Defense Digest, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 2023

Message From the Executive Committee

A few weeks ago, I was walking down the hallway of our Philadelphia office when I overheard one of our administrative assistants say to another employee, “I can’t believe it is almost Thanksgiving, and Christmas is just around the corner.” I smirked a little bit when I heard this comment as it seems to me every year I hear people commenting on how fast the year has gone—somehow faster than in years past. And while we all know, conceptually, that time is a constant and does not go faster one year versus another, one of the aspects of time we can measure is how the practice of law in a large law firm has changed over time. 

As I am completing my 37th year at Marshall Dennehey, I marvel at how many things have changed over the years. Let’s start with a look at the various administrative departments of the firm. Without exception, they are all well managed, highly utilized, and busy. For example, our E-Discovery Litigation Support Department, under Christopher Hansen’s tutelage, provides the technology and support for our attorneys at trial. Indeed, trial technology is huge, and the days when a lawyer went to trial with a few blown up exhibits on an easel and extra pages of medical records for the judge are long gone. Chris’s department supports all of our lawyers at trial so that they are well equipped with the most advanced, state-of-the-art trial technology to advance our clients’ interests at trial. Having the right trial technology can be a difference maker. 

Similarly, information technology is now light years ahead of what it was in the past. In fact, the technology I was given on my first day at Marshall Dennehey was simply a telephone on my desk and a portable dictaphone. There were no computers for lawyers, no email, no metrics, no data, and no mobile devices. But, with Marshall Dennehey’s robust IT Department, led by Nané Pr’Out’s talented group, our lawyers, paralegals, and administrative staff are armed with the latest in-tech support from morning until evening (and sometimes after that!).

With respect to paralegals, when I started with the firm, there was one paralegal who assisted the asbestos lawyers. Today, we have an entire department under the management and guidance of Lisa Ricchezza that stands in excess of 130 paralegals throughout the firm. Paralegals are an integral part of the firm and provide support and services to our lawyers and clients like never before. Frankly, I am not sure how we used to practice law without paralegals. 

Marketing is another department of the firm that didn’t exist in the past. Our Marketing Department, led by Jennifer Becker, does everything from providing the support for our lawyers speaking at conferences to curating our website and everything in between. Likewise, our Professional Development Training Department under Larry Schempp coordinates all of our internal CLEs and seminars while monitoring our lawyers’ bar credentials and providing educational seminars for all of our lawyers throughout the year. 

Then there is our Finance Department, which includes all of our accounting and billing functions. This department is led by CFO Frank Stransky, who has modernized all of our financial operations. Frank has worked hand in glove with our IT Department and COO Colleen Bannon to make sure that our electronic bills are properly submitted under the various websites so that transactions will be smooth and unencumbered. 

With all of this growth and modernization, our firm has grown to over 500 lawyers, practicing in 19 offices, throughout 7 states. These lawyers rely everyday on the support of our administrative assistants, our finance, our IT, and our HR Departments, as well as our paralegal and litigation support. We sometimes take for granted that all of these professionals will be there for us and for our clients to make sure that all of our cases are handled effectively, efficiently, and towards the goal of achieving the best results for our clients. But we also recognize that we cannot do our jobs without all of this support, and we appreciate that working as a team achieves the best results. 

Over the course of my tenure at Marshall Dennehey, the growth and expansion of the firm has been tremendous. We now have more lawyers handling more cases in more jurisdictions and venues than ever before in our history. And the future looks very bright as the firm continues to grow and expand its footprint. 

But the one thing that has shrunk is the name of the firm. For years, the firm name was Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. I am proud to say that I knew and practiced law with all five of these legends of the bar. But, it was time to modernize the firm name and brand. So recently, we shortened the name to Marshall Dennehey, P.C., and this will be our firm name into the future. 
And what will the future look like? How will A.I. and other technological innovations change the practice of law? What other geographical regions will Marshall Dennehey grow into? Stay tuned. These and other questions about the future will be answered, because the one thing we know for certain is that Marshall Dennehey will be leading the defense litigation industry and at the forefront of changes with the most modern, up-to-date, and state-of-the-art litigation assistance and management. 

So, as a member of our Executive Committee, and on behalf of Mark Thompson and Craig Hudson, as we head towards Christmas, I wish to thank all of our employees, in all of our offices, for all of their hard work, dedication, and resolve to provide the best work and the most efficient results for our clients. 

I would also like to thank all of our clients for trusting us with their cases. Our clients should know that we, as a firm, strive to provide the best and most cost-effective results on their cases, at all times. 

Indeed, as we approach the upcoming holidays, we will soon be spending time with family and friends and then turning the page to the year 2024. As incredible as it may seem for these years to be passing so quickly, we will soon be entering a new year, with great potential for peace and prosperity.

Mark, Craig, and I wish each and every one of you a warm, happy, safe and wonderful Holiday Season and New Year.


Defense Digest, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 2023, is prepared by Marshall Dennehey to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2023 Marshall Dennehey. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact