GREGORY P. LAMONACA, Esquire
Gregory P. (Greg) LaMonaca is the founding member of the firm, which he began in 1994, working from a spare bedroom in the first home he shared with his wife Monica. From that humble beginning, member-by-member, grew a firm comprised today of dedicated attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants utilizing a team-oriented approach to fulfill the firm’s mission. Twenty-six years on, the firm is one of largest family law firms in the area, committed to that mission of serving the needs of its clients throughout the Main Line, the state of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Mr. LaMonaca is a Cardinal O’Hara High School graduate, after which he continued his studies at West Chester University, achieving dean’s list status and graduating with cum laude honors. From there, he went on to the Widener University School of Law, concentrating his studies in trial advocacy. Mr. LaMonaca is a several-times published author, former martial arts instructor, and recipient of numerous professional awards, including:
Main Line Today magazine “Top Lawyer” designation fourteen times (often ranked #1), in the fields of divorce and custody, (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 and 2004);
Suburban Life magazine “Awesome/Top Attorney” designation eleven times (ranked #1) for family law and divorce (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010);
LexisNexis/Martindale Hubble AV Preeminent® rating (4.5-5.0), achieved in 2017 and held since then – AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment and a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence in both legal ability and ethical standards;
Daily Times “Best Lawyers” designation in the field of family law in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015;
The American Society of Legal Advocates award as one of the “Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Pennsylvania”;
Philadelphia magazine designation as a “Super Lawyer”;
Avvo.com ranking score as 10 out of 10;
Mr. LaMonaca holds membership in the American Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s family law divisions, along with his membership in many other organizations.
Besides the firm’s experience, dedicated team members, diversity, and passion for helping others, Mr. LaMonaca attributes the growth and success of the firm to his “Brutally Honest” system. The three-phase process of this system, which Mr. LaMonaca co-created with a former custody client, helps individuals assess their past and analyze their present as a way to determine current goals, and as part of creating a plan for accomplishing those goals.
Mr. LaMonaca has worked to share his wisdom and vision with others. In 2009, he co-authored a book called the Brutally Honest Life Management Journal, to empower readers to reconnect with the things that matter most in life. In that first book, he detailed his own story of overcoming a rare, debilitating medical condition. He told of going from being a competitive martial artist and power lifter to becoming almost completely paralyzed in about a month’s time, as a tumor attacked his spine. In the book, he shared a year from his personal journal, candidly describing what it was like and what it took to overcome tremendous adversity against great odds. This book, and the “Brutally Honest” process help reader to design their own compelling future and to overcome what may stand in the way of achieving that compelling future.
A follow-up book, the Brutally Honest Pennsylvania Divorce & Custody Survival Guide, was written to help readers who are mired in a divorce or custody dispute to visualize the path to a brighter future. An updated and expanded version of the book, re-titled now as the Brutally Honest Pennsylvania Divorce, Custody & Financial Survival Guide (2019), is available for free download through the firm’s website, at www.LaMonacaLaw.com.
Mr. LaMonaca added to his publishing credits early in 2019, with the release of his third book, The Brutally Honest Guide to Sur-thriving Generation Now. The book contains vital lessons that may apply to anyone looking to make a significant life change. In it, Mr. LaMonaca has shared real-life examples that have helped him in various aspects of life, ranging from personal relationships, health and career, to personal growth, finances, emotional intelligence and fostering financial literacy in children. The book will help readers put together a plan for themselves and for their families, using principles that have proven to be successful. An agreement to publish another book was reached with the publisher and should be out in 2021.
Mr. LaMonaca enjoys spending time with his wife Monica, who has been his partner for more than 38 years now, and with their two children, Alyssa& Gregory. He enjoys reading, writing, weight lifting and training in the martial arts with a variety of traditional Filipino weapons. His biggest goal is to create a lasting legacy that will long survive him.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
CHRISTOPHER CASSERLY, Esquire
Christopher Casserly joined the firm in 2013 after graduating from Villanova University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Chris received his B.A. from Providence College. Named partner in 2019, Chris has been recognized in Main Line Today Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” 2015-2020 as well as SuperLawyers “Rising Stars” in 2019 and 2020. Chris is a member of the American Bar Association Family Law Section, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Delaware County Bar Association, where he serves as Custody chair to the Family Law Section. When he’s not advocating for his clients, Chris enjoys cooking, all things Sopranos and Seinfeld-related, and being down the shore with his family and their dog, Molly.
LAWRENCE C. WELSH, Esquire
Chief Legal Counsel
A funny thing happened to Larry (Lawrence C. Welsh) on the way to his professional career in the practice of law. After graduating from college and before entering law school, he took an extended tour through the hospitality industry, working his way through both the service and business sides of hotels, restaurants and resorts in six states and the District of Columbia. Taking the business acumen and the ever-watchful attention to detail so well-honed during that experience into his lifelong passion to practice law has led Larry to his position as Chief Legal Counsel and head of the firm’s Forensic Support Team.
Before joining the firm, Larry worked in the public defender’s office, through which he added an array of advocacy skills and trial experience to his resume. Since joining the firm in 2003, Larry has handled a full range of family law issues, which he continues to do, while lending experience and direction to others in the firm, particularly where and when the resources of the Forensic Support Team are most appropriate. Larry is also licensed in New Jersey, and he leads the firm’s New Jersey team operations.
Larry is a multi-year “Top Lawyer” honoree in Main Line Today magazine, and he has been named as an “Awesome/Top Attorney” for family law and divorce in Suburban Life Magazine. Larry is an active member of the bar associations and family law sections of Delaware County, Chester County, and the state of Pennsylvania.
TERESA MALLON, Esquire
Senior Legal Counsel
Teresa has been a sole practitioner for 25 Years practicing mainly as a Family Law attorney. Just recently in September 2019, she joined LaMonaca Law so that her clients will not only have the benefit of her experience but also the wealth of knowledge and experience of the other attorneys within this Firm.
Teresa graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Masters Degree in Social Work. After working in the field as a social worker for several years, and while her now grown children were very young, Teresa went on to graduate from Widener University School of Law.
Teresa believes that her 25 years of Family Law experience weighs heavily in favor of her clients not only in the Courtroom but also in trying to settle their issues and keep them out of the Courtroom. After a quarter century of representing clients, Teresa truly understands the emotional and physical toll that Family Law issues can bring upon a person.
Here are some of Teresa’s credentials and accomplishments:
– Committee Member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
– Featured in Main Line Today Magazine
– Received the President of the Delaware County Bar Association Special Recognition Award
– Received the Service to the Section Award from the Family Law Section of the Delaware County Bar Association
– Received an Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
– Served as Chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Delaware County Bar Association.
– Board of Directors of the Delaware County Bar Association
– Admitted to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
– Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States of America
MELISSA TOWSEY RICH, Esquire
Melissa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 (Go Hoos!) with a double major in Sociology and Foreign Affairs. After working for several years as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., she attended Villanova University School of Law and graduated in 2010. During law school, Melissa was involved in several public interest organizations and published an article in Villanova’s Environmental Law Journal, “Something Stinks: The Need for Environmental Regulation of Puppy Mills,” http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus21villenvtllj159.htm, 21 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 159 (2010). After law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Thomas G. Parisi at the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. Melissa is the supervising attorney of the firm’s Appellate Unit. The Appellate Unit handles all aspects of the appellate process for family law cases as well as advanced research within the firm.
Melissa resides in Montgomery County with her husband, son and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys audiobooks, barbeques, and watching action movies.
JENNIFER LEMANOWICZ, Esquire
Jennifer attended College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, before being awarded a Merit Scholarship to Widener University School of Law. Following law school, Jennifer worked for a general practice firm where she gained experience in a variety of legal areas, including family law, non-profit law, and estate planning and administration. Jennifer joined LaMonaca Law as an associate in 2015, and concentrates her practice on matters of family law, including all aspects of divorce, support and custody proceedings. Jennifer is a whiz with a spreadsheet and is a member of the firm’s Forensic Support Team, which specializes in cases involving high value assets or complex marital estates. Jennifer is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, as well as the Montgomery County and Delaware County Bar Associations, and she was recently recognized as a “Best Lawyer” by the Delaware County Daily Times. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, going out to eat with friends, and spending time with her family.
GERRY GEBHART, Esquire
Gerry graduated from Drexel University magna cum laude with a degree in Information Systems and a minor in Business Administration. After working as a consultant in the intermodal transportation industry, Gerry enrolled in and graduated from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where he specialized in trial advocacy. Prior to joining LaMonaca Law, Gerry practiced Family Law privately while working at the Public Defender’s office. Gerry quickly gained a reputation as a savvy trial attorney, securing numerous successful trial verdicts, eventually resulting in his being elected as president of the Delaware County Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association. Gerry lives in Middletown Township where he is active in his local firehouse as both a firefighter and member of the board of directors.
BRADY B JOHNSON IV, Esquire
Brady Johnson graduated from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. After College Brady began his career in Banking, attending Law School at night. Brady received his Juris Doctorate from Widener Law School in Wilmington Delaware. Mr. Johnson focused his studies on Trial Advocacy, Child Abuse and Neglect, Counseling and Negotiations.
Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Association.
ASHLEY VALDES, Esquire
Having been raised in a true “modern family”, Ashley Valdes is well versed in difficult family dynamics. She understands that families, and particularly children, will not only survive a separation or divorce, but can thrive afterward. Her personal and professional experience enables her to better understand clients’ needs and challenges.
After attending law school in Florida, Ashley returned to Delaware County to serve the community that helped raise her. She began her career in civil and criminal litigation before practicing family law exclusively, which helped her to approach each case with a creative and effective solution.
Ashley is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and she is an active member of the Delaware County Bar Association.
Ashley resides in Delaware County with her husband, two sons, and two rescue dogs. She is an avid Philadelphia sports fan. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, listening to podcasts, and traveling.
KRISTY L. PANELLA,
Practice Manager & Lead Paralegal
Kristy grew up in Delaware County, where she currently resides with her husband and two children. She began working for LaMonaca Law as a paralegal in June of 2000, when the firm consisted of only three members: firm owner, Gregory LaMonaca, Monica LaMonaca, and Kristy. Since that time, the firm has continued to grow into one of the largest family law firms in Delaware County. During her 21 years at the firm, Kristy has utilized her extensive skills to assist the team members at LaMonaca Law, in her position as Practice Manager and Lead Paralegal, serving each of our clients with dignity, empathy, compassion and excellence.
Christina Avella joined the firm in 2014, where she has continued to assist the firm in their family law practice. Christina grew up in Brookhaven where she attended Sun Valley High School. She continues to reside in Delaware County with her husband and two children.
Christina graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a BA in Criminal Justice and later went on to obtain her paralegal certificate in 2013 through Delaware County Community College. Since 2014, Christina has continued to excel in her career at LaMonaca Law, and has contributed to the company’s growth and productivity.
Christina has a large, close knit family, with whom she spends most of her time outside of work. The bonds she shares with her family have helped Christina excel at LaMonaca Law, as she understands how important family is, and through that, she is able to empathize with the issues our clients face, which allows her to be a strong advocate for them.
Marketing & Branding Manager
Alyssa was born and raised in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management accompanying a Minor in Finance. She has achieved the rank of third degree black belt, taught in her Martial Art School’s SWAT (Special Winning Attitude Team) program and was a member of their elite Demonstration Team, who won the World Championship in 2014.Ms. LaMonaca has been working at LaMonaca Law full time officially since 2014, however she has been involved in many aspects of the firm for many years prior. She currently is attending Law School, at Widener University Delaware Law School, to pursue her Law Degree and further expand her role(s) within the Firm. She currently is a strong contributor to the Firm’s Marketing, Branding and Social Media Department.
PATRICK J. DEMPSEY, JR
Operations Manager/Legal Assistant
Patrick grew up in Broomall, Pennsylvania and now living in Chester County with his wife, daughter and 2 cats, Little Bear and Hooper. After high school, Patrick attended St. John’s University before transferring to Eastern University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. While at both universities, he was a member of the Men’s Lacrosse team as well as being captain while attending Eastern University. Patrick began working for LaMonaca Law in May of 2011 and assists Greg and the entire team. As Operations Manager, Patrick makes sure all the systems and procedures are operating at full capacity, and coordinates any new systems with the entire team.
Outside the office, Patrick enjoys spending time with his family, working on house projects, traveling with his family, watching sporting events, documentaries, movies and Shark Week. A few items on his bucket list are visiting the Georgia Aquarium, cage diving in the Galapagos or South Africa, and purchasing a “vacation” home in Ireland or New Hampshire.
Ms. Wallace was born and raised in Delaware County and attended Delaware County Community College. Pat started her career working for a law firm in Philadelphia and through the years has worked in the non-profit, banking and healthcare fields, to name a few.
Pat’s brings her pleasant and caring nature to our front desk staff. Pat is a proud member of the LaMonaca Law family since 2014.
Theresa grew up in Delaware County and is a proud graduate of Archbishop Prendergast High School. She began working as a legal assistant in 2000 for law firms located within Media Borough. She has known Gregory P. LaMonaca as a friend and colleague since beginning her career in the legal field and joined the LaMonaca Law Team in 2018. Theresa is passionate about the needs of our clients and works with the team members to bring each client the results they need and deserve.
Shayne was born and raised in Newtown Square, Delaware County and is a graduate of Marple Newtown Senior High School and Penn State College. She began working as a legal assistant while in college and fell in love with the legal field. Shayne has worked for law firms located within Media Borough and has been Teresa A. Mallon’s right hand for over seven years. Shayne has also been a Pennsylvania Notary Public since 2005.
MONICA A. LAMONACA
Mrs. LaMonaca was born and raised in Delaware County, Pennsylvania being one of 11 brothers and sisters. A graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School, she continued her studies at West Chester University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Thereafter, she continued her education by attending Widener University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Reading. Mrs. LaMonaca has been affiliated with the firm since its inception in 1994 while also teaching reading to countless students in the Delaware County area
Mrs. LaMonaca developed her strong work ethic early in life as she helped her Father prepare tax returns while often going into work with her Mother, a head ob-gyn nurse. Coming from a twin home in Clifton Heights, she learned early how to work with others to achieve results, to always have respect for others and live life with passion. Along with her husband, and founder of the Firm, Gregory LaMonaca, they both worked through high school, drove together to West Chester University, heading directly to work afterwards. They are the parents of two children, Alyssa and Gregory and enjoy quiet time together along with their two Dobermans Lady and Ruby.
Asked about what her greatest joys are, without hesitation, she says “To be the best Mother and Wife I can be, and to see the smiling faces on a young child’s face as they discover the joy of reading for the first time.”
GREGORY J. LAMONACA
Gregory attends Purdue University, where he is studying engineering. He has been a member of the LaMonaca Law team for almost 2 years now, working as a part-time legal assistant. Gregory is a third degree black belt, teaches in his school SWAT (Special Winning Attitude Team) program while home from school, and is a member of their elite demonstration team, which won the World Championship in 2014.
CHRISTOPHER R. MATTOX
Mr. Mattox, graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University were he graduated magna cum laude in 1992. He received a Dean’s scholar scholarship to attend the Widener University School of Law. Mr. Mattox then received a Masters in Law from Temple University in Trial Advocacy in 1999.
Mr. Mattox was re-elected to serve a six-year term as a District Judge in Upper Darby which commenced January 2, 2010. Mr. Mattox primarily handles personal injury and family law matters within the firm, with a special interest in litigation. Mr. Mattox is a licensed member of the Pa. Bar Association. He is a member in good standing of The Eastern District of Pennsylvania, The Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals and The Supreme Court of the United States.
JOSEPH MICHAEL LAMONACA
Mr. LaMonaca is “Of Counsel” to the firm. In addition, Mr. LaMonaca has represented individuals in the area of Domestic Relations, and specializes in representing individuals in aviation law throughout the country, and abroad, in actions involving pilot f.a.a certificate actions, f.a.a civil penalty actions, medical certificate actions, n.t.s.b. hearings and appeals, united states court of appeals matters, dui, alcohol and drug related aviation matters, aviation accident and incident matters and investigation, flight department/pilot consultation, aviation insurance related matters, aviation employment related matters, f.b.o. representation, airline representation and defense, aircraft owner and pilot association panel lawyer matters, and aviation law seminars/pilot practical legal seminars.
LAUREN A. STEVENS, Esquire
Lauren Stevens joined the firm in March, 2009. She is a 1980 graduate from the University of Delaware with a BA degree in Criminal Justice and a 1984 graduate from The Widener University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Delaware County Bar Association. Lauren began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office where she gained valuable trial experience. Lauren later became an associate with a Philadelphia Law Firm where her practice focused primarily on insurance defense litigation matters including motor vehicle, products liability, medical malpractice and medical device mass tort litigation. In 1995, Lauren became an owner/partner in the law firm of Stevens and Witmer, P.C. where her practice focused primarily on family law, landlord tenant, real estate, personal injury and criminal matters.
CAROL A. MCDONALD, Esquire
Carol McDonald joined the firm in 2006. She graduated magna cum laude from Rosemont College and then received her Juris Doctorate degree from Villanova University School of Law. She was licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and had also passed the bar exam in New Jersey. Carol was a member of the Pennsylvania and Delaware County Bar Associations. Professionally, Carol has practiced both civil and criminal law. In 2001 she joined the Legal Department at the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County (DAP) and served as the Director of the Legal Department for over 3 years. In her capacity at DAP, Carol represented thousands of victims of domestic abuse. At LaMonaca Law, Carol focused her efforts exclusively in the area of family law during her entire tenure here at LaMonaca Law. Carol was an outstanding advocate for all of her clients, as well as an outstanding team member. Carol retired in 2017 and will forever remain a valued member of LaMonaca Law.
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