Following the Funeral

Katelyn Dornburg Edwards, Senior Associate

Katelyn Dornburg Edwards never had a doubt about the career path she wanted to follow. Beginning in high school, she clearly saw her future as an advocate, thanks to some time spent helping her mother and aunts care for her grandmother. Katelyn saw firsthand the emotional and physical toll some families in this situation experience and the importance of having a family advocate. She knew she wanted to focus on law and nursing home abuse cases. Her goal is to take the burden of substandard care and legal claims off the family’s plate so they can focus on their loved one.
Katelyn attended Allegheny College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and after serving as a law clerk during her second and third years of law school, she accepted a position as an attorney with Robert Peirce & Associates in 2014. In addition to nursing home abuse cases, Katelyn handles civil rights, medical malpractice, sexual assault, and personal injury claims. She also handles institutional sex assault cases, involving sexual abuses that occur in facilities like nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. Katelyn also is licensed to practice in West Virginia.
Katelyn is a member of the Multimillion Dollar and Million Dollar Advocates Forums. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and the Allegheny County Bar Association. Katelyn also is a volunteer attorney with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, working on exonerations of wrongfully accused Pennsylvania inmates serving life sentences or facing execution. She also handles volunteer protection from abuse (PFA) issues for domestic violence victims in Allegheny County through Neighborhood Legal Services.
Katelyn grew up in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, where she now lives with her husband Adam, son Hunter, and daughter Charlotte. She and Adam enjoy running, now with a jogging stroller in tow. Katelyn also enjoys practicing ballet and cooking. Her family is involved with The Lighthouse Foundation for individuals recovering from substance abuse and addiction.
“Women are the victims in many of my cases, and our society has hit a turning point where it’s less taboo to talk about their issues. Women are speaking out with more confidence in their ability to advocate for themselves.”
Bar Admissions: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court Southern District of West Virginia

Robert N. Peirce III, Managing Partner

For Robert N. Peirce III (Rob) being an integral part of the family business is an honor. As Owner and Managing Partner of the firm, Rob works closely with his father Robert N Peirce Jr. (Bob) the founder of Robert Peirce & Associates. Together, they have built one of the areas most respected and dominant law firms.
Rob earned a degree in Communications from Michigan State University and then, following in his father’s footsteps, graduated from Duquesne University School of Law.
Upon joining the firm, Rob litigated hundreds of personal injury and accident cases and began making a significant impact by pursuing lead paint poisoning cases and representing children across the nation who were exposed to lead based paint in government housing. This experience resulted in the firm increasing a growing number of pharmaceutical, and product liability cases and helping thousands of clients who have suffered due to corporate negligence. Rob Peirce is recognized as a seasoned litigator and has built a remarkable reputation in skillfully navigating clients through these complex cases.
A respected leader in his field, Rob was a former member of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association Board of Governors as well as the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice and most notably, is admitted in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio to practice law in all four states. Keeping abreast of legal issues and trends are all part of Rob’s ongoing commitment to the legal profession. He is a member of the Million Dollar and Multi -Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Lawyers of Distinction 2020 and 2021 and National Trial Lawyers top 100 Civil Plaintiffs.
Media outlets, both local and national, rely on Rob Peirce as an expert source. Rob has been invited to lend his expert opinion, regarding particular legal issues that arise as part of a news story. NBC News, People Magazine, USA Today, Fox News, ABC News and CBS News are just a few of the prominent media outlets that have featured Rob as an expert. In Pittsburgh, Rob regularly appears as a source for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tribune Review, KDKA TV, WPXI TV, WTAE TV, multiple radio stations and has a recurring interview role on KDKA Radio’s Marty Griffith Show.
Robert Peirce & Associates is a law firm built on generational values of trust and integrity that were passed down in the Peirce family and are the fundamental principles that resonate within the firm today. Hiring likeminded attorneys who share a similar work ethic is of utmost importance. He considers staff to be family and affords them the flexibility and creativity to determine how to best move their own cases forward and encourages collaboration and support among the greater team. The attorneys consider the firm as a home away from home—a great testament to excellent leadership.
Rob and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons, Neill, who attends the University of Maine and is considering going to law school, and Chris, who is a senior at Kiski Prep located in Saltsburg, PA. Outside of work, Rob enjoys spending time with his family and visiting the family hunting camp.

Robert F. Daley, Partner

Over the course of his career, Robert F. Daley has resolved through trial or settlement, hundreds, if not thousands of cases, some large, some small. But Bob is about more than just numbers. Bob has produced groundbreaking changes to national health care law through his approximately twenty appellate arguments before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of West Virginia, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. In practice, Bob regularly manages complex litigation and class actions. In addition to his case load, Bob actively participates in furthering the legal profession, serving as Officer, and prior Chair, of the American Association for Justice - Nursing Home Litigation Group - the largest litigation group in the association. Bob is also an educator, passing along knowledge and guidance to roughly a dozen future lawyers at Duquesne University School of Law each year.
Every practicing attorney handles dozens of cases, and those cases can be simple or complex, big or small, and every iteration in between. As a practicing attorney, it is critical to remember that while you may have dozens of cases, your clients only have one - so for each of your clients, his or her case is the most important. Bob's approach to the practice of law is simple - always put the interests of your clients first and foremost, work hard for them and do the best job you can do - whether the case is big, small, or anywhere in between.
Bob strives to treat each and every client with respect and dignity, regardless of what type of case the client has, and regardless of the complexity of the case. Above all else, Bob is a true believer in the work he does for his clients and knows in his heart that the cases his clients bring are righteous. Because of that belief, Bob works very hard to see that justice is done. Bob has a unique ability to see the big picture in any case, and to anticipate outcomes before they occur. Bob brings 20 plus years of experience to every case he works on, and over those 20 plus years he's learned many lessons - some easy and some hard. When the time comes to bring a case to trial, no one will work harder than Bob to get the case prepared.
Bob was born in Duquesne, a small steel town in Western Pennsylvania. Bob's father, both of his grandfathers, and countless uncles and cousins made their livings, at least for a time, working in the steel mills. Bob witnessed first-hand the value of hard work, but also saw the devastation of the town after the mills closed. Those experiences stay with Bob today, and he has never lost the values and lessons he learned about hard work.
Bob was fortunate to be the first in his family to attend college, graduating from the University of Dayton in 1987 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and enjoying a successful career in the field for eight years, before starting law school in 1994. Bob graduated cum laude from Duquesne University School of Law in 1998, and he's been working at Robert Peirce & Associates ever since. In keeping with his love of the law, and his desire to have an impact in the field and on society, Bob was honored to accept a position as an Adjunct Professor and has been teaching Trial Advocacy at Duquesne Law School since 2015, and was particularly proud to be named Duquesne Law’s Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2020.
Bob spends the majority of his free time with his wife and three kids, including many hours at sporting events – he’s been to at least 500 youth baseball games, and has coached youth baseball for over a decade. Bob’s oldest son is in his senior year at the University of Dayton, and his twin boys are freshman at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. On occasion, Bob manages to spend some time on the golf course. Last but not least, Bob spends considerable time at home dodging the eight dogs his wife somehow convinced him to adopt (there's two cats too, but they are generally smart enough to stay out of the way).

The Role of the State Board

Wesley Rish

Attorney Wesley Rish began working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1997 as an assistant counsel to the Office of Inspector General where he supervised investigations into fraud, waste, abuse, and employee misconduct occurring in executive agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction. From 2007 to 2012, Wesley served Governor Ed Rendell and Governor Tom Corbett as Chief Counsel to the Office of Inspector General.
In 2012, Wesley became legal counsel to the State Board of Funeral Board Directors where he advised Board Staff and Members regarding licensure and disciplinary matters. He successfully represented the State Board of Funeral Directors and other licensing boards on numerous appeals before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
In November 2018, Wesley left the Commonwealth to establish the Rish Law Office, LLC, which focuses on the representation of professionals in licensing and disciplinary matters. Wesley is a frequent speaker before professional associations regarding licensure, disciplinary and similar issues involving the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.
Wesley is a 1988 graduate of the University of Virginia and a 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Reviving the Independent Funeral Home

Joshua Bloom

Josh has an unusual background for a funeral service professional, one that combines economic development strategy, an interest in scaling sustainable/green funeral practices, creative thinking, and deep empathy for those who have experienced loss.
Josh began his work in funeral service in 2018 as a deliberate second career choice and is now a licensed funeral director. His motivation was to bring more empathy to the field and to families at a pivotal moment in their lives. The work has been deeply gratifying. At the same time, he looks for opportunities to inform and educate families and the public about sustainable disposition practices, and about alternative funeral options, such as home-based funerals.
In his first career, he developed market-based strategies to help communities revitalize their historic “Main Streets” and build economically differentiated, dynamic places. Josh is a leader in the revitalization of historic downtowns and a principal at the Community Land Use and Economics Group. He has worked with cities and towns in every state in the country except Alaska and Hawaii. Josh has deep interest in social enterprise and he is immediate past president of the board of Weavers Way Cooperative, a $35 million retailer in Philadelphia with three grocery stores, a pet supplies store, two health-and-beauty-aid stores, and a “Mercantile” gift shop, serving 10,500 member households and the general public.
Josh began his career in revitalization as the downtown manager in South Orange, NJ, his hometown, in 1992. Later, as a program officer at the National Main Street Center, he led the Center’s urban expansion efforts, establishing Boston Main Streets, the nation’s first citywide Main Street initiative. He launched other urban pilots for the Main Street Center in neighborhoods of Washington DC, Baltimore, Miami, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and others.
Josh received his B.A. from Columbia University and a master's in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007 he graduated from the preservation carpentry program at the North Bennet Street School, a historic trades school in Boston. He completed his funeral service education at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey and is currently a funeral director at Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael-Sacks, Inc., in Philadelphia.