Our Firm
Our firm is built on a foundation of academic excellence, practical experience, and most importantly, hard work. We have lawyers at DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli who are consistently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and as Pennsylvania "Super Lawyers", honors received by only top attorneys based on the recommendations of their peers.

Our lawyers have a wealth of valuable legal experience and we complement each other well. Walter DeForest and Jackie Koscelnik formed the firm in Pittsburgh in 1994, following careers at Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. While continuing to represent a number of clients, Mr. DeForest and Ms. Koscelnik served, respectively, as outside general counsel and associate general counsel to Carnegie Mellon University from 1993 through 2002. George Yokitis and Mindy Shreve are nationally recognized litigators who previously headed the Pittsburgh office of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis from 1994 to 2001. David Berardinelli began his legal career at our firm after graduating Harvard Law School in 1996. Mr. Berardinelli served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York from 2000 to 2005, after which he returned to the firm and has become a partner who is well-seasoned in jury trials and white collar crime defense. In August 2012, Marie DeForest opened the firm's New York office after practicing with the litigation firm Conrad O'Brien in Philadelphia. Patricia Marley, who was previously General Counsel of Magee Womens Hospital from 1995 through 2006, is a well-versed health law attorney and actively represents clients in this area.

At DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli, we believe that all clients are entitled to personal attention and outstanding service for reasonable fees. We pride ourselves on our diligence and accessibility and are generally available to our clients around the clock.

Your inquiries are welcomed. We will gladly provide additional information about our firm as well as appropriate client references.

Awards & Recognitions

Our attorneys are continually recognized from peer review organizations for being among the best in their respective areas of practice. This list includes some of the most recent awards and recognitions.

Best Lawyers

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

These attorneys from DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli have been recently recognized by Best Lawyers:

Walter P. DeForest

  • Best Lawyers' 2014 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Best Lawyers' 2015 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Litigation - First Amendment
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Individuals, Employment Law - Management, First Amendment Law, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - First Amendment, Litigation - Labor and Employment, and Media Law

Jacqueline A. Koscelnik

  • Best Lawyers' 2014 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law - Management
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in the area of Labor Law - Management

David J. Berardinelli

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Commercial Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense

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SuperLawyers® is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

The following DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli attorneys have been repeatedly recognized by SuperLawyers®:

WALTER P. DEFOREST

DAVID J. BERARDINELLI

GEORGE E. YOKITIS

Martindale-Hubbell
Peer Review Ratings

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

All of the following DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli attorneys have received the highest rating of AV® Preeminent™:

WALTER P. DEFOREST

JACQUELINE A. KOSCELNIK

DAVID J. BERARDINELLI

GEORGE E. YOKITIS

MINDY J. SHREVE

PATRICIA J. MARLEY

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

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