Emily Bushnell Elevated to Executive Director at High Swartz LLP

High Swartz is pleased to announce that firm administrator, Emily Bushnell, has been promoted to executive director. She steps in for departing, Joanne DiFrancesco who was in the position for over 11 years.

“I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Joanne over the last 6 years here at High Swartz. I could not have asked for a better mentor; she played a pivotal role during her time here. Joanne is well loved by all at this firm and will be sorely missed. Joanne oversaw a number of projects, big and small, contributing to the health and wealth of the firm. I fully intend to continue this momentum. These are big shoes to fill, and I’m honored to take on this role."

Emily began at the firm in 2016 as the executive assistant to DiFrancesco and managing partner, Joel D. Rosen. DiFrancesco was a mentor to Emily from the get-go.

Said DiFrancesco, “Though I am moving on, High Swartz is in excellent hands. Emily Bushnell has been part of the firm’s leadership succession plan for over 2 years, and is ready, willing, and highly able to take on her new role as executive director with confidence.”

Emily took on training and technology responsibilities in 2018, raising the standard for staff and attorneys. Throughout, Emily displayed an eagerness to employ new systems and strategies at the firm. She was at the forefront of the firm's transition into two legal management software conversions which were paramount to the firm's navigation through the pandemic.

"The pandemic was a challenge to many firms. Emily took the necessary steps to implement the right software at the right time that allowed our attorneys and staff to flourish remotely," said firm marketing director, Tom Gabor.

Emily lives in Ardmore with her daughter Izzy, who's curiosity was the key to a major life moment for her mother in 2021. Izzy discovered through a DNA matching website that Emily has an identical twin, who was adopted separately from her as newborn in South Korea. A whirlwind of emotions led to a year of meeting and catching up with each other's families.

Currently, you can watch Emily and her twin Molly Sinert, on season 34 of The Amazing Race on CBS. Episodes air on Wednesdays at 10pm EST. Racing around the world with your newfound identical twin is an extraordinary way to get to know each other!

Michael A. Luongo Joins our Doylestown Law Office

High Swartz LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Michael A. Luongo, Esq. to the firm's Doylestown Law office. He will add his diverse skillset to the firm's business litigation, personal injury, criminal defense, and municipal practices. Michael joins High Swartz after practicing for 4 and a half years in the litigation department at a prominent law firm in Blue Bell, PA.

"I'm excited to be part of the litigation team at High Swartz. Their reputation in the Bucks and Montgomery region is well-respected and I look forward to contributing right away," states Michael.

Prior to his time there as a business litigator and criminal defense attorney, Michael served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Luongo litigated multiple high-profile criminal cases, including hundreds of bench trials and jury trials. He was the designated vertical prosecutor handling all press cases, non-fatal shootings and gunpoint robberies. He also conducted hearings for motions to suppress, bail, quash, discovery, reconsider, and consolidate prior bad acts. It was Michael's trial and prosecution acumen that garnered his promotion to Northeast Philadelphia's top prosecutor position.

Michael utilizes his strong business background in his work as a small and medium-sized business litigator in the Philadelphia region. He plans to also assist the firm's municipal group, consisting of attorneys who counsel multiple first and second class townships in the region as solicitors.

"What really stood out to me was the opportunity to work with High Swartz's municipal team. I look forward to gleaning from the many years of Southeastern Pennsylvania representation experience the group possesses," Mr. Luongo said.

While in law school at Rutgers of Camden, Michael served Philadelphia County's Court of Common Pleas judge the Honorable Rose Mare Defino-Nastasi as a summer law clerk. He earned a Master's of Business Administration from LaSalle University and also a Bachelor's of Science from Lehigh University. Michael also studied International Business during his time at Villanova University's Post Grad Program and worked at a marketing firm during his law school days.

Judith Algeo and Don Petrille of our Doylestown Law Office Elected Partners

High Swartz LLP is pleased to announce that Judith A. Algeo, Esq. and Donald Petrille, Jr., Esq. have been named partners at the firm. Each exceedingly contribute to our Doylestown law office and to Bucks County in general.

Judith A. Algeo brought her considerable Bucks County family law experience to the firm in late 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Representing individuals in all types of domestic relations matter, she immediately advanced the firm's family law presence in Bucks. Ms. Algeo also handles both termination of parental rights matters and second parent adoptions. Before her legal career, Judith practiced as a family therapist.

Judith is no stranger to Bucks County service. Earlier this year, Judith was honored by Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania for her 20 years of service. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Bucks County Association of Township Officials and has been elected 4 times to the Warwick Township Board of Supervisors.

Donald Petrille, Jr. joined the firm in 2012. Practicing as a business lawyer, he counsels businesses and shareholders as they grapple with complex legal issues. As a member of the firm's estate planning practice, Don advises clients on methods of wealth preservation and transfer and business succession planning. Don also advises real estate clients on purchasing, selling, financing, and leasing. He has served as a closing agent on scores of real estate transactions and business matters.

Serving Bucks County, Don was President of the Registers of Wills and Clerks of the Orphans’ Court Association of Pennsylvania and as its Legislative Liaison to the General Assembly. In 2020, Don was invited to serve on PA Auditor General-elect Tim DeFoor’s transition team. He served on the team's legal review section, which examined the status and scope of pending litigation matters.


Shari Gelfont Williams Joins the Firm's Family Law Practice

High Swartz is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Shari Gelfont Williams to the firm's family law practice. After working as a solo practitioner at her own firm in Huntingdon Valley, Shari will join our Doylestown office and serve both Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Already established in the Philadelphia region as a strong family advocate, Ms. Williams will also assist the firm in criminal matters, PFA hearings, and other litigation. Furthermore, she will assist High Swartz's estate planning and business practices in drafting and litigation matters.

Pro bono work is extremely important to Shari, noted by her recognition by the Bucks County Bar Association for performing well in excess of her commitment. In 2018, she was deservedly awarded the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Bucks County Pro Bono Award and the Bucks County Bar Association’s Arthur B. Walsh, Jr. Pro Bono Publico Award.

Ms. Williams advanced her legal experience at several stops along the east coast including Florida and North Carolina. In Charlotte, Shari managed an integral domestic violence legal representation project with United Family Services. Shari coordinated over 80% of the victims in obtaining permanent restraining orders. Most often these were cases that Legal Aid was unable to assist.

In Florida, Ms. Williams served as Assistant Attorney General while representing the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Revenue. Her work included modifying and enforcing child support and paternity actions before hearing officers and Circuit Court Judges.

While obtaining her paralegal certification at Penn State University, Shari obtained her Juris Doctor while attending Whittier College School of Law in Los Angeles. Shari states she is excited to join High Swartz and continue the tradition of excellent representation and assistance that the firm is well known for.