Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – July 7, 2008. Officers of the Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that Pittsburgh attorney Jay A. Blechman has been elected its president for the year beginning July 1, 2008. The traditional passing of the gavel ceremony occurred during the association’s annual conference on June 20. Blechman is a partner in the Pittsburgh law firm of Steiner & Blechman, LLC. Kimberly A. Brown, Esq., a partner at Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP, will serve as President-elect; and Michelle L. Kopnski, Esq., an attorney with Tucker Arensberg, PC, will serve as Treasurer.

According to outgoing president Ken Gormley, Blechman, who is a veteran family law attorney, brings to the bar association a deep passion for the legal profession and community service. “Jay is going to continue to raise awareness of the good things attorneys do in the community and encourage our members to get even more involved with pro bono services. He has a high energy level and a compassion for people. He is one to not only go that extra mile but to go several miles and do whatever it takes to improve legal services and enhance the public’s perception of attorneys.”

Blechman, who has a B.S. in Commerce from DePaul University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh Law School, has been an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association for many years. He is a member of the association’s board of governors, has served as past treasurer, and has been on the governing council of the association’s Family Law Section and Finance Committee. He also served as a member of the Indigent Divorce Program Task Force and the Public Service Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Bar Association, and he has served on several committees with both organizations, including serving as Chair of the state bar's Family Law Section. He is a frequent lecturer on family law topics.

“It is a great honor to become president of an association that is so highly respected throughout the country,” said Blechman. “The Allegheny County Bar Association has been a leader in championing important issues for attorneys and the general public, including our ongoing diversity and gender equality efforts. We are going to look at ways to continue to get important legal information to the general public. Our attorneys are already doing thousands of hours of community service and pro bono legal service each year, but I am going to ask everyone to do at least one more thing this year to ensure we are helping as many residents in Allegheny County as possible.”

The Allegheny County Bar Association also announced the following new members of the board of governors: Philip A. Ignelzi, Esq.; Bryan S. Neft, Esq; Lisette (Mimi) M. McCormick, Esq.; Erin J. Boyts, Esq.; and Marla N. Presley, Esq. Carlota M. Bohm, Esq., was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of governors.

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators, and paralegals.