Eckert Seamans is a full-service national law firm with more than 360 lawyers and government affairs professionals across a network of 14 offices throughout the Eastern United States. Founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1958, the firm provides clients with proactive, solution-oriented business and litigation counsel. Our clients trust us to guide them through their most challenging legal issues, most significant business transactions, and most critical disputes, which often cross practices and jurisdictions. Whether a Fortune 500 company, family-owned business, start-up, nonprofit, government entity, or individual, our clients receive the attention of highly skilled attorneys through our coordinated, multi-disciplinary team approach. This “one firm” principle allows us to bring the right mix of firm-wide skill and local-market presence to deliver the legal advice necessary to help our clients achieve their goals.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
Alternative Energy, Renewables & Clean Technology
Antitrust & Competition Law
Automotive Industry & Dealership
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Class Action Litigation
Data Security & Privacy
E-Discovery & Information Management
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Estates & Trusts
Financial Services Litigation
Food Liability Litigation
Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act – HIPAA
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Labor & Employment
Litigation Management Online
Mass Tort Litigation
Mergers & Acquisitions
Municipal Law & Governance
Real Estate Finance
Technology & Licensing
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
White Collar Defense & Internal Investigations
November 2018: Brian Haney, Randa Lewis, Danielle Scalise and Lindsey Conrad Kennedy have joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Pittsburgh office. Mr. Haney focuses his practice in the area of commercial litigation. Since joining the firm, he has headed up its autonomous vehicle legislative survey, a comprehensive legislative survey of autonomous vehicle law in the United States. Mr. Haney is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School. Ms. Lewis concentrates her practice on environmental compliance and litigation, advising on environmental regulations and statutes and administrative appeals procedures and assisting clients with enforcement action negotiations. She received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, where she served as editor in chief of Duquesne Energy & Environmental Law Journal. Ms. Scalise focuses her practice on corporate and transactional matters in the firm’s business division. Prior to joining the firm, she clerked for the Honorable Christine Ward of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Civil Division. She earned her law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Kennedy concentrates her practice on labor and employment matters. A member of the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, she completed her J.D. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, Brittany Stepp has joined the firm as a labor and employment practitioner in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Stepp served as a co-op extern to the Honorable Petrese Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She also served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Doris Pechkurow of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. She is a graduate of Drexel University Thomas Kline School of Law where she also served as associate editor of the Drexel Law Review.
October 2018: Earl Forte has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans as a member of its litigation division in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Mr. Forte specializes in commercial disputes and bankruptcy cases, and has substantial experience with business torts and matters involving fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty. He is also experienced in commercial, financial, and corporate workouts. Mr. Forte is the author of The Fraudulent Transfer Handbook and three supplemental volumes. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. Also joining the firm’s litigation division in its Philadelphia office is Monakee Marseille. Ms. Marseille is a member of the firm’s mass tort practice group, which includes the defense of toxic tort, product liability, and personal injury matters. She currently serves as national coordinating counsel of an international manufacturer of naval and commercial equipment.
Ms. Marseille is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law. Carolyn Boucek has also joined the firm as a litigation associate in the Pittsburgh office. She is experienced in the creation of critical case documents including complaints, written discovery, pre-trial statements, and motions in matters involving medical malpractice, professional negligence, product liability, property disputes, and premises liability. Ms. Boucek has also assisted in general litigation matters involving the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, toxic torts, higher education law, and class action lawsuits. She graduated from Cornell Law School, where she served as managing editor of the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy. Also at Eckert Seamans, Cecelia Fanelli has joined the firm as a member of its hospitality group. Ms. Fanelli will divide her time between the firm’s White Plains and Philadelphia offices. She has more than 30 years of experience in litigation, dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution proceedings in the hotel, real estate, and banking industries. Ms. Fanelli, who has been ranked nationally by Chambers USA in the leisure and hospitality category since 2011, represents domestic and international developers, builders, owners, and operators of hotels and resorts, as well as lenders, franchisees, and franchisors. A recognized thought leader in the hospitality industry, she is a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Ms. Fanelli earned her J.D. at Cornell Law School, where she served as editor of the Cornell Law Review.
September 2018: Thomas Sanchez has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans’ litigation division as an associate in the Pittsburgh office. He litigates commercial disputes and has represented clients in cases involving contract disputes, business torts, product liability, patent infringement, unfair competition, business dissolution matters, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and environmental matters. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Also joining the firm in the Pittsburgh office are Matthew Meade and Edward Flynn. Mr. Meade is joining as a partner in the data security and privacy group. He focuses his practice on data security, providing advice to clients regarding data breaches, information and records management, and other areas affecting data security. He is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law. Mr. Flynn is a trial attorney with over 35 years of intellectual property litigation experience. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School. Joining the firm in the Harrisburg office as a litigation associate is Tara Burns. Ms. Burns focuses her practice on labor and employment matters as well as business counseling and litigation. She also represents employers with respect to contract negotiations, interest arbitrations, grievance arbitrations, and employment-related litigation. Ms. Burns received her J.D. from Dickinson School of Law at The Pennsylvania State University. In addition, Christina Frangiosa, a member in the firm’s Philadelphia office, has been elected to a four-year term as a member of the council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law. She was also appointed program chair of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s 2019 spring conference. Ms. Frangiosa’s practice is primarily centered on protecting her clients’ copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Law. Finally, 42 of the firm’s attorneys were recognized in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. The following were also named Lawyer of the Year in Pittsburgh: Nancy Rackoff, for trusts and estates; Timothy Ryan, for intellectual property; and Thomas Sweeney, for product liability litigation (defendants).
August 2018: Amy Mathieu has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans as a litigation associate in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. She concentrates her practice on commercial litigation matters and has experience in a wide variety of complex civil litigation including breach of contract actions, construction delay, defective work, nonpayment claims, insurance matters, restrictive covenants, and derivative actions. Previously, Ms. Mathieu served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Christine Ward of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Civil Division. She received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
July 2018: Anita Murray has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans as a member of the firm’s litigation division in its Philadelphia office. Ms. Murray focuses her practice on commercial, business, and real estate litigation and transactions on behalf of banking and financial institutions, mortgage servicers, and individuals. She has represented clients in both commercial and residential foreclosure actions, class actions, debt collection matters, confessed judgments, lender liability suits, bankruptcy, and matters involving consumer fraud, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, loan servicing, predatory lending, foreclosure rescue scams, title issues, and fiduciary duties in state and federal courts. Murray received her J.D. from Temple University School of Law. She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the New Jersey Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
June 2018: Ira Lefton of Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans was elected last month to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s board of trustees. Mr. Lefton focuses his practice on commercial litigation with a primary emphasis on litigation relating to real estate. He has an extensive experience in construction litigation, serving as lead counsel in Pennsylvania for all cases on behalf of the largest manufacturer of EIFS (synthetic stucco). He has also done significant work in the product liability field involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, engineered products, and asbestos and mold, and has handled antitrust litigation, contractual dispute litigation, and numerous intellectual property cases. Mr. Lefton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, Francine Li joins the firm as a member of its intellectual property group. Ms. Li represents clients on a wide range of patent matters including patent prosecution, client counseling, and patent litigation. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was a pharmaceutical researcher in the areas of drug discovery and development. Her technical background also spans the fields of chemicals, materials, laboratory automation, and process development and optimization. Ms. Li received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, and Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association.
May 2018: Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has again been named among the nation’s leading law firms, earning top rankings in multiple practice areas and markets in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA. Notably, the firm’s hospitality group was ranked nationally in leisure and hospitality. According to Chambers USA, “the team demonstrates broad strengths in transactional work, management agreements and financing matters for hotel owners, investors, developers and lenders, and calls upon wider expertise in its employment practice, regularly advising on disputes work and union-related matters.” In addition, the firm’s aviation group was listed as a recognized practitioner nationwide. In Pennsylvania, Chambers USA ranked the firm’s bankruptcy/restructuring, construction, intellectual property, and general commercial litigation groups among the state’s top practices. Ten of the firm’s attorneys were selected for inclusion among America’s Leading Business Lawyers by Chambers USA. Attorneys with the firm’s hospitality and aviation practices earned national rankings, while lawyers in the firm’s public finance, bankruptcy/restructuring, construction, and litigation practices earned high honors in Pennsylvania.
March 2018: The Pennsylvania Builders Association has awarded Loudon “Hap” Campbell of Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans its distinguished achievement award. The award is the association’s highest honor, having been presented to only a handful of members since 1998. As PBA’s legal counsel, Mr. Campbell works with its members in land use and environmental legislative matters, and counsels landowners, developers, and builders in regulatory matters, as well as essential association law and practice matters. He is a former member of SCG Legal’s board of directors. Also at Eckert Seamans, Shane Valenzi has joined the firm’s litigation division as an associate in its Pittsburgh office. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, contract law, labor and employment, fiduciary duty claims, and franchise law. Mr. Valenzi is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. Kristine Marsilio also joins the firm’s business division as an associate in its Harrisburg office. She focuses her practice in the areas of hospitality and gaming law, and has extensive experience with administrative law matters. Previously, she served as an assistant consumer advocate in the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, representing the interests of utility consumers before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Commonwealth Court. Ms. Marsilio earned her J.D. at Duquesne University School of Law. Finally, Daniel Smith joins the firm’s business division as an associate in its Pittsburgh office. He primarily focuses his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and general corporate counseling. Mr. received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
February 2018: Laura DelFratte, Jamie Inferrera and Kelly Pietracatello have joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Pittsburgh office and Wesley Mishoe has joined in its Harrisburg office. Ms. DelFratte joins the firm’s business division; Ms. Inferrera, its hospitality group; Ms. Pietracatello, its business counseling practice; and Mr. Mishoe, its litigation division. Before joining the firm, Ms. DelFratte was a tax manager at a large public accounting firm. A Certified Public Account and Accredited in Business Valuation, she received her J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as editor of Pittsburgh Tax Review. Previously, Ms. Inferrera was a minute clerk for the Honorable Donna Jo McDaniel in the criminal division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law. Ms. Pietracatello formerly was manager of legal services for a leading manufacturer of freight rail and passenger transit products. She received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. And Mr. Mishoe earlier served as an assistant attorney general in Georgia and as a law clerk for the Honorable Susan Schwab and the Honorable William Caldwell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law.
January 2018: Makenna Porch has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Philadelphia office as a member of the firm’s financial services litigation group. She focuses her practice on residential and commercial real estate litigation, primarily in the areas of tax lien and mortgage foreclosures. She represents lenders, financial institutions, and servicers throughout the foreclosure process, from commencement through disposition of the action. Ms. Porch has also defended lenders in bankruptcy actions in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jeffrey Arlen Spinner of the New York Supreme Court and as a legislative aide to former Congressman Walter Herger (R-CA). She is a graduate of the Touro Law Center.
December 2017: Mark Vogelbacker has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Philadelphia office as a member of the firm’s intellectual property group. He focuses his IP practice on patent procurement and enforcement matters. Mr. Vogelbacker’s technical background is in mechanical and electro-mechanical arts, including medical devices, consumer goods, power systems, software, and business methods. His litigation experience includes patent, trademark, and copyright disputes involving automobiles, medical devices, optical measurement devices, and apparel. Mr. Vogelbacker previously was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and a fluid systems engineer at General Dynamics. He is a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law.
November 2017: Sara Davis Buss and Christopher Rayl have joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans as partners. Both Ms. Buss and Mr. Rayl are well-known and highly regarded in the public finance sector, having closed billions of dollars in public finance projects including some of western Pennsylvania’s most complex transactions. Ms. Buss is past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers and chaired the National Association of Bond Lawyer’s Bond Attorneys Workshop in 2014. Mr. Rayl is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers, and Allegheny County Bar Association. They will both be headquartered in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. Also at Eckert Seamans, Taylor Brailey and Shari Maynard have joined as associates. Ms. Brailey focuses her practice in labor and employment matters. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law and Commerce. Ms. Maynard focuses her practice in the areas of general corporate and commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, and defending claims brought pursuant to the federal False Claims Act. She earned her J.D. at the Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University, where she served as managing editor of the Penn State Arbitration Law Review. Ms. Brailey will practice in the firm’s Pittsburgh office, while Ms. Maynard will be headquartered in its Philadelphia office.
September 2017: Michael Jones has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Philadelphia office. He practices exclusively in the field of labor and employment law. His 25 years of experience includes litigating cases involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws, race, age, disability, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, and employee benefits cases. Mr. Jones has defended various employment-related and breach-of-contract claims in federal and state courts and before the NLRB, labor arbitration panels and administrative agencies. He also has extensive experience litigating claims before mandatory employment arbitration tribunals under the Federal Arbitration Act. Mr. Jones earned his LL.M. in trial advocacy at Temple University Beasley School of Law and his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
July 2017: Kevin Farrington has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans’ professional liability practice group. Mr. Farrington’s practice involves all areas of case management and every phase of litigation. He has worked on a number of complex catastrophic injury and abuse cases, and has experience in matters regarding premises liability, work-related construction accidents, defective products, and sexual assault and abuse. Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate at a Philadelphia-based law firm. During law school, he was a certified legal intern with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where he gained courtroom experience conducting numerous municipal court trials and felony preliminary hearings. Mr. Farrington received his J.D. from the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
June 2017: Adam Zei has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Harrisburg office as a member of the firm’s litigation division. Mr. Zei focuses his practice in the area of commercial litigation and primarily represents clients in matters involving trade secrets, contract disputes, and other business-related matters. He also has successfully defended clients against professional negligence claims and accumulated extensive in-court experience appearing on behalf of numerous individuals and corporate entities throughout central Pennsylvania. Mr. Zei is a graduate of Widener University School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, the firm has again been named among the nation’s leading law firms, earning top rankings in multiple practice areas and markets in the latest edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Notably, the firm’s aviation and hospitality groups were listed as recognized practitioners nationwide. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, Chambers USA ranked the firm’s construction, intellectual property, bankruptcy/restructuring, and general commercial litigation groups among the state’s top practices.
May 2017: Twenty-nine attorneys from Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott were recently selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers®, published by Thomson Reuters. Several of the firm’s attorneys received additional accolades among the Super Lawyers® ranks including Scott Cessar and Christopher Opalinski, who were listed as two of the “Top 50 in Pittsburgh,” Peter Hoffman as one of the “Top 100 in Pennsylvania” and “Top 100 in Philadelphia,” and Roberta Jacobs-Meadway as one of the “Top 50 Women in Pennsylvania, “Top 100 in Pennsylvania,” and “Top 100 in Philadelphia.” Also at Eckert Seamans, Eli Granek has joined the firm as an associate in its Philadelphia office, where he focuses his practice on mass tort and construction litigation. He is particularly knowledgeable about the science of and regulatory history related to asbestos litigation and talc litigation. A member of the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Philadelphia Bar Association, Mr. Granek earned his J.D. at Rutgers University School of Law.
April 2017: Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has announced the election of announced the election of Heather Stone Fletcher and Nathaniel Wilks as partners in the firm. Ms. Fletcher focuses her practice on compliance, regulatory, and legislative matters affecting employee benefit plans. She represents clients in matters before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Ms. Fletcher earned her J.D. at George Washington University School of Law. Mr. Wilks is a registered patent attorney whose practice covers all aspects of intellectual property law with a focus on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, primarily in the electronic arts, infringement and validity studies, patentability and right-to-use opinions, and litigation support. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
March 2017: Kathryn English of Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans has been named to lead the firm’s business division, succeeding Timothy Hudak, who with Dorothy Davis recently assumed the role of co-CEO. Ms. English has served as vice chair of the business division since 2009 and as a member of the board of directors since 2005. In addition, Patricia Mahlstedt was named co-chair of the hospitality and gaming group and Christopher Bennett was named vice chair of the group. They will serve alongside hospitality and gaming group co-chair Mark Stewart and vice chair Jay Blount. Finally, April Morgan Hincy was named vice chair of the firm’s financial services litigation group. Also at Eckert Seamans, Pia Aklian has joined its financial transactions and business counseling practices in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Ms. Aklian is experienced in negotiating and drafting complex corporate and commercial transactions and has worked on a broad range of corporate matters including shareholder agreements, venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) agreements, and licensing. Previously, she was general manager and in-house counsel to a mobile enterprise software company. Ms. Aklian is a graduate of Widener University School of Law.
February 2017: Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans merged this month with Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore. The combined firm will retain the name Eckert Seamans. Based in Pittsburgh, Tener, Van Kirk focuses its practice exclusively on personal planning for individuals and families, including wills, estates and trusts, taxation, and pension planning. Joining from Tener, Van Kirk are attorneys Nancy Rackoff, Timothy Burke, Jr. and Todd Jordan, who will become part of Eckert Seamans‘ estates and trusts group, serving the firm’s growing private client base. Ms. Rackoff is a member of the National Association of Estate Planners, the Allegheny County Bar Association’s probate and trust law section and professional ethics committee, the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s real property, probate and trust law section, and the Allegheny County Estate Planning Council. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Burkeis a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and presents annually at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Estate Law Institute on the topic of planning for retirement distributions. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Finally, Mr. Jordanis a member of the probate and trust law section of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Allegheny County Orphans’ Court rules committee. He is a graduate of Widener University School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, David Gornish has joined the firm as a partner in the firm’s Philadelphia office and intellectual property group. Mr. Gornish is a patent attorney with significant experience in domestic and worldwide patent procurement and portfolio management. He has drafted patent applications directed to many different technologies, including automated manufacturing equipment, injection molding processes, medical devices, drug delivery devices, therapeutic methods, musical accessories, pharmaceutical packaging, fluid transfer apparatus, product quality inspection methods, air filtration, plasma deposition processes, conveyor equipment, and bicycles. Mr. Gornish earned his J.D. at Temple University School of Law and his B.S. in mechanical engineering at Drexel University.