Firm History

Knox Law began in 1958 as a partnership among William W. Knox, Gerald J. Weber, Conrad A. Pearson, and John M. McLaughlin.

In 1964, Gerald J. Weber was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the first of four members of our firm to become federal judges in the Western District. William W. Knox joined him on the bench in 1970. Sean J. McLaughlin, son of founder John M. McLaughlin, was appointed in 1994, stepping down in 2013 to become General Counsel of the Erie Insurance Group. He returned to the firm in 2019. Another long-time firm litigator was appointed Magistrate Judge in 2018.

Mortimer E. Graham, who had been General Counsel of the Hammermill Paper Company, joined the firm in 1967. William C. Sennett was named Attorney General of Pennsylvania in the same year, returning to the firm in 1970. The firm became a professional corporation in 1971, one of the first in Pennsylvania. John M. McLaughlin served as President of the firm until 1984, followed by William C. Sennett (1985-1994), Wallace J. Knox II, son of founder William W. Knox (1994-1996), Richard H. Zamboldi (1996-2007), and Thomas A. Tupitza (2007-present).

Jackson D. Magenau and M. Fletcher Gornall merged their four-member practice into the firm in 1976. We soon began construction of the first freestanding law office building in downtown Erie. Expansion of the building was necessary within a decade.

Beginning in 1990, a number of experienced lawyers joined us laterally, expanding the breadth of our practice. In 2007, we opened an office in Jamestown, New York. In 2009, James S. Bryan brought a third-generation practice based in North East, Pennsylvania to the firm. Robert J. Jeffery joined the firm in 2018, bringing another North East practice (then known as Orton & Jeffery), four of whose members had gone on to serve on the benches of courts ranging from the Erie County Court of Common Pleas to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In 2018, we opened an office in downtown Pittsburgh.