Republican National Lawyers Association | (RNLA)
Republican National Lawyers Association | (RNLA)

Member Profile


Mr. J. Matthew Wolfe

Law Offices of J. Matthew Wolfe
Regular Member
Office:
4256 Regent Square
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: 215-387-7300
Email: matthew@wolfe.org

Law School: Villinova (1981)

Practice Areas:
 

Matthew Wolfe has extensive experience as a litigator generally and in election law specifically. He has been active in Republican politics since an undergraduate at Penn, serving as a Committeeman, Ward Leader in Philadelphia’s 27th Ward, a member of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee from the 8th Senatorial District and in various capacities on campaigns.
His political work led him to involvement in election law matters. He has represented the Republican Party and individual candidates in litigation involving nominating petitions, voter registration, appointment of election board officials, disputes involving sample ballots and locating polling places. He has advised candidates and political action committees in responsibilities related to political fundraising, spending and reporting. He was on the Steering Committee for the Lawyers for Bush during the 2004 reelection campaign.
He has been involved in several innovative and unique suits involving election law. In 2004 he was part of Ralph Nader’s litigation team in Pennsylvania in his attempt to be on the ballot in that year’s presidential election, one of the largest petition challenges ever brought in Pennsylvania. He filed suit to contest legislative reapportionment and argued the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He is involved in ongoing litigation with the former leadership of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee relating to the most recent election for Chairman as well as other issues involving the party bylaws. He is plaintiff’s attorney in a class action suit brought against the Philadelphia County Board of Elections which seeks to compel the city to comply with its own 21st Century Minimum Wage Law, which requires that the city pay all of its employees 150% of the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, as it relates to election board workers. Those workers are currently paid less than the minimum wage.
Wolfe practices in his own firm, handling a broad range of litigation, including employment law, commercial litigation and personal injury matters. He worked for a number of years with the Law Offices of Alice W. Ballard, P.C., (his co-counsel in the class action matter involving the 21st Century Minimum Wage Law), focusing his practice on employment law. Prior to coming to the Law Office of Alice W. Ballard he was the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in Harrisburg. As the Commonwealth’s top labor lawyer he supervised a staff of over 125 attorneys and over 50 support staff. He experience encompassed all aspects of employment and labor law, including employment discrimination matters, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation programs, unemployment compensation taxes, prevailing wage laws and other labor law compliance matters. He coordinated the legal matters relating to the state’s running of job training programs and vocational rehabilitation programs. In addition to his full time staff he was also responsible for supervising over 50 attorneys and firms on contract, primarily retained to represent the State Workers’ Insurance Fund in defending workers’ compensation claims. He also presided over significant changes in the structure and management of the legal office.
While at the Department of Labor and Industry, Wolfe was involved in some of the most important initiatives of the Ridge Administration. Act 57 was passed which significantly reformed the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Wolfe and his staff were involved in drafting the legislation, moving it through the legislature and in the massive job of drafting regulations needed for implementation of the new legislation. Another major change dealt with the methodology with which the prevailing wage rates were set. The Department moved from simply setting the rates at the union rates to the much more involved process of conducting surveys to determine the rates on a county by county basis. Both the changes in workers’ compensation and prevailing wage involved hundreds of millions of dollars and both, not surprisingly, precipitated contentious litigation. Wolfe headed up teams of litigators to personally conduct this litigation on behalf of the Commonwealth. Other unique matters which were personally handled by Wolfe included the circumstance in which the State Treasurer sued the Secretary of Labor and Industry and the Insurance Commissioner in a matter involving the State Workers’ Insurance Fund’s sale of three banks which had been seized by the Banking Department during the Casey Administration and a matter in which there was a criminal prosecution of a former employee who was charged with harassing the Executive Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Prior to serving with the Ridge Administration, Wolfe conducted his own private practice. His office handled a general practice concentration on litigation. He handled a wide range of employment litigation, representing both employees and employers. One notable victory in Federal Court involved a longtime employee of the Department of Defense who was awarded a $587,000.00 verdict by a jury in a race discrimination case. He also served as general counsel to a number of small businesses and was involved in all of their employment related matters.
His initial experience was also government related. He served as a Deputy Attorney General under LeRoy Zimmerman, serving in the Tort Litigation Section in Philadelphia. In that position he handled a variety of tort litigation, including auto accident matters, property liability matters, medical malpractice matters and products liability matters. He took numerous matters to jury verdicts. Prior to that he served as Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, also in Philadelphia. In that position he was also a trial attorney and handled eminent domain matters, driver’s licensing matters, landlord-tenant matters and property damage claims.
Wolfe has also served as counsel to numerous community groups in West Philadelphia and has conducted litigation on their behalf as well as litigation brought on behalf of the Republican Party in West Philadelphia. He has also been appointed a Special Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia to work in the nuisance bar program and has served as a volunteer attorney with both Community Legal Services and Philadelphia V.I.P. He has a long record of community service in his West Philadelphia neighborhood and has been involved in local Republican politics since he was an undergraduate at Penn.



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