Law Mentors

Kaitlin Banner

Contact: kaitlin.banner@gmail.com
Title: Staff Attorney, Advancement Project 

Areas of interest/expertise: Community lawyering, civil rights & liberties, racial justice, juvenile justice, special education law.

Kaitlin Banner is a staff attorney in the Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track program.  Prior to joining Advancement Project, Kaitlin was Clinical Instructor at the Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.  Students and professors in the clinic (among other things) represent families in special education and school discipline cases, and advocate for policies that promote positive interventions and enable students to continue their education.  From 2008 - 2010, Kaitlin was the Crowell & Moring Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, where she founded the Fair Discipline Project and began working on school-to-prison pipeline issues.  Kaitlin is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School Juvenile Justice Clinic and George Washington University Law School Scholarly Writing Program.  Kaitlin received her B.A. from Villanova University, her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, and her LL.M. in clinical pedagogy and systems change from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. 

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Peter C. Buckley

Contact: 215.299.2854; pbuckley@foxrothschild.com
Title: Attorney at Law, Fox Rothschild LLP, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Peter has a diverse litigation practice focused on commercial, real estate and bankruptcy litigation for clients ranging from private individuals and small businesses to Fortune 1000 corporations and Am Law 200 law firms. Peter represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration forums.

Peter's commercial litigation experience encompasses:

  • Breach of contract and warranty
  • Legal malpractice and professional responsibility
  • Civil RICO and unfair competition
  • Director and officer liability
  • The Uniform Commercial Code
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets

Peter's real estate litigation experience includes:

  • Eminent domain/condemnation
  • Restrictive covenants and easements
  • Breach of contract
  • Zoning and land use
  • Title insurance
  • Adverse possession

Peter also serves as counsel to a number of small businesses and not-for-profit corporations, providing guidance on corporate governance and compliance, employee relations, protection of intellectual property, succession planning and lease negotiation, among other topics.

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Lauren Ciancia

Contact: ciancia.lauren@gmail.com
Title: Insurance Coverage Attorney, McCarter & English, LLP, Newark, NJ

I graduated from Villanova, summa cum laude, with an Honors Degree in 2006 and graduated from Fordham Law in 2009.  Upon graduation, I began working as an insurance coverage attorney at McCarter & English, LLP in Newark, NJ and have now been working at McCarter for almost 3 years.  I currently live in Weehawken, NJ and am getting married next June to Gregory Apgar, who I met at Fordham Law.  I’m a huge Nova basketball fan as well!

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Edward F. Gerwin, Jr.

Contact: egerwin@me.com; 703.622.7015
Title: President, Trade Guru LLC, VA

Ed Gerwin is an international trade consultant and lawyer. He is President of Trade Guru LLC and provides analysis and strategic advice on trade policy issues for leading domestic and international organizations.

Ed previously served as Senior Fellow for Trade and Global Economic Policy at the Third Way think tank. At Third Way he established and ran a trade policy program that focused on increasing U.S. economic growth and supporting good jobs through greater American engagement in the global economy.

Prior to Third Way, Ed was a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm of Winston & Strawn. During his 28-year career at Winston & Strawn, Ed represented and advised American and international clients on a wide range of international trade and federal relations matters, including trade remedies, investment, trade agreements, and trade legislation.

Ed received his BA in the Honors Program from Villanova in 1977 and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center. He is active in local and national politics and was a full-time volunteer on the 2008 Obama campaign. He is the author of numerous reports and articles and is a frequent media commentator on trade policy issues.

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Jacki Lembeck

Contact: jacqueline.lembeck@gmail.com
Title: Attorney advisor, U.S. Dept of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges

Areas of interest: government and public interest law

Jacki graduated from Villanova University in 2009 with a B.A. in English, a concentration in Honors, and minors in French and Philosophy.  She earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA in 2012.  Currently, Jacki serves as an attorney advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  While in law school, she interned at a District Attorney's office and at an appellate juvenile defense clinic.  She is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars. 

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Juliet Mazer-Schmidt

Contact: juliet.mazerschmidt@gmail.com
Title: Associate, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Washington, DC Office

Juliet graduated from Villanova in 2005. Virginia licensed attorney, working currently in litigation.  2010 graduate of The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.  Previous professional experience includes work with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, and the Office of the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney in Detroit.  Work outside of the legal community includes performing and instructing through Washington Improv Theater; activities include creative writing, swimming, and yoga.

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Elena T. McDermott

Contact: emcdermott@winston.com; Elena.mcdermott@gmail.com; 973-868-6214
Title: Litigation Associate, Winston & Strawn LLP

Elena is a 2007 graduate of Villanova University, with dual majors in Honors and Political Science.  While at Villanova, she was a member and then captain of the rowing team.  She also competed on the mock trial team. 

Elena graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2010.  While at Penn, Elena was a member of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Keedy Moot Court Board.

Elena spent a year clerking with the New Jersey Supreme Court and currently works at Winston & Strawn LLP.  She is an associate in the firm’s litigation department.  Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, securities fraud, and mortgages.

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Jessica Mendoza

Contact: (303) 919-9268; jessmendoza@gmail.com
Title:  Law Student at the University of Colorado Law School

Areas of Expertise/Interest:  Law, Nonprofit Organizations, Writing and Editing, Web Production (i.e. Web Design, Graphic Design), Animal Welfare/Rights

I graduated from Villanova in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, minors in Spanish and Writing & Rhetoric, and a concentration in Honors.  After graduating from Villanova, I began working for a nonprofit organization called One Economy Corporation.  The organization--which was based out of Washington, DC--is aimed at helping low-income people enter the economic mainstream through technology.   I started as an editor and writer for the organization's consumer website.  Then, I was promoted to website producer and later to a director of local websites, where I managed the production of multiple websites.

After working for the organization for about five years, I decided to go to law school.  I am now a third-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, CO.  Though my exact career path is still undecided, I am hoping to someday work for another nonprofit organization, a law firm, or for a government agency that strives to help under-served populations get the legal help they need and deserve.

Throughout the past seven years, I have also been passionate about animal welfare and animal rights issues.  I have volunteered at animal shelters, am active in the Colorado Law School's animal legal defense organization, and have attended a conference on animal law.  I hope to incorporate animal law into my legal career someday.

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“Tadd” Harold M. Schwarz, III

Contact: (330) 572-1316; hschwarz@stark-knoll.com
Title: Litigation & Employment Attorney, Stark & Knoll Co., L.P.A.

He is a graduate of Villanova University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Philosophy, and of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Harold was a member of the National Moot Court Team and the Jonathan M. Ault Mock Trial Team for which he was awarded the Dean Dunmore Distinguished Advocate Award and selected for membership in the Order of Barristers.

Harold has successfully represented companies of all sizes in state and federal trial and appellate courts, before administrative boards and arbitration forums, in the areas of commercial, collections, construction and employment litigation. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Ohio, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits. Harold is a member of the American Bar Association Business Law and Litigation Sections, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. He has been selected as an Ohio Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in litigation each year since 2010 - an honor extended to no more than 2.5% of top up-and-coming Ohio attorneys under the age of 40.

 Harold is an active member of his community. He currently serves as the Secretary of Northview Consortium, a non-profit entity that assists in the care of disabled individuals in Summit County. From 2006 to 2009, he served on the Board of Directors of Siffrin, Inc., a non-profit corporation principally located in Stark County whose mission is to support disabled individuals. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, a non-profit community development corporation that oversees and fosters residential and commercial development in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood.

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John C. (JC) Stellakis

Contact: john.stellakis@gmail.com
Title: Associate Attorney, Murphy, Bartol & O'Brien, LLP

Expertise/Interests: Work in general civil practice firm - transactional and litigation work.  Interested in international law and human rights, constitutional law, environmental law, wills/trusts, general counsel and immigration.  Hobbies include surfing, snowboarding, biking, running and pizza.

Hail from Long Island, New York.  Graduated from Chaminade High School, Mineola, 2004.  Recevied Bachelor of Arts, Honors Degree from Villanova University in 2008 (Philosophy and Political Science).  While at Villanova, participated in, inter alia, Blue Key, Student Government, University Senate, Orientation, Sigma Chi Fraternity and Service Break Experiences.  Received Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law in 2011.  During law school, engaged in pro bono service in Philadelphia and New Orleans, was published in the Villanova University Environmental Law Journal (2010) and successfully represented an asylee in the Villanova University School of Law Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES).  Admitted to the New York State and New Jersey State Bars, as well as the United State District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey.

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Christopher M. Varano

Contact: cmvarano@gmail.com; (717)-608-8360; 215-994-2244
Title: Associate, Dechert LLP, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Areas of Expertise/Interest: White Collar and Securities Litigation, Complex Commercial Litigation

Christopher M. Varano is an associate in the litigation group of Dechert LLP. He focuses his practice on white collar and securities litigation matters.

Mr. Varano has taken depositions, drafted dispositive and routine motions, aided in witness preparation, and coordinated discovery responses. Mr. Varano regularly provides research and drafting support for a variety of trial and appellate matters in state and federal litigation.

Mr. Varano also maintains a varied pro bono practice, representing clients in federal civil rights, habeas corpus, and First Amendment litigation, as well as in eviction proceedings in Municipal Court. As co-lead counsel to a plaintiff alleging failure of prison officials and corrections officers to protect him from harm, Mr. Varano handled all aspects of litigating the case, including taking depositions, drafting pleadings, discovery requests and responses, negotiating discovery disputes, and ultimately negotiating a favorable settlement for his client.

Mr. Varano was a Dechert summer associate in 2008.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Varano served as a staff attorney for the Education Law Center in Philadelphia.

Significant Representations:
-Representation of a New York real estate investor in connection with a complex civil litigation dispute concerning the control of a $1 billion nursing-home company and related claims against the operating company’s owners and investor’s former attorneys.
-Representation of former officers and directors of a business credit card issuer in securities class actions.
-Representation of a hedge fund in an internal investigation in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “expert networks” insider trading investigation.
-Defense of a senior investment banking executive in SEC and New York State Attorney General investigations into Auction Rate Securities.
-Representation of individual directors accused of fraud in a derivative action in the Isle of Jersey.
-Defense of the estate of J. Howard Marshall (the deceased husband of the late Vickie Lynn Marshall, a.k.a. Anna Nicole Smith) from claims brought by Vickie Lynn Marshall's estate before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Education:
-Villanova University, B.A., 2006, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholarship nominee, recipient of the Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholarship to Oxford University, attended Oxford University, St. Catherine's College (2004)
-Villanova University, B.A.H., 2006
-University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2009, Wharton Certificate, member of the Journal of Business Law, Penn Law 2009 Class Officer, research assistant, teaching assistant

Court Admissions:
-United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Bar Admissions/Qualifications:
-Pennsylvania
-New Jersey

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William J. Weber, Jr.

Contact: 610-640-2811; wweber@cwolaw.com
Title: Shareholder, Connor, Weber, & Oberlies Law

William J. Weber, Jr. joined Joseph P. Connor, III, to form Connor & Weber, P.C. as a founding shareholder in 1984.  Since that time, the firm has also established a strong identity in general commercial representation as well as business, estate, banking, real estate, and transactional law.

Mr. Weber meets the very high criteria of ethical standards set by his peers, as proven by his AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Main Line Today magazine listed Mr. Weber in their "Best of Main Line Top Lawyer 2009” for his work in Real Estate Law.

Professional

  • Connor, Weber & Oberlies, shareholder, 1998 – to present
  • Connor & Weber, P.C., founding shareholder, until renamed, 1984 – 1998
  • Gibbons, Buckley, Smith, Palmer & Proud, 1981 – 1983
  • Kelly, Harrington, McLaughlin & Foster, 1980 – 1981

Education

  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1980
  • Goldman Foundation Scholar, 1978 – 1980
  • President, Student Bar Association, 1979 – 1980
  • Villanova University, B.A.H., magna cum laude, 1977

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1980
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1982
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1982
  • U.S. District Court for the State of New Jersey, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
  • Certified Mediator, 1999
  • Licensed PA Title Agent

Associations

  • Adjunct Professor, West Chester University
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • Chester County Bar Association

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