Sweet Stevens Welcomes New Attorneys
New Britain, PA – Four new attorneys have joined the practice of Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP, expanding the firm’s talent base in education law. The new associates bring experience in litigation and defense in civil rights, discrimination and child welfare, among other areas.
“As Pennsylvania’s first private law practice wholly dedicated to education law, Sweet Stevens has been a virtual lifeline to administrations and school boards throughout the pandemic,” said Jane M. Williams, partner. “As educational entities struggle daily to stay on top of ever-changing legislation, we provide the essential guidelines related to student services and special education requirements. We look forward to our new, larger team working with our clients to help navigate these continuing challenges.”
- Bethany O’Neill Byrne, associate, manages Right-to-Know inquiries and Tax Assessment Appeals, as well as providing advice in general areas such as policy and operational issues. She also has previous experience in discovery management and case analysis in areas such as product liability, contract disputes, and complex securities class action lawsuits. She is a graduate of Villanova University and Widener University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
- Laura Heller Isenberg, associate, handles Civil Rights Defense, Employment Discrimination, Special Education and Student Services. She came to the firm after 20 years of clerkship for the Honorable Jacob P. Hart, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. There, she was involved in every stage of litigation in civil actions from discovery and pre-trial proceedings to trials and drafting of decisions. Fluent in both Spanish and Hebrew, Isenberg is a graduate of Grinnell College and the Georgetown University Law Center. She is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania.
- Suzanne Pontious, associate, works in Civil Rights Defense, Special Education and Student Services. A seasoned litigator, she has worked in both the public and private sectors. Previously, she served as deputy city solicitor for the City of Philadelphia Law Department’s Child Welfare Unit. In her previous role at a private law firm, she served as solicitor for various municipalities, including school districts. Pontious is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and District of New Jersey.
- Tammy J. Schmitt, associate, handles Civil Rights Defense, Special Education and Student Services. She has represented families of students with educational disabilities in their claims against school entities. She also has litigated both special education matters and cases involving civil rights and employment discrimination on behalf of school and public entities. With experience on both sides of the negotiation table, she is often called upon to present on topics related to Special Education. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Temple University and a J.D. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the United States District Courts of Eastern and Middle Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created the first private law practice in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 24 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.