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Board chair Rich Lanzillo named Magistrate Judge

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Mercyhurst University Board Chair Richard A. Lanzillo has been appointed Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, seated in Erie. Lanzillo replaces Susan Paradise Baxter, who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a U.S. District Judge for western Pennsylvania.

“We are extremely proud of Rich,” said Mercyhurst President Michael T. Victor. “He is a thoroughly good man who has served his profession and our university with distinction. He is hard working, reliable and honest – a man known for excellence in his work and understanding in his dealings with people from all walks of life.”

Chief U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers announced Lanzillo’s appointment Sept. 6, the culmination of a broad search process that began in 2016. He will be sworn in Sept. 24 and immediately begin his duties.  A formal investiture ceremony will be scheduled at a later date. 

In response to his selection, Lanzillo said, “I am honored to be appointed to serve as a U.S. Magistrate Judge. While it has been a privilege to practice law and advocate for my clients, I have always considered judicial service to be the highest calling of the profession and one where I can further pursue my commitment to equal justice under the law.”

Lanzillo earned his undergraduate degree from Mercyhurst University in 1983 and his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1987, where he graduated summa cum laude and was a member of the Order of the Coif.  He is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated and included in The Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation). He has extensive experience in complex commercial, employment and civil rights litigation and appellate practice, and has served as a mediator and neutral evaluator in the Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.  He has lectured extensively on state and federal trial and appellate practice, as well as municipal, labor and commercial law topics. 

Lanzillo is a shareholder of the Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. law firm and also serves as its vice president. His last day on the job at Knox Law is Friday, Sept. 21.