The Talent

July 20, 2010 1:18 PM

Duane Morris Adds Former Penn State Football Player Paralyzed in Game

Posted by Brian Baxter

Adam Taliaferro

Former Penn State cornerback Adam Taliaferro suffered a serious spinal injury during a game as a freshman against archrival Ohio State almost ten years ago. The injury ended his football career but it opened the way for Taliaferro to pursue a career in law.

Today, Taliaferro is an employment litigator with Duane Morris. In addition to his employment work, Taliaferro also will represent clients in the gaming industry on a "wide range of legal matters," according to an announcement by the firm on Monday.

In an interview with USA Today published Tuesday, Taliaferro attributes his success as a lawyer to the strength and determination he applied to learning how to walk again after his injury--doctors had predicted only a 3 percent chance of a full recovery.

Less than a year after he was paralyzed from the neck down, Taliaferro put on his old jersey and led the Nittany Lions onto the field in front of over 100,000 screaming fans for the team's first game of the 2001 season. It was an experience he'll never forget.

"Everything I face in my life, I compare to my injury," Taliaferro told USA Today. "If I could handle that, I can handle anything else in my life."

In addition to his legal career, Taliaferro launched and runs The Adam Taliaferro Foundation. The organization "provides emotional, financial, and educational support to student-athletes who suffer catastrophic head or spinal injuries in sanctioned team events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware," according to the foundation's Web site. (One person who has benefited from its efforts: former Ohio State wide receiver Tyson Gentry, who was paralyzed in a 2006 practice.) To date, the foundation has raised about $700,000.

Taliaferro interned at Ballard Spahr before attending the Rutgers School of Law-Camden, where he received his J.D. in 2008.

We spoke with Taliaferro almost two years ago when he was starting work as a first-year litigation associate at Philadelphia's Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads. He left that firm in January to join Philadelphia personal injury firm Segal, Berk, Gaines & Liss. Less than six months later, Taliaferro is making the move to Duane Morris; he will be based in the firm's office in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Photo: Courtesy of Duane Morris

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