PACLE Board Members

Click on the member to read a brief biography
Clifford Levine, Esq. Chair
Clifford B. Levine is a Director at Cohen & Grigsby, P.C., where he chairs the Public Affairs Group and is a member of the Litigation and Real Estate Practice Groups. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer and counselor, particularly involving public law and land use development issues. He has been involved in a number of landmark decisions before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, including cases concerning the scope of state preemption over local land use control in energy development, the role of the Public Utility Commission to compel utilities to purchase from independent power producers, the tax-exempt status of colleges, the role of collective bargaining in fiscally distressed cities, preemption issues involving city residency requirements and public collective bargaining, election law requirements for ballot qualification, and constitutional limitations to the legislative reapportionment process. In 2011, he represented the Pennsylvania Senate's Democratic Caucus in successfully challenging the state reapportionment maps. In 2018, he represented the Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor in the successful challenge to the partisan gerrymandered congressional map.

Mr. Levine serves as a Commissioner on the Southwest Planning Commission, and, for 12 years, was Vice-Chair of the City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission and of its Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mr. Levine has served on transition teams for Governors Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell. He chaired Mayor Bill Peduto's Transition Team on Planning and Development. Mr. Levine was President Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's statewide designated representative on election matters. He served as President of Pennsylvania's Electoral College in 2012. Mr. Levine has served, by appointment of Senator Bob Casey, as a member of the Federal Court Judicial Selection Panel. By appointment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Mr. Levine currently serves as Chair of the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board. Mr. Levine is listed in Best Lawyers of America, and designated as the best land use attorney in Western Pennsylvania (2016). Martindale-Hubbell has rated him as a "Top Rated Lawyer" for Energy, Environmental and Land Use Law. For nearly two decades, he has been identified as one of Philadelphia Magazine's "Pennsylvania Super Lawyers", an honor bestowed upon the top five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers. Recently, he was elected by his peers as one of the top 50 attorneys in Pittsburgh. Mr. Levine received a J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany, where he also worked in the Office of the Speaker of the New York Assembly. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable David W. Craig of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Murrel Walters, III, Esq. Vice Chair
Since his admission to the Pennsylvania Bar in December 1976, Murrel R. Walters III has maintained his practice in downtown Mechanicsburg. David R. Galloway joined him in January 2014 to start Walters & Galloway PLLC. Murrel has focused his practice on transactional law including estate planning, estate administration, real estate transactions and business formation.
Murrel is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Cumberland County Bar Association, and Cumberland County Inn of Court. He is admitted to practice in all courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of Florida and the United States Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Murrel is a 1972 graduate of Dickinson College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. In 1976 he received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami.
He served for eight years on the Cumberland Valley School Board including one year as president. He was a founding member of the Eagle Foundation which is dedicated to assisting in the educational, cultural and athletic activities of the Cumberland Valley School District. He served for nine years on the Board of Trustees of the Mechanicsburg Area Public Library including three years as president. He has been a Boy Scout troop leader, a coach, volunteer and leader of several area youth soccer and youth basketball organizations. Murrel served for six years in the United States Army Reserves.
Murrel resides in Boiling Springs with his wife Kay.
Dusty Kirk, Esq.
Biography Coming Soon
Max Laun, Esq.
Max Laun is a vice president and General Counsel for Alcoa. He oversees the day-to-day operations of Alcoa's Legal activities worldwide. Most recently he was Assistant General Counsel, Mergers and Acquisitions.
Max began his career as an attorney in Alcoa's Legal group in Pittsburgh more than 20 years ago. He has practiced law in several areas, most notably mergers and acquisitions, energy and general commercial counseling. He has served as Alcoa's lead counsel on several highly visible mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures including the Ma'aden-Alcoa Project, the disposition of Alcoa's Packaging business, and transactions in China, Russia, Latin America, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Max was named Counsel/General Attorney in 1994, progressed to Senior Counsel in 2001 and then to Assistant General Counsel in 2009.
Max graduated cum laude in 1983 with a degree in History and Russian from Rice University in Houston, Texas. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in Romania from 1983-1985 studying the history of World War I. In 1988, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there, he served as Articles Editor of the Law Review, and was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers, two national, honorary scholastic societies recognizing high distinction for scholarly accomplishments and for excelling in advocacy programs.
Max serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood Legal Services Association. He is a Trustee of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board, Center for International Legal Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Jason Matzus, Esq.
Biography coming soon.
Manning J. O'Connor II, Esq.
Manning J. "Jim" O'Connor II is a Member at Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe LLC. Jim has more than 30 years of trial experience in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and several other states. He represents businesses in a wide range of disputes involving all aspects of employment litigation. These include breaches of contract, harassment, and discrimination claims; non-compete/non-solicitation agreements; and trade secrets, among others. He also handles complex commercial litigation matters.
In addition, Mr. O'Connor has many years of experience in health care litigation, and he has represented hospitals and physicians in, and advised on, regulatory and patient care issues, contract disputes, licensing and credentialing matters, insurance disputes, and corporate compliance.
Mr. O'Connor has negotiated contracts for media personalities and other celebrities. He has also served as special counsel to numerous municipalities on a variety of legal issues.
An educator and frequent speaker, Mr. O'Connor serves on the adjunct faculty at Duquesne University School of Law, and he regularly speaks at seminars and conferences on the topics of trial evidence, employment litigation, and commercial litigation. He was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve on the Pennsylvania CLE Board, which oversees the rules and regulations for continuing legal education in the Commonwealth.
  • 1983 J.D., Duquesne University
  • 1980 B.A., cum laude, Duquesne University
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Tax Court
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania CLE Board
  • AV® Preeminen™ 5.0 out of 5 peer rated in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion on the 2010-2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® lists in the field of business litigation.
  • Selected for inclusion on the 2012 Top Rated Lawyers list by Corporate Counsel's Guide to Health Care Law.
  • Selected for the Allegheny County Bar Foundation Class of 2015 Fellows
Douglas Evan Ress, Esq.
Doug Ress is a co-founding shareholder of Kaufman, Coren & Ress, P.C., located in Philadelphia, PA, and is a member of the Pennsylvania and New York Bars. Following his graduation magna cum laude from Queens College in 1976, where he was its first state finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship and its Scholar Athlete, and his graduation cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979, Mr. Ress began the practice of law in Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Ress has been continuously selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2007 to 2014 in the field of commercial litigation, as well as for 2015 through 2017 in the fields of bet-the-company litigation and commercial litigation, and has been repeatedly recognized as a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" in Philadelphia Magazine. For 2007, Mr. Ress was recognized as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania, and for 2013, Mr. Ress was recognized as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Philadelphia.
Mr. Ress served as a Hearing Officer for the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board from 2002 to 2008. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and served from 1993 to 2008 and again from 2014 to the present as a Trustee of its Endowment Fund. In addition, Mr. Ress has authored articles in his field, including a co-authored article: Tax-Affecting and Beyond: Dela. Radiology Experts Discuss "Landmark" Case, Business Valuation Update, Vol. 13, No. 5, May 2007. Mr. Ress is also a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, and a contributing author to its e-journal: Thoughts From a Road Trip: Exploring What it Takes for Someone to be Truly Great in His or Her Profession, 4 Litigation Commentary & Rev. 29 (January/February 2011). In 2012, Mr. Ress was inducted as one of nine inaugural Members of the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame. By Order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, effective May 1, 2017, Mr. Ress commenced his three-year appointment to the Continuing Legal Education Board.
Daniel Rovner, Esq.
Dan was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in the area for most of his life. He is an attorney at Ross Feller Casey, LLP. Dan primarily concentrates his practice in representing catastrophically injured individuals. He has extensive experience in litigating cases involving complex medical malpractice issues and catastrophic injuries. Prior to joining Ross Feller Casey, Dan was a partner at Post & Post LLC and had 20 years of experience as one of the leading defense attorneys in Pennsylvania. This experience is invaluable to his perspective in now protecting the rights of individuals who have been catastrophically injured. In addition, Dan has experience in all aspects of appellate practice throughout Pennsylvania.
Dan is licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is also admitted to appear before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Dan has successfully litigated cases in federal and state courts throughout Pennsylvania.
Dan is honored to have been appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to serve on the state's Continuing Legal Education Board. In addition, Pennsylvania's highest court has appointed him to serve as a Senior Hearing Committee Member for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
In 2005 through 2008, Dan was selected in a survey of his peers as a Pennsylvania "Rising Star" attorney by Law & Politics magazine and in Philadelphia Magazine. He was selected as a Pennsylvania Superlawyer in 2010 through 2017.
Dan received his B.S. from the University of Miami in 1992. Thereafter, Dan attended Temple University School of Law, where he received with his J.D. in 1995.
Jay Silberblatt, Esq.
Mr. Silberblatt is a partner with the Pittsburgh law firm of Silberblatt Mermelstein, P.C. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Allegheny College in 1977 and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1980 where he served on the Law Review. He is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate and as a Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate. Mr. Silberblatt concentrates his practice in civil litigation with a particular emphasis on lawyers' professional liability matters. He is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Allegheny County Bar Association, and he is a Fellow of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. Previously, Mr. Silberblatt served as Chair of both the Civil Litigation Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Civil Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and he served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. He also served as a Director of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. Presently, he is the Zone 12 Governor of the PBA, a member of the PBA House of Delegates, and Chair of the PBA Lawyers Professional Liability Committee. He received a PBA Special Achievement Award in 2000 for his work in planning the PBA Civil Litigation Section's Retreat, the PBA President's Award in 2002 for his efforts with Senate Bill 406 and Rule 1023.1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, and a PBA Special Achievement Award in 2004 for his work in planning and presenting malpractice avoidance programs for the Professional Liability Committee.
A third generation Pennsylvania lawyer, he is the author of numerous legal articles that have appeared in The Barrister, The Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Law Weekly, The Pennsylvania Lawyer, The Pittsburgh Legal Journal, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, The Advocate, and Trial. Mr. Silberblatt has planned CLE courses and lectured for the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.
In the community, Mr. Silberblatt is a Past President of Temple Sinai, and has served on the Boards of the Jewish Association on Aging and the Rauh Jewish Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center. Currently, he is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Squonk Opera.
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