Two members of the Cozen O'Connor trusts and estate practice group have been elected to leadership roles in the Delaware and Philadelphia Bar Associations. Firm member Michael R. Stein has been elected chair of the estates and trusts section of the Delaware State Bar Association for a one-year term beginning on July 1, 2008. The section reviews existing legislation and drafts proposed legislation relating to Delaware estates and trusts and meets regularly to discuss and consider general developments pertaining to estate planning, estate administration and trust administration. Firm member Margaret Gallagher Thompson, who currently serves as chair-elect of the probate section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, will be installed as chair of the section in January 2009.
A member in the trusts and estates practice resident in the Philadelphia and Wilmington offices, Stein has significant experience in wealth transfer planning and tax planning for high net worth individuals and families. He handles estate planning, estate and trust administration, post-mortem planning, business succession planning and charitable planning. Stein also represents clients before the IRS in audit and related proceedings pertaining to federal estate tax and gift tax returns and counsels clients on the advantages of using Delaware estate planning and asset protection techniques that are available to residents and non-residents of Delaware.
A resident of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Stein is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, and before the U.S. Tax Court. Stein is a member of the Pennsylvania, Delaware and American Bar Associations, as well as the Montgomery Bar Association, where he was the associate editor of the Montgomery County Law Reporter from 1992-1993. He is also a trustee of Golden Slipper Camp, an overnight camp in the Poconos for deserving children, and has served on the camp’s board of governors and executive board since 1993. Stein serves as co-chair of the planned giving committee for Tiferet Bet Israel Synagogue, located in Blue Bell, Pa., and is a member of the professional advisory committee of the Delaware Community Foundation.
Stein is a graduate of Dickinson College (B.A., 1984) and the Dickinson School of Law (J.D., 1989), where he was articles editor of the Dickinson Journal of International Law and received the William L. Wilks Award. He earned his master of laws in Taxation from the Villanova School of Law Graduate Tax Program (L.L.M., 1992).
Resident in the Philadelphia office, Thompson serves as chair of the firm’s trusts and estates practice. She provides expert advice regarding tax and estate planning to high-net worth individuals and charitable organizations, and counsels family-owned businesses regarding the development and implementation of business succession plans.
Thompson is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia bar associations. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel for which she serves on the asset protection committee. In addition to her election as chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s probate section, she is a member of that section's rules and practice committee. Thompson also served on the 2007 commission on judicial selection and retention of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Thompson also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Procedural Rules Committee for the Orphans’ Court.
Thompson has been named a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” each year since 2004 and was among the top 50 female lawyers in the 2004 blue ribbon review processes for this selection. She was selected for inclusion in the 2006 and 2007 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and recently authored, "Where We Were and Where We Are in Family Limited Partnerships," The Legal Intelligencer, Aug. 1, 2005. She has lectured on a variety of estate planning topics.
Thompson has served on the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Children's Behavioral Health Taskforce. In addition, Thompson is a volunteer with Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, Homeless Advocacy Project, Aid for Friends, and is a member of the Class of 2000 of Leadership, Philadelphia. She teaches religious education at her parish church, and has served on the parish Pastoral Council.
A resident of Wyndmoor, Pa., Thompson received her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University (B.S., magna cum laude, 1974), her graduate degree from Ohio State University (M.A., magna cum laude, 1979) and her law degree from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1989), where she served as executive editor of the Temple Law Review. Following law school, Thompson clerked for Hon. Anthony J. Scirica, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.