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Mediators

"I know I've done my job well when the parties forget that I'm there, reach an agreement, and then thank me for making it happen."    - Mediator

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"I found my work as mediator to be immensely rewarding. I was involved in an extremely thorny dispute over a certain Concessionaire Agreement between a private entity and a Commonwealth agency. Part of the challenge was to manage the somewhat difficult personalities involved and to promote productive communication where there had previously been little. While the parties did not ultimately reach a written settlement, I was very pleased that the mediation opened good faith channels of communication and promoted a willingness of the parties to work constructively together that continues to this day. In this regard, the mediation was extremely successful."    - Mediator


Pennsylvania Parole Board


Davis, Morgan C.
Assistant Counsel 

Morgan C. Davis began her career with OGC in June 2016 as an Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Ms. Davis currently represents the Board in claims in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals. Ms. Davis also serves as the Right to Know Law Legal Liaison where she represents the Board before the Commonwealth’s Office of Open Records and the Commonwealth’s appellate courts. She also provides training to county probation officers and state parole agents from across the Commonwealth. Prior to employment with OGC, Ms. Davis was an attorney at the Law Offices of Silliker & Reinhold (Harrisburg, Pa), where she focused her practice on family law, wills, and estates. Ms. Davis is a 2011 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received a B.S. in Marketing and a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. She received her Juris Doctorate from the Widener University School of Law (Harrisburg Campus), where she serves on the Dean’s Diversity Council. Ms. Davis received her mediation training through OGC.


Manning, John C.
Deputy Chief Counsel

Mr. Manning has served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole since April of 2017.  Prior to that, Mr. Manning served as an Assistant Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole from 2004 to 2017. In his current capacity, he represents the Board in both federal and state proceedings related to the issues of parole and revocation of parole. Mr. Manning also advises the Board on issues relating to sex offenders and SORNA (Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act). Additionally, Mr. Manning serves as counsel to the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board as well as the County Probation and Parole Officers' Firearm Education and Training Commission.  Mr. Manning received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his juris doctorate from Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg Campus, where he was internal managing editor of the Law Review. He received mediation training through OGC at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.


Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Teplitz, Robert F.
Special Counsel

Rob Teplitz has practiced law for over 20 years as general counsel for an independent state government agency, member of the governor’s legal staff representing and advising two cabinet departments, business lawyer at one of the top 100 law firms in the country, and litigator at the largest firm in Central Pennsylvania. He has handled cases before state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agency tribunals, and alternative dispute resolution forums.  His career also includes service as a state legislator, adjunct professor at the law school and college levels, and court-appointed pro bono monitor of guardianships. Rob graduated from Franklin & Marshall College, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. degree in Government, and Cornell Law School, cum laude, Phi Delta Phi, with a J.D. degree concentrated in Public Law. He received his mediation training through the Office of General Counsel.


Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Kenny, Shawn P.
Assistant Counsel

Shawn P. Kenny is serving his second tour of duty with the Department of Corrections’ Office of Chief Counsel, having first served from 1994 to 1996, and from September, 2000 to present. Prior to that he served as law clerk to Judge John Dowling of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, as an associate in three law firms engaged in civil litigation and all aspects of workers’ compensation litigation, and as in-house counsel for a workers’ compensation insurance company. At the Department, he formally represented employees in connection with state and federal court inmate litigation, and for the past 12+ years has devoted his practice to the litigation of thousands of work-related injury disputes with Department employees under the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act and Act 632 of 1959, mostly in the context of binding arbitration, the hearings for which are scheduled most Wednesdays throughout the year.  He received his A.S. in Building Construction Technology from the Williamsport Area Community College (now known as Pennsylvania College of Technology), his B.S. from Penn State University, and his J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law.


Pennsylvania Department of Education


Castillo DiRito, Sarah
Assistant Chief Counsel

Sarah Castillo DiRito is an Assistant Chief Counsel within the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Department of Education. Sarah joined the Department as an Assistant Counsel in 2012. Sarah is currently responsible for managing the Educator Discipline Unit. As such, she oversees attorneys and investigators and supervises the intake, review, and prosecution of educator discipline matters. In her previous legal employment, Sarah prosecuted a variety of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases as an Assistant District Attorney in Adams County, Pennsylvania. As an ADA, Sarah specialized in prosecuting child abuse cases and crimes against women. Sarah holds a BA in Communication Disorders and an MA in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh. Sarah received her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University. In addition to her legal work, Sarah has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist in a variety of settings.


Erdman, Jessica N.
Assistant Counsel

Jessica N. Erdman joined the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel in April 2017.  Since that time, Jessica has served as an Assistant Counsel in the Department’s Educator Discipline Unit where she negotiates settlement agreements and prosecutes educator misconduct cases before the Professional Standards and Practices Commission.  Jessica received mediation training through the Office of General Counsel and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Prior to her appointment with the Department, Jessica was a law clerk for the judges of the Perry County and Juniata County Court of Common Pleas where she assisted with civil and criminal cases.  

Jessica graduated from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology and a minor in International Studies and received her Juris Doctorate from Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.  



Werner, Nicole M.
Assistant Counsel

Nicole M. Werner has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel as an attorney within the Educator Discipline Unit since 2007.  In this capacity, Nicole prosecutes licensure matters before the Professional Standards and Practices Commission to include subsequent appellate litigation.       

Nicole is a volunteer mediator for the OGC Mediation Practice Group having received her training through the Office of General Counsel in collaboration with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  She currently serves as Chair of the OGC Mediation Practice Group.  Prior to her appointment with the Department, Nicole was an associate attorney with the law firm of Nealon, Gover & Perry where she concentrated her practice in the areas of insurance defense litigation and family law.  Nicole received her B.A. degree from Duquesne University and her J.D. from the Widener University School of Law.  She resides in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.



Wilt-Seibert, Maribeth
Assistant Counsel

Maribeth Wilt-Seibert, Esq. is currently employed with the Office of Chief Counsel, Department of Education, and has served with the Office of Chief Counsel since 1988.  She currently handles administrative litigation.  Previously she handled appellate work, in both the Commonwealth Court and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  She has practiced before both the State Civil Service Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.  She has been admitted to the United States District Courts for the Middle District and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Supreme Court.  She is currently the Mediation Director of the Mediation Practice Group for the Office of General Counsel.

She earned a Bachelor Arts Degree in English and Political Science, with honors, from the Pennsylvania State University, and her law degree from Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. 

She has been an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association since 1983 serving on the Government Lawyers Committee, the Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the Administrative Law Section.  She is the past Chair of the Administrative Law Section and the past Chair of the Appellate Advocacy Committee.  She is a member of Dauphin County Bar Association.  She has been a presenter and/or course planner for numerous CLEs.  She is a past vestry member of the vestry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Harrisburg, and at St. John’s Episcopal Church Carlisle.  She is a Board member of the Stevenson School for Ministry.  She is a past President of the Junior League of Harrisburg. 

Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board


Delio, Eric J.
Assistant Counsel

Eric Delio joined the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board as an Assistant Counsel in 2013.  He counsels the Board on complex issues in environmental law involving air quality, water quality, solid waste management, brownfield cleanups, mining, and oil and gas, among others.  He also advises the Board on revisions to its rules of practice and procedure in the Pennsylvania Code, which govern practice before the Board.  Eric completed the Office of General Counsel’s Mediation Training Program in 2019.  He received his B.A. in English, Professional Writing from Mercyhurst University, and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


Bram, Adam
Supervisory Counsel

Mr. Bram is a Supervisory Counsel in the Department of Environmental Protection’s Southeast Region Office of Chief Counsel. His counseling duties focus on the Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Program, including hazardous sites response, storage tanks, and Act 2-Land Recycling. He has had extensive experience with the Clean Water Program, which includes sewage facilities planning, discharge and water quality permitting, antidegradation, pollution prevention, enforcement, and cleanup. He has also represented the Commonwealth in its Air Quality Program, Solid Waste, and the Dams, Waterways, and Wetlands Program with issues concerning land development, erosion and sedimentation controls, best management practices, post-construction controls, stream obstruction and encroachments, and wetlands protection and restoration. 

Mr. Bram has practiced with large and medium-sized law firms, counseling and litigating in areas of municipal law, environmental law, real estate, commercial transactions and litigation, personal injury, motor vehicle law, and trusts and estates. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, New Jersey Bar, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and an inactive member of the District of Columbia, Court of Appeals. He formerly served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Sandra Schultz Newman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Bram served his country as a volunteer in Bulgaria with the U.S. Peace Corps, where part of his work involved facilitating between local and regional governmental officials, private enterprises, and community groups. 

In addition to having represented private and public clients, Mr. Bram has served as an arbitrator in several civil cases pending in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. He is a current member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (P.B.A.) and a member of the P.B.A.’s Environmental and Energy Law Section, a past chair of the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee and was an active member of that committee and the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Real Estate Committee. He has lectured on a variety of environmental topics and was published as an editor of the Temple Civil and Political Rights Law Review and other publications. He received intensive mediation training from the Good Shepherd Mediation Program in Philadelphia and participates in ongoing training. He is a past Director of the Office of General Counsel’s Mediation Program, a past chair of the Office of General Counsel’s Mediation Practice Group, and he has mediated a variety of disputes pending before Commonwealth agencies, including many employment discrimination claims. Mr. Bram holds a J.D. from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and a dual B.A. from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. 

 

Carson, Wendy
Assistant Counsel

Wendy Carson is an Assistant Counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection’s Southwest Regional Office where she handles litigation and counsels clients on environmental laws and regulations. Since joining the Office of General Counsel (OGC) in 2010, Wendy has also counseled the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on oil and gas development on state forest lands and the Department of Health on the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Act. Prior to joining OGC, Wendy was a solo practitioner for more than five years focusing primarily on family law matters. She also clerked for a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County. Wendy is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and holds a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from the Pennsylvania State University. She received mediation training through OGC at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.

Herb, Dawn
Regional Counsel

Dawn Herb is the Regional Counsel in the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Chief Counsel's Southcentral Regional Office. Since joining the Office of Chief Counsel in 1994, Ms. Herb has primarily practiced in the areas of air quality and water quality, including point and non-point source matters. Her work involves counseling, negotiating and litigating matters on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to her work for the Commonwealth, Ms. Herb represented pro bono clients in protection from abuse matters referred by the North Penn Legal Services office from 2001 through 2017. Ms. Herb received her B.A. cum laude and Certificate in Environmental Studies from Dickinson College, and J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law magna cum laude from Vermont Law School. She has taken the three-day mediation training offered by the Office of General Counsel and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and has attended the majority of the mediation continuing legal education courses offered by the Office of General Counsel since 2010. Ms. Herb was also involved with the mediation program that was previously offered by the Department of Environmental Protection.

LaNoce, Maureen C.
Assistant Counsel

Maureen C. LaNoce has worked for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since January of 2018.  She has counseled the Air Quality, Clean Water and Waterways and Wetlands Programs.  Her work at the DEP involves filing petitions to enforce Department orders, drafting consent order and agreements and defending permits issued by the Department.  Maureen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2016.  During law school, she interned full-time with U.S. EPA Headquarters and clerked for a Court of Common Pleas Judge in Philadelphia before starting with the Department.

Thomas, Gina, Esquire
Assistant Counsel

Ms. Thomas is an Assistant Counsel in the Pennsylvania Governor's Office of General Counsel. She is assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection's ("DEP") Southeast Regional Office in Norristown, PA. Her practice focuses on issues related to: stormwater management, remediation of hazardous waste sites and environmental bankruptcy litigation. In September, 2012, Ms. Thomas received a Governor's Office of General Counsel Commendation for her work as the Regional Coordinator for the Philadelphia Disaster Relief Center related to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Before joining the DEP's Southeast Regional Office, she was an associate in the Environmental Law Group of Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, from 1997-1998 and was an Assistant Counsel in the DEP's Southcentral Regional Office (Harrisburg) from 1992-1997. She clerked for James Gardner Colins, former Chief Judge of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and interned for the late A. Leon Higginbotham, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Thomas earned her J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1990 and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University in 1987. Since 2000, Ms. Thomas has been a member of the Princeton University Executive Precept in Philosophy. In 2015, she received mediation training from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Thomas is a member of the Boards of Directors for the Awbury Arboretum and Holy Cross Independent Mission School. In addition to her law practice, she is a part-time voice student at the Settlement Music School in Germantown and sings as a soprano soloist and member of the Choir for Our Mother of Consolation Church in Philadelphia. Ms. Thomas is member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – PA Chapter and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Pennsylvania Governor's Office of General Counsel


Giunta, M. Abbegael
Deputy General Counsel

M. Abbegael Giunta was appointed Deputy General Counsel with the Pennsylvania Governor's Office of General Counsel (OGC) in October 2017. In addition to her general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Abbe is a member of OGC's litigation group and concentrates her practice on complex litigation, as well as administrative and labor and employment law on behalf of various executive agencies. Abbe is a certified mediator and member of the OGC Mediation Program and was appointed as a mediator for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Abbe came to OGC after more than a decade with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG), Civil Law Division, Litigation Section where she served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General. At the OAG, Abbe practiced extensively in state and federal court handling complex litigation, Constitutional challenges, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and Civil Rights Act claims filed against the Commonwealth and its officials and employees. In addition, Abbe served as a Right to Know Law Appeals Officer for the OAG. Before joining the Commonwealth, she worked for a Harrisburg law firm focusing on general civil litigation and administrative matters. 

Abbe received her bachelor of science in management information systems from Saint Joseph's University, and her Juris Doctor degree from the Widener University School of Law. Abbe resides in Dauphin County with her husband and two daughters.


Joel, Kenneth L.
Deputy General Counsel

Kenneth L. Joel was appointed as Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel in January of 2018.  In additional to his general responsibilities to the General Counsel, Ken co-chairs the Litigation Practice Group, is a Member of the Mediation Practice Group, and litigates affirmatively and defensively in state and federal courts in a number of substantive areas including constitutional defense and complex litigation.  Ken supervises appellate brief writing across all OGC agencies, and he actively participates in OGC’s Moot Court Program and Litigation Skills Program

Ken comes to OGC from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Civil Law Division, Litigation Section.  Ken first served the Commonwealth as a Senior Deputy Attorney General from 2008 through 2011 and, after serving as the Chief of the Litigation Section for the Indiana Office of the Attorney General, he rejoined the Pennsylvania OAG in 2014 as a Chief Deputy Attorney General and Chief of the Litigation Section.  Before entering public service, Ken was in private practice for 17 years and represented corporate, individual, and municipal interests in a variety of substantive areas including environmental and land use law, administrative and governmental law, tort matters, contract disputes, bankruptcy law, and employment and labor issues.  

Ken received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and his juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law.  In addition to his legal work, Ken is passionate about legal education.  He is a frequent presenter at CLE programs including programs focusing on civil rights, legal writing, trial advocacy and civility in the practice of law and is an adjunct professor at Widener University, Commonwealth Law School. 





Pennsylvania Department of Health


Fickel, Keith B.
Senior Counsel

Keith B. Fickel is Senior Counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Mr. Fickel received his B.S. (cum laude) from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in 1983 and his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1986. He began his legal career in private practice, working seven years for a mid-sized firm in Harrisburg. Mr. Fickel worked for the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission from 1993 through 1994, in both the administrative and prosecutorial divisions. Mr. Fickel joined the Department of Health in September, 1994 and serves as counsel for the Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, the Health Research Office, the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), the Office of Rural Health and the Pennsylvania Indoor Tanning Regulation Program. He also assists in providing counsel to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Research, the Bureau of Family Health and the Bureau of Labs. He previously advised the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure & Certification, and the Drug, Device and Cosmetics Program. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Office of General Counsel’s Transactions Practice Group.



Pennsylvania Department of Human Services


Clay, David A., Jr.
Assistant Counsel


David Clay is an Attorney with the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Human Services (DHS) in the Western Region.  Mr. Clay came to DHS in 2019, after serving two and a half years on active duty with the National Guard Bureau.  Mr. Clay handles administrative litigation, and appellate work in the areas of Child Protective Services, Licensing, and Employment Law.  Mr. Clay defends the DHS's interests before the State Civil Service Commission, DHS's Bureau of Hearings and Appeals; as well as related appellate work in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Clay received a B.A. degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech in 2002, and a Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA in 2012.  Mr. Clay has been a member of the United States Army since 2002, and currently serves as a Judge Advocate in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.


Curtis, Jonathan L.
Assistant Counsel

Jonathan L. Curtis is an Attorney with the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Human Services (DHS). Mr. Curtis has been with DHS since 2013 and handles state court and administrative litigation, as well as related appellate work, in the areas of Employment, Right-to-know Law, and Long Term Living. Mr. Curtis defends DHS's interests before the State Civil Service Commission; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; DHS's Bureau of Hearings and Appeals; as well as related appellate work in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Curtis received a B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a M.B.A. degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Curtis received his mediation training through the Office of General Counsel at the Widener University School of Law.


Rubenstein, Megan
Assistant Counsel

Megan Rubenstein is Assistant Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She has been with the Department since 2006. Her areas of practice include guardianship, licensing of human services facilities, child abuse, mental health and intellectual disability law, and state-operated facility reimbursement. She represents the Department in administrative appeals before the Department’s Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, in county courts of common pleas, and state and federal appellate courts. She also negotiates settlement agreements, reviews proposed legislation, and provides legal advice and counsel to the Department’s northeast regional offices and state-operated facilities. Ms. Rubenstein graduated from Susquehanna University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Sociology in 2002. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Widener Law Commonwealth in 2006.


Spero, Bill
Assistant Counsel

Bill Spero is an Assistant Counsel with the Western Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.  He represents the Department in matters involving child care provider licensing, child abuse determinations, and medical assistance service provider rate appeals, primarily before the Department’s Bureau of Hearings and Appeals and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining the Department in 2019, Bill’s professional legal experience included private practice with a small Pittsburgh firm focusing on criminal defense and sports law and a clerkship with the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.  He earned his Bachelor of Science from Duquesne University in 2010 and his Juris Doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law, graduating summa cum laude in 2014.  Bill received his mediation training through the Office of General Counsel’s Mediation Program.


Taylor, Rebecca M.
Assistant Counsel

Rebecca Taylor is an Assistant Counsel with the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Human Services. Her work with the Department focuses on the application of the Child Protective Services Law, the Adult Protective Services Act, litigation pertaining to services for adults with Intellectual Disabilities, and the Right to Know Law. Prior to her current position, Ms. Taylor clerked for the judges of the Perry/Juniata Court of Common Pleas. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law and received her B.S. in Biology from the James Madison University. 


Pennsylvania Insurance Department


Gomez, Ana Paulina
Assistant Counsel

Ana Paulina Gomez currently works for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department where she represents the Department in litigation before administrative tribunals and appellate courts. She also provides the Department with legal advice on Right-To-Know Law, contractual, and procurement matters among others. Prior to working for the Insurance Department, Ms. Gomez worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Education where she litigated educator misconduct cases and Right-to-Know Law matters at the administrative and appellate level. 

Prior to joining the OGC, Ms. Gomez was an Assistant District Attorney at the York County District Attorney's Office from 2012 until 2015. Prior to her work as an ADA, Ms. Gomez clerked for the Hon. Thomas Kelley in York County immediately after graduating from law school. Ms. Gomez attended the Penn State Dickinson School of Law where she interned for the Hon. Yvette Cane, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and served as a Senior Editor for the Penn State Environmental Law Review and a Miller Center for Public Interest Fellow. 

Ms. Gomez is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is also a trained mediator.



Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry 


Chick, David
Assistant Counsel

David Chick currently serves the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) as Assistant Counsel to the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. In this role, he assists the Board in adjudicating administrative appeals of workers' compensation decisions.

Prior to his current assignment with L&I, Mr. Chick served as Legal and Labor Relations Coordinator in the Department of Human Resources for Washington County Public Schools in Hagerstown, Maryland. In that position, Mr. Chick served as mediator, ombudsman, and internal ethicist for employment-related matters. He also served on the District's labor negotiations teams and managed the District's workers' compensation and unemployment compensation programs. Mr. Chick worked in conjunction with the Board's legal division to respond to EEOC and State Civil Rights Commission charges. Mr. Chick's duties included providing advice and guidance to administrators on the interpretation and application of personnel policies and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreements. In addition, Mr. Chick wrote personnel policies and administrative regulations for the District. 

Mr. Chick began his career with the Commonwealth as a legal intern and law clerk for L&I in the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. He has also served the Commonwealth as an attorney examiner for the former Medical CAT Fund. In this latter role, he oversaw defense efforts in medical malpractice matters in southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.

Mr. Chick also worked in private legal practice, representing clients in medical malpractice defense, workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, and employment related litigation.Prior to earning his law degree, Mr. Chick was employed by the Montgomery County Government in Rockville, MD. His most recent role with Montgomery County was as a human resources specialist, focusing on employee and labor relations and EEO matters. In this role, Mr. Chick often served as an informal mediator of employment-related disputes.

Mr. Chick received his general mediation training from Community Dispute Settlement Programs in Media, PA. He also received employment grievance mediation training from the Mediation Research & Education Project of Northwestern University and training on mediating Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission matters, through OGC, at the Widener University School of Law.

Mr. Chick is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and The Dickinson School of Law.


Harrison, Nikki L.
Assistant Counsel

Nikki L. Harrison is Assistant Counsel with the Department of Labor and Industry in the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) division. Ms. Harrison has been an attorney with the WCAB since 2016, where she is responsible for advising and assisting the Board with the disposition of administrative appeals from workers’ compensation decisions. Prior to joining the Department of Labor and Industry, Ms. Harrison worked in the private sector, implementing wills and trusts. She began her career with the Commonwealth originally as an intern with the Department of Education, and then at the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). 

Ms. Harrison graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College in 2009, with a B.A. in Political Science.  She graduated cum laude from Widener University Commonwealth Law School in 2015, with a J.D.



Irvin, Jennifer M.
Assistant Counsel

Jennifer Irvin, a native of Pittsburgh, has worked as an assistant counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry's Western Division since July of 2006. She provides legal advice and assistance to the Offices of Unemployment Compensation Tax and Benefits. Prior to working for unemployment, she was counsel for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for approximately three and half years. Her duties include defending the Department in various administrative proceedings and diverse courts such as bankruptcy, magistrate offices and the Court of Common Pleas. 

Before beginning her career with the Commonwealth, Ms. Irvin was an associate for a mid-sized Pittsburgh insurance defense firm, handling all aspects of litigation from discovery to trial. As part of her duties for Labor and Industry, Ms. Irvin defends the Commonwealth in personnel cases filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission, and the EEOC. She obtained her J.D. in 2002 from the University of Pittsburgh. She clerked with the National Labor Relations Board's Pittsburgh office and the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Law. Prior to law school, she worked for the National Labor Relations Board as a field examiner in the New Orleans regional office. She has a B.S. in Labor and Industrial Relations with a minor in business from the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Irvin received her mediation training through OGC at the Widener University School of Law.


Rostad, Maureen J.
Assistant Counsel

Maureen J. Rostad is an Assistant Counsel with the Department of Labor and Industry, the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) division.  Ms. Rostad has been an attorney with the WCAB since 2017.  In this role, she assists the Board in adjudicating administrative appeals of workers’ compensation decisions.  Prior to the joining the Commonwealth, Ms. Rostad externed with Judge Brobson on the Commonwealth Court and Judge Placey on the Court of Common Pleas, Cumberland County.

Ms. Rostad is a graduate of Penn State, The Dickinson School of Law, where she was the student editor for the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Southern New Hampshire University.  She currently attends graduate studies at Harvard University.



Schwartz, Deborah J.
Assistant Counsel

Ms. Schwartz currently serves as Assistant Counsel for the Department of Labor and Industry in its Litigation, Administration and Safety Division. In this job, she primarily represents the Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety at hearings, researches issues and provides legal advice in connection with various safety related laws and regulations, including the Uniform Construction Code, Boiler Law, Elevator Law and Flammable & Combustible Liquids Law. Prior to this position, Ms. Schwartz served as Assistant Counsel for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for 8 years. Ms. Schwartz obtained a B.S. from Stern School of Business, New York University and her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg. She received her mediation training through OGC at Widener University School of Law


Pennsylvania Department of State


Batson, Monty J.
Prosecuting Attorney

Monty J. Batson graduated from Rider College, Lawrenceville, N.J. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. Mr. Batson earned his Juris Doctor degree from Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg, PA. Mr. Batson is currently employed by the Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs as a Prosecuting Attorney Mr. Batson prosecutes for the following State Boards: Massage Therapy Board, Pharmacy Board, Occupational Therapy Board, and the State Board of Vehicle Manufactures, Dealers and Salespersons. Prior to Joining the Department of State, Mr. Batson’s past employment included working as an Assistant Public Defender, with the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office and a Judicial Law clerk for the Honorable Clarence C. Morrison, Retired President Judge for Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.


Blackburn, Thomas A.
Hearing Examiner

Thomas A. Blackburn is a hearing examiner with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of General Counsel, assigned to the office of hearing examiners within the Department of State. Prior to beginning this position in 2018 he was part of the counsel division of the Department’s office of chief counsel.  For the first 10 years he represented various professional licensing boards as a line attorney and then for the next 10 years he supervised staff board counsel. Since 2014 he has served as counsel for the State Board of Property.  From 2007 through 2018 he provided legal counsel to the Department concerning the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law and represents the Department before the Commonwealth’s Office of Open Records and the appellate courts. A graduate of The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Blackburn is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and OGC’s litigation (including the appellate litigation and mediation subcommittees), regulation, and records management practice groups.


Evancho, T'rese M.
Prosecuting Attorney

T’rese M. Evancho is a prosecuting attorney for the PA Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, where she has been employed since 2013. Ms. Evancho prosecutes before the Pa State Board of Nursing. She attended Susquehanna University for her undergraduate degree and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2010. Ms. Evancho earned her J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2013. Ms. Evancho resides in Berks County with her husband.

Geschwindt, John Karl
Prosecuting Attorney


J. Karl Geschwindt graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio in 2000 and received his law degree from Widener University, Harrisburg Campus (summa cum laude) in 2007. In August of 2007, he began working at the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania as a law clerk to the Honorable Renée Cohn Jubelirer. As a law clerk, Mr. Geschwindt researched, drafted, and edited opinions in cases involving all aspects of Pennsylvania administrative law. 

In October of 2014, Mr. Geschwindt joined the Prosecution Division of the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, where he prosecutes cases before numerous professional licensing boards and commissions, including the State Board of Nursing, the State Real Estate Commission, the State Board of Psychology, the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries. Mr. Geschwindt also defends claims against the Pennsylvania Real Estate Recovery Fund on behalf of the State Real Estate Commission. Mr. Geschwindt resides in Highspire with his wife, Mary Landmesser, and their Staffordshire terrier mix, Lolly.


Raker, Tiffany A.
Prosecuting Attorney

Tiffany Raker is a prosecuting attorney for the PA Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, where she has been employed since 2018. Ms. Raker prosecutes before the Real Estate Commission, the  State Board of Accountancy, the State Board of Architects, and the State Board of Landscape Architects.  She attended Susquehanna University for her undergraduate degree and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in french in 2003 and earned her J.D. from Widener University Commonwealth Law School in 2016.



Ruiz, Juan A.
Assistant Counsel

Juan Ruiz has been with the Pennsylvania Department of State since 2000. He began as a prosecuting attorney where he prosecuted professional licensees for various types of misconduct. Juan has prosecuted cases before a number of boards including the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Pharmacy, and the State Real Estate Commission. In 2011, Juan moved to his current position as board counsel where he represents the different licensing boards. Since joining the counsel division, Juan has been board counsel to 10 different boards. Currently, he is counsel to the State Real Estate Commission and the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons. Prior to becoming an attorney, Juan was a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey.


Schertz, David J.
Prosecuting Attorney


David J. Schertz graduated from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University and worked at the Harrisburg firm of Krevsky and Rosen, P.C. practicing in family and criminal law. He subsequently became a clerk for the Honorable Lawrence F. Clark, Jr. of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. After completing his clerkship, David became an associate in the Harrisburg office of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, LLC where he practiced civil litigation. David is now a prosecuting attorney for the Department of State in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

Suter, Kenneth J.
Senior Prosecutor In Charge


Kenneth J. Suter, Esquire is a senior prosecuting attorney for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State. Attorney Suter has prosecuted professional licensure cases in the medical, osteopathic medical, social work, psychology, cosmetology, crane operators and real estate areas and supervises a staff of prosecuting attorneys. Mr. Suter has held several position in both government and the private sector, including serving as a judicial clerk for the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, being counsel to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, legislative counsel to the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.


Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


Farkas, Denise H.
Assistant Counsel


Denise H. Farkas became an Assistant Counsel for the Department of Transportation in 2001. Prior to working with the Department of Transportation she worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry from 1999-2001 writing decisions for Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Judges. 

While earning her JD from Capital University Law School, she worked as a Hearing Representative for Third- Party Administrators adjudicating workers compensation cases throughout Southwestern Ohio. While working with the Department of Transportation, she has gained extensive litigation experience. She has represented the Department at hearings/trials regarding motor vehicle and driver licensing issues as well as condemnation issues. She has represented the Department in state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings which include litigating employment law cases before the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board. Denise Farkas has received her mediation training through OGC at the Widener University School of Law.


Faul, Joanne
Assistant Counsel

Joanne Faul has served as Counsel for PennDOT since 2007, litigating employment and personnel matters, eminent domain cases and statutory appeals of license, registration and certification issues at administrative hearings, trial and appellate level courts. Prior to joining the Office of Chief Counsel, Ms. Faul spent 17 years in private practice litigating matters in Pennsylvania State and Federal Courts including employment, civil rights, municipal, zoning, personal injury, legal malpractice, pharmaceutical and insurance coverage cases. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and Montgomery Bar Associations and has served as director of the MBA, several terms as Membership Chairman, many years as an arbitrator, and is a contributing author of the Montgomery County Civil Practice Manual.

Ms. Faul holds a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Susquehanna University. She received her mediation training through Office of General Counsel at the Widener University School of Law.