The Legal Intelligencer is pleased to announce the 2021 Professional Excellence Award winners. We are delighted to highlight the great work and achievements across the full breadth of the Pennsylvania legal community.

The Legal Intelligencer Professional Excellence honorees will be recognized in special editorial sections. At this time, we are planning to honor the winners at an awards dinner set for June 24, 2021, at the Loews Philadephia Hotel.

You can view more information about the awards dinner here. For information on how to book tickets and sponsorships, please contact Andre Sutton at 757-721-9020 or email [email protected].

Attorney of the Year Finalists

  • Michele Hangley, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller—Litigation over the election in Pennsylvania was a mainstay throughout 2020, with lawsuits raging both before and after the vote in November. Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller’s Michele Hangley was at the center of all of it. In the lead-up to the General Election, Hangley was lead counsel defending the Pennsylvania secretary of state on challenges over in-person voting and seeking to expand early mail-in voting. She also led a team defending state officials over challenges to the deadlines for mail-in ballots, developing a key evidentiary record that enabled the state Supreme Court to find that deadline extensions were necessary. Following the General Election, Hangley continued her work defending the state against an unprecedented effort to overturn the results, including a lawsuit brought by a U.S. representative who challenged the state’s recently adopted Election Code as unconstitutional. Litigating cases at all levels—from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the U.S. Supreme Court—Hangley’s work helped shape the way one of the most highly contested and consequential elections played out in one of the country’s most pivotal battleground states.
  • William McSwain, currently at Duane Morris, former U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania—In a year of rising crime across the country, former U.S. Attorney William McSwain was a staunch and outspoken advocate for the so-called “law and order” style of criminal justice. Under his tenure, McSwain surged federal resources to prosecute violent crime, and lodged numerous public corruption cases against some of Philadelphia’s most prominent members, including union leaders, City Council members and others holding high office in the city. McSwain also spearheaded the creation of several new units in the office, including a regional Health Care Fraud Strike Force aimed at rooting out fraud, and a unit to handle complex civil enforcements. During 2020, McSwain also appeared in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to argue against the nation’s first so-called “safe injection” site in a case that is certain to have lasting ramifications as the country continues to struggle with the opioid epidemic.
  • Marcel Pratt, currently at Ballard Spahr, former Philadelphia city solicitor—From Philadelphia’s fight to bring more equity in the hiring process, to its efforts to curb surging gun violence, former City Solicitor Marcel Pratt played an outsized role in some of the biggest issues facing Pennsylvania in 2020. And that’s not to mention all his work developing the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and defending it against an unprecedented onslaught of election litigation. As the city’s top legal advocate, Pratt led efforts to craft the legal framework behind Philadelphia’s COVID-19 mitigation measures, often working out the legality of the mayor and health commissioner’s emergency orders in little time and despite little prior precedent to build on. In a closely watched test now before the U.S. Supreme Court, he also led efforts to defend the city’s nondiscrimination policy against arguments that it infringed on a group’s religious rights, and successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Third Circuit in an effort to reinstate the city’s ban on allowing employers to ask about an applicant’s salary, marking an historic win.

Distinguished Leaders

  • Sarah Bouchard, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Clancy Boylan, Morgan & Morgan
  • Rebekah Byers Kcehowski, Jones Day 
  • Joseph Guagliardo, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
  • S. Manoj Jegasothy, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani
  • Kay Kyungsun Yu, Ahmad Zaffarese
  • Vincent McGuinness, Cozen O’Connor
  • Matthew Taylor, Duane Morris
  • Raymond Williams, DLA Piper

Lifetime Achievement

  • John Blasko, McQuaid Blasko
  • Tom Boyle, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • David Braverman, Braverman Kaskey Garber
  • Alexander Kerr, McCarter & English
  • Glenn Mahone, Reed Smith
  • Sandra Mazer Moss (Retired judge, Dispute Resolution Institute)
  • James McErlane, Lamb McErlane
  • Marlee Myers, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • H. Laddie Montague, Berger Montague
  • E. Gerald Riesenbach, Cozen O’Connor
  • John Soroko, Duane Morris
  • Kenneth Trujillo, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry

Litigation Departments

Litigation Department of the Year (General)

  • Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller (Winner)
  • Conrad O’Brien (Finalist)

Litigation Departments of the Year (Specialty)

  • Berger Montague (Class Action)
  • Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg (Labor & Employment)

GC Impact

  • David Battisti, Penske Transportation Solutions
  • La-Toya Hackney, Saint-Gobain North America
  • Lauren Harrington, Aramark

Law Firms Innovators

  • Seth Goldberg, Duane Morris
  • Joann Needleman, Clark Hill
  • Nochumson P.C.
  • Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
  • Maria L.H. Lewis, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Best Law Firm Mentors

  • Lisa Bellino Apelian, Zurich North America Insurance Co.
  • Dianne Elderkin, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • Noel Fleming, Fleming Petenko Law
  • Margaret C. Gleason, Jones Day
  • John C. Goodchild III, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Francine Griesing, Griesing Law
  • David Hornyak, McGuireWoods
  • Perry Napolitano, Reed Smith
  • Scott Reidenbach, Reidenbach & Associates
  • Sarah Schlossberg, Cozen O’Connor

Power Players

  • Alan Feldman, Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig 
  • Kevin Greenberg and A. Michael Pratt, Greenberg Traurig
  • Keli M. Neary, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
  • R. Douglas Sherman, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Unsung Heroes

  • Denise Elliott, McNees Wallace & Nurick
  • Jennifer Enck, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check
  • Ron Francis, Reed Smith
  • Pamela Harper, Griesing Law
  • Lauren Murdza, DLA Piper 
  • Ellen Noteware, Berger Montague
  • Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel
  • Ralph Teti, Willig, Williams & Davidson

Most Effective Dealmakers

  • Daniel Dugan, Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci
  • David Grubman, Jones Day
  • Larry Laubach, Cozen O’Connor
  • Matthew Meyers, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
  • Barbara Shander, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Richard Silfen, Duane Morris

Diversity Initiative

  • Ballard Spahr
  • Olufunke Leroy, Fox Rothschild
  • Melissa Martinez, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr 
  • McNees Wallace & Nurick
  • Kenneth Polite, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Law Firm of the Year Finalists

  • Cozen O’Connor
  • Jones Day
  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Lawyers on the Fast Track

  • Jasmeet Ahuja, Hogan Lovells
  • Samar Aryani-Sabet, Blank Rome
  • Laura Belmont, Comcast 
  • Andrew Budreika, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Dustin Covello, Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld
  • Diana Y. Defino, Jones Day
  • Courtney E. Dolaway, Flaster Greenberg
  • Dana E. Feinstein, Holland & Knight
  • Dayna Finkelstein, Blank Rome
  • Meghan K. Finnerty, Offit Kurman
  • Camille Fundora Rodriguez, Berger Montague
  • Sara Goldstein, Baker & Hostetler
  • Jennifer W. Karpchuk, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry
  • Leah Katz, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
  • Kaitlyn Maxwell, Greenberg Traurig
  • Michael McGinley, Dechert
  • Angella Middleton, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
  • Alexandra Morgan-Kurtz, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
  • Catherine Nguyen, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
  • Kayci Petenko, Fleming Petenko Law
  • Richard J. Ramones, Conrail
  • Priya Roy, PNC Bank
  • Shohin Vance, Kleinbard
  • Andre Webb, German Gallagher & Murtagh
  • Roxanne Zhilo, Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores


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