Erica L. Laughlin

P:(412) 281-5423   or   (724) 836-5423
F:(412) 281-8264


Erica L. Laughlin, a Shareholder of Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky, has a civil litigation practice in state and federal courts. Known for her energy, attention and dedication to her clients and their needs, Ms. Laughlin has successfully represented individuals and businesses in commercial disputes and civil matters, including personal injury, premises liability, professional malpractice, insurance defense, civil rights defense, construction and municipal law claims.

Ms. Laughlin joined the firm in 2004, became a director in 2012 and a shareholder in 2017.  She serves as chair of the firm’s Business Development and Marketing Committee.  Ms. Laughlin enjoys the diversity in her practice and believes the firm provides its clients with both outstanding representation and personal attention that fosters lasting relationships.  SMGG’s team approach and investment in its clients and attorneys is what has kept her at the firm for the duration of her legal career.

Ms. Laughlin credits the successes she achieves for her clients to her rich background in litigation, but prides herself in her focus towards helping her clients achieve cost-efficient favorable outcomes and creative solutions outside of the courtroom.  Ms. Laughlin regularly provides preventative counseling and advises her clients on risk avoidance in an effort to limit their exposure to litigation.

Outside of the courtroom, Ms. Laughlin is passionate about travel and the arts. An avid runner, she has completed over 15 half-marathons and two triathlons.

A native of North Huntingdon in Westmoreland County, Ms. Laughlin lives in Pine Richland School District, with her husband Nick and their young daughters Ella and Tessa.

Experience and Representative Matters

Ms. Laughlin has had a varied and diverse civil practice. Some of her more noteworthy matters and areas of experience include:

  • Successful resolution of a multi-million dollar dispute among board members and a lending institution related to a prominent hotel chain

  • Experience litigating a multi-million dollar dispute among board members related to investment in a technology start-up company

  • Achieved dismissal of claim in a multi-million dollar dispute involving a major coal company

  • Successful resolution of multi-million dollar personal injury claim involving neurological injuries

  • Successful resolution of professional malpractice claim related to the purchase of oil and gas rights

  • Experience with health law litigation regarding calculation of productivity incentive compensation for a major hospital

  • Favorable resolution in multi-faceted dispute among partners of a prominent dentistry practice

  • Favorable resolution of dispute between competing financial brokerage firms

  • Successful litigation of non-compete clause claims

  • Successfully defended several local restaurants and bars in premises liability and personal injury claims

  • Experience with matters involving the Right to Know Act and major local news outlets

  • Experience litigating claims before the Office of Open Records

  • Experience with defamation claims involving both individuals and competing businesses

  • Experience in breach of contract litigation between general and subcontractors

  • Experience with claims involving the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act

  • Has experience successfully litigating matters relating to government contracts involving both PennDOT and the Port Authority of Allegheny County

  • Successfully litigated civil rights claims on behalf of several local municipalities

  • Successfully litigated premises liability and property damage claims on behalf of several local municipalities

  • Successfully handled numerous matters for several insurance pools and insurance companies

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
    • Women in the Law Division Council (2014 – Present)
      • Chair (2018)
      • Finance Committee (2017-present)
    • Bench Bar Planning Committee (2011 – Present)
      • Chair (2017)
      • Vice Chair (2016)
    • Nominating Committee (2016)
    • Civil Litigation Section Council (2015 – Present)
    • Young Lawyer Fellow (2014 – Present)
    • Young Lawyers Division Council (2013 – 2015)
    • Bar Leadership Initiative Class (2012 – 2013)
  • Westmoreland County Bar Association
  • Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce
  • American Inns of Court, Amy Reynolds Hay Chapter (2011-2015)
    • Group Leader (2013 – 2015)
  • American Inns of Court, Ned J. Nakles Chapter (2013-2015)
  • American Association for Justice (2004-2015)

Community Activities

  • Lector at St. Kilian Catholic Church, Cranberry Twp., PA
  • Founding Board Member of Expressions in Harmony, providing support and services to women and children in need

From Our Blog

Recognition & Awards

  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star 2013-2019
  • The Legal Intelligencer 2016 Lawyer on the Fast Track


  • J.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2004
    • John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate
    • Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition Quarter-Finalist, Fall 2003
    • Appellate Moot Court Competition Quarter-Finalist, Fall 2002-Spring 2003
    • Institute for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) award for achieving the highest grade in trial advocacy, Spring 2003
  • B.A., magna cum laude, journalism and psychology, Duquesne University, 2001


  • Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 2004
  • Third Circuit, 2016