The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is onboarding six new attorneys over the next few weeks, including one attorney from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis and a Montgomery County prosecutor.
According to a memo obtained by The Legal, Emily Daly, who handled complex litigation and pro bono projects at Schnader, and Alec O’Neill, a veteran assistant district attorney from Montgomery County, are set to join two former defenders and two former judicial law clerks with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
O’Neill is set to be the first attorney on board, with a start date of Monday.
The new hires all come from the Philadelphia region.
The memo, sent Thursday by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s first assistants, Carolyn Temin and Robert Listenbee, included an invitation for a recruiting event scheduled for May 10 at the prosecutor’s office. The flier, titled “Justice Springs Anew,” asks for lateral or entry-level attorneys, as well as law clerks and fall graduates, to attend.
“Practicing attorneys who are looking to change course in their careers, law clerks whose clerkships end in the spring or summer, and fall graduates of part time law school programs who have just taken the bar and are now looking for entry level work are strongly encouraged to attend,” an online description of the event said.
Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the office, confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but declined to comment further.
According to the memo, Daly is set to join the office early next month. Daly is set to become the second attorney to join the office from the well-known defense firm after Schnader partner Nancy Winkelman joined in January to be the interim supervisor of the office’s law department, which handles appeals. While at Schnader, Daly handled complex litigation and pro bono civil rights work, according to the memo. According to her firm bio, before joining Schnader she clerked for Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa Rau, who is Krasner’s wife.
O’Neill has been a prosecutor at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office since 2009.
O’Neill for three years led the domestic violence unit and for two years headed the civil asset forfeiture unit in Montgomery County, the memo said. O’Neill has also handled some homicide cases, including a stabbing murder that occurred in a Franconia meatpacking plant in 2015, according to media reports.
Alex Blumenthal is expected to join the office April 30 after spending more than two years as an assistant federal defender in the trial division. According to the memo, Blumenthal previously worked at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and as a clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Vince Corrigan is also set to join the office April 30. Corrigan has been an assistant public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 1989. According to the memo, Corrigan worked in the trial division, where he handled complex homicide and juvenile cases. He also served as senior trial attorney, where he supervised and trained attorneys and reviewed case work, the memo said.
The clerks who will be starting soon are Dan Cerone and Chris Bailes. Cerone worked under Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judges Diana Anhalt and Michael Erdos, and Bailes spent two years clerking for Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough before serving Pennsylvania Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor.
The recruitment push comes after the office has seen numerous seasoned prosecutors leave, including a mass exodus in January when more than 31 were asked to resign. In the past month, several additional attorneys have exited, some citing frustrations with the office, as Krasner, who has promised criminal justice reforms, has taken strides to change the policies and culture.
During an interview last week, Krasner acknowledged staffing shortages, and said the office is pushing to bring in more midlevel career recruits. However, timing and market pressures, he said, have led to delays in getting staffing levels as high as they had been before he took office.
“We’ve been on a very vigorous mission to hire midcareer people,” Krasner said. “We have well over 500 resumes from all over the country.”