Houston Harbaugh Announces 2024 Executive Committee and Officers

February 29, 2024

Houston Harbaugh has announced the election of its three-member Executive Committee and Officers for 2024. The members of the Executive Committee are Jessica A. Ellel, John M. Hartzell, Jr., and Samuel H. Simon. The firm’s Executive Officers are Alex Thomson, President; John Hartzell, Treasurer; and Heidi Rai Stewart, Secretary. As part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to excellence and leadership, the Executive Committee which is responsible for the Firm’s overall management, and Officers are elected annually by the Firm’s partners.

“The firm appreciates that these dedicated individuals continue to be willing to serve in the management of the firm. Their experience and judgement are critical elements to the firm’s continued success.” said Alex Thomson, President of Houston Harbaugh.

Jessica Ellel Pittsburgh health care lawyer

Jessica A. Ellel concentrates her practice in healthcare law. Chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Health Law Practice, Jessica works almost exclusively with health care entities and health practitioners. Jessica is especially well-versed in HIPAA compliance and conducts on-site and remote HIPAA training and maintains Houston Harbaugh’s HIPAA compliance manual. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law teaching the courses Health Care Business Transactions and Legal Aspects of Health Care Compliance. She received her Juris Doctorate and Health Law Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was editor for The Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.

John Hartzell Jr. Attorney Houston Harbaugh headshot

John M. Hartzell, Jr. concentrates his practice in estate planning and estate and trust administration and chairs the Firm’s Estates and Trusts practice. With prior experience as a Certified Public Accountant, he leverages his knowledge of tax law for businesses and individuals in preparing estate and gift tax plans, and he works with business owners on their succession planning matters. Additionally, John counsels landowners with oil and gas interests on their tax and estate planning challenges. He is skilled at using sophisticated estate planning techniques to minimize federal and state death taxes and to transfer wealth in a controlled and efficient manner. He received his Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University, an MBA from Clarion University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Sam Simon Houston harbaugh lawyer

Samuel H. Simon concentrates his practice on commercial/business litigation and co-chairs the Firm’s Litigation Practice. He regularly represents clients in the construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and wholesale/retail/ distribution industries, as well as individuals in matters such as breach of contract disputes, negligence, restrictive covenants, civil rights, construction litigation, and environmental litigation. Sam also represents architects and engineers in such matters as faulty design specifications and design negligence. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law, teaching Federal Civil Rights Litigation. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron, where he was a member of the Law Review, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Alex W Thomson attorney headshot

Alex W. Thomson concentrates his practice in business law. He represents a wide range of business clients from start-ups to publicly traded companies in a diverse set of industries, from steel to software. He has counseled clients in numerous corporate transactions, including sales, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. Thomson has helped clients obtain both public and private financing for their businesses, including venture capital financing. He received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a member of the Law Review. Thomson also earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University.

Heidi Rai Stewart Attorney Headshot

Heidi Rai Stewart concentrates her practice in the area of estate planning and estate and trust administration. Her work in the Firm’s Estates and Trusts practice extends to Special Needs planning and Long-Term Care planning, including Elder Law. Stewart also regularly represents clients in Orphans’ Court matters such as Will contests, guardianships, actions relating to undue influence, and breaches of fiduciary duty. She also is accredited to represent clients in Veteran’s Administration proceedings. She received her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Carlow College (now Carlow University).

Please join us in congratulating our newly elected Executive Committee and Officers on their well-deserved election win.

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