year. With McMonagle’s representation, Bostian was found not guilty of all charges.
“This was a terrible and tragic accident,” said McMonagle. “It changed the lives of many people. But it was, put simply, an accident, and I’m proud to have helped a good man break free from the nightmare of being asked to pay for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Every year, the PACDL honors several members for their work on behalf of the association and in outstanding contributions to the field of criminal defense law. This is the second time that McMonagle has received the Alan Jay Josel Advocacy Award. He was also given the award in 2018.
McMonagle began his career in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, where he was one of the youngest lawyers to ever prosecute high profile cases in the homicide unit; he is now one of the most recognized criminal defense lawyers in the United States. He garnered international praise for his success in obtaining a hung jury in Bill Cosby’s first trial, and for his representation of recording artist Meek Mill. He has had enormous success in defending high-profile cases involving professional athletes, politicians, physicians, movie and television personalities, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, CEOs, and an American cardinal. He is also a law school lecturer and serves as a legal analyst on national and local news programs.
McMonagle has been inducted into the prestigious American College of Trial Attorneys and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is listed in Martindale Hubbell’s Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Attorneys. He earned the Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year designation for Criminal Defense in Philadelphia 2021.
Formed in 1995, McMonagle Perri McHugh Mischak Davis is a nationally known criminal defense, personal injury and family law firm based in Philadelphia. The firm consistently litigates high profile cases resulting in acquittals and/or million-dollar awards/settlements. Practice areas include criminal defense, medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, family law/divorce, auto/car accidents, defective products, workplace accidents and truck accidents. For more information, visit www.mpmpc.com or call (215) 981-0999.