The Diocese of Greensburg and Saint Vincent Archabbey, College, and Seminary will hold the 48th annual Red Mass, for members of the bench and bar, at noon Friday, October 2 at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. Bishop Edward C. Malesic will preside at the Mass and give the homily. The keynote address will be given by John M. Elliott, chairman and chief executive officer of the Elliott Greenleaf law firm, with offices in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, Harrisburg, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Wilmington, Delaware, is recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s top litigators.
In addition to serving as chairman and CEO, Elliott is a senior shareholder and has over 45 years of trial and appellate experience in complex commercial litigations, including constitutional issues affecting business, healthcare, civil rights, antitrust, corporate, banking and insurance, professional liability, mass tort, employment, and class actions.
Various publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, The Legal Intelligencer, and Counselor Magazine have recognized him as one of Pennsylvania’s leading trial lawyers. A statewide poll of judges and lawyers continually rank him as one of the state’s top 100 lawyers. The Legal Intelligencer described him as a “legal titan” and one of the “region’s most powerful litigators whose courtroom styles are legendary.”
He recently was a lead presenter at the Pro Bono Institute’s Washington, D.C. conference, along with United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging expanded legal services to the indigent, the elderly, and returning veterans.
A native of Pennsylvania’s anthracite region, Elliott’s public service includes serving as a commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority representing Auditor General Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania from 1970 to 1975. He was chosen by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve as chairman in 1985-1986, the vice chairman in 1984 and a member from 1980 through 1986 of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, supervising the ethics of Pennsylvania’s attorneys.
In 1989 and 1991, he was appointed by the secretary of state of the United States of America to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Conference on the Human Dimension (Paris) and Conference on Democratic Institutions (Oslo). He was awarded an LL.D by Saint Vincent College in 1985. In 1995, Cardinal Cahal B. Daly of Ireland dedicated the Salamanca Archives at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland, in Elliott’s honor, and in 2001 Cardinal Desmond Connell of Dublin conferred upon him the Gold Medal of Saint Patrick.
Elliott has also served as a member of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and as a member of the Environmental Quality Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was the chairman of the Philadelphia Bar Association Environmental Quality Committee and served as the chairman of the Urban Committee, Citizens Advisory Council, Department of Environmental Resources, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Philadelphia Coal Rail Task Force, the Pennsylvania Academy of Science Advisory Committee, and a presidential appointee of the White House Coal Advisory Commission. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s House of Delegates; Board of Directors: Pennsylvania Law Institute; Mann Music Center, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Vincent College, and served on the college’s Council of Advisors of the School of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Elliott has served as a faculty member and lecturer for the American Law Institute; American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations; the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He is the author of numerous publications including for the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Congress of the United States, and various professional and academic journals.
He graduated from Saint Vincent College with highest departmental honors in economics, and was a four-year varsity baseball letterman and captain of the 1963 West Penn Conference championship baseball team. He is a member of Saint Vincent’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966 with highest honors in constitutional law, conflicts of law and legal ethics. He is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts of Pennsylvania