Bernadette Catalana: Counsel, Lavin, O’Neil, Cedrone & DiSipio

Who are you and what is your role?

My name is Bernadette Catalana and I am of counsel to Lavin, O’Neil, Cedrone & DiSipio, a firm based in Philadelphia.  I work out of the Rochester and New York City offices. I have a practice which focuses largely on strategy, team coordination and settlement negotiations in the mass tort space. I also have devoted a great deal of time to mentoring young lawyers. Kelly Odorisi and I wrote a CLE program, Candid Talk Women, to encourage women to “opt-in” to the practice of law.

From whom or what do you draw inspiration as a leader?

I like to read things written by or about lawyers who became world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi (I have a compilation of his writings at my bedside table), Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln. I also get inspiration from other notables that are not readily recognized as lawyers: Washington Irving, Francis Scott Key, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kadinsky, Andrea Bocelli. I am mindful that I am privileged to be a member of this “exclusive club” and I try to let that fact inspire my practice.