HARRISBURG (March 14, 2012) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession will present its annual Anne X. Alpern Award to Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Susan Peikes Gantman and its Lynette Norton Award to Mary Cushing Doherty of High Swartz LLP, Norristown.
An awards ceremony will be held during the commission's 19th annual conference, "Growing Outside Your Practice - Options, Opportunities and Ethical Issues," May 9, at the Marriott Lancaster at Penn Square, Lancaster.
The Alpern Award is presented annually to a female lawyer or judge who demonstrates excellence in the legal profession and who makes a significant professional impact on women in the law. Established in 1994, the award was named for Anne X. Alpern, Pennsylvania's attorney general in 1959 and the first woman state attorney general in the nation.
Gantman has served on the Superior Court since 2004. She previously was co-chair of the Family Law Section at Cozen O'Connor in West Conshohocken and partner and chair of the Domestic Relations Section at Sherr, Joffe & Zukerman in West Conshohocken. From 1981 to 1991, Gantman was in private practice in Norristown. She formerly served as solicitor for the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth and for Montgomery County Housing and Community Development. She also was a Montgomery County assistant district attorney, working in the major crimes unit.
A long-time advocate on behalf of children and other victims of abuse, Gantman frequently served as a lecturer and instructor for the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Montgomery Bar Association. She is currently a frequent lecturer on issues of appellate practice and procedure for the PBA, Montgomery Bar Association and Lawyers Club of Philadelphia.
She formerly served on the Board of Directors for Women of Vision, the Federation of Allied Jewish Appeal and Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She was a member of the Domestic Violence Legal Network and was coordinator of the Montgomery County parenting seminar, Children First.
She is a fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation and a master of the Villanova University School of Law Inns of Court.
Gantman has been recognized by the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth for her achievements and outstanding service. In 2008, she was presented with the Margaret Richardson Award by the Montgomery Bar Association for advancing the role of women in the legal field and furthering women's legal rights. Other honors include the Bond of Faith Federation Award, the Juvenile Advisory Association Award and recognition for outstanding service by the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth.
Gantman earned undergraduate and master's degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor from Villanova University School of Law.
The Norton Award was created in memory of Lynette Norton, a founding member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession who died in 2002. Norton was an advocate for young women in the legal profession and worked to promote literacy and women's rights. The award is designed to recognize and encourage female attorneys who excel in litigation skills and who are devoted to mentoring female lawyers.
Doherty began her career with Abrahams and Loewenstein of Philadelphia as an associate in 1979 and was named a partner in 1987. She was then in private practice and served as special counsel for Abrahams & Loewenstein for approximately 11 years. Since 1999, Doherty has been a partner at High Swartz.
Doherty has a long history of service to professional associations and organizations. In 1986, Doherty was admitted as a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She served as president of the academy's Pennsylvania chapter in 2006 and 2007 and currently serves on its Board of Managers.
Doherty has been a member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession since 1997 and currently serves on its Executive Council. Doherty is a former chair of the PBA Family Law Section. In addition, Doherty has been active with the Philadelphia Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Bar Foundation.
Since 1995, Doherty has been a member of the Joint Pennsylvania State Government Commission's Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law and, since 2005, Doherty has been a member of the commission's Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproduction Technologies.
Frequently sought to write and speak about her legal expertise, Doherty has served as a course planner and lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a lecturer for the Villanova University School of Law and Widener University School of Law.
Doherty's professional achievements have been recognized by The Doris Jonas Freed Family Law Inn of Court, which presented Doherty with its 2008 Frederick Cohen Award for Excellence. Doherty received the 2006 Margaret Richardson Award for advancing the role of women in the legal profession and furthering women's legal rights from the Montgomery Bar Association Women in the Law Committee.
Doherty holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and a juris doctor from Villanova University School of Law.
The awards will be presented during a luncheon featuring lawyer and prisoner rights' activist Betty Anne Waters, who served as the inspiration for the motion picture "Conviction" starring Oscar winner Hillary Swank. Waters went to college and law school to earn the credentials necessary to prove the innocence of her brother, who had been sentenced to life without parole for murder and robbery. Waters' persistence and determination fueled by an unbending belief in her brother's innocence lead to his exoneration in 2001.
Details and registration information for the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession conference are posted on the Pennsylvania Bar Association's website at www.pabar.org.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 28,000 lawyers who are members of the association.