Editor’s Note: Welcome to our 12th annual Lawyers on the Fast Track supplement! We take this opportunity each year to shine a light on the next generation of Pennsylvania attorneys, those who are already making an impact on the legal community and will only grow in stature as they advance in their careers. This is a chance for us to identify attorneys who exemplify the very best of what the profession has to offer.
The attorneys profiled in these pages are an especially deserving group. They represent all corners of the legal community in Pennsylvania — geographically and professionally. Their practice areas are as diverse as the attorneys themselves, running the gamut from commercial litigation to employment law to workers’ compensation to family law. The group includes attorneys from large firms and small firms alike, firm founding partners, in-house attorneys and a clinical law professor. They demonstrate that there are outstanding young lawyers in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and everywhere in between.
So, how did we select the 38 attorneys who make up this year’s class of Lawyers on the Fast Track?
The process began months ago, when we solicited nominations from law firms of all sizes, public interest groups, bar associations and The Legal’s audience, spanning the entire state, for attorneys they felt were among the best and brightest in Pennsylvania. We requested that a nomination form be completed for each deserving attorney, detailing specifically what made the individual stand apart from his or her colleagues. We asked the nominating parties to focus on four specific areas in answering questions on the form: development of the law, advocacy, community contributions and service to the bar.
In our search for the best Pennsylvania attorneys under the age of 40, we received an overwhelming response. Well over 100 nominations poured in, many of which were accompanied by glowing letters of recommendation from colleagues and clients.
Once we’d received all of the nominations, we passed them along to an objective judging panel composed of eight esteemed members of the legal community. This year’s panel includes the general counsel of a major Pennsylvania company, a district attorney, a common pleas judge, two law school professionals, the Superior Court’s chief staff attorney, a legal recruiter and a member of last year’s Fast Track class who runs his own firm.
The judging panel evaluated each nomination individually, carefully grading the candidates in each of the above-mentioned areas. The nominees with the highest composite scores from the judges are the 38 attorneys who make up this year’s Lawyers on the Fast Track.
The members of this year’s class of attorneys have all taken different paths to get where they are, but all have contributed greatly to the legal community through their advancement of the law, pro bono work and bar association contributions. They are the attorneys helping to shape the future of the legal profession with the work they are doing in the present.
I would like to personally thank everyone who took the time to submit nominations or write letters of recommendation for your peers and colleagues to help us in selecting this impressive group of attorneys. The results of your efforts are in these pages, as we would never be able to cast such a wide net and ensure we select the best of the best without your help in the process.
I would also like to take a moment to extend a special thank you to the judging panel for this year’s group. There were dozens and dozens of nominations to read through, hundreds of pages in total, and the judges were given a limited amount of time to do so—not to mention that it all happened in the middle of the summer. Your insights and expert opinions are greatly appreciated.
And, of course, The Legal staff offers our congratulations to the 38 attorneys being honored in this supplement. This is only the beginning for them, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish next. We all look forward to congratulating you in person at our annual celebratory dinner and watching your continued climb to the top of the legal profession. Congratulations!
Magazines and Supplements Editor
Rahat N. Babar
Staff attorney, The Bayne Law Group
Practice Profile: Babar’s practice is focused on litigation and commercial transactions. His clients include Amerigen Pharmaceuticals, which he represented in a complex bankruptcy proceeding in which the client sought and received the return of proprietary information that had been given to a service provider that suddenly declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Babar has a “distinguished track record as a trial and appellate lawyer for public and private sector clients,” said Stella Tsai of Archer & Greiner.
Leadership Activity: Babar is the president-elect of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania and will be that organization’s president in 2014. He has previously served in several capacities with the APABA-PA, including vice president.
He has served on the board of directors of the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia and as a member of the programming committee of the North American South Asian Bar Association, as well as co-chair of the social networking committee of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers’ Association of New Jersey.
Babar oversees the paralegals at his firm, conducting weekly meetings to ensure progress with their assigned action items.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Babar worked closely with the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition to educate the community on the voter ID requirements, holding community workshops and ensuring pamphlets were translated into several Asian languages and taking part in press conferences.
He also organized and moderated seminars for the community on domestic violence and trafficking issues.
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present; New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, 2007-12; Law clerk, Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, 2006-07.
Education: Widener University School of Law, J.D., 2006; Drexel University, B.S., 2003.
Elizabeth K. Babson
Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Practice Profile: Babson is an associate in the firm’s corporate and securities practice group, where she represents public and private clients in a variety of corporate and securities matters. Her clients include Comcast Ventures, Urban Outfitters, First National Community Bank, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Canopius Group Limited, Bentley Systems and Etsy Inc. In the past two years she represented Penske Truck Leasing in a multibillion-dollar recapitalization.
Leadership Activity: At the firm, Babson is a member of the women’s and associates committees.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Babson’s work with B Lab, a nonprofit aimed at creating a new corporate structure that would embrace the triple bottom line of “people, planet and profits,” helped lead to legislation passing in 18 states and pending in 14 more. Notably, B Lab’s benefit corporation legislation has been signed into law in Delaware.
“She truly is an exceptional lawyer who is making a real difference in her profession,” said William Clark Jr., a partner at the firm.
Heather Van Dusen, a senior associate at B Lab, said Babson “is a highly driven, passionate and talented attorney devoting a significant amount of pro bono time to ensure that mission-driven businesses have access to a structure that can enable them to scale and ultimately help transform how business is done.”
Experience: Current employer, 2009-present.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2009; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2004.
Jennifer L. Beidel
Associate, Saul Ewing
Practice Profile: Beidel’s work is focused on commercial litigation, life sciences, white-collar and government enforcement and agricultural law. She has worked with clients in the health care and pharmaceutical, food service, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, construction and manufacturing industries.
Her clients include Lockheed Martin, Kinder Morgan and Wal-Mart Stores, which she represented in discovery matters in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. She has worked as second chair on a case for Cantor Fitzgerald against American Airlines seeking to recover property and business interruption damages resulting from the company’s headquarters being destroyed during the attacks of 9/11.
Leadership Activity: Beidel is chair of the firm’s summer program and has been a member of the firm’s hiring committee since 2010.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Beidel has provided pro bono service to the Wissahickon Charter School and to the American Southdown Breeders’ Association. This year, she arranged for the firm’s Philadelphia summer associates to do pro bono work for the Innocence Project.
“She brings sharp critical thinking skills coupled with a deep commitment to our students,” said Kristi Littell, co-CEO of the Wissahickon Charter School, adding that “her level of engagement is extraordinary.”
Experience: Current employer, 2008-present; Law clerk, U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2006-08.
Education: Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2006; Penn State University, B.S., 2003.
Maria E. Bermudez-Harris
Associate, Martin LLC
Practice Profile: Bermudez-Harris focuses her practice on Social Security disability and long-term disability. Her entire practice is devoted to litigation. She has experience litigating insurance matters in the areas of life, health, disability and ERISA claims.
Attorney Teresa M. Rodriguez said Bermudez-Harris demonstrates “professionalism, dedication to the community and true character as an amazing and inspiring lawyer.”
Leadership Activity: Bermudez-Harris is vice chair of the young lawyers division of the Philadelphia Bar Association, where she helps to organize community outreach programs, including Harvest for the Homeless. She is also a member of the community outreach committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Bermudez-Harris is a board member and chair of the fundraising and marketing committee for Friends of Farmworkers, which improves the lives and working conditions of indigent farmworkers from all over the region, who receive free legal services and education on legal rights.
Experience: Current employer, 2011-present; Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, 2008-11; Law clerk, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Colleen A. Maier, 2007-08.
Education: Widener University School of Law, J.D., 2007; Rosemont College, B.A., 2003.
Jeannine T. Bishop
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Practice Profile: As a partner in the firm’s real estate group, Bishop handles sophisticated transactions and manages complex projects.
Her work focuses on transactions involving numerous properties in multiple jurisdictions.
Her work in the Philadelphia region includes representing local and national landlords in the development of the new headquarters for CubeSmart, the sale of the Bell Atlantic Tower, the ongoing development of Cira South and the leasing of Three Parkway to various tenants. She also acts as outside counsel for Wawa Inc.
Leadership Activity: Bishop has been an assigning partner and partner in charge of associate mentoring and training for the real estate group at the firm since 2008. She develops formal and informal mentoring and training programs for associates and promotes their success. She has been a participant in the Delaware Valley Association of Corporate Counsel since 2011.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: In her pro bono work, Bishop focuses on assisting nonprofits with leasing and property matters. Among the nonprofits she has assisted are Teach for America and the SPCA. She participates in Leadership Philadelphia, which connects influential local leaders to the community, and she has also been an advisory board member of the Urban Land Institute since 2010, where she serves as local leadership.
Experience: Current employer, 2000–present.
Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1998; Connecticut College, B.A., 1995.
Melissa S. Blanton
Partner, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis
Practice Profile: Blanton is vice chair of the firm’s corporate and finance practice group and a member of the firm’s real estate practice group. She represents financial institutions in residential, retail and office development projects.
Her clients include Capital One Bank and Firstrust Bank, both of which she represented in development projects. She represented one national commercial bank in a $65 million senior secured revolving credit facility to a nationally recognized developer. She also represented a purchaser in the acquisition of an approximately 211,000 square foot medical office building in Philadelphia.
Leadership Activity: In addition to being appointed vice chair of the corporate and finance practice group, Blanton was appointed co-chair of the firm’s women’s initiative in 2012.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Blanton represented an indigent woman in connection with a quite title action to keep her in her home, managing to get a disputed title into the client’s name and all judgments removed from the record. She also represented an indigent woman against a financial institution that sought to foreclose on her home, reaching a settlement to allow the woman to stay in her home.
Blanton is also president of the board for the Perkins Center for the Arts and a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Experience: Current employer, 2003-present.
Education: Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2003; Kutztown University, B.S., 2000.
Andrew T. Bockis
Associate, Saul Ewing
Practice Profile: Bockis is in the firm’s energy, environment and utilities department and is a member of the firm’s environment and natural resources practice, where he represents clients in matters related to environmental regulation and policy.
His clients include Kinder Morgan, which he assists with environmental issues and litigation related to the construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines. He is also defending Pennsy Supply in a third-party challenge to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s issuance of a mining permit to it.
“He is involved in complicated (and sometimes esoteric) expert issues dealing with everything from radiation to Clean Air Act regulations,” said Joel Burcat, a partner at the firm. “These are complicated areas for seasoned practitioners, let alone a young lawyer.”
Leadership Activity: Bockis is a member of the firm’s career development committee. He is a council member of the administrative law and environmental and energy law sections of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He assisted in developing the PBA’s sustainability program.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Bockis is a member of the state DEP’s sewage advisory committee, where he provides commentary and represents the public’s interest regarding the department’s regulation of sewage facilities.
He is also involved with soliciting sponsors for fundraising for the American Cancer Society.
Experience: Current employer, 2010-present; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2009-10; Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, 2006-09.
Education: Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2006; Juniata College, B.A., 2001.
Justin H. Brown
Practice Profile: As a member of the firm’s trusts and estates, taxation and business and corporate practice groups, Brown focuses his practice on estate and tax planning, estate and trust administration and estate litigation.
“Justin is a standout attorney at Flaster/Greenberg, working closely with me and other shareholders on matters ranging from estate, trust, tax planning and asset protection planning to business and corporate matters,” said firm shareholder Stephen Greenberg. “Many attorneys, including me, frequently consult with him on complex estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax issues.”
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Brown is heavily involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Greater Delaware Valley Chapter, where he is a member of the legal services steering committee and was a leadership class nominee this year.
He has worked with Support Center for Child Advocates and Philadelphia VIP as a volunteer attorney for estate administration issues, and aided a teenager in developing an estate and financial plan in the administration of her
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present; Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, 2008-12; Elder Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice, 2005-08.
Education: Villanova University School of Law, LL.M., 2012; American University Washington College of Law, J.D., 2005; Washington University in St. Louis, B.A., 2002.
Peter C. Buckley
Partner, Fox Rothschild
Practice Profile: Buckley concentrates his practice on counseling law firms on how to manage and avoid risk, and on defending attorneys accused of malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and intentional misconduct.
His clients include several Am Law 200 firms, which he has represented on legal malpractice defense and partnership issues. He has also represented Belgravia Condominium Association in its Uniform Condominium Act claim that resulted in a jury verdict north of $5 million.
Leadership Activity: Buckley has served as the chair of The Legal’s Young Lawyer Editorial Board, which writes monthly editorials regarding issues affecting young lawyers and tackles broader legal issues from the perspective of young lawyers.
At the firm, he has served as the Philadelphia office representative on the firm’s associates committee and co-chaired the firm’s blood drive for the past four years.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Buckley represented a medical school fraternity in its recovery from uninsured losses caused by a house fire. He has also represented prison inmates in civil rights cases and Philadelphia homeowners in quiet title cases through the Philadelphia VIP program.
He has been a Philadelphia regional board member for Big Brothers, Big Sisters since 2010 and is a hearing committee member for the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board.
Experience: Current employer, 2004-present.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004; Villanova University, B.A., 2001.
Mark K. Dausch
Associate, Babst Calland
Practice Profile: Dausch’s practice focuses in the areas of commercial, products liability, toxic tort and environmental litigation. Much of his practice involves defending clients in the natural resources and mining industry.
He has represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, alternative dispute resolution forums and before government agencies.
“In his six years of practicing law in Pennsylvania, Mark has impressed his colleagues and counsel with his litigation skills, handling approximately 25 cases as lead counsel,” said James Corbelli, a shareholder at the firm.
Leadership Activity: Dausch is a member of the firm’s associates committee, a two-associate group addressing the issues and concerns of the firm’s 50-plus associates. He has also been a member of the firm’s recruiting committee since 2007.
He is a member of the Duquesne University Economic Advisory Board and a member of the services committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s young lawyers division.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Dausch is a participant in Wills for Heroes Pennsylvania and prevailed at an arbitration hearing in representing a client facing a claim related to a stolen rental vehicle.
He has participated in Duquesne’s “Bar Buddies” program, mentoring a law student through the bar exam process.
Experience: Current employer, 2007-present.
Education: Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 2007; Duquesne University, B.S., 2004.
Joshua B. Deringer
Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Practice Profile: Deringer is chair of the firm’s investment management practice group. He counsels a wide range of national and international financial service companies, including registered investment companies, hedge funds and investment advisers. His clients include Turner Investment Partners, Hatteras Funds and New York Life Investment Management.
“Josh is recognized nationally in the investment management industry for helping clients develop innovative investment company products, including helping to launch two of the first private equity ‘fund of funds’ registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as investment companies,” said Andrew C. Kassner, executive partner of the firm.
Leadership Activity: Deringer was the youngest partner in the history of the firm to take on the leadership role of one of its national practice groups, according to Kassner. He is a member of the firm’s regional hiring committee and co-chair of the Philadelphia office’s summer associate program, as well as a member of the firm’s national real estate committee, which deals with firm office space as it relates to client service.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: As a member of the board of directors for Gearing Up, Deringer has spent around 100 hours each of the last two years with the organization, which provides women in transition from abuse, addiction or incarceration with the skills, equipment and guidance to use bicycles for exercise, transportation and personal growth. He has rewritten Gearing Up’s bylaws and guides the organization on company governance and operations.
Experience: Current employer, 2001-present; Dewey & LeBoeuf, 2000-01.
Education: Fordham Law School, J.D., 2000; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1996.
Patrick T. Duffy
Associate, Stewart Bernstiel Rebar Smith
Practice Profile: Duffy handles complex litigation matters with a focus on professional liability. He has also taken numerous civil matters through verdict in bench and jury trials in state and federal courts and has tried dozens of criminal matters.
His clients include RadioShack, which he represents on all liability matters in Pennsylvania and New York, and Prudential Fox & Roach, which he represents on professional negligence claims.
“Patrick is a skilled and effective litigator,” said Cathleen Kelly Rebar, a partner at the firm. “He has the ability to quickly and precisely identify the critical issues in our cases and calculate a strategy which best positions our clients for a successful resolution.”
Leadership Activity: Duffy is chair of the firm’s associate committee since 2012 and a former member and chair of The Legal’s Young Lawyer Editorial Board. He is also currently running as a Republican nominee for supervisor of Lower Providence Township.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Duffy’s pro bono work includes handling criminal matters for indigent clients. He also provides free services to the Santoro Foundation and the Audobon Recreation Association, drafting bylaws, reviewing contracts and drafting policies and procedures for those organizations.
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present; Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton, 2012; McCumber Daniels Buntz Hartig & Puig, 2008-12; Law Offices of J. Michael Farrell, 2004-08.
Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2004; Villanova University, B.A., 1999.
Heather C. Giordanella
Counsel, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Practice Profile: Giordanella is counsel in the firm’s commercial litigation practice group and works on a variety of matters involving special master services, business and employment disputes, ERISA and federal and state qui tam litigation.
“Heather has acquired unusually deep experience in the special master services universe,” said Gregory P. Miller, a firm partner. “Heather was key in assisting me as appointed special master in overseeing discovery in thousands of federal cases transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings in the In re Diet Drugs products liability litigation.”
Leadership Activity: Giordanella is immediate past president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, an organization devoted to promoting the interests and progress of women and women lawyers. During her time as president, she held the organization’s seventh General Counsel Institute, issued its sixth annual survey on the retention and promotion of women in law firms and managed webinars and regional programs.
She is also chair of the firm’s first-year associate development program and a member of its women’s and Philadelphia hiring committees.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Giordanella’s nonbillable time is devoted to bar association leadership and mentoring duties.
Experience: Current employer, 2008-present; Miller, Alfano & Raspanti, 1998-2007.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1998; Central Connecticut State University, B.A., 1995.
Marc A. Goldich
Associate, Reed Smith
Practice Profile: As a member of the firm’s commercial litigation group, Goldich’s trial and litigation experience is broad, including commercial matters, business divorces, business torts, fraud and asset recovery, securities litigation, civil rights, class actions, health care and more.
His clients include PNC Financial Services Group and M&T Bank Corp.
“Marc is known to possess an expertise in financial services litigation and is highly sought after for leadership roles on high-profile cases on behalf of our financial institution clients,” said Leonard A. Bernstein, a partner at the firm.
Leadership Activity: Goldich oversees junior associates, paralegals and support staff at the firm and demonstrates a commitment to mentoring, serving as an informal mentor to many associates in the firm. He works closely with the commercial litigation group leader to deliver quarterly group updates.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Goldich’s pro bono work has included serving as the lead managing associate on a team that secured a settlement with the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department in a case involving the treatment of religious materials belonging to prisoners in custody in the Criminal Justice Center. He has also assisted a team with the defense of a quiet title complaint against a firm nonprofit client.
Experience: Current employer, 2004-present.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004; University of Arizona, B.A., 2001.
Erin Lucas Hamilton
Associate, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Practice Profile: Hamilton focuses her practice on general commercial litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. She has particular experience in the fields of aviation disaster litigation and construction litigation, and represents regional, national and international clients in both state and federal courts and arbitration.
Her clients include United States Aircraft Insurance Group, which she assists in the defense and negotiation of dismissals or settlements on behalf of aircraft parts manufacturers in wrongful death and survival actions arising out of commercial and private aviation accidents. She also represents Mastech, for which she has served as lead counsel on several employment matters.
Leadership Activity: Hamilton’s firm handles about 60 pro bono protection-from-abuse cases each year through a program she coordinates and administers, including training attorneys, assigning and supervising all of the cases.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: In addition to her work as the firm’s PFA coordinator, Hamilton serves as pro bono legal counsel for Hello Bully, an animal-welfare organization, and handled a dispute for another animal-welfare charity in a dispute with a former foster volunteer.
Hamilton is a member of the young professional advisory board of the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh and was elected to a two-year term as chair of that board. She also coaches the Taylor Allerdice High School mock trial team.
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present; Manion McDonough & Lucas, 2004-12.
Education: University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2004; Carnegie Mellon University, B.S., 2001.
Jonathan T. Hoffman
Associate, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg
Practice Profile: Hoffman, an associate in the firm’s litigation department, concentrates his practice in a wide range of domestic relations matters, including divorce, support, custody, equitable distribution and protection-from-abuse actions. He also deals with tax-related issues in complex support and equitable distribution matters.
“Jonathan’s easygoing and friendly style make him likable, but his passionate pursuit of his clients’ cases, whether they be for his pro bono clients or high-net-worth individuals, is consistent and sincere,” said David Steerman, a partner at the firm.
Leadership Activity: Hoffman’s involvement with the Montgomery County Bar Association is extensive. He has served as co-chair for numerous committees in its family law section, including the equitable distribution committee in 2013. He is also chair of the bar association’s membership committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Hoffman serves as a volunteer attorney for the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project and legal aid for no-contest divorce cases.
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present; Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, 2009-12; WolfBlock, 2008-09.
Education: Villanova University School of Law, LL.M., 2012; Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2005; University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 2002.
John D. Huh
Associate, DLA Piper
Practice Profile: Huh, an associate in the firm’s litigation group, focuses his practice on antitrust and complex commercial litigation. He has litigated in federal and state court, including the appellate level, and has experience representing companies in government investigations by state and federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
His clients include Toll Brothers Inc., Deloitte and Mortgage Investors Corp., which he has assisted with consumer protection and government investigations.
Leadership Activity: Huh serves on the diversity, pro bono and hiring committees in the firm’s Philadelphia office, and he frequently mentors the firm’s summer associates.
He is a past secretary of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania and is a current executive committee member for that group. He is also the vice chair of the young lawyers division’s litigation committee for the American Bar Association.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Huh represents nine African-American students in a case against Lower Merion School District alleging a practice of denying African-American students access to an education equal to their white peers based on race. The case has resulted in the school district diverting more resources to addressing a present achievement gap and it is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Experience: Current employer, 2007-present; Law clerk, U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2006-07.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2006; Dickinson College, B.S., 2003.
Earthen E. Johnson
Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Practice Profile: As an associate in the firm’s investment management practice group, Johnson represents and counsels clients and organizations including multi-series and multi-class mutual funds, master-feeder funds, money market funds, registered alternative products and exchange traded funds.
Her clients include Credit Suisse, Kinetics Mutual Funds, Registered Fund Solutions, Burnham Funds and FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds.
Leadership Activity: Johnson is a member of the firm’s summer, diversity and women’s committees. She is also a board member for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Camden County, N.J.
“Earthen is active in the Philadelphia Bar Association YLD, Pennsylvania Bar Association minority bar committee and women in the profession committee, the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, and the National Lawyers Guild,” said Kathleen Wilkinson, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. “In short, Earthen is a rising star.”
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Over the past two years alone, Johnson has put in more than 800 pro bono hours. Her work includes criminal expungement matters, nonprofit counseling on formation, bylaws and board governance, the research and drafting of memos and amicus briefs, and tax assistance for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance of Philadelphia.
Experience: Current employer, 2011-present.
Education: Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, J.D., 2011; University of Virginia, B.A., 2004.
Associate, Pepper Hamilton
Practice Profile: As an associate in the firm’s corporate and securities practice group, Kagan represents Israeli and foreign companies in stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, BOT projects and various commercial transactions. She also deals with Internet and IT law, including the representation of technology and start-up companies from formation.
Prior to joining her current firm, she was a partner in a firm in Tel Aviv, Israel, and a managing partner of a boutique firm.
During her military service in the Israel Defense Forces, where she was a first lieutenant, she served as a prosecutor in the IDF Air Force, trying various criminal and military law cases.
Leadership Activity: Kagan had a key role in putting together the firm’s emerging company program and serves as a member of the group’s steering committee. She also mentors young associates in the corporate and securities practice group.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Kagan served as a mediator as part of the Philadelphia Landlord Tenant Appellate Mediation Program and is involved with the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
Experience: Current employer, 2008-present; Adjunct professor, Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, 2009-present; Shavit Bar-On Gal-On Tzin Nov Yagur (Tel Aviv), 2002-07; Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting of the Ministry of Communications (Tel Aviv), 2000-01; Israel Defense Forces Military Advocate General’s Unit, 1999-2002.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, LL.M., 2009; Strathclyde University, LL.M., 2009; Tel Aviv University School of Law, LL.B., 1999.
Professor, Temple University’s Beasley School of Law
Practice Profile: Katz is a clinical professor at the Beasley School of Law, teaching the family law litigation clinic. In that role, she works with students to litigate cases and teaches a weekly seminar on family law topics and practice skills. She works with students to ensure they hit the ground running in cases they work for the clinic.
Prior to that, she spent eight years at Community Legal Services, where she became known as an expert on the rights of teen parents, parents generally and grandparents in custody and dependency proceedings.
“Throughout her career, Sarah has advocated tirelessly on behalf of some of the most vulnerable Philadelphians, becoming an expert sought out by others in the state for her guidance on a variety of topics,” said Nilam Sanghvi, of the Georgetown University Law Center, and Sara Jacobson, of the Beasley School of Law, in a joint letter.
Leadership Activity: Katz devoted significant time in her role at CLS to supervising and training paralegals, new attorneys and law students. In her current role, she is devoted to that training on a full-time basis.
She is also an executive committee member of the family law section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and a founding steering group member of the American Bar Association’s parent representation project.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: For her entire career, Katz has been focused on pro bono work and giving back to the community. She has helped inspire law students and young attorneys to pursue careers as public interest lawyers.
Experience: Current employer, 2012-present. Community Legal Services, 2004-12; Law clerk, U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003-04.
Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2003; Columbia University, B.A., 1997.
Matthew G. Laver
Associate, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby
Practice Profile: Laver’s practice is focused on representing clients in general liability matters and he specializes in defending clients in professional liability matters.
His clients include the Philadelphia Phillies, Han Dynasty, Anapol Schwartz and Fox Television Stations.
“His expertise, professionalism and respect foster his advancement within the legal community,” said Joseph Goldberg, a partner at the firm. “Matt has taken on the role of leader and mentor for his peers at Weber Gallagher and he welcomes the responsibility.”
Leadership Activity: Laver served as a mentor to the firm’s summer associate class in 2011 and 2012, providing day-to-day guidance to the summer associates regarding workplace assignments.
He is also a member of the firm’s diversity committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Laver has participated in Legal Advice Live, providing legal counsel to the public. He has also participated in several events through the Philadelphia Bar Association, including being co-chair of the Ronald McDonald House guest chef program for three years and co-chair of the Harvest for the Homeless citywide clothing drive.
Experience: Current employer, 2010-present; Law clerk, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe, 2008-10; Law clerk, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Albert W. Sheppard, 2009-10.
Education: University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 2008; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2004.
Kristin M. McKenna
Associate, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young
Practice Profile: McKenna advises closely held businesses and owners on a broad range of tax issues. She counsels clients on the tax aspects of S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and liquidations and financing transactions.
Among her clients are global investment managers, leading mutual fund managers and international financial services companies.
Leadership Activity: McKenna is a member of the firm’s diversity and hiring committees and has previously served on the firm’s associates committee for two years. She is a past executive committee liaison to the business law and tax law sections of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s young lawyers division.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: McKenna is a member of the firm’s team providing legal assistance to faculty and staff members as part of the Upstart Program at the University of Pennsylvania, which helps them launch new companies based on selected inventions and innovative technologies.
She has also organized the firm’s involvement in the Anti-Defamation League’s Walk Against Hate and participates in the Harvest for the Homeless program and Legal Advice Live.
Experience: Current employer, 2006-present; Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy, 2004-06.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, LL.M., 2008; Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004; Temple University’s Fox School of Business, M.B.A., 2004; Saint Joseph’s University, B.S., 1997.
Chairman/CEO, The McShane Firm
Practice Profile: McShane is a DUI and criminal defense lawyer and regularly appears at lectures and events around the country to educate fellow attorneys. He has tried more than 100 cases to verdict in federal and state court, running the gamut from homicides and multimillion-dollar drug trafficking cases to DUI and serial rape cases. He has twice argued in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and frequently argues in Superior Court.
“He is a sought-after speaker who travels around the country for no financial compensation to teach lawyers in an effort to ‘raise the bar’ of the criminal defense community,” said attorney Michael Steven Sherman.
Leadership Activity: McShane runs a seven-attorney firm in Harrisburg, mentoring the associates at his firm.
“I can honestly say that I have never met another young, extraordinary lawyer like Justin McShane,” Sherman said. “His creativity, resourcefulness and, most of all, his willingness to help his fellow colleagues really sets him apart from other lawyers.”
Pro Bono and Civic Work: McShane is currently litigating the case of Commonwealth v. Wallace, a Franklin County death penalty case to which he has already devoted hundreds of hours. He has filed numerous amici briefs and last year alone provided more than 300 hours of instructions at CLEs across the United States.
Experience: Current employer, 2003-present; Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office, 1999-2003.
Education: Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2001; Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 1998.
Kevin V. Mincey
Partner, Mincey & Fitzpatrick
Practice Profile: Mincey focuses his practice on criminal defense and also handles personal injury and civil rights litigation.
After beginning his career prosecuting cases with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, Mincey started his own firm in 2005 and has since handled hundreds of matters in criminal and civil court in the Philadelphia area and throughout the state.
Leadership Activity: Mincey is a managing partner at his firm. He was on the hiring committee for two years during his time with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
He is the immediate past president of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia and a member of the board of governors for the Philadelphia Bar Association. He has served as chair of the criminal justice section of the Philadelphia Bar Association and chair of the diversity in the profession committee for that organization.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Mincey created the Barristers’ Association Expungement Clinic. He has drafted and filed more than 300 expungement petitions for indigent clients over the past two years.
He testified before Philadelphia City Council regarding changing the name of the Criminal Justice Center to the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.
Experience: Current employer, 2013-present; Law Office of Kevin V. Mincey, 2005-12; Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, 2002-05.
Education: Howard University School of Law, J.D., 2002; University of Maryland Eastern Shore, B.S., 1999.
Ria C. Momblanco
Associate, Fine, Kaplan and Black
Practice Profile: Momblanco’s practice focuses on antitrust law, complex litigation and class actions. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state court.
Before joining her current firm, she represented health care providers in state court, JAMS and AAA arbitration.
“In 2012, our firm was co-lead counsel in a complex price-fixing case that went to trial in Kansas City, Kan.,” said Roberta D. Liebenberg, a senior partner at the firm.
“Ms. Momblanco was an integral part of the litigation team prosecuting the case on behalf of direct purchasers of polyether polyols against Dow Chemical. After a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in excess of $400 million, which was trebled to $1.2 billion.”
Leadership Activity: Momblanco has been the associate editor of the Philadelphia Bar Reporter since 2007. She has also served as co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s civil rights committee and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Philadelphia young lawyers division.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Momblanco was recently appointed to her second term as a hearing committee member for the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Her first term ran from 2010 through this June, and she was reappointed through June 2016.
She has also volunteered with Support Center for Child Advocates and Philadelphia VIP’s Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program.
Experience: Current employer, 2006-present; Jones Day, 2003-05; Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, 2002-03.
Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2002; University of California-Los Angeles, B.S., 1997.
Michael J. Puma
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Practice Profile: As a partner in the firm’s labor and employment practice, Puma deals with matters including single-plaintiff, class and collective action litigation, employee benefits litigation, wage-and-hour and other employment counseling, traditional labor work and more.
Puma focuses on complex litigation and has also advised clients in a broad range of industries on compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. His clients include ARAMARK, Comcast and Hershey’s.
Leadership Activity: Puma is the business development partner on the leadership team for the firm’s wage-and-hour litigation practice. He’s responsible for the Philadelphia office’s labor and employment lateral recruitment. He has co-chaired a yearlong wage-and-hour training program for more than 100 associates.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Puma has represented women incarcerated in Rikers Island prison in efforts to maintain parental and visitation rights with their children. He has represented a U.S. Army veteran in efforts to increase his disability benefits. He has represented children through work with Support Center for Child Advocates, and has also represented a Chadian national seeking asylum in the United States.
He also serves on the local board of the Anti-Defamation League, leading its leadership development program and serving as a member on the board’s executive, nominating and education committees.
Experience: Current employer, 1999-present.
Education: George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1999; Boston University, B.S., 1996.
Teresa M. Rodriguez
Formerly of Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith
Practice Profile: Rodriguez practiced in the area of personal injury actions at her previous firm and has spent the bulk of her career representing hundreds of immigrant, migrant and seasonal farmworkers in labor and employment cases. Those matters have included wage-and-hour, unpaid minimum wage, unpaid overtime, concerted protected activity, health and safety and discrimination.
Leadership Activity: During her time at Friends of Farmworkers, Rodriguez regularly supervised legal interns and provided extensive training sessions at the annual summer Mid-Atlantic training for similar organizations.
Rodriguez is a past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and an executive board member since 2004, as well as an executive board member of its legal education fund.
She is a member of the minority bar, diversity summit planning and minority attorney conference planning committees of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She is vice chair of the women’s rights committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. She also chaired its civil rights committee for four years and is a member of the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Through Friends of Farmworkers, Rodriguez spent more than eight years providing direct legal services to migrant and immigrant workers in Pennsylvania, primarily dealing with employment issues.
Experience: Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, 2012-13; Friends of Farmworkers, 2006-12.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004; Penn State University, B.S., 2000.
Karen M. Sanchez
Associate, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel
Practice Profile: Sanchez concentrates her practice in financing, creditors’ rights, lender liability, real estate development and corporate matters. She represents financial institutions and borrowers in complex front-end commercial transactions in real estate and asset-based lending, as well as restructuring and workouts.
Her clients include the Borough of Lansdale, Perkiomen School, TD Bank and Beneficial Bank.
Leadership Activity: Sanchez is a member of the women’s marketing committee at the firm and a summer associate coordinator for the business department.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Sanchez is a hearing committee member for the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
She has also worked extensively with Support Center for Child Advocates since 2004. Her representations include a successful reunion with a child’s biological father, a child’s placement in permanent legal and physical custody in a foster home after years of neglect, and the aid of a child testifying in criminal court against a physically abusive adult living in her home. She was on the organization’s pro bono honor roll from 2006 through 2012.
“In her work with our office and our clients, Ms. Sanchez is absolutely dedicated to client service and high-quality, ethical practice. She is a compassionate counselor and zealous advocate,” said Frank Cervone, executive director of Support Center for Child Advocates.
Experience: Current employer, 2013-present; Thorp Reed & Armstrong, 2011-13; Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, 2004-11.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2004; Temple University’s Fox School of Business, M.B.A., 2004; Penn State University, B.S., 2000.
Jarrod D. Shaw
Associate, Reed Smith
Practice Profile: Shaw is a member of the firm’s financial industry group. He focuses his practice on financial services litigation, representing clients in civil litigation, including consumer finance actions, complex commercial litigation and insurance recovery actions.
His clients include AmerisourceBergen Corp., Babcock & Wilcox Inc. and Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.
Firm partner George L. Stewart II said Shaw’s breadth of practice and experience as first chair in litigation are noteworthy.
“This breadth of practice speaks to Jarrod’s innate business acumen and his agile intellect, particularly in a world where specialization within an area of the law and/or a particular industry has become the norm,” Stewart said.
Leadership Activity: Shaw is a member of the associates committee at the firm, served as a summer associate mentor and has been on the firm’s recruiting committee. He also plays a significant role in business development at the firm, both for growing existing client relationships and for new clients.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Shaw represented a prisoner in a due process claim against a facility for deprivation of the right to a disciplinary hearing and the ability to review evidence during a hearing. Despite a jury verdict for the defendant after a three-day trial, the judge commented that the case was effectively delivered and the judge was surprised the verdict didn’t favor the plaintiff.
Experience: Current employer, 2010-present; Drinker Biddle & Reath, 2005-10; Littler Mendelson, 2004-05.
Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2004; Penn State University, B.S., 2001.
Associate, Fox Rothschild
Practice Profile: Simidjiyska’s practice utilizes her knowledge of corporate, public finance and international law. Her experience includes mergers and acquisitions, lending and secured transactions, securities and general corporate representation of publicly held and family-owned businesses.
Leadership Activity: Simidjiyska was elected as an associate representative at the firm and appointed as the firm’s liaison for Eastern Europe. She is also a member of the firm’s hiring committee and has acted as a summer associate mentor for the past six years.
She is also a steering committee member for the American Bar Association’s export controls and economic sanctions committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Simidjiyska represents the Children’s Medical Foundation of Central and Eastern Europe (CMF), a Pennsylvania nonprofit, in all corporate legal matters. She also works with CMF’s founders to create partnerships between the organization and hospitals in Eastern Europe.
She also works with Kicked It in Heels, a foundation formed to further the end of health care disparities in breast cancer by focusing on survivors, encouraging lifestyle adjustments and dialogue after diagnosis. She worked with the group’s founder to form the entity and qualify it as a 501(c)(3).
Experience: Current employer, 2007-present.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2007; Princeton University, A.B., 2004.
Partner, Ballard Spahr
Practice Profile: Spagnuolo’s practice focuses on the representation of companies and individuals in all aspects of complex civil litigation, internal corporate investigations and compliance and regulatory matters. She has defended clients in civil litigation and criminal investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, state and federal false claims acts and environmental compliance.
She represents NASDAQ in a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement matter relating to the Facebook IPO.
Leadership Activity: Spagnuolo is a member of the firm’s hiring committee and is active in the firm’s recruitment and retention programs. She conducts interviews and evaluations of applicant law students and lateral attorneys.
She has served as co-chair of the firm’s summer associate program and co-chair of the litigation department’s new associate training program.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Spagnuolo serves as a guardian ad litem for a minor bringing a Mann Act claim against her abuser. She also represents individuals in immigration matters, provides employment advice to nonprofits and represents indigent individuals in court-appointed criminal cases.
She is also involved with EducationWorks, a nonprofit that provides out-of-school programming in the most disadvantaged schools in the Philadelphia region.
Experience: Current employer, 2004-present; Law clerk, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003-04.
Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2003; Bowdoin College, A.B., 1996.
David F. Stern
Founding partner, Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano
Practice Profile: Stern has been representing injured workers in his workers’ compensation practice since 2004.
Among his notable work in recent years was a 2012 case in which his client suffered a stroke while working, leaving him paralyzed on the left side of his body and unable to work. Stern helped him recover past and future wage-loss benefits, valued in excess of $1.1 million, and was successful in holding the employer liable for all medical bills associated with the stroke.
He also obtained a $640,000 settlement for a client whose work-related injury resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
Leadership Activity: Stern is a founding, equity and name partner at the firm, where he oversees all of the workers’ compensation associates, which he has done since the firm opened its doors in July 2010.
He is also the Eastern District chair of the workers’ compensation section of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and a member of that section’s membership committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Stern has been involved with Philadelphia VIP since 2007.
Experience: Current employer, 2010-present; Martin Banks Pond Lehocky & Wilson, 2004-10; Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, 2001-04.
Education: University of Pittsburgh Law School, J.D., 2000; University of Delaware, B.A., 1997.
Kari Knight Stevens
Senior counsel, Cigna
Practice Profile: Stevens is responsible for all legal matters relating to the company’s benefit and compensation programs for its more than 35,000 employees and retirees.
She developed a reputation in the field during her time at Blank Rome, where she became a resource for clients on employee benefits matters, helping them navigate complex issues. She also helped clients deal with matters pertaining to fiduciary duties and responsibilities under ERISA, COBRA and health care reform.
She has successfully litigated and negotiated settlements in several ERISA matters.
Leadership Activity: Stevens holds a senior-level position at Cigna, and she was actively involved in Blank Rome’s recruiting efforts when she was with the firm. She was particularly involved in the summer associate program, and served as a member of the firm’s recruiting and retention committee.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Stevens represented a pro bono immigration client beginning in her first year of practice, winning an appeal to the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Appeals Board to prevent the client’s deportation to Jordan, where she faced immediate persecution. She continued to represent the client in her application for U.S. citizenship. She has also been involved in volunteer work with the SeniorLAW Center.
Experience: Current employer, 2013-present; Blank Rome, 2007-13.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2007; Boston College, B.A., 2003.
Thomas A. Warnock
Senior counsel, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
Practice Profile: Warnock serves as commercial counsel with global responsibility for business counseling to DuPont’s crop protection business. His practice also includes general commercial litigation, torts and contract matters.
Leadership Activity: Warnock serves as chair of the United Way Campaign for DuPont Legal, a companywide charitable contribution campaign. He is also team captain of the DuPont Street Law Program.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Warnock is an active member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania.
“Tom has been involved with the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania since he was a law student in 1998,” HBA President Rachel Gallegos said, adding that he has “a track record of leadership, sound judgment and commitment to the advancement of the legal profession. “
“As an attorney, he served as a board member of the HBA of PA, ascended to the presidency of the HBA of PA and currently sits as a board member,” Gallegos said.
Experience: Current employer, 2006-present; White and Williams, 2001-06.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2001; Florida State University, B.A., 1998.
Adrianne Walvoord Webb
Associate, Anapol Schwartz
Practice Profile: Webb focuses her practice on mass tort litigation, class action litigation and general personal injury.
“Since Adrianne first joined Anapol Schwartz, she was assigned to some of our most complex cases,” said firm shareholder and director Sol H. Weiss, noting that she has assisted in high-profile cases such as the Paxil birth-defect litigation in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the National Football League players’ concussion injury litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Leadership Activity: Webb has served as claims committee liaison in the Middle District of Pennsylvania class action litigation Powell v. Wallace and as plaintiffs liaison counsel in the New Jersey Superior Court, Middlesex County mass tort litigation In re AlloDerm.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Webb is an active member of the American Association for Justice, serving as a member of its board of governors, as well as committee chair for both the women trial lawyers caucus and new lawyers division.
She also participated in the Habitat for Humanity program in 2011 and 2012.
Experience: Current employer, 2007-present.
Education: Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2007; University of Virginia, B.A., 2003.
Joseph R. Williams
Associate, Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz
Practice Profile: Williams focuses his practice on family law.
“In addition to his impressive legal knowledge and professional acumen, Joe possesses a gentle demeanor and positive attitude, which makes clients feel secure as they deal with difficult family matters such as divorce and child custody,” said Todd M. Begg, founding partner of the firm. “He finds a way to gently tell clients what they need to hear while still empathizing with their situations and working tenaciously towards a successful outcome on their behalf.”
Leadership Activity: Williams manages the firm’s library and has taken on the role of interviewing candidates for law clerk positions with the firm.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Williams assisted a low-income client in successfully securing an order for partial custody of her son from whom she had previously been estranged for many years, along with an order for alimony.
He volunteers with the Pro Bono Assistance Program at the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, assisting indigent litigants, as well as with the Neighborhood Legal Services Family Law Clinic, where he provides free legal advice to low-income individuals.
Experience: Current employer, 2009-present.
Education: Duquesne University, J.D., 2009; Bethany College, B.A., 2006.
Jason M. Yarbrough
Associate, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott
Practice Profile: Yarbrough focuses his practice on construction and commercial litigation.
He represented Schwob Building Company in a multimillion-dollar construction dispute with an owner in Susquehanna County. He also negotiated and drafted a $17 million construction contract on behalf of St. Vincent College.
Leadership Activity: Yarbrough is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and has served on the organization’s construction council since 2010.
He is also chair of Meyer Unkovic’s summer associate research program.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Yarbrough volunteers with Neighborhood Legal Services Association to represent tenants in Section 8 housing disputes. He has also participated for multiple years in both Attorneys Against Hunger’s annual Skate-a-Thon and Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh’s casino night charity events.
Experience: Current employer, 2004-present.
Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 2004; University of Notre Dame, B.A., 2001.
Michael V. Zullo
Partner, Duane Morris
Practice Profile: Zullo centers his practice on commercial litigation, with a specific focus on financial services, complex business disputes and broker-dealer disputes.
His clients include TD Bank, TD Wealth Management Services Inc. and CVS Pharmacy Inc. He also successfully defended software provider SAP as co-lead counsel in a breach of contract license dispute brought by an end user.
Leadership Activity: Zullo is currently leading a firmwide effort to develop an early case assessment program aimed at reducing client litigation costs and more effectively manage risk.
He also serves as a mentor to summer associates at the firm.
Pro Bono and Civic Work: Zullo represented a blind man in a dispute with a contractor over allegedly botched construction work after a fire, successfully negotiating an agreement under which the contractor would make all necessary repairs.
He is also active on behalf of the Arts in Sacred Places program, which partners local arts groups in need of performance space with places of worship seeking to lease their space to cover costs.
“A number of firm lawyers have worked closely with the program as a result of Mike’s efforts,” said Lex Bono, a partner at the firm.
Experience: Current employer, 2003-present.
Education: George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2003; Boston College, B.A., 2000.