Nobody ever wants to be in the market for a criminal defense attorney. But everyone who does need a defense attorney knows that they need a great one. Imagine, then, that you could hire not only a defense attorney, but an attorney who has served as both a county prosecutor and a county judge. An attorney with 30 years of litigation experience on both sides of the bench. An attorney who has been admitted to argue cases before the highest court in our country. An attorney who has spent his entire career inside the justice system where you now need to be expertly represented.
You can hire such an attorney. His name is Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., and he is the Managing Shareholder of Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
If his name or photo look familiar, that is probably because you’ve seen him in the newspaper or on local television newscasts. The regional media frequently seek him out for his valuable perspective on current legal issues. You may also recognize Peter from his years spent serving the public as district attorney of Luzerne County and then as a judge in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
In private practice since 2010, Peter focuses on criminal defense, medical malpractice in Pennsylvania and personal injury matters. His acumen in the courtroom has resulted in significant victories for his clients, and led him to be named in 2014 to the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which requires members to secure at least one multi-million dollar verdict, award or settlement. In 2015, Peter was named to the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, recognizing him as one of Pennsylvania’s most outstanding attorneys.
Peter also is Capital Case Certified; when a client’s life is in the balance, Peter is one of the relatively few attorneys with a skillset equal to the task of their defense. During his tenure as district attorney, Peter tried 18 jury trials to verdict, including seven first-degree murder verdicts. As a common pleas judge, he presided over hundreds of criminal and civil jury trials including multiple death penalty trials. He also served as the Criminal Court Administrator.
Before being elected district attorney in 1992, Peter served as solicitor to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Police Lodges and assistant solicitor to the Pennsylvania State Police, Fraternal Order of Police, Frank Albert Memorial Lodge no. 43. Peter currently represents many local police departments throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania in a variety of matters including contract negotiations and labor grievances. He has represented numerous individual police officers and state troopers with civil and criminal matters.
Peter is admitted to practice before all of Pennsylvania’s state courts, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a 1984 graduate of The Dickinson School of Law. He enjoys working alongside his wife, attorney Melissa Scartelli, the Founder and President of Scartelli Olszewski.
A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Peter strongly believes in giving back to the legal and larger communities. He is a member and former co-chairman of the Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association Criminal Law Committee and is a founding member of the District Attorney’s Committee on Youth and Violence and the Luzerne County Heroin Task Force.
Peter currently serves as the Chairman of the Lacawac Sanctuary Board of Trustees which oversees a 545-acre nature preserve and ecological field research station in Wayne County. He is an Eagle Scout and a past president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Among numerous additional professional and community affiliations, Peter is a member and past Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Wilkes-Barre Lodge 109 and a former alumni trustee of The Dickinson School of Law. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and, in his spare time, enjoys archery hunting and golfing, as well as spending time with his family.