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President & Officers
Joshua P. Geist, Esq., President of PAJustice (2018 - 2019)

I am honored and humbled to become the 51st President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. In the almost 20 years that I have been a member of PAJ, I have been privileged to meet and get to know most of the past presidents. I continue to learn from them and admire their commitment to our organization. 

In celebrating 50 years of PAJ and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, I hope you will join me in recognizing the incredible accomplishments of our organization and our members. We have exceeded the objectives of the PAJ Constitution over the last 50 years. Most importantly, we have upheld and defended the right to trial by jury. We have done this by opposing the continuous onslaught of legislation intended to minimize or eliminate the constitutional right to a jury trial. We have also worked tirelessly to support and elect pro-civil justice candidates throughout the Commonwealth. We have also met the objective of protecting consumers, workers and individuals. Our members have vigorously represented victims harmed by careless and dangerous corporations and individuals. In their pursuit of justice for their clients, our members have made our communities safer by advocating for changes and reforms to prevent similar tragedies from being repeated. From top-rate CLEs to precedential amicus briefs, PAJ has met the objective of providing resources, services and benefits to our members to help them represent their clients as effectively as possible. 

The future of PAJ is promising. We will continue to work hard fighting anti-civil justice legislation in Harrisburg. Incredibly, over the last year, PAJ’s lobbying team has successfully fought back legislation aimed at capping damages, creating immunity for doctors, and taxing attorney fees. Many have called the current Pennsylvania legislature the most conservative in modern history. We must re-elect Governor Wolf in 2018. Governor Wolf understands the importance of the right to trial by jury and he will stand up for Pennsylvania workers and consumers. We must try cases! I challenge each of you to try more jury trials in the next year. The only way to protect and uphold the right to a jury trial is to exercise it. We must continue to advocate for our clients and the community as a whole. I encourage each of you to push for changes in your cases that will prevent horrible tragedies from happening again. Finally, we must tell our clients’ stories and the many ways that trial lawyers protect our communities.

I will work hard to ensure that PAJ remains strong for another 50 years. I encourage each of you to help PAJ promote its mission and objectives. Please join LawPAC, become active in a committee, attend a CLE, support our business partners, and encourage other trial lawyers to do the same. I look forward to seeing each of you over the next year. I hope you realize every day when you wake up that you are fighting for something bigger than you. PAJ has fought the battle for 50 years and will fight for 50 more. Together, we cannot be beaten!

 

Past Presidents

Lisa M. Benzie
(2017-2018)

Thomas R. Anapol
(2016-2017)

Jason Matzus
(2015-2016)

Malcolm MacGregor
(2014-2015)

Jerry M. Lehocky
(2013-2014)

Scott B. Cooper
(2012-2013)

Kenneth M. Rothweiler
(2011-2012)

Timothy Conboy
(2010-2011)

Kevin R. Marciano
(2009-2010)

Michael J. Foley
(2008-2009)

Tim Riley
(2007-2008)

Ruben Honik
(2006-2007)

Nancy H. Fullam
(2005-2006)

John M. Gallagher
(2004-2005)

Richard J. Schubert
(2003-2004)

David L. Lutz
(2002-2003)

Clifford A. Rieders
(2001-2002)

Timothy A. Shollenberger
(2000-2001)

Frank J. Wesner, Jr.
(1999-2000)

Stewart J. Eisenberg
(1998-1999)

Carol Nelson Shepherd
(1997-1998)

William F. Goodrich
(1996-1997)

Joanna Hamill Flum*
(1995-1996)

Theodore A. Schwartz
(1994-1995)

Howard F. Messer
(1993-1994)

 

Carmen P. Belefonte
(1992-1993)

James R. Ronca
(1991-1992)

Irving M. Portnoy
(1990-1991)

Leonard A. Sloane
(1989-1990)

Robert Webster Munley
(1988-1989)

Charles E. Evans
(1987-1988)

Edward B. McDaid
(1986-1987)

William R. Caroselli*
(1985-1986)

M. Mark Mendel*
(1984-1985)

James F. Mundy
(1983-1984)

Richard C. Angino
(1982-1983)

Bruce D. Desfor
(1981-1982)

Joseph A. Quinn, Jr.
(1980-1981)

Louis M. Tarasi, Jr.
(1979-1980)

Thomas J. Foley, Jr.
(1978-1979)

Lee C. Swartz
(1977-1978)

Marvin I. Barish
(1976-1977)

Milton D. Rosenberg*
(1975-1976)

Lindley M. Cowperthwait, Jr.*
(1974-1975)

William C. Archbold, Jr.*
(1973-1974)

Frank Edward Roda*
(1972-1973)

David S. Shrager*
(1971-1972)

Irwin Benjamin*
(1970-1971)

Murray S. Love*
(1968-1969)

*Deceased 

 


 

 

PAJustice Officers 

 

Joshua P. Geist, Esq., President
Goodrich & Geist, PC - Allegheny
josh@goodrichandgeist.com

 

 

Sudhir R. Patel, Esq., President-elect 
Fanelli Evans & Patel, PC – Pottsville
spatel@feplawyers.com

 

  

Paul Lagnese, Esq., Vice President 
Berger & Lagnese, LLC  – Pittsburgh
paull@bergerlagnese.com

 

Kila Baldwin, Esq., Treasurer 
Kline & Specter, P.C. - Philadelphia
kila.baldwin@klinespecter.com

 

Elizabeth A. Chiappetta Esq., Secretary
Robert Peirce & Associates, PC - Pittsburgh 
echiappetta@peircelaw.com

 

Carin A. O'Donnell, Esq., Parliamentarian
Stark & Stark - Philadelphia and New Jersey
codonnell@stark-stark.com

 

Joshua A. Rosen Esq., Comptroller
Simon & Simon, PC - Philadelphia 
JoshuaRosen@gosimon.com

 

Lisa M. Benzie, Esq., Immediate Past President
Navitsky, Olson & Wisneski LLP - Harrisburg
LBenzie@nowllp.com

 

PAJustice Section Chairs

Scott B. Cooper, Esq., Chair - Auto Law Section
SchmidtKramer, PC - Harrisburg 
scooper@schmidtkramer.com

 

Ryan D. Hurd, Esq., Chair - Future Leaders Section
Anapol Weiss - Philadelphia 
rhurd@anapolweiss.com

 

James Haggerty, Esq., Chair - Insurance Bad Faith Section 
Haggerty Goldberg Schleifer Kulpersmith, PC - Philadelphia 
jhaggerty@hgsklawyers.com

 

Veronica Richards, Esq., Chair - Medical Malpractice Section
Richards & Richards, LLP. - Warrendale
var@r-rlawfirm.com

 

Joseph R. Froetschel, Esq., Chair - Membership
Gismondi & Associates - Pittsburgh
jrf@gislaw.com

 

Melanie J. Garner, Esq., Co-chair - Women Trial Lawyers Section
Locks Law Firm - Philadelphia
mgarner@lockslaw.com 

 

Carin A. O'Donnell, Esq., Co-chair - Women Trial Lawyers Section
Stark & Stark - Philadelphia and New Jersey
codonnell@stark-stark.com

 

Thomas D. Hall Esq., Chair - Workers’ Compensation Section
The Law Offices of Hall & Copetas, PC - Pittsburgh 
tdh@hallandcopetaslaw.com

 

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