Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2014

BAR ASSOCIATIONS ELECT ‘HURST ALUMS Two classmates from the Mercyhurst Class of 1983 will head bar associations on opposite sides of Pennsylvania in 2015. Richard Lanzillo, Esq., will step up to the presidency of the Erie County Bar Association, while Bruce Pancio, Esq., will lead the Montgomery Bar Association outside Philadelphia. Bruce was a criminal justice major expecting to work in parole or probation before shifting his sights to the law. He says Barry Grossman’s Constitutional Law was the most interesting class he ever took, and helped nudge him toward new goals. After graduating from the Villanova School of Law, he accepted his frst job with a Philadelphia law fr m specializing in insurance defense work. He remained in that feld through several jobs before deciding to open his own fr m. With partner Joseph Walsh, Esq., he launched Walsh Pancio, LLC in 2007 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The fr m focuses its practice on civil litigation with a heavy concentration on representing defendants in personal injury cases as well as builders in construction defect cases. Since its formation, one of the fr m’s clients has been the Erie Insurance Group. The fr m has expanded its practice to the entire eastern half of Pennsylvania and hired two associates and several paralegals to serve their clients. He’s personally handled thousands of civil cases, trying more than 70 to jury verdicts. He’s been admitted to practice before a variety of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Bruce has long been active with the Montgomery Bar Association, which provides continuing education for its members, represents the interests of lawyers to the legislature, and organizes regular gatherings of lawyers in dif erent specialties to share news and concerns. In 2009, he headed one of its largest sections as the president of the Trial Lawyers Section. He presently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the association. He’s also active with the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, having served on its board since 2011 and as a volunteer for many years prior. The organization is composed of lawyers who volunteer their time to represent the interests of children involved in litigation – to make sure the child has a voice in matters ranging from protection from abuse cases to testifying as a witness in a criminal case. Bruce and his wife, Linda, have three children: Lauren and Jim, who are following in dad’s footsteps as frst -year law students at Drexel University and Temple University, respectively, and Danielle, a junior at Temple University.

In addition to his Erie County Bar Association role, Rich Lanzillo is now co-chairing the committee searching for Mercyhurst’s 12 th president. He’s served on the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees since 2003 and as its vice chair since 2007. He made his mark at Mercyhurst even earlier, during his student years, winning back-to- back terms as student government president and earning the coveted Carpe Diem Award at graduation. After graduating from Mercyhurst with a major in history and minor in business, Rich enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as a law review editor and earned his Juris Doctorate degree summa cum laude in 1987. Today Rich is a shareholder with the law fr m of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C., headquartered in Erie. He handles complex commercial, employment and civil rights litigation and appellate work and has successfully litigated several precedent- setting cases in state and federal courts. Rich has held a variety of ofc es within the Erie County Bar Association, most recently vice president, and is actively involved in several other professional and charitable organizations. Rich and his wife, Jo-Ann Israel Lanzillo ’ 86, have two daughters, Amanda, a graduate of Georgetown University, and Eliza, a junior at Brown University.


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