OGC - Attorneys > The General Counsel

The General Counsel 

Jarad W. Handelman
General Counsel

Jarad W. Handelman was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett as General Counsel of the Commonwealth in November of 2014. As General Counsel of the Commonwealth, Mr. Handelman not only provides legal counsel to the Governor and his Executive Staff, he also oversees nearly 500 lawyers who serve as counsel to 36 executive and independent agencies.

Previously, Mr. Handelman served as First Executive Deputy General Counsel to Governor Corbett, having been appointed by James D. Schultz, former General Counsel of the Commonwealth, in January of 2013. In that role, Mr. Handelman was responsible for overseeing the operation and management of the Governor's Office of General Counsel Executive Office and the Offices of Chief Counsel to Executive Branch Departments, as well as many of the Commonwealth's independent agencies. In addition, Mr. Handelman provided legal counsel to the Governor's Executive Staff and Cabinet Officials.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Handelman served as the Executive Deputy General Counsel for Litigation in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel commencing with his appointment in July of 2012. In this capacity, Mr. Handelman supervised all litigation conducted by the Governor’s Office of General Counsel for the 36 executive agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction. In addition, he served as the liaison to the Office of Attorney General on matters it handles on behalf of the executive agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction pursuant to the Commonwealth Attorneys Act. Mr. Handelman also served as the Chair of the Litigation Practice Group.

Mr. Handelman’s Commonwealth service began as a Deputy General Counsel with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel in April of 2011. In his role as Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Handelman was involved in a variety of litigation and appeals encompassing various Commonwealth agencies. In tandem with his litigation practice, Mr. Handelman served as liaison counsel to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Department of Insurance, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor & Industry, and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education; liaison responsibilities that he also fulfilled during his tenure as Executive Deputy General Counsel.

Prior to joining the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, Mr. Handelman was in private practice for twelve years with the Hershey law firm of James, Smith, Dietterick & Connelly, LLP. During his career in private practice, he handled complex litigation matters for individual and business clients arising from disputes involving a broad range of issues, including contracts; domestic; real estate; partnership and corporate dissolutions; civil rights; employment; personal injury; estate and will contests; insurance defense; torts; and criminal law. Mr. Handelman routinely represented clients before state trial courts across central Pennsylvania, as well as before a variety of other state tribunals, in addition to representation of clients in federal bankruptcy and district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Concurrently with his trial practice, Mr. Handelman’s private practice included experience before the Pennsylvania appellate courts, including the frequent prosecution and defense of appeals to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, as well as presentation of argument before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Mr. Handelman was honored on July 1, 2013, to be appointed by the Honorable Thomas G. Saylor, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, to serve on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee for a three year term. Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Mr. Handelman is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern, and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. Mr. Handelman earned his juris doctor, cum laude, from the Widener University School of Law in 1998. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Gettysburg College in 1994.

Jarad W. Handelman