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And then there were four. Nearly six months after the dissolution of Litvin Blumberg Matusow & Young was announced, Charles Young, Joseph “Pete” Ricchiuti, Theodore Caldwell and Gregory Heller are hard at work in the firm’s 22,000 square foot space in the Widener Building. But in a few weeks, they will turn out the lights there and move into new space in the 1600 Market building, officially closing the last chapter in the story of one of the city’s most illustrious plaintiff firms. When Litvin Blumberg announced its dissolution June 16 due to financial concerns, the 23-attorney firm’s partners began scattering to various destinations. Gerald McHugh led a four-person group to Raynes McCarty; Roberta Pichini joined Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter & Tanner; Donald Matusow and counsel Al Dragon joined Kline & Specter; Ronald Wolf joined Eisenberg Rothweiler Schleifer Weinstein & Winkler as counsel; Rosalind Kaplan signed on with McEldrew & Fullam; Michael Panichelli switched to the defense side and accepted a position as a partner with Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin; Timothy Lawn opened his own office; Thomas Wehner joined King of Prussia’s Reger & Rizzo; and firm patriarch Gerald Litvin joined Morgan Lewis & Bockius as counsel. By mid-summer, Young, Ricchiuti and Caldwell were the only Litvin Blumberg partners not to announce formal plans for their professional futures. According to Caldwell, they each had some discussions with other firms about making individual moves but soon decided they wanted to practice together. And Caldwell said no plaintiff firm could take on the three of them and Heller, a senior associate. So the decision was soon made to start their own firm, aptly named Young Ricchiuti Caldwell & Heller. But with Young and Heller consumed by a major piece of copyright litigation in Florida and Ricchiuti and Caldwell also struggling with a full caseload, the four have stayed put at the Widener Building until they could find acceptable office space. They found exactly that at 1600 Market, where they signed on to sublet a 7,000 square foot space on the 38th floor from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. With one associate already hired and a few more additions in the plans, Caldwell said the space should accommodate future growth. He said there will be two empty offices at the start. The space also has two conference rooms in which to host clients and generous space for support staff and files. Caldwell, one of Litvin Blumberg’s three management committee members at the time of its dissolution, said he hopes the new firm will be able to move in the next few weeks but said no date has been written in stone. When that day eventually comes, he said the move will bring about conflicting emotions. “It’s a mixed bag because we are really excited to get out and start our own firm,” Caldwell said. “But it is also a reminder of how disappointing it was [when Litvin Blumberg dissolved].” For Young, who was recruited to Litvin Blumberg from a defense firm in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., in 1975 by Litvin after the two met at a conference, the dissolution was very difficult. But he said he is pleased that he will be able to continue practicing with his three colleagues. “It was an unexpected event in my life and the lives of several of my colleagues,” Young said. “But when it happened, I was one of several lawyers at the firm working on a significant [intellectual property] case and the client had asked me after [the dissolution] to take over the case. Greg Heller had been working on the case and the two of us have worked together on a number of matters. Ted Caldwell started out working for me as a paralegal and I was the one who encouraged him to go to law school. And Pete Ricchiuti and I have been working together for about 25 years. So it made a great deal of sense to start our own firm.” But Young said that doesn’t mean there have not been challenges. Though he has practiced law since graduating from University of Missouri Law School in 1968 and was a name partner at Litvin Blumberg, he has never had the onus of managerial responsibility. “It’s my first experience with starting a firm and I guess the big challenge is the undertaking of all the administrative stuff,” Young said. “But at the same time, it’s also exciting. I could have retired and some of my colleagues suspected that I might. But with this new IP case, it’s a new area of the law that I find intellectually stimulating. And I’ll be working with some great people. So I guess that being more involved with the business side of things and taking on more responsibility comes with the territory.” Like most Litvin Blumberg lawyers, the Young Ricchiuti group handles the full spectrum of plaintiff litigation with a special emphasis on medical malpractice cases. While most of his cases are located in the Philadelphia area, Young said he has traveled around the country handling medical malpractice, product liability and other tort matters. In 1995, Young was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers and, in 2001, was chosen to participate on the college’s teaching/trial and appellate advocacy committee. Ricchiuti, a 1967 graduate of Villanova University School of Law who clerked two years for Judge Frederick V. Follmer of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, began his career in private practice as a defense lawyer at what is now Lavin O’Neil Ricci Cedrone & DiSipio, where he practiced for nine years representing major manufacturers in tort cases. In 1978, he joined Litvin Blumberg as a partner and served as firm president from 1990 to its dissolution. Caldwell originally joined Litvin Blumberg in 1981 as a paralegal and began attending law school at night two years later. In 1987, he graduated from Temple University School of Law and immediately began work as an attorney at Litvin Blumberg. His practice mainly centered in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Caldwell developed a special interest and expertise in representing severely injured children, particularly infants and toddlers who have suffered catastrophic brain damage. Heller, who moved up to partner status at Young Ricchiuti, graduated from University of Michigan Law School and clerked for Judge Anthony Scirica of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before joining Litvin Blumberg. He has worked extensively with Young and focuses on medical malpractice, managed care/HMO litigation and products liability.

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