Jerry M. Lehocky
- Temple University School of Law (J.D. 1985)
- Allegheny College (1982)
- Past President of The Pennsylvania Association for Justice
- Former Board of Directors of the Volunteers for the Indigent Program
- Workplace Injury Litigation Group
- Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations
- American and Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Associations
- Board of Governors, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
- Public Justice
Jerry Lehocky doesn’t set an alarm clock.
Each day, he wakes up to do what he loves, and what he loves is helping society’s injured and disabled. That’s why, for more than 30 years, he has fought tirelessly for the legal rights of injured and disabled workers.
As an avid advocate for workers and a successful litigator who holds several leadership positions within the legal community, Jerry may come across as someone who hails from generations of lawyers. But don’t let his professional confidence and calming presence fool you.
Jerry grew up in the small blue-collar area of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, just northwest of Pittsburgh. As a boy, he learned the value of hard work when his father, a plumber, took him along in his van on the weekends to install toilets and water heaters. His grandfather and uncles worked at the steel mill in town. Like them, Jerry worked hard, putting in 16-hour days at the mill between Memorial Day and Labor Day to pay for college and law school tuition.
An internship with the District of Columbia Public Defender’s Office during his last semester of college sparked Jerry’s interest in the law, and riding around with D.C. Police officers and participating in autopsies got him thinking about people’s injuries. After graduating from Allegheny College in 1982, Jerry attended Temple University School of Law, graduating from the school in 1985.
In 1983, when one of his law school professors left Temple Law to become Philadelphia’s City Solicitor, he offered Jerry a job in the workers’ compensation department of that office. Jerry jumped at the opportunity to gain real-world legal experience. In this case it was helping the City of Philadelphia’s lawyers defend the City in workers’ compensation cases against municipal workers who claimed they were injured on the job.
Jerry’s position with the City of Philadelphia was the first of a string of jobs, culminating with his position at one of largest corporate law firms in Philadelphia, where he was defending employers and insurance companies in workers’ compensation cases. After a few years handling that kind of work, he realized he was on the wrong side of those cases. He wanted to help workers collect the benefits they were legally entitled to—not help their employers and insurance companies deny them those benefits.
Switching sides within a few years, he began representing claimants exclusively in workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases. As his legal practice representing injured workers’ grew, so too did his ambitions. He wanted to build the largest workers’ compensation practice in Pennsylvania.
For Jerry, this goal was personal. When he was young, Jerry saw firsthand how disruptive his father’s health issues were to his family. His father struggled to put food on the table, and the family was close to bankruptcy. Only after being admitted into the plumbers’ union and having access to insurance coverage as a union plumber was his father able to get back on his feet—literally and figuratively.
To this day, to Jerry, each injured worker he represents isn’t just a name on a file. It is a member of a family whose lives have been put on hold, whose livelihood may be at risk, and who face a potentially difficult legal battle. That is where he sees his opportunity to help.
As he grew his practice, Jerry wanted to provide an unparalleled level of service, to fight tenaciously for his clients, and to win big. When he began representing injured workers, Jerry crossed paths (again) with Sam Pond, a friend from law school and a lawyer who Jerry just so happened to replace at an earlier employer when Sam left that job to join the workers’ compensation firm Jerry was now a lawyer at.
During their time together, Jerry and Sam grew inseparable, challenging each other to be the best lawyer, businessperson, husband, and father they could be. After about 13 years of working together at that leading workers’ compensation firm, Jerry and Sam knew there was a better way.
A better way to fight employers and insurers who refused to abide by the law and pay their injured workers the benefits they were entitled to.
A better way to build a law firm that could help clients who suffered injuries of all kinds find the legal and medical help they needed.
A better way to create a winning law firm culture that attracted and retained the best lawyers and staff.
Putting their reputations and resources on the line, and armed with a belief in themselves, each other, and that they were doing the right thing, Jerry and Sam, along with Tom Giordano, turned the lights on at Pond Lehocky Giordano on July 1, 2010. Today, it is the largest workers’ compensation and disability law firm in Pennsylvania.
Even as a founding partner of a law firm the size of Pond Lehocky Giordano, Jerry continues to meet his clients face to face to understand their and their family’s situation, to determine the best legal strategy for securing the benefits they’re entitled to, and uncovering ways to ensure that as many of their legal and medical needs are taken care of as possible. To this day, Jerry is still appearing in court and zealously advocating for his clients every step of the way in their lawsuits. In fact, in 2020, a $4.4 million settlement that Jerry secured was one of the highest workers’ compensation settlements that year.
Jerry’s work isn’t just in the courthouse; he knows his way around the state house. Among his winning efforts to persuade the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass bills that support injured or disabled workers, Jerry co-authored the bill that created the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund. The bill, which became the first law in more than 30 years to protect injured workers, established a fund to provide Pennsylvania workers benefits and financial compensation for their on-the-job injuries when their employers, illegally, fail to carry active workers’ compensation insurance.
As someone who believes in sharing his knowledge and wisdom, learning from his peers, and protecting the integrity of the bar, Jerry has long been active in public service and in serving the legal community. His service to the public and the bar includes:
- Serving as former chairman of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Workers’ Compensation Section (for 12 consecutive years);
- Serving as an advisor to several Pennsylvania governors, as well as numerous state senators and representatives on workers’ compensation issues;
- Serving on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Volunteers for the Indigent Program;
- Serving as Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and as a member of the Court’s Workplace Injury Litigation Group; and
- Serving as president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the first workers’ compensation attorney in the organization’s history to hold that position.
Jerry has been recognized for his accomplishments as a lawyer and his contributions to society, including:
- Receiving the 2017 Milton J. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the highest award the organization gives to a trial lawyer;
- Receiving the President’s Award from the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association in 2018 for service above and beyond on behalf of injured people in Pennsylvania:
- Being selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® Top 100 in Pennsylvania and Super Lawyers® Top 100 in Philadelphia lists, in addition to being selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® list for the past 20 years consecutively;
- Receiving the 1997 Legal Leader Award from Philaposh for distinguished service to injured workers of Pennsylvania;
- Receiving a commendation of dedicated service from the State Senate of Pennsylvania for his efforts on behalf of injured workers in Pennsylvania; and
- Receiving the Joe Hand Gym’s 2014 Good Guy Award for his support of urban youth athletics.
As an ambitious leader who is committed to growing his firm, an approachable litigator who is passionate about protecting workers, and a seasoned colleague who is happy to share what he knows about life and the law, there is always more for Jerry to do to help protect injured and disabled workers.
Perhaps that’s the real reason he doesn’t set an alarm clock. Who needs an alarm clock when you’re driven by a burning desire each day to make the world a better place for your clients and all of society’s injured and disabled?