Law Office of Stephen M. Otto, LLC was originally established on January 2, 2004. I had been working as a Staff Attorney in the Beaver County office of Neighborhood Legal Services Association for the past three years, beginning in 2001. While I certainly found the work at NLSA to be fulfilling and rewarding, I decided that it was time for me to try new challenges. In addition, the timing seemed appropriate because Jeffery Bovalino, formerly the law clerk to Judge Gus Kwidis, had decided to purchase the law practice that Judge Mancini was forced to leave behind once he was elected. Jeffery asked me to join him in the same office space to share some of the work. Thus, the law firm was born. Our first location was 1300 8th Avenue in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Toward the spring of our first year, a decision was made to use the extensive bankruptcy experience I had gained at NLSA to focus the Firm’s practice and related marketing efforts in that area. In February 2005, having outgrown the Beaver Falls space, we moved the office to 1915 Kennedy Boulevard in Aliquippa and at the same time introduced a satellite location in my hometown of Sewickley, Pennsylvania. I was thrilled to be closer to home!
In the spring of 2005, new bankruptcy laws — what would become known as “BAPCPA” — squeaked through Congress. While the laws didn’t change much regarding the bankruptcy relief afforded to ordinary consumers, the changes were significant enough to cause a substantial number of clients who had been undecided about filing for bankruptcy to make the decision to file prior to the law’s scheduled activation on October 15, 2005. Consequently, between April and October 2015, we were extremely busy. Once the rush subsided in October, we decided to move the Firm’s primary location to The Car Barn Shops Building in Sewickley, Pennsylvania to be closer to our primary client base. The Firm’s headquarters continues to be located on the second floor of The Car Barn Shops.
In April of 2007, I attended a National Association of Consumer Advocates conference in Denver, Colorado. At this conference, I received an introduction to a beautiful and brilliant young woman named Amy who would soon become my life partner. Amy was from Berks County, Pennsylvania, and my frequent trips from Sewickley to Reading soon caused us to consider the opening of an office in the area. We established an office at 2 Woodland Road in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and Amy, also a lawyer, was appointed to manage it.
Between October 2013 and December 2014, the Firm was inactive due to a temporary union with another local bankruptcy-focused law firm. On December 8, 2014, the Firm resumed activity with a new Wyomissing address — 845 N. Park Road, Suite 306.
On January 8, 2015, the Firm established a third location in One Bethlehem Plaza to serve our clients who reside in the Lehigh Valley.
I am grateful to all of my clients for your support and encouragement in these endeavors!
— Stephen M. Otto, Esquire