The wrongful death attorney who handles wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania is a veteran of the legal system and has a history of being successful.
Theresa Sperling was hired in March 2016 by the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Bar Association to represent family members of a woman who died in 2013 while in custody.
Sperlin has been on the Harrissburg staff since 2013.
She has been praised by both the family and the state Bar for her efforts in handling wrongful death cases, including her efforts to obtain justice in the case of the mother of a child whose death was ruled a homicide.
Sperling, who is now an assistant general counsel with the state bar, also has worked on the behalf of victims’ families, including the parents of three boys killed in a fire in 2014.
She said she and her colleagues have been working hard to ensure a thorough and fair process in the wrongful death of Pennsylvania children and adults.
“We’ve had very difficult cases where we’ve been the ones who have to go back to the parents to try to get the parents involved in the process,” she said.
“But it’s very clear that the parents were very cooperative.
They gave us a lot of information, and they got the information from their legal representatives and their families, and we went back and tried to work through it with them and the lawyers and the parents.”
The Harrisburg Bar Association is a non-profit association of lawyers in Pennsylvania that represents about 2,500 families in wrongful deaths and related matters.
It’s one of the state’s oldest, and its membership includes attorneys with backgrounds in the criminal justice system, civil litigation, civil rights and family law.
It is not uncommon for families of children who die in custody to pursue wrongful death suits against the state, but Sperlings experience with wrongful death matters may offer insight into what it takes to handle such cases.
Sorrells experience in the Harrisburgh case has been mixed.
In her book, “My Son’s Death,” published in 2016, she described the case as a “cavalry of attorneys,” and she wrote that “the state lawyers were too busy to respond to the claims and too busy trying to get their own cases dismissed.”
In an interview with Fortune, she also said the Harrisbergan lawyers did a great job of representing the family.
“They worked with the family very well,” she explained.
“They were very clear and very fair in their representations.
I think the attorneys did a very good job of getting the family involved and they were very helpful to me.”
The family of a man who died while in police custody in 2014 sued the city of Harrisburg, alleging that police officers used excessive force and violated his constitutional rights during an arrest in which he was unarmed.
The lawsuit alleged that officers used a chokehold, kicked and hit the man’s head, slammed his head into the pavement, punched him and kicked his legs repeatedly, leaving him with severe injuries.
Severlings said the lawsuit was filed in the first days of a public corruption trial.
It did not make its way through the legal process and was dismissed in July 2017.
Soberly and optimistic about the outcome of the case, she said that the state is currently working to have the case rescheduled for a hearing.
Spencer told Fortune that she was pleased that the case was resolved.
“I think that they’ve made a good point that if we can’t find a way to resolve this case quickly, then we should at least have a resolution,” she told the publication.
“But it doesn’t make me happy to see this kind of a case that’s been resolved in such a short time.”
Sperlin declined to be interviewed for this story.
But she has written extensively about wrongful death litigation, having represented the family of an autistic child whose parents sued the City of Philadelphia, the city and the police department for wrongful death in 2015.
In that case, the lawsuit claimed that the city’s police department failed to adequately train officers about the use of force, and failed to monitor the training.
The lawsuit was dismissed by the state Supreme Court in 2017, with the judge finding that the law does not require police officers to use deadly force to protect themselves.
The case is still being appealed.