Though I may not recall the exact moment I decided to attend law school, I certainly remember the reason why I became an attorney. To put it simply, I felt called to serve society, but not just in any way. I’ve always been a natural problem solver, and I wanted to help others untangle complex issues and improve their lives as a whole. I knew that a routine job would bore me — I craved something with variety and, more importantly, something with meaning.
When I began learning about the law, I realized that attorneys do more than intricate problems for their clients. Rather, when they fight to resolve a client’s case and uphold their rights, they’re really protecting society as a whole. After all, when someone’s liberties are violated, you must take a stand against the injustice unless you want it to continue. The fact that attorneys act as the watchdogs of society in this way is what truly solidified my interest in the justice system.
Today, I am proud to say I’ve been protecting the people of West Chester since 1998. I’ve handled thousands of cases and gained valuable experience in a variety of ways, including through my time in the Chester County Public Defender’s office. My stint as a public defender is what first taught me how the outcome of a single case could prevent the police, the district attorney, and the courts from overreaching in other cases of the same kind.
When I fight for you, I am also protecting others. When I fight for others, I am also fighting for you.
Let me give you an example of a case with impact. Years ago, I represented a client who was unlawfully questioned by a police officer. To be more specific, my client initially pulled over to relieve himself near a water treatment plant in the middle of the night. It was shortly after 9/11, and an officer who drove by happened to think my client was a potential terrorist, so he decided to investigate. The officer then realized my client was drunk and arrested him on a DUI charge.
The problem was that you can’t pull over to investigate someone without probable cause, and the officer had no reason to suspect my client had broken a law. For this reason, I was able to get my client’s charge suppressed. Though the judge saw the officer’s perspective, he agreed that the officer's stop was unwarranted. You cannot pull over to question someone just because you’re curious about what they’re doing. The officer himself agreed, said it was a learning process, and swore he’d never make the same mistake again. This is just one way of illustrating how a single verdict can impact the fate of others down the line.
My time outside the firm is dedicated to the same people I serve within my practice — the residents of Chester County. I was born and raised here, and over the last 50 years, I’ve gotten to know just about everyone. I have a wonderful family — including two kids, ages 12 and 14 — and we all stay very active in the community.