Lawyers and Judges Honored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for Legal Assistance to the Poor

HARRISBURG (June 30, 2011) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Legal Services to the Public Committee has presented awards to lawyers deserving special recognition for voluntary efforts to provide free and reduced-fee legal representation to low-income Pennsylvanians. The committee presented Attorney Pro Bono Awards to individual lawyers and to law firms for noteworthy pro bono efforts.

The committee also presented a Judges Award to a Pennsylvania jurist for improving civil legal aid, the Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award to a lawyer demonstrating outstanding commitment to providing legal services for the needy, and the Pro Bono Partner Award to a non-attorney who supports legal services to the needy.

The award winners include the following individuals and law firms:

Allegheny County

Christine Gale, Frank, Gale, Bails, Murecko & Procrass P.C., Pittsburgh: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for her service as a volunteer family law attorney for multiple clients at the Uptown Legal Clinic, a pro bono legal project at Bethlehem Haven, which helps homeless women regain self-sufficiency.

Sabrina Korbel, Civil Law Project of the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh: Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award - for representing victims of domestic violence at protection from abuse final hearings at Family Court, for being present when PFA orders are being negotiated and cases prepared for final hearing, for assisting other pro bono lawyers with limited experience in handling PFAs, for serving as a presenter at PFA training sessions conducted by the Neighborhood Legal Services Association and for demonstrating true passion as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and as a support of pro bono lawyers.

Heidi Rai Stewart, Houston Harbaugh P.C., Pittsburgh: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for volunteer efforts with the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force Pro Bono Legal Network since 1999, during which time she has assisted many of its clients with estate planning and administration issues.

Linda Tashbook, law librarian, University of Pittsburgh: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing pro bono legal services, primarily to the homeless and disabled in Pittsburgh and for creating The Homeless Law Blog (www.homelesslaw.info), which addresses legal issues associated with the homeless and allows homeless people to post comments and questions about their experiences with the law.

Berks County
John J. Grenko, Reading: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling numerous challenging pro bono cases, including child custody and abuse cases.

Bucks County
Dean P. Arthur, Perkasie: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for long-time commitment to the Bucks County Bar Association's Pro Bono Committee, for tireless efforts to ensure quality legal representation for low-income clients and for representing low-income plaintiffs in protection from abuse matters.

Chester County
John J. Stanzione, Wusinich, Brogan & Stanzione, Downingtown: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for advocating for support of Legal Aid while serving as president of the Chester County Bar Association and for providing representation for pro bono clients, including clients with unemployment cases, for more than 10 years.

Clinton County
Jacqueline A. Kramer, Roberts, Miceli & Boileau L.L.P., Lock Haven: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing pro bono counsel to clients referred to her by North Penn Legal Services, often handling protection from abuse cases, and for providing legal assistance to clients of the area women's center.

Cumberland County
Martson Law, Carlisle: Attorney Pro Bono Awards - for working with the Cumberland County Bar Association to establish a referral process with the firm and for agreeing to handle more than 20 pro bono cases per year or making payment to support pro bono representation in lieu of service.

Dauphin County
Alfred J. Azen, executive director, Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Program, Harrisburg: Inaugural Pro Bono Partner Award - for his work in developing the loan forgiveness program for legal services lawyers and for ongoing efforts to promote and expand the funding of legal aid programs for the needy.

Kandice J. Giurintano, McNees Wallace & Nurick L.L.C., Harrisburg: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for serving as coordinator of the firm's pro bono activities, for organizing special projects to increase the firm's commitment to pro bono as part of the firm's 75th anniversary celebration and for leadership in the creation of the Custody Mentorship Program for Dauphin County low-income litigants.

Delaware County
F .D. Hennessy Jr., Hennessey & Bullen, Lansdowne: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for dedicating time and expertise to the Pro Bono Project and for providing representation to senior citizens with complex legal issues.

Jessica Sirolly, Swarthmore: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for accepting providing outstanding representation to pro bono clients.

Erie County
James T. Marnen, Marnen, Mioduszewski, Bordonaro, Wagner& Sinnott L.L.C., Erie: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for serving as a long-time volunteer for Northwest Legal Services and for devoting many hours in support of the pro bono clients' legal needs.

Franklin County
Abigail J.W. Salawage, Kaminski & Hawbaker P.C., Chambersburg: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for participation in pro bono program and for participation in the Wills for Heroes program, which provides free estate planning documents to fire, police and EMT personnel and their spouses.

Huntingdon County
David A. Ody, Ody and Wilson P.C., Huntingdon: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing pro bono services to clients of the MidPenn Pro Bono Program for more than a decade, often handling challenging and complex divorce cases.

Lackawanna County
Abrahamsen Conaboy & Abrahamsen P.C., Scranton: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono support, including its commitment to have every lawyer practicing in its Lackawanna County office accept at least one pro bono case during 2010.

Doughery Leventhal & Price L.L.P., Moosic: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono support, including its commitment to have every lawyer practicing in its Lackawanna County office accept at least one pro bono case from Lackawanna Pro Bono during 2010.

William Fisher, Dunmore: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing voluntary representation to domestic violence victims seeking protection orders and for assisting multiple domestic violence victims each week, from handling initial interviews and investigations of allegations to providing assistance in court proceedings.

Kelley & Polishan L.L.C., Old Forge: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono support, including its commitment to have every lawyer in the firm accept at least one pro bono case during 2010.

Thomas J. Pellish, Scranton: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for accepting referrals from Lackawanna Pro Bono, including custody cases and other challenging cases, and for his skill and dedication in handling of those cases.

Pisanchyn Law Firm L.L.C., Scranton: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono supporting, including its commitment to have every lawyer in the firm accept at least one pro bono referral from Lackawanna Pro Bono during 2010.

Powell Law, Scranton: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono support, including, for the seventh year, having every lawyer in the firm accept at least one pro bono referral from Lackawanna Pro Bono.

Roth & Dempsey P.C., Scranton: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for demonstrating outstanding pro bono supporting, including its commitment to have every lawyer in the firm accept at least one pro bono referral from Lackawanna Pro Bono during 2010.

Lancaster County
Angela Flouras Rieck, Gingrich, Smith, Klingensmith & Dolan, Lancaster: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling multiple pro bono cases for the Volunteer Attorney Program, for service to the Lancaster County Youth Aid Panel, which is a panel of community members working with first-time juvenile offenders and their parents, and for her efforts with the Wills for Heroes program, which uses a team of volunteer lawyers and paralegals to provide free estate planning documents to fire, police and EMT personnel and their spouses.

Eric Rothermel, Appel & Yost L.L.P., Lancaster: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling multiple pro bono cases through the Volunteer Attorney Program, for assisting low-income citizens with tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and for serving as county co-coordinator of the Wills for Heroes program, which uses a team of volunteer lawyers and paralegals to provide free estate planning documents to fire, police and EMT personnel and their spouses.

Lebanon County
Charles Buchanio, Lebanon: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for his commitment to accepting pro bono referrals, particularly protection from abuse cases.

John Kelsey III, Lebanon: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for his commitment to accepting pro bono referrals, particularly protection from abuse cases.

Lycoming County
Patricia A. Shipman, Fetter McDermott, Inc., Williamsport: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling multiple pro bono cases each year referred by North Penn Legal Services, for taking on complicated and time-intensive pro bono cases, for her service to the Lycoming Law Association's Legal Services to the Indigent Committee and for advocating for bar association, community and agency support of NPLS.

Mifflin County
James M. McClure, BMZ Law, Lewistown: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling numerous pro bono cases in the areas of family and consumer law for the MidPenn Legal Services Pro Bono Program.

Montgomery County
Cary L. Flitter, Lundy Flitter Beldecos & Berger P.C., Narbeth: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for presenting three continuing legal education seminars about consumer law and attorney fees for legal aid attorneys.

Marie A. Patterson, Law Office of Marie A. Patterson, Norristown: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for accepting multiple pro bono cases each year from Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and for handling time-intensive cases involving family law matters.

Northampton County
Michelle A. DeWald, DeWald Law Offices, Bethlehem: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing pro bono counsel to clients with bankruptcy, consumer credit and mortgage foreclosure issues.

Philadelphia County
Cheryl Jacobs, Cheryl Jacobs Law Group P.C.: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for providing more than 500 volunteer hours to Philadelphia VIP's Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, which assists low-income homeowners who cannot afford the services of legal professionals to help save their homes from foreclosure proceedings.

Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Judges Award - for calling upon all Pennsylvania lawyers to provide pro bono services, for advancing the improvement of legal services for the poor and for supporting the innovative loan forgiveness program benefiting legal aid lawyers.

Westmoreland County
Dennis J. Gounley, Greensburg: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for his assistance to pro bono clients with debt collection and bankruptcy issues.

York County
Sean E. Summers, Barley Snyder L.L.C., York: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for contributing significant time and resources to the highly publicized military funeral case, representing the plaintiff in Snyder v. Phelps, a First Amendment case that was ultimately decided for the defendant on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and for assisting clients of the York County Bar Association pro bono program.

Craig T. Trebilcock, Shumaker Williams P.C., York: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for contributing significant time and resources to the highly publicized military funeral case, representing the plaintiff in Snyder v. Phelps, a First Amendment case that was ultimately decided for the defendant on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and for assisting clients of the York County Bar Association pro bono program.

Clyde W. Vedder, Morris & Vedder, York: Attorney Pro Bono Award - for handling multiple pro bono cases, including a recent case involving a complex mortgage foreclosure.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of 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.