Joseph R. Lawrence

Of Counsel
P:(412) 281-5423
F:(412) 281-8264
E:jlawrence@smgglaw.com

Biography

Joseph R. Lawrence is a long-standing member of the Strassburger, McKenna, Gutnick & Gefsky team, having served on the Firm’s Executive Committee, as well as one of its Managing Partners. Mr. Lawrence’s expertise is in media, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and construction industries.

Mr. Lawrence is certified by The American Board of Certification as a Creditors’ Rights Specialist. In this capacity he helps financial institutions recover and manage troubled assets. He has vast experience with restructurings, workouts, bankruptcies, lender liability defense, regulatory matters, loan documentation, real estate transactions, mortgage foreclosures and asset recovery. Drawing from this experience, Mr. Lawrence has served as outside counsel for the federal government in workouts, real estate matters and foreclosures involving the Resolution Trust Corporation, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Agriculture.

In his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Lawrence represents plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts. He also represents commercial clients, including a large national coatings manufacturer, in collections and bond litigation. Landowners often retain Mr. Lawrence to represent them in oil and gas leasing disputes. Mr. Lawrence is a licensed title insurance agent and represents buyers, sellers, lenders and developers in real estate transactions.

Mr. Lawrence has delivered presentations on creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, real estate title issues, mortgage foreclosure and repossession before the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, National Business Institute and numerous title insurance companies. He has made more than 20 presentations to members of the lending, manufacturing and construction industries.

Mr. Lawrence is known for his business acumen with focus on planning and strategy before taking any action. In planning and developing a strategy, he focuses intently on the strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and needs of not only his client, but also those of every party that is material to the engagement. Using this approach, Mr. Lawrence has been able to achieve success for his clients in courtrooms, mediation tables, boardrooms and construction sites.

In his personal life, Mr. Lawrence, an active advocate for community development, devotes many hours of pro-bono service hours to organizations including the Northside Leadership Conference, where he served as President. He’s also served as Chair of the Committee for Troop 143 of the Boy Scouts of America, and founded and served as Chair of Rox Performance Academy, a non-profit corporation providing musical instruments and lessons to children.

Certifications

  • Certified in creditors’ rights law by the American Board of Certification

Professional Affiliations

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Westmoreland County Bar Association
  • Bench Bar Planning Committee (2011-2017)

Community Activities

  • Northside Leadership Conference, President
  • Boy Scouts of America, Troop 142, Chair

Recognition & Awards

American Board of Certification

 


Best Lawyers Award Badge

 

Education

  • J.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S., finance, University of South Florida

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Pennsylvania