Melissa M. Boyd appointed Chair of Montgomery County Family Justice Advisory Board

The Family Justice Advisory Board of Montgomery County has appointed High Swartz Family Law attorney Melissa M. Boyd as its next Chairperson. The FJAB works to examine and recommend ways the courts and its partners can effectively improve Montgomery County’s overall Family Court system.

Norristown, PA - Referred to as FJAB by its bylaws, the Family Justice Advisory Board of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania was established by the County’s Court of Common Pleas in October of 2018. The mission of FJAB is to examine and address Family Court issues from a systemic and policy perspective and recommend ways in which the Court, public agencies and private organizations can efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively improve the process, programs and institutions.* In turn, the Board makes recommendations to the Court, public policy boards and agencies that affect family law in Montgomery County.

Melissa Boyd is the Board's second chairman and will be taking the place of the retiring Chairman Gary Kline. Her appointment to her seat was determined by the President Judge of Montgomery County, the Honorable Thomas DelRicci in consultation with the Administrative Judge of the Family Court, the Honorable Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio. The Family Justice Advisory Board of Montco is the second board of its kind in Pennsylvania, along with a similar board in Butler County, PA. Joining Ms. Boyd and President Judge DelRicci and Administrative Judge Carluccio as a Board Member is Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh.

Ms. Boyd is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and serves on the board of governors for the Pennsylvania Chapter. She also is a member of the family law sections of the American Bar Association and previously served as chair of the FLS of the Montgomery Bar Association. Missy also holds membership in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, where she recently was nominated to become Treasurer of the Family Law Section. She is now on the leadership 5-year track to ascend to chair.

A graduate of Washington College and the University of Baltimore School of Law, Melissa has received the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo. She has been nominated to her 5th consecutive Pennsylvania Super lawyer list preceded by 6 Rising Star distinctions. On top of her streak, Missy has been nominated to 3 Super Lawyers Top Lists in Pennsylvania. Those distinctions include Top 100 Lawyers in Pennsylvania, Top 100 Lawyers in Philadelphia and Top 50 Female Attorneys in Pennsylvania. She has been included on the Best Lawyer List in America since 2016 and has been named among the TEN LEADERS of Matrimonial Law in Philadelphia.

“I am thrilled to be a part of what I know will be a transformative initiative,” says Attorney Boyd. “Commissioner Arkoosh, President Judge DelRicci, and Judge Carluccio represent the trifecta of superb leaders looking for ways to improve our Family Court system which will have positive and lasting impact on Montgomery County and its residents.”

Per its bylaws, the FJAB is a Board that will bring together all the various stakeholders from within the county that deal with family court and family matters to facilitate an observation of a systematic policy approach to all issues relating to children and families in our county.

*Montgomery County Family Justice Advisory Board Bylaws

11 High Swartz Attorneys named to PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists

High Swartz is pleased to announce that 11 of its attorneys have been named among Pennsylvania’s 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Among the highlights are two inclusions on the 50 Top Female Lawyers in Pennsylvania list going to Melissa M. Boyd and Mary Cushing Doherty of the High Swartz Domestic Relations practice.

2019 High Swartz Super Lawyers Melissa Boyd David Brooman Mary Cushing Doherty Mark Fischer Gilbert High, Thomas Panzer Thomas Rees Joel Rosen
2019 High Swartz attorneys added to the Super Lawyers List

What is Super Lawyers?

The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than 5 percent of attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. High Swartz 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars are listed below in alphabetical order.

Melissa M. Boyd: Has been nominated to her 5th consecutive Super lawyer list preceded by 6 Rising Star distinctions. On top of her streak, Missy has been nominated to 3 Super Lawyers Top Lists in Pennsylvania. Those accolades are 100 Top Lawyers in Pennsylvania, 100 Top Lawyers in Philadelphia and 50 Top Female Attorneys in Pennsylvania. Missy is a partner and family law attorney with High Swartz and advocates in various areas including divorce, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, child custody and child support, equitable distribution, alimony, adoptions, protection from abuse and juvenile law.

David J. Brooman: 2019 marks the return to the Super Lawyers list for David. This is his 10th selection. As a land development and litigation attorney, David J. Brooman has more than three decades experience in zoning and land use development, as well as environmental law.

Mary Cushing Doherty: This will be Mary’s 16th consecutive selection to the Super Lawyers list. Along with her distinction, she’ll join the 50 Top Female Lawyers in Pennsylvania list. With a distinguished record of professional and community service, Mary Cushing Doherty has more than 35 years of legal experience as a family law lawyer. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of marital dissolution and family law issues including divorce, child support, custody, spousal support and alimony, premarital agreement asset protection, complex property division, and is the chair of High Swartz’s Family Law practice.

Mark R. Fischer: Mark has been nominated to his second consecutive Super Lawyer designation. He focuses his practice primarily on representing businesses in breach of contract, payment collection, construction defect, and consumer protection disputes throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Gilbert P. High, Jr.: This will be Gil’s 14 section in a row. Gil’s impressive career is devoted primarily to the practice of municipal and Real Estate and Land Use Law. He regularly speaks on issues pertaining to municipal liability, particularly regarding the maintenance of the Urban Forest, a subject on which he has lectured nationally.

Thomas E. Panzer: This is Tom’s first and much-deserved selection to the Super Lawyers’ list. Thomas E. Panzer, a workers’ compensation attorney, joined High Swartz in 2016 as a result of a merger with McNamara, Bolla & Panzer, Attorneys at Law, a firm for which he served as Managing Partner. Mr. Panzer is active in his community and is currently the Bucks County, Pennsylvania Treasurer.

Thomas D. Rees: Elected to his 14th Super Lawyers list, Tom heads the firm’s Litigation and Employment Practice. He focuses his practice primarily on employment law and private education law. In the education area, Tom represents a number of independent schools in the Philadelphia area, handling employment, student discipline, contract, and governance matters.

Joel D. Rosen: As High Swartz’s Managing partner, Joel has been a Super Lawyer since 2017. With more than 30 years of legal experience as a corporate law attorney, Joel Rosen’s areas of practice include franchise law, business and commercial law, employment law, trademark/copyright law and commercial leasing.

list of 2019 high swartz super lawyers rising stars
2019 Rising Stars attorneys from High Swartz

Kevin Cornish: Recently elected as a partner at High Swartz, Kevin receives his 8th Super Lawyers Rising Star selection. Kevin focuses his practice on commercial, civil, and contract & multi-state litigation support. His clients include individuals as well as local, regional, and national businesses up and down the east coast.

Elizabeth Early: has been nominated to her third consecutive Rising Star selection. Her areas of specialization include divorce, custody, support, equitable distribution, pre and post-nuptial agreements, parenting coordination and abuse matters. Liz also serves as court-appointed counsel and guardian for minor children.

Brittany M. Yurchyk: High Swartz congratulates Brittany’s first nomination to the Super Lawyers’ list as a Rising Star. Specializing in alternative dispute resolution, Brittany concentrates her family law practice on equitable distribution, child custody, child and spousal support, abuse and domestic relations.

How were the High Swartz Super Lawyers selected to the list?

Super Lawyers nominates the best attorneys using a unique selection process. Peer evaluations and nominations are combined with independent research. Nominees are evaluated on 12 indicators from professional achievement through peer nominations. Nominations are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The Super Lawyers objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys on a national level that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. As an aid to those selecting a lawyer, Super Lawyers only selects outstanding local lawyers who are able to be retained by the public.

High Swartz to be Presenting Sponsor at the 2019 Legal Aid Golf Classic

The 2019 Legal Aid Golf Classic is a popular annual golf event whose purpose is to raise funds for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA to be held at the 1912 in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

High Swartz Law Firm is pleased to again be the Presenting Sponsor at the 2019 Legal Aid Golf Classic on Monday June, 24, 2019 to be held at the 1912 Club, formerly Plymouth Country Club. The event is co-hosted by the Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery Bar Foundation. The net proceeds of the Golf Classic will be matched by the MBA and donated to Legal Aid of Southeastern PA.

The purpose of the yearly golf event is to raise money for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA. LASP provides free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable people in Montgomery, Bucks, Chester & Delaware counties.
Legal Aid empowers those to solve their problems without legal representation through legal education and increased access to the courts, and to change community practices and systems that can exacerbate poverty.

The 1912 Club, named after the year of its opening, is a private golf course designed by William S. Flynn and located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, in Plymouth Meeting. The history of the club can be attributed to a few men meeting at Norristown City Hall looking to get their families together for relaxation and enjoyment. After coming up with a plan, the men searched up and down the suburban Philadelphia countryside inspecting farm sites that fit their needs. Announced on March 20, 1912 in the Daily Herald, the Country Club was to be formed and located at what is now its current home.

Support for LASP can be done in many ways. Those looking to golf can register here and companies interesting in sponsoring can register here. Raffle tickets can be purchased that feature many local restaurants and businesses. The organizers encourage raffle ticket holders to make purchases through the MBA Section Challenge where they get attributed to practice areas such as Family Law, Probate & Tax, Trial Lawyers, or Young Lawyers.

Melissa Boyd nominated to become Treasurer of PBA Family Law Section

Melissa Boyd of High Swartz's Family Law practice has been nominated to become Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section. With the Treasurer position, Missy is now on the leadership 5-year track to ascend to Chair of the section.

Per the section's bylaws, the Family Law Section shall take as its province the development and practical working of the law relating to marriage, divorce, non-support and domestic relations generally, as well as the law relating to adoption and to juvenile delinquency.

Also per the bylaws, the duties of the Treasurer are to keep appropriate records of all dues Collected from members, all funds received by or credited to the Section and all expenses of the Section. At each annual meeting of the Section the Treasurer shall make a report of the financial status of the Section and a statement of any balance on hand which will be carried into the ensuing year. The Chair and Treasurer shall be empowered to sign requisitions upon the Association treasury for disbursement of Section funds.

Congratulations, Missy!

April 26, 2019 | by Tom Gabor, High Swartz Marketing Director

David Brooman, Tom Panzer and Gil High Attend PA Municipal Solicitor's Workshop

High Swartz Municipal Attorneys David J. Brooman, Thomas E. Panzer and Gilbert P. High, Jr. attended the Municipal Solicitors Workshop on May 16, 2019. The Workshop was held at Delaware Valley Trusts in Horsham, PA.

On the agenda:

The State of Qualified Immunity for Pennsylvania Public - discussed the United States Supreme Court's including constitutional contexts like First Amendment retaliation cases and high speed police pursuits

Erosion of Municipal immunity under the PA Tort Claims Act - Broadening of property an motor vehicle exceptions to governmental immunity under the PA Tort Claims Act.

First Amendment Rights in Public Forums - A look at recent US Supreme Court and federal appellate court decisions about the First Amendment rights of people in multiple public forums, social media and otherwise.

Zoning and Civil Rights Issues of Group Homes - Discussed zoning and liability issues around the establishment of "group homes" in a municipality and the issues that several Delaware Valley Trust members have confronted in recent years.

The Firefighter Cancer Presumption Law Update - Coverage of recent cases interpreting key provisions under Act 46 of 2011.

Ongoing Legislative Developments - Discussions of the latest state legislation impacting local municipalities, like bills amending the PA Workers Compensation Act, amendments to the Intergovernmental Cooperative Law and the new Drone Law.

Delaware Valley Property & Liability Trust Coverage Overview - Significant coverage provisions in the DVPLT document.

The Delaware Valley Trusts provide custom health, worker's comp and liability & property coverage for public entities utilizing a cost-effective, risk-sharing model. Members are stakeholders who enjoy expanded coverage, long-term stability and exclusive benefits.

Mary Cushing Doherty leads CLE Training on Helping Clients Achieve Financial Stability After Divorce

On April 17, Mary Cushing Doherty co-led with Michael Fingerman a CLE training providing practical information to those looking for financial stability after the often devastating effects of divorce. The CLE was offered by Philadelphia VIP who utilizes the powers of the community to provide quality legal services to ensure justice to low-income Philadelphians.

It is very difficult to obtain even the simplest divorce without the help of a family law attorney. Procedural hurdles, long waiting periods and pleadings make the process difficult for both sides in a divorce. The percentages don't lie-it's almost 90% more likely for a pro se (Latin for "for oneself, on one's own behalf) litigant to receive a divorce settlement within 3 years if they utilize a divorce attorney. Unfortunately, close to 85% of the Philadelphia divorce population proceed it alone.

The CLE training provided important information that many low-income Philadelphians need when proceeding as pro se. The CLE also went in depth about equitable distribution and could earn attendees 2 substantive CLE credits.

High Swartz attorney Thomas D. Rees supports Main Line Art Center's Art in Action Spring Fundraiser

Read about Mr. Rees recent CLE courses and work with the Main Line Art Center.

March 2019

High Swartz Partner and Education Law attorney Thomas D. Rees taught a CLE course for the National Business Institute’s “Human Resource Law from Start to Finish” program. Tom provided written materials and presented on an update on employment law.

April 2019

On April 9, Thomas D. Rees taught two CLE course segments for the National Business Institute’s “Human Resource Law from A to Z” program. He provided written materials and spoke on “Workplace Behavioral Issues” and “Workplace Privacy and Electronic Monitoring”.

May 2019

High Swartz was a sponsor of Main Line Art Center’s Annual “Art in Action” fundraiser, supporting the Art Center’s scholarship fund. The kickoff event for the fundraiser took place on May 4. High Swartz partner and Education Law Attorney Thomas D. Rees serves on the Art Center’s Governance Committee, and was also a Board Member from 2012 to 2018, including two years as Board President and two years as Board Secretary.