Alicia has significant experience and success in both commercial litigation and personal injury litigation. On the commercial side, she has represented corporate and individual clients in wide-ranging and complex matters involving, for instance, breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, negligence, shareholder disputes, construction issues, and insurance coverage. On the personal injury side, Alicia has advocated for individuals and their families who were seriously injured due to such major incidents as coal mine disasters, toxic torts, and railroad accidents. Alicia also has extensive appellate expertise, having successfully pursued appeals and defended judgments in state and federal high courts, including being an integral member of the appeal team in the Caperton v. Massey victory before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Alicia earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was honored with the D. Francis Bustin Prize, given to one person each year in recognition of an excellent paper which makes a valuable and important contribution to the improvement and betterment of the processes of the government. Alicia was proud to be nominated by Professor Cass Sunstein for this award, previous recipients of which include Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank H. Easterbrook. During law school, Alicia was also active in the University of Chicago's Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, where she represented indigent juveniles and victims of police brutality. Alicia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Dean’s List and the German National Honor Society. Prior to co-founding Stanley & Schmitt, Alicia spent a decade honing her craft at the Pittsburgh office of global law firm Reed Smith.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Alicia has represented clients with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, and worked to obtain multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements for individual clients in state and federal courts, and through arbitration. Some of her recent successes include achieving substantial settlements on behalf of victims of the Aracoma Mine fire and the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, and representation before West Virginia’s mass litigation panel of a community whose water and homes had been contaminated by improper disposal of toxic coal waste.
Born and raised in the coal fields of southern West Virginia, Bruce worked his way through school, graduating from the West Virginia University College of Arts and Sciences and the West Virginia University College of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the West Virginia Law Review. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prior to starting his own practice, he was a partner for many years at the Pittsburgh office of global law firm Reed Smith.
Bruce has tried a number of jury cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. Among the high-profile cases in which he has been involved is Caperton v. Massey, which resulted in a landmark opinion issued by the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of campaign contributions and judicial recusal. In the Aracoma mine fire litigation, he represented the widows and estates of coal miners who perished in a tragic underground fire in Logan County, West Virginia, obtaining significant settlements against both the mine operator and the United States government. His efforts on those as well as other cases involving the former Massey Energy were chronicled in The Price of Justice: A True Story of Greed and Corruption, by New York Times best-selling author Laurence Leamer.
His most recent multi-million dollar verdict was a $3 million award against a national railroad for a train derailment that collapsed a coal tipple and severely injured a coal miner trapped inside the fallen structure. He has also handled a number of complex arbitrations before panels of the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. Bruce volunteered for many years as an adjunct lecturer at the West Virginia University College of Law, teaching a three credit hour course on construction law topics. He also served for three years on the West Virginia University College of Law Development Council.
Honors and Awards
Named 2012 'Trial Lawyer of the Year' Award Finalist by the Public Justice Foundation
Listed in the Best Lawyers in America in the area of Commercial Litigation
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