The 2009 Honorable Thomas Wood. Jr., Equal Access to Justice Award was presented to newly installed Judge Marc Lovecchio at the Lycoming Law Association's 2010 annual banquet. Judge Lovecchio was recognized for his many years of advocacy for the poor, while in private practice.
Although unable to be present (as he was attending new judge's school), his wife, Angela Lovecchio, expressed his appreciation for the award, while accepting on his behalf.
Danna Rich-Collins, of the Williamsport Legal Services office, explained the reasons for the award:
When this year’s recipient learned that he was to receive the award he quipped, “have you run out of people?” – Like the award winners before him he thought his efforts weren’t extraordinary nor merited recognition. We disagree!
Like many of our volunteers, unless he has a conflict of interest, he takes the call and then takes the referral. He has been our go-to person for many years - as some may say a “multiple threat performer” – be it landlord/tenant (well before he started representing landlords), consumer, school expulsions, employment ,and family, he has been willing and never shies away from the controversial nor the unpopular.
As a matter of fact colleagues in other offices would call and ask if we thought he would take a referral from their county, and at program wide litigation meetings others would bemoan that they wished they had a “Marc Lovecchio” to refer a certain case.
Marc not only took individual cases, he was one of the first and only to volunteer to spend a day at legal services and handle the calls that came in that day ( a short lived program). Over the years he has been available for “mentoring”, as well as case handling. After his election as Judge, I contacted him to find out when we should stop referring cases to him and he said “probably by the end of November.” He took referrals right up to the end.
As he moves on to another legal career we will surely miss his volunteer efforts and the oft heard retort when we have a case that is out of the ordinary, time consuming and contentious,. “I wonder if Marc would take this referral?”
The 2009 Honorable Thomas Wood Jr. Equal Access to Justice Award goes to the Honorable Marc Lovecchio.