Each professional at Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. has a unique background that plays an integral role within our legal team.
Please click on the name of the attorney to view their biography.
John F. Pyfer, Jr., is the founder of Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. A Lancaster County native, he attended Lampeter-Strasburg School District. The firm’s Willow Street Office is housed in his former boyhood home.
A cum laude graduate of the Peddie School, Hightstown, New Jersey, he received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania and Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Vanderbilt School of Law, Nashville, Tennessee. While there, he received the Dean’s Award for the most outstanding senior writing. In 1972, he received the Howard C. Schwab Award from the American Bar Association for submitting the best essay dealing with family matters in a nationwide competition among law students.
Mr. Pyfer served as Law Clerk for the Honorable W. Hensel Brown, former President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County. Admitted to practice before all courts of the Commonwealth, he may also appear before the United States Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
He is listed in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. Mr. Pyfer was the founder and first president of the W. Hensel Brown American Inn of Court. He has contributed articles to a number of law reviews and many of his courtroom openings and summations have been published in various journals and treatises including Julien, Opening Statements; Stein, Closing Arguments; and Goldstein, Trial Technique.
Philadelphia Magazine has listed him as one of Pennsylvania’s “Super Lawyers,” and he is routinely selected by the readers of Lancaster County Magazine as one of the County’s “Best Attorneys.”
Active in civic matters, he is past president of the Willow Street Lions Club, an elder and past president of the Willow Street United Church of Christ and a former Board Member of the Samaritan Counseling Center. He is a member of Lodge No. 43 F. & A. M. Masonic Lodge, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He served as chairman of the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County.
A former New Era “Teen of the Week,” he has also been profiled twice in the People Section of the Lancaster Sunday News, and he is a recipient of the Lancaster New Era’s “Red Rose Award” for his volunteer activities. He was featured in SIR Magazine and The Pennsylvania Lawyer, as well as made an honorary member of the Willow Street Fire Company and the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of Quarryville.
Very active in Boy Scout affairs throughout his life, he is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and recipient of numerous Scouting awards, including the “Silver Beaver” and “Silver Antelope”. He is a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow and has attended 20 World and National Scout Jamborees. He was Scoutmaster of the Pennsylvania Troop that attended the World Jamboree in Australia. He has participated in the Philmont Scout Reservation and the Schiff Reservation. He has been president of the Lancaster-Lebanon Boy Scout Council and Area IV of the Northeast Region of the Boy Scouts. Currently, he serves on the Northeast Region Board and the National Committee for International Scouting.
In his spare time, Mr. Pyfer collects American Flyer toy trains and Lancaster County tall case clocks, as well as raises orchids. Married more than 35 years, he is the father of two.
Christopher C. Straub is a native of Lancaster and attended J.P. McCaskey High School and Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, from which he graduated with honors. He attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and has completed additional course work at Franklin & Marshall College in the field of accounting.
Mr. Straub served for two years as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Wayne G. Hummer, Jr., Family Court Judge of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the Lancaster County and American Bar Associations. Mr. Straub became associated with Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. in 1982, is a shareholder, the Vice-President of the corporation and chairs our family law section. In 1989, Mr. Straub was chosen by the Judges of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas to serve as a Special Divorce Master.
Mr. Straub participates in volunteer fund-raising activities, Little League Baseball, instructional basketball coaching and is a board member of the Penn Manor School Board. During high school, he participated in basketball and baseball. Mr. Straub served as an appointed mentor of the Lancaster County Domestic Relations Task Force. Mr. Straub resides in Millersville with his wife Erika, and children, Kyle, Cody, and Madison.
Acceptance to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Sandra Edwards Gray is a Texan and a graduate of Houston Baptist University. After graduating from college, she was a secondary mathematics teacher. While teaching, she attended graduate school on a part-time basis and earned a Master’s Degree in Education, with honors, from Temple University. Ms. Gray later attended Villanova Law School, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1983. While in law school, she won the Annual Client Counseling Competition and represented Villanova Law School at the Regional competition in 1982. In addition, she has been listed in Outstanding Young Women of America. She has been voted one of the top attorneys in Lancaster County.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Gray served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Wayne G. Hummer, Jr. She joined Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. and is a Shareholder and the Secretary of the Firm.
In 1986, Ms. Gray was selected by the Judges of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas to serve as a Custody Conference Officer. She served the Court as a Custody Conference Officer, on a part-time basis, for ten years.
Ms. Gray has served as a lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. In addition, she has spoken to numerous local groups in the areas of estate planning and matrimonial law.
Ms. Gray is active in community affairs. She is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Dollars for Scholars of Lancaster County. In the past, she has been an active member of the Boards of Directors of the YWCA, the League of Women Voters, Project Runway, Lancaster Guidance Center, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and also an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
In 2012, Ms. Gray became the first person in Lancaster County to be accepted as a member of the American Academy or Matrimonial Lawyers.
In her leisure time, Ms. Gray enjoys reading novels, watching old movies, rollerblading and spending time with her family.
Gabriella H. Farhat graduated with honors from Archbishop Carroll High School for Girls, Radnor, Pennsylvania. She placed second in the National Optometrist Orator's Contest and was a member of “Who's Who Among High School Students.” A Dean's List graduate of Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, she majored in Political Science and Modern Languages, with a Pre-Law concentration. She was President of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society, Secretary of the French Club, a member of the Basketball Club and the Villanova Pre-Law Society. Ms. Farhat is a 1986 graduate of Villanova University School of Law where she participated in the Reimel Moot Court Competition and was a member of the Honor Board and the Environmental Law Society.
While attending law school, Ms. Farhat always held a part-time job and served as a summer Law Clerk to both the Honorable Raymond Broderick and the Honorable Richard A. Powers, III, both of the U.S. Federal Courthouse, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She has been with Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. since September, 1986, and became a shareholder in 1991. She has been admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and is a member of the Pennsylvania and Lancaster Bar Associations, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association. She may also appear before the United States Federal District Courts for both the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She has also appeared before the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Ms. Farhat has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Her areas of practice include general civil litigation, which consists of personal injury matters, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death/survival actions, workers’ compensation cases, and slip and fall incidents.
She is active in her community and enjoys assisting in numerous volunteer fund-raising events. She is a member of the Turks' Head Auxiliary of The Chester County Hospital, is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and at various times, has served as a committee member of her local church. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, attending her daughter's various activities, studying foreign languages and spending quality time with her husband, daughter, family and friends.
Our firm has been chosen by Lancaster residents as your leading Personal Injury law firm in 2011 and 2013.
Melissa M. Wohlsen has resided in Lancaster County since 1990. She graduated from Manheim Township High School in 1996 where she participated in soccer and volleyball. In 2000, she received her Bachelor of Arts from Elizabethtown College where she majored in Sociology and Anthropology, with a concentration in Criminology. Ms. Wohlsen graduated with honors and was a member of the International Sociology Honor Society and varsity soccer team. During her senior year at Elizabethtown, she interned at Delaware Volunteer Legal Services where she provided assistance to indigent residents of the State of Delaware. Ms. Wohlsen graduated from Widener University School of Law in 2003. While at Widener, she interned at the District Attorney's Office in Lancaster County where she represented the Commonwealth in the Court of Common Pleas.
Admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2005, she joined Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. in February of 2005. Ms. Wohlsen is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Lancaster Bar Association. Her primary area of practice includes Social Security.
In her leisure time, Ms. Wohlsen enjoys playing indoor soccer and spending time with family, especially her husband Todd and her sons.
Robert H. Reese, Jr., is a shareholder of Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Reese brings with him his expertise in family law, specializing in divorce, custody and support. He also specializes in criminal law and has been a participant in Driving Under the Influence Seminars put on by the Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Council.
Mr. Reese is a native of Lancaster County, having graduated from Manheim Township High School, class of 1965. He is a graduate of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, with double majors of honors in political science and honors in American history. He graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1972. In addition to practicing law in Lancaster County, he has practiced law in 27 Pennsylvania counties and has appeared in the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Reese has had a number of his opening and closing arguments published in national publications.
Mr. Reese is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Lancaster County Bar Association and has been admitted to practice in both the Eastern District and Middle District of the United States Federal Court. He is also a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Mr. Reese has been involved in sports his entire life and in college gained All-American status as a runner. He has completed numerous marathons and ultra marathons in the eastern part of the United States. He is the past president of the Manheim Township High School Booster Club, a past Officer of the Manheim Township Soccer Club and also a past Officer in the Lancaster County Girls Soccer Association. Mr. Reese is also affiliated with the Central Pennsylvania United States Naval Academy Parents Association.
Mr. Reese resides in Lancaster with his wife Monica, and is the father of two daughters, Shannon and Kelly.
David A. Lewis was born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He graduated with honors from Great Valley High School in 1988, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, concert band, jazz band and orchestra as a drummer/percussionist. In 1992, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Gettysburg College. An avid musician, David was a member of a variety of local bands, and served three years on the Executive Board of the college radio station.
Immediately following graduation, David opened an independent music store in Lancaster County with a college classmate. David owned and operated that business until January, 2001, when he enrolled in Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. While at Widener, David was a member of the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society, and represented Widener in two national trial competitions. The Society awarded David the Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award for 2003-2004, and Widener named him the “Most Promising Civil Litigator” for 2004. David graduated cum laude from Widener in May, 2004.
During his final year at Widener, he worked as a clerk/paralegal for the criminal defense firm of Sitzler and Sitzler in Mount Holly, New Jersey. At Sitzler and Sitzler, David researched complex criminal issues and authored briefs on behalf of the senior partner for review by various Municipal Courts, Superior Courts, and Appellate Division.
David was admitted to both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar in 2004. Prior to joining Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. in January, 2007, David was engaged in private practice in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation. He is a member of the Lancaster Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Albert J. Meier is a native of Lancaster County, having graduated from Penn Manor High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, in 1983. In 1986, he graduated from the Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware.
Mr. Meier was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1986. Prior to joining Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat P.C. in March 2006, he practiced family law and general civil litigation in both the private and public sectors.
He was appointed by the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County to serve as Staff Attorney for the Domestic Relations Section of that court from 1991 until 1995, and served as Staff Attorney for the Domestic Relations Section of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County from 1998 until 2005. As a Domestic Relations Staff Attorney, Mr. Meier represented the interests of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in all paternity and support matters, and also advised the Domestic Relations Office on issues arising from the implementation of new paternity and support laws, the support guidelines, and the statewide support enforcement program. Mr. Meier has presented numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars to the Lancaster County Bar and at Domestic Relations Association of Pennsylvania annual conferences on topics involving paternity and support law.
Mr. Meier is admitted to practice before all Pennsylvania courts, as well as the United States Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a member of the Lancaster County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.