Meet The Lawyers of SPK
Alan H. Perer
Alan H. Perer’s career has seen a long series of successes in a wide range of cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability and harmful pharmaceuticals.
Many of these are cases have gone to trial, where Mr. Perer has consistently advocated not only for the rights of his clients, but also for the public’s right to be free of dangers created by the neglect or recklessness of corporations and other powerful institutions.
Thanks to Alan Perer’s advocacy, juries have time and time again awarded his clients millions of dollars in justified compensation. Mr. Perer has represented parents who have lost their children to defective products, patients who have suffered from misdiagnosis and harmful medical procedures and hundreds of other victims whose rights, health and life were needlessly harmed or taken away.
Mr. Perer has also settled numerous catastrophic injury cases in his clients’ interests, including the PPA pharmaceutical death case, the USAir Flight 427 wrongful death cases, and a number of important failures-to-diagnose wrongful death cases. These cases all resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
Many of Mr. Perer's cases begin as referrals from other attorneys, which reflects his reputation within the legal profession as an accomplished trial lawyer.
Alan Perer is an elected member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, Best Lawyers in America, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and a member of American Association for Justice and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. He has served on the Alumni Board for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is also Pittsburgh Chapter President of the INBLF, which is an international organization of premiere boutique law firms.
Alan Perer attended Washington & Jefferson College and the University of Pittsburgh, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1973. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he earned his J.D. Degree in 1976.
In 1976, Mr. Perer joined the firm of Scott, Swensen & Scott, which maintained an active civil litigation practice. In 1980, Alan Perer and Jan Swensen formed Swensen & Perer, and in 1999 George Kontos joined the firm as a partner. The firm has evolved to become one of the premier plaintiff medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury firms in Pennsylvania.
As senior partner at SPK, Mr. Perer has been dedicated in to improving the quality and scope of the firm's litigation skills, implementing the latest techniques in its trial practice, including the use of focus groups, mock trials and jury consultants.
Alan Perer is also involved in a wide range of community and charitable activities. For several years, he was on the board of Pittsburgh Hearing and Deaf Services and a long-time member of the board of WYEP Community Broadcasting Network, a Pittsburgh public radio station. He is currently on the board of the Pittsburgh Film Office. And together with his wife, Diane, Mr. Perer has created a fund, through the Pittsburgh Foundation, which supports scholarships for underprivileged students, along with numerous other charitable organizations.
*Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
George M. Kontos
George Kontos is a partner at SPK. He received his B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991. Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate with LaBrum and Doak, in Philadelphia , where his practice included a variety of civil and commercial litigation matters.
In 1993, Mr. Kontos joined the then firm of Swensen & Perer, as an associate. His practice, while still concentrating on litigation, expanded to include civil rights litigation, stockbroker liability, bad faith litigation, product liability and medical malpractice.
Mr. Kontos was recently selected as a Fellow in the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, an invitation-only group of the Bar's most experienced and proficient litigators. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyer's Association, and is an active member of both the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations.
He has guest lectured at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, covering a range of issues including the impact of managed care on the physician patient relationship, and issues concerning medical malpractice. He has also taught various classes as part of the Pennsylvania Bar's continuing legal education program, and has served as moderator for Allegheny County 's "judicial roundtable" - - an educational forum comprised of several prominent judges from the Western Pennsylvania area.
Mr. Kontos is a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, as lecturer in Advanced Trial Evidence.
Mr. Kontos is active in a variety of community and charitable organizations, including the Lupus Foundation of America.
Diane W. Perer
Ms. Perer is a 1968 graduate of Vassar College, magna cum laude, and earned her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1976. Ms. Perer concentrates her practice in mass tort litigation and personal injury law for SPK. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and serves on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee.
Ms. Perer's board affiliations have included the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors of Pittsburgh Hearing, Speech and Deaf Services, the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board and the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
CJ Engel is a partner at SPK. He received his B.A., with distinction, from Penn State in 1998. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2004, where he was a three time recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship.
During law school, CJ was employed as the senior law clerk at SPK. Upon graduation, he joined SPK in 2004 as an associate attorney. As an associate, CJ won verdicts and settlements for his clients in a broad range of personal injury matters, including motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, and premises liability cases.
In the ensuing years, CJ's practice has expanded with his experience. In addition to his personal injury focus, CJ has successfully litigated and settled complex business disputes, employment discrimination, and civil rights cases, obtaining substantial compensation for his clients. CJ has also had the privilege of arguing and upholding SPK's courtroom verdicts before the state and federal appellate courts of Pennsylvania.
CJ's dedication to his clients has resulted in the referral of many cases from his former clients and from other attorneys. More recently, in January 2012, CJ was honored to become a partner at SPK.
CJ is a proud member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and the Western Pennsylvania Association of Trial Lawyers. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations.
CJ resides with his wife Amy, a film and video editor, and his children in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.
Jennifer L. Webster
Jennifer L. Webster is an associate with Swensen, Perer & Kontos and focuses her practice on medical and dental malpractice and personal injury litigation. Jennifer earned her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her Bachelor’s Degree at Duquesne University where she graduated magna cum laude with degrees in Psychology, Sociology and Spanish.
While in law school, Ms. Webster was the recipient of the Alumni Law Scholarship, a member of Phi Alpha Delta, a Pitt Law Ambassador and a successful participant in both the trial and appellate moot court competitions. In addition, she received advanced certification in the fields of Civil Litigation and Health Law. She also received the CALI Award for excellence in the field of Public Health Law.
During law school Jennifer was a senior law clerk with Swensen, Perer & Kontos. She also clerked for the Honorable Judge Debra A. Pezze and was a student attorney at the University of Pittsburgh Civil Practice Clinic where she zealously represented clients in hearings and appeals for Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability and Medicare benefits. After earning her law degree, Jennifer practiced as a contract attorney with SPK while she pursued her Master’s degree. Upon completing her Master’s degree, Jennifer worked as an associate at a Pittsburgh-based defense firm practicing civil litigation.
In addition to her law degree, Jennifer obtained her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh where she received the WEPW Award in Environmental and Occupational Health and Disease.
Ms. Webster is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Western District of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice. She also acts as an arbitrator in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas, hearing civil matters ranging from landlord-tenant disputes to motor vehicle accidents and breach of contract claims.
Jennifer enjoys skiing and playing volleyball and resides with her husband, Colin, in the Pittsburgh area.