How Victoria Helps Clients
Victoria is an accomplished civil litigator and trial attorney, resolving disputes and driving successful outcomes to verdict for business entities, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She has over a decade of experience litigating disputes for energy companies, universities, commercial resorts, healthcare institutions, robotics developers, engineering firms, manufacturers, consumer products companies, non-profits and municipalities with broad experience in both state and federal courts, including appellate courts.
In particular, Victoria holds significant experience in eminent domain matters, oil and gas litigation and construction litigation. In her eminent domain practice, she has represented both condemnors and condemnees, with extensive expertise relating to rights of way for natural gas pipelines, natural gas storage easements, roadways, sewer easements and other property takings. In the oil and gas industry, she is versed in litigating disputes over lease agreements and rights, property access and use, and environmental contamination claims. She also carries a strong record of success in construction litigation, winning a complete verdict in favor of a real estate management company related to construction repairs and a multi-million dollar award in construction defect litigation for a resort.
What Clients Can Expect
Victoria’s philosophy revolves around providing efficient and effective advocacy for each client—no matter the size of the matter or the complexity of the dispute. This is achieved through ongoing communication to understand a client’s needs and drive the outcome toward their ultimate objectives, which may or may not involve litigation. Once the client’s objectives are understood, Victoria develops and implements the most cost-effective strategy to achieve those objectives, whether through negotiations and settlement; mediation or other appropriate alternative dispute resolution; or litigation. Her strategies are fluid and flexible to adapt to her client’s ever-changing needs and objectives.
Victoria professional achievements have been recognized by both the legal and business communities. The Pittsburgh Business Times named Victoria one of the 2018 Women of Influence, and NEXT Pittsburgh featured Victoria as one of the “16 Pittsburghers You Should Know.” She was also recognized as the 2016 Woman of Distinction in Government & Law by Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. In addition, she received a 2016 Pennsylvania Senate Citation, awarded by Senator Scott E. Hutchinson of the 21st Senatorial District, recognizing her dedication, excellence and leadership in the legal profession, as well as her impact on the community. Most recently, she was named one of the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® Rising Stars for 2019.
I deliver zealous and efficient advocacy to drive each client’s unique business goals, and will evaluate alternatives to litigation, wherever possible, to deliver cost-effective results.
Outside the Office
Victoria frequently appears as a legal expert on NightTalk, Rush to Judgment and Pittsburgh NOW on WPXI's Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (PCNC), providing commentary on legal cases in the news. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University teaching “The Legal Environment” to graduate business students. Currently, she serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania and as a Board Director for Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. From 2017 – 2019 she was the President of the St. Thomas More Society, and remains active on its Board of Governors. She formerly served on the Boards of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.
- Won a $13.9M award in construction defect litigation on behalf of a commercial resort.
- Won a complete victory for a natural gas pipeline condemnor after a 3-day jury trial in an eminent domain matter in Washington County, and after the landowners took an appeal to the Commonwealth Court, succeeded in having the trial court’s verdict affirmed.
- Won a complete award in favor of a real estate management company in an arbitration proceeding to recover costs of construction repairs to common areas.
- Won summary judgment for a natural gas pipeline company in a case heard in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where the plaintiff had claimed that a gas storage field operated by Dominion was impeding his ability to lease his property and make a large amount of money accessing the Marcellus formations under the property. Plaintiff originally filed a 13-count complaint but following a motion to dismiss and oral argument, the complaint was reduced to one count alleging a de facto taking under the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code. After discovery, summary judgment fully resolved the matter in the client’s favor.
- Won an appeal in the Commonwealth Court on behalf of a municipality for ordinance violations by a landowner after earning a judgment against the landowner in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.
- Obtained dozens of natural gas pipeline easements and natural gas storage easements via eminent domain on behalf of natural gas pipeline companies and effectively represented the companies at multiple court hearings and Board of View proceedings.
- Negotiated a $1.6M settlement in a condemnation action for a roadway where the condemor claimed de minimis damages
- On behalf of a health care automation solutions provider, obtained dismissal of claims arising from the theft of an employee’s laptop computer containing protected health information, on grounds that court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to adequately allege injury-in-fact.
- Won a TRO in federal court on behalf of a natural gas pipeline company where a landowner was threatening to interfere with and cause harm to the existing pipeline infrastructure.
- Contributed as part of a team that counseled and obtained a $447M settlement for the world’s fourth largest aluminum smelter in a racketeering and fraud suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which was the first case brought by a foreign business in a U.S. court to recover losses that resulted from alleged corrupt activity by corporations and individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere.
- Assisted in handling antitrust investigations and negotiating antitrust clearance in two 2012 Pennsylvania hospital acquisitions for a major health system.
- Assisted in a seven-week trial arising out of the design and construction of an events facility, where the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County returned a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of the firm's client.
Florida International University College of Law, J.D., 2008,
Law Review and Law Review Editorial Board; FIU National Moot Court Competition Team; FIU National Trial Team; 2008 AAJ National Trial Team Southeast Regional Champion; 2006 FIU Appellate Advocacy Competition Champion, Best Brief, and Best Advocate; CALI Awards (top grade) in Pre-Trial Practice, Trial Advocacy, Conflict of Laws, and Legal Skills and Values III; Florida Ass’n of Criminal Defense Lawyers' 2008 Theodore Klein Memorial Award; 2008 FIU Excellence in Trial Advocacy Scholarship Award; 2008 FIU Excellence in Oral Advocacy Scholarship Award; International Law Study Abroad - University of Florence
Duquesne University, B.S., 2004, summa cum laude
Valedictorian; Dominion Distinguished Scholar, 2004; Phi Eta Sigma National Scholarship Recipient; Lambda Sigma Chapter Scholarship Recipient; Student Government Scholarship Recipient, Business Administration - Information Technology
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- Florida Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
President, St. Thomas More Society of Pittsburgh
Member, Allegheny County Bar Association
Former Board Member, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade Chapter
Former Law Fellow, Lawyers for Literacy
Board Secretary, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (2012-present)
Board Member, Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Pittsburgh (2017-present)
United Way, Adopt-A-School, Arsenal Mock Trial Coordinator (2016)
Cantor, St. Killian Church, Cranberry Township (2017-present)
Cantor/Soloist, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church (2010-present)
Board Member, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (2011-2014)
Miss Pennsylvania 2004, part of the Miss America Scholarship Organization