HARRISBURG (March 26, 2013) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession will present its annual Anne X. Alpern Award to Gretchen A. Mundorff of Connellsville and its Lynette Norton Award to Candy Barr Heimbach of Bethlehem.
An awards ceremony will be held during the commission's 20th annual conference, "You and the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession: Opportunities and Challenges," May 9, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.
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.
Mundorff is a founding partner in the Connellsville law firm of Watson Mundorff Brooks & Sepic LLP. Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2011, 2012 and 2013, she concentrates her law practice in plaintiff's personal injury, medical malpractice and family law. She is the solicitor for the Fayette County Airport Authority, Dunbar Borough/Township Sanitary Authority and Saltlick Township.
Mundorff was the 2010-11 president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the second woman to serve in the role during the 118 year history of the association. She serves as a member of the PBA House of Delegates, and she is a former PBA Secretary, PBA Zone 6 governor, chair of the PBA Young Lawyers Division and Bar Leadership Institute, and vice chair of the PBA Women in the Profession Committee. Mundorff is a life fellow of the American and Pennsylvania Bar foundations and is a past member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board Hearing Committee. She served on the PBA Legal Services to Middle-Income Persons Committee, PBA Leadership Diversity Task Force, PBA Task Force on the Pennsylvania Judiciary and the PBA Legal Access Task Force. Mundorff served two terms on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the educational arm of the PBA, and currently serves on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Continuing Legal Education Board. Mundorff represents the PBA as a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates.
Mundorff currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Connellsville and has been president of both organizations. She is a past director of the United Way of Connellsville, United Way of Westmoreland County, American Heart Association of Fayette County, Uniontown-Harmarville Rehabilitation Advisory Board, Artworks Regional School for the Arts and Family Health Council in Pittsburgh.
She was recognized by the American Red Cross with the Coldren Award for volunteer service and received the Athena Award from the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce. Mundorff received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the U.S. House of Representatives. She was named a Paul Harris fellow by the Rotary Club of Connellsville.
Mundorff has served as president of the United Methodist Women of the Albright United Methodist Church in South Connellsville, where she has been active on the church council and has served as a youth Sunday school teacher and as a member of the Chancel Choir.
Mundorff graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, where she was a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board honor fraternities. She received a juris doctorate from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, The College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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.
Heimbach is a shareholder and supervisor of the Healthcare Liability Group in the Bethlehem office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. She served as a senior vice president and member of the board of directors for the firm for six years. A defense attorney in the area of medical and dental malpractice, health care law and other civil litigation matters, Heimbach has represented hospitals, physicians and their practices, physician's assistants, midwives, nurses and other health care practitioners.
Heimbach has been named as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer each year since 2005 in the area of personal injury defense - medical malpractice and has been named as one of the Top 50 Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in 2011 and 2012. She has received an AV Preeminent rating by LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell and is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society whose members are selected for effectiveness and accomplishment at the trial level as well as for superior ethical reputation.
Heimbach is a member of the Bar Association of Lehigh County (BALC) and the Northampton County Bar Association (NCBA) and is active in committee work for both organizations. She serves as chair of the BALC Medical Legal Committee and the NCBA Medical Legal Committee. She is chair of the Women Lawyers of Lehigh Valley and Beyond and serves as a mentor to many young attorneys.
Heimbach is a frequent speaker on issues relevant to medical malpractice litigation. She is actively involved in her alma mater, Moravian College, having served as president of the college's alumni board and as a member of the college's board of trustees. She has served as guest speaker for college classes and campus programs.
She has served as a mentor for law students at Penn State Dickinson School of Law and has been actively involved in mock trial programs, both at the high school and college levels. She has served as chair of the Northampton County Mock Trial Committee as well as a coach and mentor of the mock trial team at Easton High School.
Heimbach is a board member of the Celtic Cultural Alliance as well as the Cops 'N Kids board. She is a member of Quota International. She serves as vice president of the Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Valley Industrial Park (LVIP). She is a past member of the board of directors of the Center for Humanistic Change and the Sayre Child Center and has served as a volunteer for the American Heart Association.
Heimbach graduated magna cum laude from Moravian College in 1979. After several years in the educational field, she attended the Dickinson School of Law, receiving her juris doctor in 1985. Following graduation, she held a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Alfred T. Williams Jr., then president judge of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.
The awards will be presented during a luncheon featuring women's rights and public interest advocate Sandra Fluke, a Pennsylvania native who received national attention last year following her testimony regarding birth control before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Fluke co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which successfully lobbied for legislation allowing access to civil orders for protection for teens and individuals of all sexual orientations who are victims of intimate partner violence. Fluke graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center as a Public Interest Law Scholar with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. During law school, she was engaged in human rights advocacy in Kenya. Fluke received the 2012 National Association of Women Lawyers Award and was recognized for her extensive pro bono representation of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Fluke earned an undergraduate degree in feminist, gender and sexuality studies from Cornell University. Fluke is a native of Saxton, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Tussey Mountain Junior/Senior High School.
Details and registration information for the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession conference are posted on the PBA's website at www.pabar.org.
Founded in 1895, the PBA 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.