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City of Philadelphia


The Law Division is supervised by Nancy Winkelman, 215-686-5700,
Assistant Supervisor is Paul George, 215-686-5730,

Appeals Unit

The attorneys of the Appeals Unit represent the Commonwealth when a defendant challenges his or her criminal conviction via either a direct appeal, or an appeal from the denial of a state post-conviction relief petition. In addition, they handle Commonwealth appeals and offer advice and legal support to other divisions in the DAO. These attorneys practice in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts.

The Supervisor of the Appeals Unit is Larry Goode, 215-686-5729,


The attorneys of the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) Unit represent the Commonwealth in Common Pleas (CP) Court by responding to PCRA petitions. These attorneys function in a hybrid role; they conduct evidentiary hearings, examine witnesses, and handle heavy CP dockets just as our trial ADAs do, while also completing complicated briefing and oral arguments akin to an Appeals attorney.

The supervisor of the PCRA Unit is Tracey Kavanagh, 215-686-5707,

Federal Litigation Unit

The attorneys of the Federal Litigation Unit represent the Commonwealth in the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit when a defendant brings a federal habeas petition challenging the propriety of his or her state conviction. The majority of the cases handled by these attorneys are murders and serious felonies.

The supervisor of the Federal Litigation Unit is Max Kaufman, 215-686-5747,

Civil Litigation Unit

The attorneys of the Civil Litigation Unit represent the Office in civil lawsuits in state and federal courts. They also draft contracts, respond to discovery and right-to-know-law requests, and advise on human resources issues for the Office.

The supervisor of the Civil Litigation Unit is Catherine Kiefer, 215-686-5742,

Government Affairs Unit

The Government Affairs Unit serves as legislative liaison for individuals, community organizations, and coalitions to elected officials in the local, state, and federal governments. This unit reviews legislative proposals in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and regularly consults with legislators, key staff, and the public to ensure the views of the prosecutor are heard. The Government Affairs Unit prepares testimony for hearings on behalf of the DAO, researches evidence-based best practices for public safety topics, and keeps elected officials updated on bills throughout the legislative sessions. Additionally, the unit coordinates DAO budget requests by drafting budget-related testimony presented to the City Council of Philadelphia and monitoring budgetary programming requests and commitments.

The supervisor of the Government Affairs Unit is Mike Lee, 215-686-8712,