Defense Digest, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 2023

On the Pulse…Our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Office

Having nearly completed 30 years of continuous operation since opening in 1993, our Pittsburgh office has grown and matured to the point of augmenting Marshall Dennehey’s regional preeminence by staking its own claim as a leading defense firm in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania. Numbering 40 strong, our attorneys have successfully litigated just about every type of civil tort claim imaginable over a practice territory stretching from Waynesburg to Clearfield and from New Castle to Bedford—and sometimes, by client request, beyond our assigned 16-county geographical range. Several of our attorneys practice regularly in the state of West Virginia and some are called upon to defend class action and MDL cases filed in several other states as well. We look early and often for opportunities to resolve cases to our clients’ satisfaction, but we never hesitate to litigate cases to judgment if that is required. Six attorneys of the Pittsburgh office have been inducted into the prestigious Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, an invitation-only organization recognizing the 250 best trial lawyers out of the more than 10,000 lawyers in Allegheny County.

Pittsburgh’s Casualty Department handles all varieties of third-party civil actions involving personal injury or property damage, from the smallest matters to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases. Our casualty attorneys regularly defend premises liability, automobile liability, product liability, liquor liability, intentional torts, construction, trucking and transportation, and asbestos and toxic torts cases. This group is comprised of nine shareholders, eight associates, and one of-counsel, making it the largest practice department in our office. It is managed by Stuart Sostmann, who is also the president of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute, one of the largest civil defense organizations in Pennsylvania with almost 500 members, including defense attorneys, insurance professionals, and corporate counsel.

Our Health Care Department, supervised by Anthony Williott, consists of three shareholders, one senior counsel, and two associates. Pittsburgh’s health care team has a tradition of excellence in defending physicians, hospitals, dentists, nurses, nursing homes, chiropractors, and other health care professionals and facilities in malpractice suits. These attorneys collectively have tried more than 200 jury and binding arbitration cases to verdict, with a success rate of over 90%. In addition to defending health care professionals in malpractice litigation, our attorneys also counsel clients in matters of statutory and regulatory compliance, and they represent health care professionals in licensing matters.

While serving as the office managing attorney, I am also proud to supervise the attorneys of Pittsburgh’s Professional Liability Department. Currently numbering eight shareholders and four associates, the PL group offers deep experience in an astonishing array of challenging law types. These case types include legal malpractice; errors and omissions claims against architects, engineers, accountants, insurance or real estate agents; directors and officers claims for non-profit corporations and condominium and homeowners associations; employment practices liability; defense of counties, public school districts, and local governments, their officials and police officers in state tort claims and federal civil rights actions; and direct representation of insurance professionals and insurance carriers regarding coverage or extra-contractual liability exposure. Each one unique, these cases come in all shapes and sizes, involving pre-suit counseling and litigation before local magistrates, the county trial courts, and the United States District Courts.

Our Workers’ Compensation Department in Pittsburgh features two shareholders and an associate, all dedicated exclusively to this field of practice. They represent employers, insurers, and third party administrators in the defense of workers’ compensation claims, fee reviews, subrogation matters, risk management, and return-to-work programs. Each representation is designed to mitigate exposure on the part of our clients. Supervised by Daniel Deitrick, this department has represented a wide range of insureds and self-insureds, including hospitals, health care entities, nursing homes, school districts, vehicle manufacturers, trucking companies, food distributors, hotels, restaurants, construction companies, and grocery and retail stores, among others. Our risk management strategies are thoughtfully intended to reduce costs through involvement in the pre-litigation phase. In those claims that are litigated, however, our attorneys are actively striving to protect the interests of our clients, from the commencement of litigation through the appellate process.

All of our attorneys stand in admiration of an amazingly loyal, hard-working, and efficient staff of administrative assistants and paralegals under the supervision of our regional office manager, Rose Chulack. Many of our staff members have been with us for decades, while others more youthful bring energy and innovation to the team. All of these ladies and gentlemen distinguish themselves every day by their care for the quality of our work product and for the welfare and convenience of our clients. Without them, we could not hope to deliver the brand of client service in which we always aspire to excel.     

As I write this from our offices on the seventh floor of the beautiful and historic Union Trust Building, looking across Grant Street at the Allegheny County Courthouse constructed in the 1880s, it is mid-January, and we are enduring the depths of Pittsburgh’s gloom season. We have had about three days of sunshine since Thanksgiving. But we take heart! For at least eight months out of the year, this is a truly beautiful place to be, and we love that our community is ever interesting, safe, and welcoming. Those of us working here at Marshall Dennehey are either natives of the area or transplanted “lifers,” who would not prefer to work anywhere else. Even in the age of Zoom mediations and remote court appearances, we hope you might find a reason to visit our city sometime soon. And if you do, please call on us for a tour of the office and an introduction to some of the charms of Pittsburgh.


Defense Digest, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 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