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Phone: 215-238-6300 Fax: 215-238-1267 www.philadelphiabar.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Petitti
PHILADELPHIA – The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Philadelphia Bar Association has elected its 2010 Cabinet and Executive Committee.
Carolyn M. Chopko of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig was elected YLD Chair-Elect, defeating Jennifer S. Coatsworth of Margolis Edelstein in the only contested race for a Cabinet position. Chopko will assume YLD Chair in 2011.
Kelly J. Gastley, a supervising attorney at Philadelphia VIP, was elected Vice Chair; Melanie J. Taylor, a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, was elected Secretary; John Encarnacion, an associate in the property-subrogation department at White and Williams LLP, was elected Treasurer; and Rachel E. Kopp, an associate in the international and domestic securities practice group at Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis, P.C., was elected Financial Secretary.
Albertine Y. DuFrayne, an associate at the Law Office of Thomas J. Petrelli, Jr., will ascend to YLD Chair from her current role as Chair-Elect. She replaces current Chair Brian S. Chacker of Gay Chacker & Mittin.
Ten candidates ran for seven open YLD Executive Committee seats at the Bar Association’s Annual Meeting and General Election on Dec. 8. The winners were: Alexandra M. Antoniou, a sole practitioner and graduate of Villanova University School of Law; Rachel E. Branson, an associate at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP and a graduate of Villanova University School of Law; Roxane Crowley, a SeniorLAW Center Borchard Fellow in Law and Aging and a graduate of Temple University Beasley of Law; Ryan G. Gatto, a judicial clerk at the Complex Litigation Center, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law; Joseph P. Guzzardo, an associate with Reger Rizzo and Darnall, LLP and a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law; Paul W. Kaufman, an assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Yale Law School; and Matthew G. Laver, a judicial law clerk for Court of Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe and a graduate of University of Maryland Law School.
All positions take effect January 1, 2010.
DuFrayne’s practice is concentrated in family law, including divorce, support and custody. Prior to joining the Law Office of Thomas J. Petrelli, Jr., DuFrayne was a staff attorney with the Homeless Advocacy Project and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ann M. Butchart of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Family Court Juvenile Division. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2001 and her law degree from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 2004. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Philadelphia VIP and an active member of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Alumni Association Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware Chapter.
Chopko practices in the areas of medical negligence and product liability. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Villanova University and spent four years as a registered nurse while on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy. She earned her law degree from Villanova University School of Law and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Chopko is also a member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice.
Gastley joined VIP in 2005 as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow, working on its homeownership (tangled title) project. Gastley now works with VIP's homeownership, mortgage foreclosure, nonprofit, and small business clients, and supervises the LawWorks paralegal and interns. She also trains and mentors VIP's volunteer attorneys and participates in community outreaches. Gastley received her B.A. in Sociology and Government from the College of William and Mary and her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe William and Mary School of Law, both in Williamsburg,
Taylor’s practice focuses primarily on criminal appellate prosecution with a varied caseload that includes homicides, assaults and economic crimes. Prior to her current position, Taylor worked as a Legislative Analyst Intern at The U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. She earned her undergraduate degree in 2001 from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. in 2005 from The George Washington University Law School. Taylor is also a member of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia and is actively involved in The West Philadelphia Child Care Network and The National Black Prosecutor's Association.
Encarnacion’s practice includes diverse matters such as insurance subrogation, commercial litigation, creditors' rights, products liability and construction defects. He received his undergraduate degree in 1996 from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. in 1999 from Villanova University, where he was the production editor of the Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. He has written articles on product tampering and accidental contamination insurance and is the primary contributor to “PhiLAWdelphia,” the YLD’s blog. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania and on the Board of Directors of Philadelphia VIP.
Kopp represents investors in securities class actions and other forums of investor protection matters. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 2000 and her law degree from Villanova University Law School in 2003. During law school, Kopp served as a legal intern with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., MTV Networks, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York. She also served as a judicial extern with the mediation program of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Kopp is currently a member of the Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court and is involved in the American and Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Divisions.
The Young Lawyers Division is made up of members of the Philadelphia Bar Association who have not yet reached their 37th birthday or who have been practicing less than three years. Its mission is to promote the interests of young lawyers, improve the quality of the legal system, provide a forum for the exchange of views among young lawyers, encourage the professional development of young lawyers through educational and service programs, participate in the growth and advancement of the legal profession, and encourage young lawyers to represent deserving clients on a pro bono basis.