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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.