Drew P. McLaughlin

Of Counsel

Drew P. McLaughlin focus his practice on litigation and advising clients, including in the areas of labor, municipal, and school law. He also represents municipal entities, public officials, and police officers in federal civil rights litigation.  He remains a part-time Assistant District Attorney with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.

Drew P. McLaughlin

Legal Experience That Stands Out

Drew is an experienced trial attorney in both state and federal courts. Prior to rejoining the Firm, Drew served as the Chief of the Major Crimes Unit of the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, which is responsible for prosecuting violent offenders for aggravated assaults, burglaries, and robberies as well as major thefts and frauds. He also has prosecuted several homicide trials.

 

Before becoming a lawyer, Drew worked as a communications aide for the former mayor of Wilkes-Barre, between 2010 and 2014, and for a state senator, between 2016 and 2017, while finishing up his third year of law school and studying for the bar exam.  

 

Drew was one of the lead prosecutors in Commonwealth v. Reynaldo Mercado, CP-40-CR-0004049-2018, who secured a first-degree murder conviction and a life sentence for the defendant. Mercado stabbed a man nearly sixty times inside of his own bedroom in a quiet South Wilkes-Barre neighborhood in September of 2018. The trial was held at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township in November of 2020 because of social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew also prosecuted Com. v. Cirko, CP-40-CR-0001340-2020, which was a case of first impression in the Commonwealth and one that tested the applicability of Pennsylvania’s Crimes Code to the coronavirus pandemic. Cirko was charged with threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction—i.e. threatening to infect people with the novel airborne coronavirus. The case made national and international headlines. Cirko attempted to get the charges dismissed at a preliminary hearing and then a habeas corpus hearing; however, the Courts consistently ruled that the charges were an appropriate application of the statute. Cirko pled guilty and was sentenced to county incarceration and eight years of consecutive probation along with more than $30,000 in restitution.

Representative Matters

  • Counsel for a school district in a personnel investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate communications by a teacher with his former students.
  • Counsel for a school district seeking court approval to secure unfunded debt, pursuant to the Local Government Unit Debt Act, to help correct the district’s financial trajectory.
  • Secured a voluntary manslaughter conviction in a two-week trial stemming from a fatal shooting outside of a bar in Plymouth, Pennsylvania where the defendant asserted that he acted in self-defense.
  • Prosecuted and convicted a Luzerne County corrections officer for physically assaulting his six-year-old stepson. Defendant was sentenced to a term of incarceration followed by a period of house arrest with electronic monitoring.
  • Trial counsel for an indigent federal inmate who alleged that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs in violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Education
  • Penn State Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2017
  •  King’s College, B.A., 2009
Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
Honors and Awards
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award
  • Inducted into the Order of Barristers