Walter DeForest and Jackie Koscelnik formed our firm in Pittsburgh in 1994, following successful careers at Reed Smith Shaw & McClay.

While continuing to represent a number of clients, Walter and Jackie served as outside General Counsel and Associate General Counsel, respectively, for Carnegie Mellon University from 1993 through 2002.

David Berardinelli began his legal career at our firm after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1996. David served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York from 2000 to 2005, after which he returned to the firm as a partner who is well-seasoned in jury trials and white-collar crime defense.

In August 2012, Marie DeForest Garcia joined the firm, having practiced for several years with the litigation firm Conrad O'Brien in Philadelphia.

At DeForest Koscelnik & Berardinelli, we believe that all clients are entitled to personal attention and outstanding service for reasonable fees. We pride ourselves on our diligence and accessibility, as we are generally available to our clients around the clock.

With lawyers who are consistently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and as Pennsylvania "Super Lawyers,” honors received only by top attorneys based on peer recommendations, our firm is built on a foundation of extensive legal experience, academic excellence, and most importantly, hard work.

Best Lawyers

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.

Because lawyers are not required or even allowed to pay a fee in order to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered an exceptional honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

Walter P. DeForest
• Best Lawyers' 2014 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Litigation - Labor and Employment
• Best Lawyers' 2015 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Litigation - First Amendment
• Recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Individuals, Employment Law - Management, First Amendment Law, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - First Amendment, Litigation - Labor and Employment, and Media Law
Jacqueline A. Koscelnik
• Best Lawyers' 2014 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law – Management
• Recognized by Best Lawyers in the area of Labor Law - Management
David J. Berardinelli
• Best Lawyers’ 2019, 2021, and 2024 Pittsburgh Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White Collar
• Recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense
Marie DeForest Garcia
• Recognized by Best Lawyers for the areas for the following categories: Labor and Employment

Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers® is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

The following DeForest Koscelnik & Berardinelli attorneys have been repeatedly recognized by Super Lawyers®:

Walter P. DeForest
David J. Berardinelli

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

All of the following DeForest Koscelnik & Berardinelli attorneys have received the highest rating of AV® Preeminent™:

Walter P. DeForest 
Jacqueline A. KoscelnikA
David J. Berardinelli

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Chambers Rating

Chambers and Partners presents annual awards to attorneys following a year-long period of research in which they conduct thousands of interviews of in-house counsel and practicing attorneys. The awards reflect not only the high caliber of work performed, but also significant achievements through the previous twelve months, strategic growth and excellence in client services.

The following DeForest Koscelnik & Berardinelli attorneys have been repeatedly recognized by Chambers USA:

Walter P. DeForest
David Berardinelli