The president of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia has made a lateral move to a law firm best known for representing high-profile clients in criminal proceedings, including Bill Cosby in his first sexual assault trial.
Charles Gibbs said he officially joined McMonagle Perri McHugh Mischak and Davis last month from Green, Schafle & Gibbs (now Green & Schafle), where he was a name partner.
“When the opportunity presented itself to work with the best lawyers in the country, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would turn that down,” he said. “Having the larger platform and the support of this firm has given clients confidence.”
Last fall, Gibbs became the president of the Barristers’, Philadelphia’s affinity organization for African-American trial lawyers. He said being an African-American lawyer in 2018 is much easier than it once was, but he and his Barristers’ colleagues must not “rest on our laurels” in promoting greater diversity.
“I’m humbled to be a caretaker, but I recognize that so many people before me had a much harder road than I’ve had today,” Gibbs said. “We have to have a law practice, but we also have to make sure the social issues of the day aren’t passing us by while we’re billing hours.”
Gibbs’ own practice includes criminal defense, personal injury, election law cases and municipal solicitorships, he said, and he plans to maintain that mix at his new firm. His institutional clients and existing matters have come along with him, he said, and new clients have reached out because of his move.
“Every day is a new challenge, it’s a new person or organization or campaign that’s trusting me,” he said.
Gibbs said he got connected with McMonagle Perri through name partner Fortunato Perri, who is a friend of his. In a statement, Perri praised Gibbs as someone who has been “an advocate for individual citizens his entire adult life,” adding, “We’re especially excited about how his presence improves our criminal defense and civil litigation practice areas.”
While McMonagle Perri is known for the celebrities and political figures it has represented, Gibbs said, it works with more clients who are “everyday people.”
Recent clients of name partner Brian McMonagle include Kenneth Smukler, a Philadelphia political consultant facing election-related charges, and hip-hop star Meek Mill. McMonagle represented Cosby in his initial criminal last year, which ended in a mistrial.
In an email Thursday, Adam Green of Green & Schafle said he and partner Michael Schafle wish Gibbs luck. “Charles is good friend and a talented criminal and municipal attorney,” he said.