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.
Douglas Evan Ress, Esq. Vice Chair
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.
Dusty Kirk, Esq.
Biography Coming Soon
Candice Komar, Esq.

Candice L. Komar is a founding member of Pollock Begg, a leading Pennsylvania firm devoted exclusively to the practice of family law.

Recognized as a top practitioner, litigator and highly skilled negotiator in matrimonial law, Candice handles divorces involving closely held businesses and high net worth individuals. She has considerable trial experience in Allegheny and surrounding counties, is a certified mediator and is trained and active in the newest area of practice known as Collaborative Law. Prior to joining Pollock Begg, Candice was a shareholder in the family law division of Buchanan Ingersoll (now Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC).

Candice majored in English and business at the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law.

Candice is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Candice helped found the Pittsburgh chapter of the Matrimonial Inns of Court, where she served in various capacities. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County bar associations’ Family Law sections and actively participates in the ACBA’s Women in the Law Division.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors for her exceptional work, Candice earned designation as one of the Pittsburgh Business Times Top 25 Women in Business for 2012. Candice has been named to the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers every year since 2007, the Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Lawyers in Pennsylvania list since 2009, and the Top 50 Attorneys in Pittsburgh list repeatedly. She is honored to have been listed annually in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008 and to receive the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent.

Candice is a frequent guest on WPXI’s Pittsburgh Cable News Channel “NightTalk” and “Pittsburgh Now” programs, a lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law and a requested presenter for women’s leadership conferences.

Candice lives in Downtown Pittsburgh with her husband, Ivor Hill. She is a dedicated supporter of the area’s cultural attributes and a volunteer through several nonprofit and community organizations including Neighborhood Legal Services, YWCA Legal Resources for Women and Uptown Legal Clinic at Bethlehem Haven Women’s Shelter. She has served as vice president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and as a board member of the Dance Alloy and the Junior League of Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class XIV.

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.
EDUCATION
  • 1983 J.D., Duquesne University
  • 1980 B.A., cum laude, Duquesne University
ADMISSIONS
  • 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
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND HONORS
  • 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
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.
Tuan Samahon, Esq.
Professor Tuan Samahon is a full-time legal educator and tenured faculty member at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law where he teaches civil procedure, constitutional law, and federal courts. His published scholarship has appeared in the Stanford Law Review, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, and Intelligence and National Security, among others. In 2017, Tuan served as a Fulbright Scholar in Croatia with the University of Zagreb’s law faculty.

In addition to his academic work, Tuan remains active as a litigator. He has briefed cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts, where he has handled separation-of-powers and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases. He has handled matters against the CIA, DOJ, FBI, and IRS, among others, on behalf of fellow academics, book authors, and journalists who sought the release of federal records. These documents have ranged from a draft undisclosed CIA history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs operation to FBI investigatory records about the theft and laundering by U.S. servicemen of the royal family of Hesse’s jewels.

Beyond his scholarship and litigated matters, Tuan is engaged in public service by interpreting and implementing federal law. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, and assisted individual members of Congress on questions of federal law. In 2020, the Archivist of the United States appointed Tuan to the FOIA Advisory Committee, where he advises the National Archives and Records Administration on FOIA reform. Locally, he assisted the federal court in Philadelphia with the selection of a new federal magistrate judge. Finally, Tuan is actively involved with the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania.

He is now pleased to join the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board. Over the years, he has taught numerous CLEs on constitutional and transparency law topics.

Tuan earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, where he was jointly awarded the Olin Prize in Law and Economics and published his student scholarship in the Georgetown Law Journal, Law & Policy in International Business, and the Federal Communications Law Journal. Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and later the Honorable Jay S. Bybee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Tuan practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling.
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