Defense Digest, Vol. 28, No. 12, December 2022

On the Pulse…Our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Office

As the managing attorney of the Philadelphia office of Marshall Dennehey, I am happy to have this opportunity to tell you about our corporate headquarters office.

Housing the largest contingent of lawyers in the firm, the attorneys in our Philadelphia office protect the interests of our clients in all four of the firm’s departments—Casualty, Professional Liability, Health Care Liability and Workers’ Compensation. The three members of our firm’s Executive Committee—G. Mark Thompson (CEO and President), Howard P. Dwoskin (Chairman of the Board of Directors and Treasurer) and Craig S. Hudson (Senior Vice President and Assistant Treasurer)—maintain offices in Philadelphia.

In addition to our attorneys, many of the backroom operations of the firm are handled by personnel in the Philadelphia office, and all non-lawyer administrative directors are based here including Colleen Bannon, our Chief Operating Officer. Colleen has a storied history with the firm (more than 40 years!), and before her promotion to COO, she was a practicing shareholder and also held the positions of Director of Human Resources and Director of Litigation Support. With oversight for our 19 offices across seven states, she is in frequent consultation with members of the Executive Committee and all of our office managing attorneys.

Frank Stransky, Chief Financial Officer, is housed in Philadelphia, along with Pattie Day, Director of Billing and Accounting. Between the two of them, all issues concerning billing, accounting and finance are managed firmwide.

Nané Pr’Out, Director of Information Technology, is also housed in the Philadelphia office. Nané manages a team of over 40 IT professionals who provide support for all operations of the firm. From time to time, some attorneys questioned whether we needed such a large IT department. When COVID–19 hit in March of 2020, thanks to the IT Department, we were able to have over 1,100 employees connected and working from home in less than one week. After that, those same attorneys were saying, “I am so happy that we have such a big IT Department.” Our IT team is first rate and does all that it can do to facilitate the practice of law at Marshall Dennehey.

Karen Williams is Marshall Dennehey’s Director of Human Resources. She and her team provide all manner of support in reference to a myriad of human resources issues, in addition to managing the firm’s comprehensive benefit program. They also facilitate our annual United Way giving campaign.

Joseph Goldshear and Jennifer Becker currently serve as Co-Directors of Marketing & Business Development at the firm. Joe has been in that role for 14 years and will be stepping down at year-end 2022, when Jennifer will take over the role in full. We are fortunate that Joe will remain with the firm as a Senior Advisor, to provide assistance to Jennifer as she progresses through her first full year as director. Backed by a creative and impressive group of marketing and public relations professionals, the marketing team works hard to promote the good works of our individual attorneys and the firm as a whole.

Lisa Ricchezza is our Director of Paralegal Services with oversight for our approximately 130 paralegals spread throughout our 19 offices. Lisa travels to the various offices and provides training, direction, assistance and guidance to our paralegal team. Our paralegals are an integral part of Marshall Dennehey and provide first-rate, cost-effective representation on behalf of our clients.

Christopher Hansen is the firm’s Director of E-Discovery and Litigation Support. In the cyber world, the management of documents in a litigation setting can be a massive undertaking. Getting these documents into a format in which they can be reviewed, and also arranging for relevant documents to be presented at trial, is often beyond the technical capabilities of our lawyers. Fortunately, Chris and his team provide ample guidance in that regard.

Lawrence Schempp is our Director of Professional Development. Larry arranges a number of associate training events across the firm each year that provide advice and direction on how to succeed in protecting our clients’ interests. Larry also orchestrates an in-house mock trial academy each summer where eight senior associates are selected to try a case in the mock trial courtroom of our Philadelphia office. Our summer law clerks serve as the jury, and seasoned trial lawyers at the firm serve as faculty. Participants are critiqued in the areas of opening statements, direct and cross-examination, and closing arguments. While the participants find the trial to be somewhat nerve-racking, they always express gratitude for the learning process and experience. Lastly, Larry oversees the provision of CLE credits in each of the seven states where the firm maintains offices. The content of the CLEs is wholly relevant to civil defense litigation practitioners.

Sandy Caiazzo is Marshall Dennehey’s Director of Administrative Services. Sandy manages all administrative assistants in the firm as well as their supervisors and managers. She also serves as the firm’s Lateral Integration Coordinator. Like COO Colleen Bannon, and many other employees of the firm, Sandy has never worked any place other than Marshall Dennehey. She joined the firm out of high school and has been with us for over 40 years.

Jay Rothman is General Counsel to the firm and is assisted in that role by Shane Haselbarth. Both Jay and Shane have only worked at Marshall Dennehey. Prior to being named General Counsel, Jay had a robust practice in the Professional Liability Department. Shane is an accomplished member of our firm’s Appellate Advocacy Practice Group and maintains that work while assisting Jay on the many issues that confront the firm. We are lucky to have two such astute lawyers to protect the firm.

Now that I have highlighted several firm leaders housed in the Philadelphia office, I want to highlight a few Philadelphia office attorneys.

John Hare is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Chair of our Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group. John has litigated more than 500 appeals in the state and federal appellate courts and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. John formerly served as Chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee. He has edited and co-authored two books on Pennsylvania appellate courts. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684-2017 was published by the Pennsylvania State University Press in 2018, and Keystone of Justice: The Pennsylvania Superior Court, 1895-1995 was published by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2000.

Mohamed Bakry is a young shareholder at Marshall Dennehey. An active member of the volunteer community, Mohamed serves as Chair of the Board of Justice for Our Neighbors of the Delaware Valley, an immigration legal service nonprofit organization. He is also the Second Vice President of Board of Directors of The Lawyers’ Club of Philadelphia, a social and educational organization working to promote comradery among members of the bench and the bar in the Philadelphia area. Mohamed is passionate about, and dedicated to, the principles of diversity and inclusion, and he currently serves on Marshall Dennehey’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. He is also a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, an association of vetted and premier defense and corporate counsel and industry executives dedicated to leading the profession by advancing the principles of integrity, professionalism and civil justice.

Melanie Foreman, associate in the Casualty Department, is heavily involved in the Philadelphia legal community. She is a board member of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) and co-chairs its Leadership Council and Board Development Committee. Melanie is the founder and Chair of Justice Rising, a young professionals’ organization associated with CLS that is dedicated to access to justice for all. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association and sits on the association’s Large Firm Associates Committee. Finally, Melanie was recently invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

We are proud of John, Mohamed and Melanie, and the many other attorneys in our Philadelphia office and elsewhere who are doing incredible things that are law-related, but also outside of the practice of law at the firm.

Lastly, the Philadelphia office, and our neighboring offices throughout the region, reached a significant milestone in 2022. For the 10th consecutive year, Marshall Dennehey was selected one of the Philadelphia region’s “Best Places to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The award recognizes the firm’s achievements in creating a positive work environment that attracts and retains employees through a combination of benefits, working conditions and company culture. We are proud of this recognition, as expressed by our President & CEO, G. Mark Thompson: “Ten years is a long time to be recognized for anything and the fact that our employees remain engaged and happy makes us think we must be doing something right. A lot has happened in the past decade, but through it all we have emerged stronger together. I could not be prouder of our firm and all of our employees, and we will continue to do whatever we can to continue to improve our working environment so that all of our employees have the opportunity to succeed.”

I hope that this overview provides you with some idea of the scope of the operation in the Philadelphia office that I am so privileged to participate in managing. I also hope that each of you reading this has a wonderful and peaceful Holiday Season and I wish you a happy and healthy 2023.

*Buck is the managing attorney of our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office. He can be reached at 215.575.2661 and


Defense Digest, Vol. 28, No. 12, December 2022, 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. © 2022 Marshall Dennehey. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact