News & Notes

Joe Walsh Appointed to the Federal Bar Association’s Access to Justice Task Force

October 2020

The Honorable Joseph P. Walsh was recently appointed as a member of the Access to Justice Task Force by W. West Allen, President of the Federal Bar Association.

Joe Walsh will serve for a term ending September 30, 2021.

The focus of the task force will examine ways in which the Federal Bar Association can increase access to justice in the federal courts for all litigants.

The task force was created by the Honorable Michael J. Newman in 2017. “Access to justice, put simply, means that all litigants have equal access to the federal courts, and that barriers to such access are removed,” said Judge Newman when he announced the task force.

Joe Walsh is grateful to have been selected by the President Allen and looks forward to working with all members of the Committee.

Walsh Pancio Attorneys Participate in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee’s Annual Diversity Summit

On October 7, 2020, Walsh Pancio LLC was honored to participate in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee’s annual diversity summit. For the first time, the PBA/MBC partnered with the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) to deliver a virtual day of programming dedicated to collaborative and innovative methods of promoting diversity within the profession of law and in society as a whole. The Honorable Joseph P Walsh was privileged to be a panelist in the session during the Summit entitled “Tough Talks and Crucial Action,” a series of three, candid, TED-style talks exploring the responsibilities and challenges associated with advancing diversity, equity and inclusion from a variety of perspectives. Judge Walsh, alongside his wife, Nancy O’Connor Walsh of tbdNOW, LLC, spoke of their individual and shared experiences as diversity allies both through the MBA and in their community. The panel was very well-received and appreciated by a number of attendees. Several firm attorneys also assisted as small group facilitators after Joe and Nancy’s panel. We will update this page if pictures, video, or links from the Summit become available for further viewing. Walsh Pancio congratulates the PBA/MBC and MBA on an interesting, important, and insightful programming and thanks all for the privilege of participating!

Joe Walsh Obtains Defense Verdict in Bucks County

We are very excited to announce that the Honorable Joseph P Walsh recently achieved a directed verdict in favor of his client following jury selection in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County. This was one of the first jury trials held in Bucks County following the courthouse re-opening after closing due to COVID-19. Joe successfully argued that his client, a snow removal contractor, had no liability to a plaintiff who claimed to have slipped and fallen in a parking lot. Through effective cross examination and impeachment, the Plaintiff admitted that our client had done its job properly and within the applicable standard of care at all times. At the conclusion of the evidence, the trial judge granted Joe’s motion for a directed verdict, finding that the jury could not find that the client was negligent on the evidence presented during trial.

LAWSUIT FILED BY CONSTITUENTS AGAINST MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOE GALE OVER BLOCKING SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS SETTLED

We are very pleased to have achieved a tremendous result for our clients in their ongoing lawsuit against Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph C. Gale in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Following months of litigation and settlement negotiations, Commissioner Gale agreed to immediately cease blocking individuals from following his social media accounts, and further agreed to immediately cease deleting comments that he solely finds unfavorable made to those accounts.

The agreement, signed by all parties, was approved in an order signed by the Honorable Timothy J. Savage of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The order is nothing less than a thorough victory for our courageous clients, who achieved each of their desired outcomes in this litigation and ensured that their Constitutional rights–and those of Commissioner Gale’s constituents and followers everywhere–will be honored.

Walsh Pancio is proud to stand with our clients to have protected the First Amendment. Walsh Pancio is privileged to have worked with Mudrick & Zucker, P.C. in Blue Bell and the Philip Press Law Office in Norristown in the prosecution of this case.

See article from Pottstown Mercury for more.

Joe Walsh Selected by the President Judge to Serve on Jury Trial Committee for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas

August 2020

The Honorable Joseph P. Walsh is honored to have been selected by the Honorable Thomas DelRicci, President Judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, to serve on the ad hoc Jury Trial Committee.

The Jury Trial Committee has been tasked with developing Jury Trial protocols for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas so that this vital Court function can resume during these precarious times as the threat of COVID-19 persists.

Safety is priority in Montgomery County. The Committee will formulate and implement protocols to ensure the safety of the jurors, witnesses, courthouse staff, attorneys, and presiding judges while at the same time allowing litigants to have their day in court.

Judge DelRicci selected Joe Walsh to serve on the Jury Trial Committee along with a group of Montgomery County Judges, Court Administration, the District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Public Defender, and Jury Marshalling.

Joe Walsh is grateful to have been selected by the President Judge and looks forward to working with all members of the Committee.

Lawsuit Filed by Constituents Against Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale Over Blocking Social Media Posts

July 2020

On June 29, 2020, on behalf of seven (7) individual constituents and one (1) local business, Walsh Pancio along with the firms Mudrick & Zucker, and Philip Press Law Office filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale over blocking social media posts.

While there have been similar suits in other jurisdictions in recent years against President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for blocking people on Twitter from seeing their accounts, this is the first case of its kind in Pennsylvania.

The suit requests injunctive relief requiring Commissioner Gale to unblock Plaintiffs and restore access to each his public social media accounts; to immediately cease deleting, excising, or disposing of comments or content uploaded to his public social media accounts; and an Order declaring that his conduct in blocking social media posts violates the First Amended to the United States Constitution and/or Article I Section 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction filed June 29, 2020 is waiting for a hearing to be scheduled by Federal Judge Timothy Savage of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“If Commissioner Gale chooses to engage in speech on his various social media platforms, all of which are so intertwined with his persona as a public actor, he cannot then supplant the voice of those who wish to post a contrary viewpoint, nor can he deny others the opportunity to experience the full panoply of ideas in this digital public square,” Attorney Joseph P. Walsh said. “He cannot censor the Vox Populi.”

“Commissioner Gale has the right under the First Amendment to say whatever he wishes to say, no matter how abhorrent the viewpoint might be,” Attorney Michael J. Lyon added.  “Our clients simply request that he extend them the same right that they are entitled to under the First Amendment as well.”

Any inquires, please contact Attorney Michael J. Lyon of Walsh Pancio, LLC.

Recent News Articles on the Suit

Joe Walsh Appointed as Solicitor to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and to the Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority

February 2020

The Honorable Joseph P. Walsh and the firm are honored to have been recently named as solicitor to the Montgomery County Sheriff and separately was named as solicitor to the Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority. Joe and the firm will counsel both organizations with respect to a wide variety of legal matters and issues.

For the Sheriff, the firm looks forward to assisting the office in organizing and conducting the monthly Sheriff’s sales held in the Montgomery County Courthouse, and in reference to a number of permitting, service, and regulatory issues that regularly arise in the office’s daily operations.

For the MTMSA, the firm will advise on matters of personnel, real estate, employment, litigation, and various other issues that arise within the Authority’s purview.

We are grateful to have been appointed to these positions and look forward to our partnerships with these great organizations.

Walsh Pancio Attorneys Elected and Appointed to Leadership Roles within the Montgomery Bar Association

January 2020

Walsh Pancio attorneys are proud to be active and involved members of the Montgomery Bar Association, the pre-eminent association of attorneys in Montgomery County. Continuing the firm’s proud tradition, we are thrilled to announce that our attorneys have been elected and appointed to a number of positions within the MBA for 2020:

– The Honorable Joseph P Walsh, a former President of the MBA’s Trial Lawyers’ Section, has been re-appointed as the Chair of the MBA’s Pro Bono Committee and as Co-Chair of the Government Relations Committee.

Bruce Pancio, past President of the MBA and former chair of the Nominating Committee, has been re-appointed to the MBA’s prestigious Judiciary Committee, Bench Bar Committee, and will serve on its Council of Past Presidents.

Mike Lyon completed his term as Young Lawyers’ Section Chair and was elected to a three year term on the MBA’s Board of Directors. He was also appointed as an officer of the Law Reporter Committee and was selected as a member of the MBA’s initial Leadership Academy 2.0 edition.

Chelsea Dearden was re-appointed to the Steering Committee of the MBA’s active and growing Women in the Law Committee, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 2020. She was also named the Young Lawyers’ Section liaison to the MBA’s Diversity Committee.

Jason Edwards was named the Young Lawyers’ Section liaison to the Membership Committee. He was also appointed to the MBA’s award winning Solo/Small Practice Committee, Criminal Defense Committee, and Rules of Civil Court Committee.

All Walsh Pancio attorneys will also continue to be active members of the MBA’s Trial Lawyers’ Section.

The firm is thankful for the opportunity for its attorneys to take active roles within the MBA and looks forward to a great year!

Walsh Pancio is a Proud Participant in the Montgomery Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section’s Winter Food Drive

December 2019

Consistent with the firm’s dedication to its community and proud history of service, Walsh Pancio was proud to assist the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Montgomery Bar Association in their winter food drive to benefit Manna on Main Street in Lansdale. Together with a number of firms, professionals, individuals, and other organizations, our attorneys and staff pitched in to make a substantial donation of non-perishable food, toiletries, and essential items. This in turn will benefit Manna’s outreach to hundreds of in-need individuals and families in the North Penn area, where Walsh Pancio is also proud to call home.

Attorneys Mike Lyon and Jason Edwards were honored to assist YLS Community Outreach Director and firm friend Tim Knowles in delivering the full allotment of items for donation to Manna on December 20, 2019.

Joe Walsh Appointed to Access to Justice Task Force for the Federal Bar Association

October 2019

In October, the Honorable Joseph Walsh was appointed to the newly formed Access to Justice Task Force of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). The task force is composed of a group of attorneys, judges, and other members of the legal profession who will work to promote justice throughout the federal courts and system. In addition to serving on the FBA’s task force, Joe will continue to serve as the proud chair of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee.

The attorneys at Walsh Pancio remain committed to serving their communities in order to ensure that justice is dispensed efficiently, effectively, and with the utmost equality.

Joe Walsh Presents Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminar on Closing Argument for the Trial Lawyers’ Section of the Montgomery Bar Association

September 2019

On September 18, 2019, the Honorable Joseph P Walsh served as a panelist for a special presentation and continuing legal education (CLE) seminar for the Montgomery Bar Association‘s (MBA) Trial Lawyers Section. Judge Walsh, along with fellow MBA member and Lansdale attorney Marc Steinberg, Esq., presented a comprehensive discussion of tips, strategies, and procedures to use (and not to use) during closing argument in civil and criminal trials.

Walsh Pancio is proud of its long partnership with the MBA, and Judge Walsh, as a past President of the Trial Lawyers’ Section, was particularly excited to have been asked to be a panelist for this panel. The presentation was extremely well-attended.

The program has now been available by the MBA for online CLE credit and download. A link to preview Joe’s presentation, and to purchase it for CLE credit, is here.

Joe Walsh Obtains Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case in Bucks County

May 2019

Following a multi-day trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, the Honorable Joseph P. Walsh obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of his clients, homeowners who were hosting a Memorial Day party for their neighbors and friends. The Plaintiff alleged that she had tripped and fallen over a wooden ramp that Joe’s clients had installed after the father of one of his clients had become confined to a wheelchair and needed access to the house. The Plaintiff alleged that she was permanently disabled as a result of the alleged fall. Through cross examination of the Plaintiff, direct examination of his own clients, and expert witness testimony and reports, Joe convinced the twelve person jury that his clients had not acted negligently in the design, implementation, or construction of the ramp. The jury returned a unanimous verdict on behalf of Joe’s clients.

Summary Judgment granted in breach of contract case in Montgomery County on behalf of Local Township

April 2019

The Honorable Joseph P. Walsh and Jason Edwards obtained summary judgment resulting in the dismissal with prejudice of a breach of contract suit filed in Montgomery County against a local Township. Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim against the Township was based upon allegations that Township supervisors violated a Confidentiality provision in a Separation Agreement between Plaintiff and the Township. Plaintiff sought damages exceeding $50,000. Although both parties filed motions seeking judgment in their favor, Joe and Jason argued that the Plaintiff had failed to establish harm to his reputation and that his alleged damages were speculative.  The Court agreed with Joe and Jason’s arguments, and dismissed Plaintiff’s case with prejudice.

Joe Walsh Obtains Defense verdict in Bucks County

October 2018

The Honorable Joseph P. Walsh obtained a defense verdict after a multi-day trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County.  The plaintiff alleged that she sustained serious and permanent personal injuries after falling into a retention basin bordering the defendant’s property.  Joe convinced the jury that his clients had not acted in a negligent manner, and that the Plaintiff had trespassed on to his clients’ property prior to being injured.  The jury returned a full defense verdict in favor of Joe’s clients, which the plaintiff has not chosen to appeal.

Joe Walsh is appointed as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA)

September 2018

In September of 2018, the Honorable Joseph P. Walsh successfully completed training and study to become a certified arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA).  The AAA is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of dispute resolution services to litigants who elect to use its out-of-court processes.  The process of becoming an arbitrator involved several days and hours of training, lessons, and interpersonal activities and events.  Having been certified, Joe will hear and decide commercial, construction, and consumer matters that arise under the jurisdiction of AAA, or that parties elect to submit to AAA.

Walsh Pancio, LLC Attorneys at Law

2028 N. Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446  |  Phone: 215-368-8660  |  Fax: 215-368-7990

info@walshpancio.com