Members encouraged to attend 50 & 60 Practitioners Award Ceremony

November 8, 2019
President’s Message By Lori McMaster

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, we will once again gather at the Duquesne Club for the 50 & 60 Practitioners Award Ceremony honoring our colleagues in the bar association who have achieved the milestone of practicing law for 50 or 60 years.

I encourage our members to attend this year’s celebration, as it is always among the ACBA’s most enjoyable and inspirational events. The celebration occurs the week before Thanksgiving, so it is particularly fitting that we express our gratitude for these practitioners’ distinguished careers and their many community contributions.

My husband Dave McMaster and I are particularly excited about attending the ceremony, because our respective mentors, Marty Gefsky and Bernie Marcus, are among the honorees. I had the good fortune to practice with Bernie Marcus at Marcus & Shapira from 1988 through 1994 and I learned much from him as an associate in the firm’s litigation practice.

Bernie was a generous mentor and permitted me to take on significant roles as a first and second chair trial attorney. He also accompanied me to Philadelphia when I was a third-year associate to provide guidance and moral support when I argued an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals! Bernie presented the motion for my admission to the Third Circuit, and I’m proud that his name appears on my admission certificate. Bernie’s door was always open, and he taught me a great deal about trial strategy and maintaining one’s authenticity in a courtroom. I’ll be forever grateful to Bernie for his guidance, wisdom, and patience.

Marty Gefsky has been my husband Dave’s mentor and friend for over 30 years. Dave noted: “Marty’s unending loyalty to clients and colleagues alike truly set him apart. Any time a problem occurred during a transaction, Marty would be able to get on the phone, call the other side and invariably settle the matter. Early in my career, Marty told me that he would never ask anyone to do anything that he wouldn’t do. There has never been anyone else like him.”

The Hon. D. Michael Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will also be honored at the 50/60 Practitioners Award Ceremony. Judge Fisher has spent his entire career in service to others. Whether as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, a member of the State House and State Senate, an Assistant District Attorney, or as a partner at Houston Harbaugh, Judge Fisher has been the epitome of a servant leader.

He was named as the initial Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was an Adjunct Professor for 12 years, and now teaches both Federal Courts and Federal Appellate Advocacy. Judge Fisher is a regular presence in the law school, and I must say that it took me some time to become accustomed to a Third Circuit judge popping into my office for no other reason than to simply offer a friendly “Good morning, Lori!”

Current third-year Pitt Law student Patrick Sherry says that he feels “extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know and learn from Judge Fisher during my time at Pitt Law. His experiences as a federal appellate judge and a leader in state government give him a perspective on the law that make his classes truly unique. His passion for teaching and helping students is evident and includes class trips to the United States Supreme Court, and assisting as the faculty advisor to Pitt Law Moot Court. Judge Fisher serves as a great example for me and other law students of what is possible as a future lawyer and person. He makes Pitt Law a better place.”

Please take a moment to review the below list of honorees. If, like my husband Dave and I, or Patrick Sherry, you were fortunate enough to practice with or learn from one (or more) of them, please consider taking a moment to call, email or write a note to them and express your gratitude for all they’ve offered to the profession, and to you. We are all better for their contributions. Please join me in congratulating the following individuals on this significant achievement.

50 Year Honorees
Edward J. Abes, Esq.
Raymond N. Baum, Esq.
Daniel W. Cooper, Esq.
Leonard A. Costa, Jr., Esq.
Walter P. DeForest, Esq.
James J. Dodaro, Esq.
Donald P. Eriksen, Esq.
Hon. D. Michael Fisher
Michael D. Fox, Esq.
Robert A. Galanter, Esq.
Martyn I. Gefsky, Esq.
Kenneth E. Gray, Esq.
John E. Hall, Esq.
Robert A. Johnson, Esq.
Hon. Robert A. Kelly
David G. Klaber, Esq.
Robert Y. Kopf, Jr., Esq.
Lawrence F. Leventon, Esq.
Robert G. Lovett, Esq.
Bernard D. Marcus, Esq.
Donald S. Mazzotta, Esq.
Roy J. Roscoe, Esq.
Richard C. Schomaker, Esq.
Richard B. Tucker, III, Esq.

60 Year Honorees
Stanley W. Greenfield, Esq.
Marvin S. Lieber, Esq.
Michael M. Lyons, Esq.
Sanford A. Middleman, Esq.
Donald W. Shaffer, Esq.