Michael C. Rainone, 94, Phila. lawyer

Michael C. Rainone
Michael C. Rainone
Posted: October 21, 2012

Michael C. Rainone, 94, a longtime Philadelphia lawyer, died of pneumonia Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Binghamton, N.Y.

Mr. Rainone practiced law for more than 60 years and served as president of a number of professional organizations, including the National Italian American Bar Association, the Lawyers' Club of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.

A native of South Philadelphia, Mr. Rainone attended Roman Catholic High School and La Salle University. He earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Rainone took pride in his Italian heritage and helped establish two awards in the name of Cesare Beccaria, an 18th-century Italian legal scholar; and Michael Musmanno, an Italian American jurist who served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as well as on the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.

Mr. Rainone was chair emeritus of both award committees; he received the Beccaria award in 2006.

"I can't say enough good things about him," Mr. Rainone's daughter, Francine, said. "He believed in justice for all."

She said her father was still working on cases at the time of his death. She said he also had been working on an autobiography, Champion of Causes.

She said her father never retired because he "never felt like he was working" and because he had a "curious, smart mind."

Mr. Rainone also served as president of other groups, including the Columbus Day Committee of Pennsylvania. He was also a board member of the Philadelphia Opera Company. His daughter said opera was a love that her father passed down to her.

"From the time we were kids, he took us to the opera," she said.

Daniel Cirucci, a public relations professional and longtime friend of Mr. Rainone's, called him a "worldly man" because of his many interests.

"We live in an age of homogenized individuals," Cirucci said. "Michael was one of a kind."

Mr. Rainone and his wife, Ledena, had lived in a condo in Spring Garden, but they moved to New York in 2007 to be closer to their daughter.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Rainone is survived by a son, Sebastian; a sister, Connie; two grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at St. Nicholas Church, 1718 S. Ninth St.

Contact Sean Carlin at carlins@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.

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