The Expertise of McAndrews Law Offices in Criminal Law Frequently Intersects with Other Practice Areas
At first blush, the extensive experience of several of our attorneys in criminal law might seem to have a modest connection to our work in these key practice areas. However, in our modern society, issues of criminal law unfortunately often connect closely with every area of legal practice, including those in which we specialize and have the most frequent public recognition. For example, our work in estate planning frequently overlaps with matters such as abuse of vulnerable populations, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, and other fragile individuals; in some cases, family members have issues with the criminal justice system which must be carefully considered in developing appropriate estate planning documents, guardianship petitions, and elder law plans. Our special education work on behalf of children with disabilities often involves cases where our clients are the victims of bullying, harassment, and physical assaults which require protection within the criminal justice system; in other circumstances, our clients may be involved in truancy proceedings due to a child’s inability to attend school or may have other contacts with the criminal justice system. Our work in representing individuals in university discipline matters – either victims or accused – often involve collateral activities by law enforcement which must be the subject of careful coordination and analysis during representing of these individuals in these administrative proceedings.
The background of our attorneys in the criminal justice system permits us to handle cases which intersect with this system with a broad range of experience and insights. For example, Joseph McGettigan was the First Assistant District Attorney in both Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, and is nationally known for his successful prosecutions of serial child abuser Jerry Sandusky and millionaire murderer John EleuthereDuPont. Dennis McAndrews was a Special Prosecutor in the duPont murder trial, and served for over 17 years as a prosecutor in Delaware and Philadelphia Counties. Jennifer Bradley and Michael Gehring had significant, distinguished careers as prosecutors in Pennsylvania, and many of our other attorneys have addressed criminal law matters collateral to representation of our clients in our areas of expertise.
These extensive backgrounds in the criminal justice system recently led the national news media to request daily commentary from Dennis McAndrews and Joseph McGettigan during the recent criminal prosecution of comedian, actor and entertainer Bill Cosby. Dennis and Joe were featured in such national outlets as NBC, CBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and many others, including local broadcast news outlets from Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley.
High profile cases provide extraordinary and unique challenges for all participants-defense attorneys, prosecutors, trial judges, court personnel, witnesses, the accused, and the media.
Criminal prosecutions of significant cases are always stressful for these participants, as the stakes are high, with personal liberty and individual reputations in the balance in every such case. And when public interest in a criminal case is high due to the identity of the defendant, the victim, or the nature of the crime, the glare of public view and intense media coverage place all participants in a spotlight which raises the stakes and diverts the attention of the legal participants from the tasks at hand.
At MLO, several of our attorneys have worked on exceptionally high profile cases. Most notably, Joseph McGettigan and Dennis McAndrews successfully prosecuted the wealthiest murderer in American history, John Eleuthère DuPont, and Mr. McGettigan successfully prosecuted the most notorious child abuser in American history, Jerry Sandusky. Due to the unique nature of high profile cases, the national news media has reached out to these attorneys for comment and analysis on recent cases. Just today, Dennis McAndrews was interviewed/quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, and Penn Live, and Joe McGettigan was interviewed by the Washington Post.
Both Dennis McAndrews and Joe McGettigan were featured on multiple episodes on The American Law Journal, a program on the Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV, in collaboration with The Legal Intelligencer. Full episodes can be found here:
Since its inception in 1982, McAndrews Law Offices has maintained excellent relationships with a great many members of the print and broadcast news media.
During the past 35 years, our attorneys and I have found journalists to be hard-working, insightful, and committed to providing news stories which are accurate, interesting and beneficial to the public. We have always been willing to provide journalists with the benefit of our experience and expertise in areas such as criminal justice, education law, wills and trusts, disability law, and public policy. We understand that journalists have a critical job to perform in our democratic, constitutional system, and that the work of a free press in informing the public is crucial to our national interest. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” Of course, experience is the best teacher. We have learned over the course of our professional lives that connections with the news media do not happen overnight, but like any association, attention and effort must be invested in the relationship.
Click here to finish reading about all 11 lessons we have learned in maintaining good relationships with the news media.