Our History

Gross McGinley has a rich history and deep roots within the Lehigh Valley. Even before the firm’s founding in 1976, one of its namesakes, Malcolm W. Gross, served as Allentown’s mayor (1920 – 1932, 1936 – 1940). His son, John T. Gross, served as mayor from 1960 to 1964.

It was John Gross’s son, Malcolm J. Gross, who — together with Paul A. McGinley and Carol K. McGinley — founded Gross McGinley in 1976.

Decades of Growth

The 1980s

We first opened our doors in a restored Victorian building on 5th Street in Allentown. A few years later, in 1981, Donald LaBarre, Jr. — son of former county Solicitor Donald LaBarre — added more deep roots to the established firm.

Carol K. McGinley was elected Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Lehigh County in 1985, where she sat for 3 consecutive 10-year terms, taking senior status in October 2017. In 1986, J. Jackson Eaton, III – grandson of a prominent sheriff – joined the firm, which updated its name to Gross, McGinley, LaBarre & Eaton.

Our growing firm relocated in 1986 to its current location in Crown Tower — a former clothing mill — expanding to occupy three floors of the restored building. Unbeknownst to us at the time, the original crew working on the renovation hid a time capsule on the construction site. Some of our members found the time capsule in 2012. We decided to create our own time capsule, including t-shirts, a box of girl scout cookies and other memorabilia.

The 2000s

We expanded our partnership again in 2003, welcoming Victor F. Cavacini and his experience in civil litigation, personal injury, zoning and land development matters, and estate administration.

In 2007, we opened a Northampton County office on Washington St. in Easton, less than a block from the courthouse. Raymond J. DeRaymond joined firm.

We added more than a combined 70 years of experience in civil litigation, banking law and creditor’s rights, real estate, business and corporate law, and domestic relations when Michael J. Piosa, Thomas E. Reilly, Jr., and Thomas A. Capehart joined in 2007.

Our reputation as tenacious litigators with a strong courtroom presence increased when Howard S. Stevens and his medical malpractice defense team joined the firm in 2008.

The 2010s

We increased our partners once again when Stuart T. Shmookler joined the Business Services and Wills, Trusts, and Estates groups in 2010.

We expanded again in 2011, opening an Emmaus office where James A. Ritter, a 30-year veteran of estate planning and administration joined the team.

Who doesn’t love a party? Steady growth over the decades — and our 35th anniversary — provided the perfect time for rolling out the red carpet. ArtsQuest Steel Stacks hosted our 2011 gathering of more than 500 friends, family, clients, and colleagues to celebrate this milestone.

Just five years after our 2011 celebration, we reached another milestone anniversary and stopped to celebrate and recognize our 30+ attorneys and 14 practice areas.

More change for the better happened in 2018. Our leadership named Jack Gross as Managing Partner and Howard Stevens and Loren Speziale as Deputy Managing Partners.

An Accredited Estate Planner®, Nicholas Nanovic joined the firm to lead and grow the Estates and Tax practice groups in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

We take pride in the recognition we’ve earned for the legal services we provide and for our dedication and contributions to the community.


Received Joseph S. Daddona Good Neighbor Award in recognition of our commitment to the City of Allentown through the leadership of individual attorneys and our dedication to supporting local community projects


Named as a finalist for Business of the Year (36 – 100 employees) by Lehigh Valley Business


Recognized by the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center with an LGBT Community Leadership Award for the culturally-sensitive service we provide to the greater Lehigh Valley’s LGBTQ community

Honored to receive the Milestone Award from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce in recognition to our commitment to faithfully and ethically serving the business community for 40 years


Received Leadership in Wellness Award from Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH) for “Mind, Body & Spirit” wellness program, showcasing best practice to improve the health of employees


Achieved Lehigh Valley Style “Who’s Who in Business” 2020 Law Firm listing in essential guide to the leading products and services offered in the Lehigh Valley; based on survey results from thousands of local residents in regards to showcasing valuable services and a commitment to quality