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  • Jan 22, 2020Fred Stellato Named ArtsQuest Governance Committee Chairman

    Frederick J. Stellato, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been named Chairman of the Governance Committee for ArtsQuest. He is past Chairman of the Performing Arts Board and presently serves on the organization’s Strategic Planning Committee and as Secretary of its Board of Trustees.

    “ArtsQuest has been an organization near and dear to my heart for many years. I love the Lehigh Valley and the ArtsQuest family and am honored to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing my leadership commitments and doing all that I can for this great community,” said Stellato.

    About ArtsQuest

    ArtsQuest provides access to art, culture, and educational programs and experiences throughout the Lehigh Valley to improve the economic development of its urban communities. The nonprofit organization offers presentations of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming, and cultural events.

    About Fred Stellato

    Stellato is a trial attorney who handles many types of civil and commercial litigation. He has tried approximately 80 cases to verdict, both jury and non-jury, in the areas of products liability, general liability, and professional liability, as well as commercial disputes.

    Stellato also has served on several other boards and committees for other nonprofit entities, including the Civic Theatre, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley, and Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley. He founded the F.C. Sonic Lehigh Valley, a minor league soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League, and served as its President and CEO from 2007 to 2011.

    Stellato received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982 and his B.A., cum laude, from Lehigh University in 1979.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    In response to the changing needs of clients and the business community, Norris McLaughlin merged in 2009 with Tallman, Hudders & Sorrentino, the largest independent commercial firm in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Since then, the firm has continued to grow, remembering its culture and values, and keeping its footprint in the Lehigh Valley for over 100 years. Norris McLaughlin and its attorneys have historically been committed to the Lehigh Valley community, where many firm attorneys, clients, and staff live and do business – to make them better places to live, work, and play. The firm’s attorneys hold prominent leadership positions in various organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley, and many have been honored for the work they do in the community.

    Posted in: Frederick J. Stellato, News | Tags:

  • Jan 21, 2020Jeanne Hamburg to Present Compliance and Branding Webinar with Victoria Ho for Food Industry

    Jeanne M. Hamburg, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., along with Victoria Ho, a consultant in the food industry with extensive food Compliance Policy Guides Manual (CPG) compliance experience, will present “Compliance and Branding for the Food Industry” on Tuesday, January 28, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., online.

    “For food business owners to sell their products and instill confidence in buyers, compliance and branding are essential. With the average consumer spending only five seconds looking at a product, a unique brand and design can set a company apart and build consumer trust. I look forward to working with Victoria to educate food entrepreneurs on the key aspects of labeling compliance and branding for their food products,” said Hamburg.

    About the Webinar

    Discussion topics include developing FDA and state-compliant packaging materials and labels, such as on-pack messaging; UPC scannable and properly coded products for food safety; protecting food brands, including packaging, designs, promotional materials, and website; clearing and registering food trademarks and product designs; and drafting contracts to protect the brand, designs, and recipes.

    The webinar is free of charge through Zoom Meeting. For more information and to register, visit our website at www.nmlegalevents.com.

    About Jeanne Hamburg

    A resident of New York, Hamburg focuses her practice in all aspects of copyright and trademark law, both in litigation and in the transactional area, assisting clients in the food, beverage, and restaurant industries with their IP needs. Each year since 2009, she has been recognized in New York Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation. Only five percent of New York attorneys receive this honor.  Hamburg is also ranked in the 2019 World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals (WTR 1000). Among a group of fewer than 90 trademark professionals in New York, she was named a top trademark attorney in the areas of enforcement and litigation.

    Hamburg has litigated in federal courts across the country, acting as national counsel to bring and defend infringement claims for clients both foreign and domestic. Most recently, she litigated through appeal to the Federal Circuit a food trademark case that has been described as generating one of the most important trademark decisions in 2018.

    In the transactional area, Hamburg counsels clients on intellectual property aspects of mergers and acquisitions. She is experienced in copyright and trademark clearance, prosecution, and enforcement, and has particular expertise with contentious and transactional issues arising from the Internet.

    Hamburg frequently speaks and writes about intellectual property topics for food, beverage, restaurant, and hospitality trade groups, and is a member of the Specialty Food Association and the New York State Restaurant Association. She is also a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), currently serving on its Leadership Development Committee.

    Hamburg attended Wellesley College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received her B.A., magna cum laude, in English and Psychology, with Honors in English, in 1987. In 1990, she received her J.D. at Columbia University School of Law, where she was editor of the Columbia Law Review.

    About Victoria Ho

    Fueled by the power of good food to nourish genuine human connections, Ho founded SherpaCPG in 2019 to shift a decade of maker experience towards helping fellow food and beverage brands bring their culinary stories to life and their wellness-driven products to market.

    With a focus on strategic innovation and brand development for the CPG food and beverage industry, Ho prepares new products for sustainable success in a retail environment by addressing all stages of the path to market including product formulation, comprehensive packaging compliance and design, brand messaging and product positioning.

    SherpaCPG is proud to work with a global clientele on projects that champion supply chain transparency, sustainable manufacturing, and accessible nutrition.

    Posted in: Food, Beverage & Hospitality, Intellectual Property, Jeanne Hamburg, News | Tags: , ,

  • Jan 16, 2020Danielle DeFilippis to Present at Rutgers Food Innovation Center Workshop

    Danielle M. DeFilippis, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Intellectual Property Law Practice Group, will present “Food Business Law” for the Rutgers Food Innovation Center’s “Food Business Basics Workshop” on Monday, January 27. Norris McLaughlin is a proud sponsor of the event.

    About the Food Business Basics Workshop

    DeFilippis will address selecting, clearing, and protecting a brand through trademark law. The full-day workshop, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University in Bridgeton, also offers sessions on entrepreneurship and marketing, tax, food safety and regulations, research and development, and food packaging and design, as well as networking opportunities.

    “Every time I participate in the Rutgers Food Business Basic Workshops, I learn more, see an increasing interest in the food and beverage space, and get more excited about being a part of this industry. It’s such a great opportunity for food entrepreneurs to learn about starting or growing their food businesses and I look forward to continuing to help them create and build their brands,” said DeFilippis

    For more information and to register, visit foodinnovation.rutgers.edu.

    About Danielle DeFilippis

    DeFilippis focuses her practice on intellectual property, contracts, and litigation. Her passion for food and beverage brands began at a young age, as she watched her father service various food brands through his work for a sales and marketing company. As the products came through her household, DeFilippis learned about marketing and branding from a retail and manufacturing perspective. Her appetite grew, and she now enjoys working with emerging and established food and beverage companies on brand development, clearance, counseling through the various stages of growth, and when the need arises, prosecuting and defending litigation.

    DeFilippis is an author for Norris McLaughlin’s trademark, copyright, and unfair competition blog, More Than Your MaⓇk™. She has been recognized by NJBIZ in its “Manufacturing Power 50” list and named to New Jersey Law Journal’s 2019 list of “New Jersey Trailblazers” for her efforts in the food and beverage industry in New Jersey and for expanding those efforts on a global scale.

    DeFilippis received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2004 and her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University in 2001.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s food, beverage, and hospitality attorneys tackle the wide array of legal issues facing the food manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers; food and beverage trade groups; breweries, distilleries, and wineries; restaurants, bars, hotels, conference centers, stadiums, and other public venues, including business planning, construction, corporate law, environmental concerns, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment law, litigation, liquor law, real estate and finance, and tax counseling.

    Posted in: Danielle M. DeFilippis, Food, Beverage & Hospitality, Intellectual Property, News | Tags: , ,

  • Jan 13, 2020Judge Giordano Selected for International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Panels of Distinguished Neutrals

    The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group, has been selected to serve as an arbitrator and mediator to the Judicial Roster, Real Estate, and Pennsylvania at Large ADR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).

    “I am excited to serve on the CPR Panels and look forward to continuing my mediation and arbitration work with such prominent and talented people. To be included is extremely humbling and I truly appreciate the recognition,” said Judge Giordano.

    About the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals

    CPR is an independent nonprofit organization that has been assisting in the prevention and resolution of legal conflict more effectively and efficiently through ADR, such as mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, and dispute resolution boards, for over forty years. CPR’s high standards are maintained by adherence to its Principles for Provider Organizations, ensuring that its mediators, arbitrators, and other neutrals are qualified and competent.

    The CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals are comprised of prominent attorneys, retired state and federal judges, academics, business executives, legal experts, and dispute resolution professionals who are highly-qualified to resolve all business disputes. To be admitted as a panelist, individuals are peer-reviewed; screened for their ADR expertise and training; and candidate references are asked to comment on the applicant’s qualifications to serve on complex commercial disputes. Qualification to the CPR panels is exclusive and rigorous.

    About Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.)

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans Court. He was also the first judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.

    For 15 years, Judge Giordano presided over many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and federal law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation. He is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators; is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation; and has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) as a Diplomate Member for mediation

    Judge Giordano is a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame CYO, and of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society; and is the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he was the first judicial recipient of the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victims’ Rights. Commencing January 1, 2020, Judge Giordano has been designated Vice-Chair of the statewide Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

    Judge Giordano earned his J.D. in 1985 from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Moravian College in 1982. A proud Moravian College alumnus, he serves as an Adjunct Professor for undergraduate classes. Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Judge Giordano was the first in his family to attend high school and is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School, which presented him with its Distinguished Graduate Award.

    Posted in: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), News | Tags: ,

  • Jan 06, 2020Dean Roberts and Abbey Horwitz to Present on Estate Planning and Trust Ownership for Co-op Shareholders

    Dean M. Roberts and Abbey M. Horwitz, Members of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will speak to the shareholders of Morningside Heights Housing Corporation. The presentation will take place Saturday, January 11, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., and again on Thursday, January 16, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., in New York City.

    About the Presentation

    Topics to be discussed include how estates are handled in the state of New York, what shareholders can do to create a more seamless process to protect their assets, and the forms and uses of trusts available to the shareholders of Morningside Gardens. Throughout the presentation, Roberts and Horwitz will answer questions from attendees.

    “Often, co-op shareholders forget the importance of including the cooperatives when thinking about their estate planning and trust administration, so I feel it is crucial to let them know that they have options and we’re here to help,” said Roberts. Horwitz added, “Estate planning and trust administration is much more complex than just making a will. It is essential to make people aware of what services are available to them.”

    About the Presenters

    Dean Roberts

    Roberts focuses on real estate litigation with a sub-specialty in the representation of cooperative housing corporations and condominiums. He has handled all facets of condominium and cooperative ownership from sponsor/purchase and conversion to representing well-established tenant-shareholder Boards of Directors. Roberts also represents cooperative corporations and moderate-income co-ops in all areas of litigation, including landlord/tenant litigation.

    Through his involvement with the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives, Roberts is active in court reform efforts and the cooperative movement. In his community, he works to promote affordable housing as a director of the Cooperative Development Fund Board of Advisors and other housing programs.

    Roberts earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1987 and his B.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers College, in 1982.

    Abbey Horwitz

    Horwitz practices primarily in the area of estate planning and administration.  She is experienced in preparing wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, advance directives for health care, and other estate planning documents.  She is also experienced in administering estates and trusts, including counseling executors and trustees; preparing estate, trust, and guardianship pleadings; preparing estate and trust accountings; preparing estate tax returns; handling estate tax audits; and preparing releases and waivers for distributions from estates and trusts.

    In addition, Horwitz has experience preparing corporate and LLC filings, including certificates of incorporation, articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreements, and IRC 501(c)(3) filings.

    Horwitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from Villanova University in 2018; her J.D. from New York Law School in 2006; and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000.

    Posted in: Abbey M. Horwitz, Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Dean M. Roberts, Estate Planning & Administration, News | Tags: , , ,

  • Jan 02, 2020Norris McLaughlin Promotes Litigators Nick Duston, Amy Kruzel, and Jessica Palmer to Members of the Firm

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., a full-service, mid-sized regional law firm of 130+ attorneys with main offices in Bridgewater, NJ; New York, NY; and Allentown, PA, is pleased to announce the promotion of three associates to Members of the firm. The promotions for Nicholas A. Duston, Amy L. Kruzel, and Jessica L. Palmer are effective January 1, 2020, and follow the firm’s announcement earlier this month that four associates joined the firm, building upon the firm’s unique position to represent middle-market companies, Fortune 500 corporations, and individuals across a number of legal practices.

    John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm, said, “Norris McLaughlin is growing, and we are further strengthening our ability to provide a range of legal services to businesses and families in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As rising leaders in the firm, Amy, Jessica, and Nick will diligently counsel clients and maintain the firm’s values in our commitment to our clients and our communities.”

    “I have had the pleasure of working with Amy, Jessica, and Nick, and I can attest to their exemplary litigation skills and dedication to their clients,” added David C. Roberts, who co-chairs the Litigation Practice Group along with the Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.)Daniel R. Guadalupe and Saleem Mawji.

    About the New Members

    Nick Duston

    Since joining Norris McLaughlin in 2014 in the firm’s Bridgewater office, Duston has focused his practice on complex commercial disputes involving business owners, their managers, and their employees.

    With significant litigation experience in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York, Duston handles cases related to fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty, employee theft of trade secrets, diversion of corporate opportunities, and breaches of restrictive covenants or non-compete obligations. He is adept at unwinding complex fact patterns arising from complicated financial instruments, multi-entity business structures, and large amounts of electronically stored information. He also represents clients in arbitrations with the American Arbitration Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    Duston’s practice also includes white-collar criminal matters, such as conducting internal investigations or defending companies and individuals during internal or government investigations into alleged securities fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. He has also handled many matters at the intersection of white-collar and civil litigation. Duston regularly handles issues relating to government seizure of property, particularly on behalf of secured lenders, including defense against civil and criminal asset forfeiture, as well as civil rights litigation when the government seizes property without due process or in violation of other constitutionally-protected rights.

    Duston earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 2010 and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston University in 2007.

    Amy Kruzel

    As a Member of the firm’s Matrimonial & Family Law Group in the Allentown office, Kruzel works closely with clients on all aspects of matrimonial law including divorce, custody, support, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. With more than 12 years of experience, Kruzel is a compassionate and assertive advisor, representing clients in all stages of divorce, including post-judgment litigation. She serves as a mediator in divorce, custody, and support matters, and has presented oral argument in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District.

    Active in the Lehigh Valley community, Kruzel serves on the Executive Leadership Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, volunteers at the legal clinic at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center; is the Treasurer of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of Lehigh County; and is on the Advisory Council of the Allentown Branch of the YMCA. She recently was nominated by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as the Lehigh Valley Branch’s first-ever All-Star Alumni candidate for the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.

    Kruzel joined Norris McLaughlin in 2017. She earned her J.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, in 2005 and her B.S. from Dickinson College in 2002.

    Jessica Palmer

    Based in the Bridgewater office, Palmer is a litigator and advisor with more than ten years of experience assisting clients with complex commercial and environmental matters.

    As a litigator, Palmer is known for her thoughtful and diligent representation of clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). Palmer has extensive experience with both federal and state environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”), the Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), the Major Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).

    Palmer also devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing clients in regulatory compliance, permitting, and remediation efforts. She frequently advises clients on issues related to environmental insurance coverage and other cost recovery options. Finally, Palmer has extensive knowledge of the regulations governing licensed site remediation professionals (“LSRPs”).

    Palmer serves as Board Secretary for the Hunterdon County YMCA Board of Trustees. Licensed in New Jersey and New York, she has been selected for inclusion in the General Litigation section of New Jersey Rising Stars every year since 2014. Palmer is also a Barrister with the Justice Stewart G. Pollack Environmental Inn of Court.

    Palmer joined Norris McLaughlin in 2013. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch. for the 2009-2010 court term. Palmer earned her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 2009 and her B.A., with honors, from McGill University in 2006.

    Posted in: Amy L. Kruzel, Jessica L. Palmer, Litigation, News, Nicholas A. Duston | Tags: , , ,

  • Dec 27, 2019Shana Siegel to Speak on Making an Action Plan for Aging

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Planning for Aging” on Tuesday, January 14, 6:00 p.m., at the Belleville Public Library & Information Center.

    “As the population ages, the incidence of elder financial exploitation continues to rise. It is important to take proactive measures to avoid the potentially devastating costs associated with aging,” said Siegel, who will discuss getting one’s legal affairs in order and paying for long-term care.

    For more information and to register, please visit www.bellepl.org.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: ,

  • Dec 27, 2019Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Ameena Ibrahim as New Immigration Associate

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Ameena Ibrahim as an Associate of the firm. She joins the firm’s Immigration Law Practice Group.

    “We are very excited to add Ameena to the team and I can’t wait to see what she is capable of,” said Raymond G. Lahoud, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Immigration Law Practice Group.

    Ibrahim added, “I am honored to have the opportunity to practice law in the United States, especially alongside Ray, who has been an inspiration to me. I look forward to learning from him and everyone at Norris McLaughlin.”

    About Ameena Ibrahim

    Ibrahim actively assists individuals and corporate clients in all facets of immigration law including, employee immigrant visas, employee non-immigrant visas, I-9 compliance matters, import/export matters, family immigration, deportation defense, criminal investigation, administrative agency immigration appeals, and federal immigration appeals.

    Prior to joining the firm, Ibrahim was a Public Service Fellow with the Health Initiatives department of Community Society Services New York, where she was a primary case handler, managing a large volume of cases in Health Law.

    Ibrahim received her LL.M. from Brooklyn Law School, Master of Laws, in 2018. She received her B.A. and B.L., with honors, from Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, School of Excellence in Law in 2011, where she participated in several prestigious National Moot Court Competitions. Ibrahim won the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees National Moot Court and the Best written arguments award.

    Ibrahim is admitted to practice law in India, where she has represented clients in consumer courts and in the High Court on civil litigation matters.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s immigration practice is broad in scope, with extensive national and global capabilities, to serve individuals and families; small, mid-size, and large businesses; national and international corporations; non-profits, hospitals, universities, colleges, and research institutions; manufacturers, importers, exporters, investors, and others, to allow for ease in clients’ global mobility.

    Posted in: Ameena Ibrahim, Immigration, News | Tags: ,

  • Dec 27, 2019Michelle Forsell Elected Second Vice-Chair of Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce

    Michelle M. Forsell, Of Counsel to law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been elected as the Second Vice-Chair for the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce (UPVCC) as of January 1, 2020.

    About the UPVCC

    “Being so involved in the Chamber in recent years, I am extremely honored to now serve as the Second Vice-Chair. I look forward to continuing the strength of the Chamber and assisting where needed,” said Forsell, who has been a very active member of the UPVCC and was elected to the board in 2019.

    The UPVCC strives to be the most trusted strategic partner for the Upper Perkiomen Valley by providing leadership and vision to foster economic vitality and enrich the quality of life.

    About Michelle Forsell

    A lifelong resident of Pennsburg, Forsell focuses her practice primarily on estate planning and administration, as well as elder law. She represents clients in all aspects of estate planning, including the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives, and careful analysis to minimize the tax liabilities resulting from such planning. Forsell also practices municipal law and has been accredited through the Veterans’ Administration to assist in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits before the Administration.

    Former Solicitor to the Borough of East Greenville, Forsell is a past president of the Bar Association of Lehigh County, an American Bar Association Fellow, Master for the Villanova Law Inn of Court, and a Montgomery County Arbitrator. She also teaches law courses at Cedar Crest College. In her community, Forsell serves on numerous boards including Frederick Living, a Mennonite Health Services not-for-profit continuing care retirement community; The Gulack Foundation; and the Upper Perkiomen YMCA. Recently, Forsell was elected to the board of Project Live Upper Perk, which provides financial, educational, social, preventative, and rehabilitative support and guidance to those affected by addiction in the Upper Perkiomen Valley.

    Forsell earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 2003, her M.A. from Temple University in 2006, and her B.A. from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1999.

    Posted in: Michelle M. Forsell, News | Tags:

  • Dec 27, 2019Judge Giordano Inducted into National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals

    The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group, has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) as a Diplomate Member for mediation.

    “This is quite an honor for me as I have dedicated my life to the legal profession in Pennsylvania and to reach this level of recognition for my work is humbling,” said Judge Giordano. Membership into the NADN is through invitation-only and limited to professional mediators and arbitrators who are distinguished by their experience in the field of civil and commercial dispute resolution, which is decided by peer-vote review and completion of due diligence client interviews.

    About the Hon. Emil Giordano

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans Court. He was also the first judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.

    For 15 years, Judge Giordano presided over many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and federal law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through the Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation. He is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation.

    Judge Giordano is a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame CYO, and of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society, and is the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he was the first judicial recipient of the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victims’ Rights. Commencing January 1, 2020, Judge Giordano has been designated Vice-Chair of the statewide Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

    Judge Giordano earned his J.D. in 1985 from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Moravian College in 1982. A proud Moravian College alumnus, he serves as an Adjunct Professor for undergraduate classes. Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Judge Giordano was the first in his family to attend high school and is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School, which presented him with its Distinguished Graduate Award.

    Posted in: Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), News | Tags:

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