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Top Lawyers 2011: The Main Line Area's Best Attorneys in 15 Specialties

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Profiles of the top 15 winners are below. For a complete list of this year’s nominees, click here.

PICK A SPECIALTY
Business Law (page 2)
Criminal Defense (page 3)
Divorce Law (page 4)
Elder Law (page 5)
Environmental Law (page 6)
Family Law (page 7)
Immigration Law (page 8)
Labor Law for Employees (page 9)
Medical Malpractice for Patients (page 10)
Personal Bankruptcy (page 11)
Personal Injury Litigation (page 12)
Real Estate Law (page 13)
Tax Law (page 14)
Trusts, Wills and Estates (page 15)
Workers’ Compensation Law (page 16)
 

 

Business Law: Harry J. DiDonato

MacElree Harvey, 17 W. Miner St., West Chester; (610) 840-0237, macelree.com

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Years in practice: 21

Education: Villanova Law School (1990)

A little tech savviness and ingenuity can go a long way in Harry J. DiDonato’s line of work. When a client was looking to acquire a division of a Fortune 100 company, he hit a major snag. “After a morning of negotiations that were getting nowhere, I stood up, walked to the center of the boardroom, and dropped a document in the middle of the table,” he says. “I’d found the seller’s standard purchase agreement on the Internet.”

This one had the changes DiDonato had requested—ones that were deemed impossible to make in that very boardroom. “The room went silent,” he recalls.

And the deal was closed.
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Criminal Defense: Michael J. Malloy

Law Offices of Michael J. Malloy and Associates, 10 Veterans Square, Media; (610) 565-9145, malloylawoffice.com

Years in practice: 33

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Education: Widener Law (1977)

“I was inspired to become a lawyer when I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school,” says Michael J. Malloy, who looked to Atticus Finch as a role model for the type of lawyer he’d someday become.

Malloy’s commitment to standing up for the underdog and helping those in need—regardless of their background or criminal history—is unwavering.
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared Castaldi
Divorce Law: Gregory P. LaMonaca

The Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca PC,
755 N. Monroe St., Media; (610) 892-3877, lamonacalaw.com

Years in practice: 17

Education: Widener Law (1994)

When it comes to divorce, it often seems as if there are no innocent victims. But Gregory P. LaMonaca knows better. “Next to, perhaps, fighting for a client on death row, there’s no more serious matter than fighting for children in custody matters,” he says. “My focus is always on them and what difference I can make in their lives.”
 
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiElder Law: Duke Schneider

MacElree Harvey, 17 W. Miner St., West Chester; (610) 840-0238, macelree.com
Years in practice: 21
Education: Widener Law (1990)

Duke Schneider found his inspiration for a career in law from a close source. “My father is a lawyer, and I was always fascinated by the profession,” he says.

With the ever-changing landscape of healthcare reform, guardianships and the finance industry in general, the practice of elder law is a challenge—one Schneider welcomes daily. “I’ve been blessed with many memorable clients, and I work on many sophisticated matters,” he says. “Each client I’ve worked with has touched me in some way.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 


Environmental Law: Christopher M. Roe

Fox Rothschild LLP, 747 Constitution Drive, Suite 100, Exton; (610) 458-7500, foxrothschild.com

Years in practice: 21

Education: Temple University School of Law (1990)

At a time when more and more of us are utilizing sustainable practices, Christopher M. Roe is holding the bigwigs accountable, too. “Responsible corporate decisions and practices have great positive effects on the environment we live in,” he says. “And strong, smart regulatory programs are essential.”

 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiFamily Law:
Jacqueline G. Segal

Fox Rothschild LLP, 747 Constitution Drive, Suite 100, Exton; (610) 458-3110, foxrothschild.com
Years in practice: 21
Education: Temple University School of Law (1990)

Jacqueline G. Segal welcomes the challenges her specialty can bring, even if it means tackling less glamorous tax, corporate and real estate issues. “I always thought a career in law was a way to make a difference,” she says. “I get the chance to help people through some of the most challenging circumstances they’ll ever face, so they can emerge stronger and [better] equipped to move forward in life.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiImmigration Law: Lawrence Welsh

The Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca PC,
755 N. Monroe St., Media; (610) 892-3877,
lamonacalaw.com
Years in practice: 14
Education: Villanova University School of Law (1997)

The immigration process is far more complicated today than it’s ever been. Fortunately for those seeking freedom, refuge or simply a change of scenery, Lawrence Welsh is on their side. “It’s the story of America, and I always enjoy and appreciate the compelling personal stories of dedication, commitment, endurance, faith and spirit that continue making it so,” he says. “What’s written in the books is only the starting point. My job is more about creating answers from the facts than about finding them in the law.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiLabor Law for Employees:
Robin Bond

Transition Strategies LLC, 88 Militia Hill Drive, Chesterbrook; (610) 640-5373, transition-strategies.com

Years in practice: 29

Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1982)

After witnessing her father’s struggle in Western Pennsylvania’s collapsing steel industry in the 1980s, Robin Bond was inspired to fight for employees and their rights. “I empower people during very stressful, life-changing times,” she says. “I act as both a shield and a sword, using my knowledge and abilities to maximize each client’s success, make the deals happen, and help people avoid making needless—and costly—mistakes.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiMedical Malpractice for Patients: Peter J. Hart

Karp & Hart, Embassy Court, 27 Turner Lane, West Chester; (610) 430-2200, karphart.com
Years in practice: 38
Education: Loyola Law School, New Orleans (1973)

Peter J. Hart’s thirst for spirited dialogue and his uncommon empathy for his clients came in handy during the three-year case of a client crushed between a truck and a bulldozer. “His back pain forced him to lie on the floor in my conference room during his deposition,” Hart says. “Five defense attorneys were peppering him with questions when, at one point, he quipped, ‘I guess I’m going to have to take this lying down.’”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Personal Bankruptcy: Mark Blank Jr.

50 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 647-1919

Years in practice: 35

Education: Widener Law (1975)

For Mark Blank Jr., personal bankruptcy cases are more than just crunching numbers. Back in 1990, the memorable Norris v. Norris case had him adjudicating issues of temporary alimony and the enforceability of a premarital agreement. “It was no garden-variety divorce,” says Blank. “Mrs. Norris was an heir to the Campbell Soup fortune. From a monetary standpoint, it was the largest and probably the most contentious case ever to hit the Chester County courts.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Personal Injury Litigation: Timothy F. Rayne

Photo by Jared CastaldiMacElree Harvey, 211 E. State St., Kennett Square; (610) 840-0124, macelree.com

Years in practice: 16

Education: Widener Law (1995)

“In addition to helping injured people, I’ve made it my mission to educate the public on how to protect themselves and their families through purchasing appropriate car insurance,” says Timothy F. Rayne, who’s written a book and dozens of articles on the subject.

Among his more memorable court cases recently, Rayne represented a person burned in a welding class due to improper training and insufficient safety equipment. The client was awarded personal compensation, along with payment of past and future medical bills.
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Real Estate Law:
Scott R. Reidenbach

Reidenbach & Associates LLC, 1008 Upper Gulph Road, Suite 300, Wayne; (800) 969-7032, reidenbachlaw.com

Years in practice: 13

Education: Widener Law (1997)

When a professional baseball career proved to be a less-than-viable option, Scott R. Reidenbach found his calling in real estate law. Since then, he’s seen all measure of cases, including a memorable trip-and-fall lawsuit against his client, a condominium association and its management company. “The jury deliberated all of six minutes before finding in my client’s favor,” says the former Villanova University pitcher. “I was told at the time that it was the fastest jury deliberation ever in the City of Philadelphia. My client has called me the ‘Six-Minute Man’ ever since.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiTax Law: James B. Urie

MacElree Harvey, 17 W. Miner St., West Chester; (610) 840-0221, macelree.com
Years in practice: 10
Education: Widener Law (2001)

“As most lawyers will attest, the job never stops,” James B. Urie says. “Just because you left the office for the day doesn’t mean you’re done working—or, worse yet, it doesn’t mean you’re done thinking about work.”

And with tax law as his specialty, it’s no wonder Urie’s got business on the brain. After a three-year stint with the IRS, Urie left the federal government to tackle the challenges of tax law on his own—and his expertise continues to evolve. “I like that it’s very technical,” he says. “You have to know the code.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiTrusts, Wills and Estates:
Karen Stockmal

KMS Law Offices, 1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 300, Berwyn; (610) 524-7865, kmslawoffices.com
Years in practice: 12
Education: Temple University School of Law (1999)

Karen Stockmal may not be involved in all of the courtroom drama that accompanies other specialties, but that doesn’t take away from the weight of her decisions. “Since 2001, the federal tax laws have changed estate planning and made it an increasingly complex area of the law, with more radical changes on the horizon,” she says. “Audits are the thing everyone hopes to avoid. We prepare each tax return as if we know it will be audited. That way, if it is, we’re well prepared and ready to argue any positions we’ve taken.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.
 

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Workers’ Compensation Law:
David R. Cherry

Cherry, Fieger & Cherry PC, 11 E. Second St., Media; (610) 565-8300, cherryfieger.com

Years in practice: 16

Education: Widener Law (1995)

When your mother, father, oldest brother, both sisters, and a dozen or so cousins and in-laws are all lawyers, you’ve got a lot of folks to look up to. “My family has a long history of helping seriously injured people, and I wanted to do the same,” says David R. Cherry. “To be a successful worker’s compensation lawyer, you have to be doing it because you really want to help people—not just because you can make money doing it.”
 

To pick another specialty, click here.

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