Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion for the Female Millennial
The month of March marks the annual celebration of Women’s History Month. It highlights the significant contributions of women that have etched in the history of American society. It also celebrates the role of women that molded and shaped what we all are now.

Comparing the women back then to the women of today’s generation, we have reached an incredible stride. During the early 19th century, the role of women was defined by domestic responsibilities and child-rearing. They were even stripped of their own personal rights as they were regarded as the society’s “second class”. They did not have any say at all when it came to marriages as their fate depended on the prearrangement made between two different families.

However, the gender roles of women have continued to progress throughout the decades. Women no longer stayed at home and they secured jobs along the lines of a teacher, secretary, or nurse. Now, the millennial generation of women have started to achieve heights of women empowerment and gender equality.

Now, there is nothing more impressive than seeing women take over in the fields of business, entertainment, and even law. As a tribute to the successful female millennials, we are highlighting some of the most extraordinary young women who have already reached the peak of their careers:

Erie Meyer: Technology Advisor to the Federal Trade Commissioner

Erie Meyer is a serial public entrepreneur and an American technologist. At age 30, she became the co-founder of the United States Digital Service at the White House. She provided tech ingenuity for the government. She launched an open-source website for the government when she first stood up the first digital office of the Ohio Attorney General.

Former actress, Jessica Alba took a 360 degree turn from entertainment to the business industry. At 33, she is the CEO and co-founder of The Honest Company which is an American consumer goods company.

Michelle Phan : co-founder of Ipsy

Michelle Phan is an American entrepreneur and makeup artist. At a young age of 27, she became well-known on YouTube where she uploads videos about beauty and make-up tutorials. In 2011, she co-founded Ipsy which is a beauty subscription service that features personalized beauty products. In 2015, she was named one of the most successful individuals by Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

Rachel Haot : Executive Director of the Transit Innovation Partnership

Rachel Haot is an American businessman and entrepreneur. At 31, she become the Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for the State of New York. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Transit Innovation Partnership, a public-private initiative launched by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Partnership for New York City.

The Law Offices of Peter J. Russo, P.C. also honors its female attorneys and staff who have provided significant contributions in the field of law. We are honored to have these women who are trailblazers in various practice fields of family law, asset protection, mediation, and protection from abuse to help us maintain a balanced scale of justice.
Navigating the Family Court in PA - Paternity
In Pennsylvania, courts automatically presume paternity when the parents are legally married at the time of the child’s birth. When parents give birth to a child and are not married, paternity is established through the signing of a document to acknowledge paternity. This typically occurs at the hospital shortly after the child is born. Therefore, establishing paternity is usually a fairly easy process, and normally goes uncontested. However, there are times when establishing paternity can become more difficult, either because the father denies his paternity, or the mother challenges the alleged father’s claim to paternity.

When either parent wants to challenge paternity, he or she must file a complaint with the court. A challenge to paternity is most often handled through the domestic relations section of the court. This is the same section that hears child support matters. Occasionally, the regular civil division will hear matters involving paternity. Regardless of where your case is heard, the process is almost the same.

Once you file your petition to establish or contest paternity, either through domestic relations or the general civil division, you will most likely be directed to undergo DNA testing. Most courts require both parents and the child to appear for DNA swabs so that a genetic comparison can be made to determine paternity. If there is a match, then the court will typically enter an order establishing the legal relationship between the father and the child. This then allows either parent to pursue custody and/or support for the child.

Paternity is a very important aspect of child custody and support matters, therefore if you ever have any question about the paternity of a child, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney at the Law Office of Peter J. Russo, P.C. Our experienced attorneys can help address any issues that you may face when it comes to paternity.
We are seeking guest writers...
We are seeking guest writers to contribute to our email newsletter which reaches more than 2000 people per month. If you would like to consider a joint article (for example: How COVID has impacted on the wedding industry and the legal recourse you might have), we would be glad to work on something with you. For more information, please contact Ashley Malcolm via email amalcolm@pjrlaw.com or call 717-610-1639. 
Alternatives to Divorce Litigation
A couple contemplating filing for divorce faces many decisions throughout the process. A primary consideration is whether the parties will litigate every decision before the court, or whether there may be an alternative solution that allows a peaceful and amicable resolution.


Divorce mediation is a viable option for couples who wish to obtain a peaceful, amicable separation or divorce without hiring their own individual opposing attorneys. Through the assistance and guidance of an experienced divorce mediator, spouses are empowered to make all their own decisions that form the basis of their marital settlement agreement--not the courts. The divorce mediation process is often suggested as an alternative to hiring opposing lawyers to represent you and your spouse.

Divorce mediation takes place in a room with just you, your spouse, and the divorce mediator. Rarely are lawyers or other family members in the room. It is a private negotiation. You are not expected to have all, or any issues worked out in advance - that is why you are in mediation and working with a highly trained professional. An experienced divorce mediator will ensure that a fair, reasonable, and balanced agreement is achieved between separating or divorcing couples in a very efficient, kind, and affordable manner.  

Sometimes a divorce mediator is used as part of the court process. If the parties need help negotiating one part of their divorce and separation, such as a parenting plan for their children, they may opt to use a mediator to resolve that issue. A divorce mediator also assists couples in working past any obstacles that may be impeding their progress towards a mutually fair settlement and may make sound and prudent suggestions designed to lead them towards making the most sensible decisions for their family’s future.

An attorney-mediator initially provides parties with an overview of the relevant law and legal concepts so that they may apply it to the specific facts and circumstances of their case. Couples are informed of all their basic legal rights and obligations under the law so that they can make informed decisions for their agreement. Ultimately, a divorce mediator may help the couple draft and file the necessary paperwork to legally finalize the divorce.


Another alternative to traditional litigation in divorce, the collaborative divorce process provides a private place, outside the court system, in which you can have respectful conversations with your spouse or partner when a relationship ends. A professional collaborative team, made up of not only your counsel but financial and mental health professionals, will help you reach solutions that consider the needs of everyone affected.

In the traditional court process, dueling lawyers frequently fight in a courtroom for a decision most favorable for their client. Collaborative practice gives each party and their attorney the option to work together. Working in collaboration promotes the open exchange of priorities and expectations, making it possible to reach workable solutions for all parties. 

Collaborative law practice differs from divorce mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in that the parties and their attorneys pledge through a formal written contract to follow specific rules. These rules include not using the courts to resolve the legal dispute, that each lawyer must withdraw as counsel and the parties must seek other representation if the case is taken to court for any reason, and that the parties will truthfully and voluntarily exchange all information as well as maintain confidentiality of information disclosed during the meetings. The primary benefit to a collaborative divorce is the use and support of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, such as a financial neutral or a counselor, to assist as problem-solvers. Once the parties come to an agreement, the attorneys work together to finalize all documents to secure a divorce.

Pennsylvania couples who have begun the divorce process may want to explore all their options. While traditional court litigation may be the best choice for couples who are going through a heated and emotional separation, there are alternatives to litigation.  Mediation and collaborative divorce can be an advantageous way to dissolve a marriage for people who wish to negotiate the terms of their own divorce settlement.
How Do Women Handle Family Life with Professional Life?
It is no longer a surprise that women now run companies while also finding the time to spend with family. Indeed, women nowadays can join the workforce without jeopardizing their family life. This just goes to show that women are constantly juggling personal duties and professional responsibilities.

Finding that right balance can be challenging and difficult. But this does not mean it cannot be done. In fact, more and more women can pursue a career or business while raising their kids and maintaining a home. The following are some helpful tips that will help you manage your professional life while keeping up with personal responsibilities.

Don’t compare yourself to others

No two working women are alike. Some can work eight full hours in an office while having the time to go home and cook dinner for the kids. Others may not have the luxury of time to do so as they may end up staying late at the office. Others still can afford hiring a nanny for their kids while some rely on effective time management.

It is important to find what works for you. Get rid of your self-doubts. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and that everyone has his or her own fair share of personal challenges.

Have your own planner

Having your own notebook planner or desk calendar allows you to track your schedule. If you are the techie-type, you can download an app that will help you monitor work meetings or personal events. It will also help you plan for the days to come. Of course, it is important to set a day or two in a week just for yourself so you can enjoy the time to recharge and relax.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Take note of your annual or monthly business meetings and birthdays, anniversaries, or special events of your loved ones. Sometimes, a work event may collide with a personal one so when this time comes, it is best to have someone help you. You may delegate a family member or a co-worker to do the job for you.

Remember that through all these, you should give yourself permission to just let go and stop trying so hard. Accept the fact that you cannot do everything on your own. Find consolation in the fact that you have your loved ones and mentors to help you out in sharing the workload.
Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
Early this month, the COVID-19 vaccines have become available across Pennsylvania. But because of the vaccine’s limited supply, vaccine distribution plan is in place to ensure orderly implementation.

While Pennsylvania holds the first tier of the state’s vaccine rollout plan (Phase 1A), senior citizens or those with serious medical conditions and health care workers are given priority. But due to supply restrictions and other factors, the second tier (Phase 1B) may not start until summer according to an ABC 27 report.

As mentioned, vaccine supplies are very limited. The vaccines are only made available in vaccine sites under the state’s phased plan. Appointments are very difficult to get because they are often booked quickly while some are put on a waiting list. If you have confirmed an appointment, it is advised to refrain from scheduling with another provider to allow open vaccine appointments for others.

On your confirmed date of vaccination appointment, officials recommend that you bring proof of eligibility or identity. There are 3 vaccines available: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. All three are made available through the federal government and are approved by the US FDA for emergency use authorization. Pfizer and Moderna require 2 doses while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-shot inoculation.

Common side-effects include fatigue, muscle pain, nausea, and fever. You will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine.
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