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Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL)

About the PACDL


  • Founded: 1988
  • Focus: Criminal Defense
  • Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Website: www.pacdl.org
  • President: Peter E. Kratsa
  • Executive Director: Beth Winters

Mission and History

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) was established in 1988 to provide a more credible and cohesive voice for attorneys in Pennsylvania practicing criminal defense. Today the organization has more than 600 members. It serves to protect the rights of those accused of crimes by creating a strong defense bar. 

PACDL is open to Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases in both state and federal court, as well as law students who are enrolled in law school. Judges and prosecutors are not eligible to join or remain in PACDL.

Many attorneys also belong to county legal association such as the Delaware County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (DCACDL)



Board of Directors

Peter E Kratsa
West Chester, PA
Patrick Aloysius Casey
Vice President, Middle District
Scranton, PA
Laurel Gift
Laurel Gift
Vice President, Western District
Pittsburgh, PA

Past Presidents

Joseph M. Cosgrove
Joseph M. Cosgrove
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Alan Jay Josel Advocacy Award Recipients

Presented to a member in recognition of extraordinary advocacy in one or more cases, causes or issues during the previous year. The award recipient is selected by the President after consultation with the association officers.   

Christopher R Hall
Philadelphia, PA
Justin Danilewitz
Justin Danilewitz
Philadelphia, PA
Brian J Mcmonagle
Philadelphia, PA

PACDL Members Active on Lawyer Legion

Christopher D. Mandracchia
Conshohocken, PA
View Profile · Visit Website
Michael Worgul
Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
View Profile · Visit Website
Justin James McShane
The McShane Firm, LLC
Harrisburg, PA
View Profile
Brian Vincent Manchester
Manchester & Associates
Bellefonte, PA
View Profile
Jason G Donoghue
Donoghue & Picker, LLC.
Norristown, PA
View Profile
Leonard G Ambrose III
Ambrose Law Firm
Erie, PA
View Profile

Contact the PACDL

Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL)
115 State Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Office: (717) 234-7403
Fax: (717) 234-7462

More about PACDL

Benefits of Membership

Benefits of joining the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) include:

  • Inclusion in the PACDL membership directory, which is searchable and open to the public;
  • Networking opportunities with other criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania;
  • Personalized certificate of membership;
  • Access to a brief and motion bank;
  • Protection from the PACDL Strike Force for members unfairly threatened while zealously representing a client;
  • Assistance from the Amicus Committee for attorneys with an important appellate issue;
  • Discounts on Certified Legal Education (CLE) seminar fees;
  • Receiving a bi-monthly copy of the PACDL newsletter, "Liberty Watch;"
  • Access to the PACDL Listserv which connects the members and allows them to ask questions and share information;
  • Access to LibertyWatch Online, the electronic version of the newsletter; and
  • Copy of the PACDL handbook.

Directory of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Lawyer Legion maintains a statewide directory of criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania which includes both PACDL members and non-members. To help the public find the best choices when searching for a criminal defense attorney, Lawyer Legion recognizes attorneys for their involvement and leadership within the PACDL and other professional associations. This includes recognition for PACDL members who have updated their Lawyer Legion profile to include information about their involvement with the PACDL.

Use this directory to find a Pennsylvania lawyer in your local area. Start by choosing your county from the list below.

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