A Driving Force

Joel Feldman, VLS '81

Joel Feldman ’81 embodies what it means to be a Villanovan, using his knowledge, skills and compassion to become an agent for positive change, even in a time of great personal loss.

After his 21-year-old daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, Feldman embarked on an awareness campaign that is committed to preventing similar tragedies. Since then, he has earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading advocates for safe driving.

In 2011, Feldman established End Distracted Driving (EndDD), a program that uses a scientifically-based presentation to educate teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving. The program has enlisted the help of hundreds of trial lawyers and health care professionals to bring the presentation to schools across the country. To date, EndDD has reached nearly 100,000 teens. In the 2013-14 academic year, a number of Villanova Law students will become ambassadors of EndDD as they bring the program to local schools. Feldman also produced a 3-minute public service video for the U.S. Department of Transportation that is used in awareness programs nationwide.

A shareholder with the Philadelphia law firm Anapol Schwartz, Feldman has spent 30 years representing families that have lost loved ones or suffered life-altering injuries. In 2013, he complemented his JD from Villanova Law with a master’s degree in Counseling from Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Feldman often draws upon his Villanova education as he writes and lectures about loss, empathic listening for attorneys and maximizing damages arising from intangible losses.

Feldman has received numerous honors for his work on behalf EndDD, including the 2013 Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Humanitarian of the Year Award, the 2013 Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys Courageous Advocacy Award and the 2013 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Pro Bono Award.

"Our campaign is growing every day with the help of so many trial lawyers from across the country,” Feldman remarked as he accepted his award from the AAJ. “I know our communities are safer as a result of our efforts. Trial lawyers are volunteering thousands of hours of their time to save lives. I am so proud to be a trial lawyer, and to have AAJ honor me for what I do in memory of my daughter Casey is very special."