On the Docket: 2/17/14

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Benjamin F. Hantz and Sean R. Keegan have joined Babst Calland as associates. Mr. Hantz, a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law, joined the business services group. His practice focuses primarily on representing clients in commercial real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, and general corporate matters. Mr. Keegan, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, joined the litigation services group. He focuses his practice on general civil litigation.

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Spilman Thomas & Battle said Victoria D. Summerfield has joined the firm as an associate. Her practice will focus on litigation within the oil and natural gas industry. Ms. Summerfield will represent and counsel exploration and production, midstream, and oilfield services companies on matters related to a wide variety of disputes in state and federal courts throughout the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions. She earned her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney announced that Gregory A. Miller will serve as its general counsel. He succeeds shareholder John Leathers, who served as the firm's general counsel for almost 10 years. Mr. Miller's practice has encompassed a range of employer counseling and employment litigation issues. In addition to co-chairing the labor and employment section, he has previously served in a number of leadership positions within the firm, and on its board. Mr. Miller received his J.D. degree from The Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

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Heather Aley Austin, counsel with Thompson Hine LLP, was named to the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, in the categories of environmental law and environmental litigation.

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Leech Tishman announced that firm partner Steven D. Irwin was elected to serve on the board of trustees of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation for the 2014-2016 term. At Leech Tishman, he chairs the firm's government relations practice group. He focuses his practice on business matters, where he interacts with government bodies and counsels high-level management, defending against or asserting allegations of fraudulent conduct. Mr. Irwin currently serves on the International Board of the North American Securities Administrators Association, where he also chairs the organization's Federal Legislation Committee.

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Brian C. Vertz, partner of family law firm Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, was appointed national chair of the Amicus Committee of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

The AAML advocates policies that promote the rights of children and families facing divorce. For more than two decades, Mr. Vertz has prosecuted and defended family law appeals in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Houston Harbaugh announced the election of three attorneys to its 2014 Executive Committee: Michael J. Dempster, Mary-Jo Rebelo and Alex W. Thomson. Mr. Dempster concentrates his practice in corporate and commercial transactions. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Ms. Rebelo concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial litigation and employment law. She received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Duquesne Law Review. Mr. Thomson concentrates his practice in the area of business law and heads its corporate department. He received his J.D. from Pitt.

In addition, firm officers were elected as follows: Alex W. Thomson as president; John M. Hartzell Jr. as treasurer; and James R. Carlisle II as secretary. Mr. Hartzell concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and estate and trust administration. He received his law degree rom Duquesne. Mr. Carlisle is the head of the firm's business owner exit planning group and a director in the corporate department. He specializes in structuring, negotiating and closing mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and reorganizations, and he serves as corporate counsel for regional, national and international privately-held companies. He received his law degree from Pitt.

On the Docket Pittsburgh appears every Monday. To propose an item, send information to Natalie Hill, On the Docket Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222; or email to nhill@post-gazette.com. Photos submitted for the print edition version of this column may be sent via email in JPEG format, 170 DPI, to photos@post-gazette.com. Photo size should be an 8- by 10-inch or 4- by 5-inch head shot at 170 dpi.


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