At age twenty-six, Joseph M. Orlando, sensing both opportunity and need, opened, together with Edward J. White, a law office on the top floor of the Blackburn Building at 2 Main Street in Gloucester, MA. Orlando, the son and grandson of fishermen, was born and raised in Gloucester, MA, America’s oldest seaport. He recognized that injured fishermen sorely needed representation. Indeed, his father, Michael P. Orlando, had been injured on a fishing boat and had received no compensation during his year-long recovery. This was a memory that was etched in Attorney Orlando’s consciousness, as he had been a young boy during that year when his family had struggled so badly. So, when it came time to strike out as partners to form their own firm, Orlando and White chose to do so in Gloucester.
On January 1, 1980, in their office overlooking the working waterfront of Gloucester, Orlando & White was born. They focused their practice in representing injured fishermen, longshoremen, harbor workers, and other mariners; as well as victims of land-based personal injury negligence, including car accidents, products liability, toxic torts and other related civil cases.
Orlando, who was just 26 at the time, with a wife and 8 month old daughter, would sit in his office overlooking the Federal-style building across the street at One Western Avenue and muse that the stately home would be the perfect location for his fledgling law office.
One year later, in 1981, after winning the firm’s first substantial fee, Orlando & White purchased the Addison Gilbert Estate, now the Orlando & Associates flagship overlooking St. Peter’s Square. After extensive renovation, Orlando & White began operating in 1982 in the historic Gloucester building.
The firm continued to grow and in 1984, Orlando & White expanded and purchased a building near the historic New Bedford waterfront.
In 1986, when the two men decided to dissolve the partnership, Attorney Orlando retained the Gloucester office while Attorney White took over the New Bedford branch.
With that, Orlando & Associates was born.