Peacock Keller welcomes two new associates Michael J. Roche and Blake J. Birchmeier. Mr. Roche joined the Firm’s Litigation Department and will focus his practice on civil litigation. Mr. Birchmeier joined the Firm’s Business and Estates & Trusts Departments, focusing his practice on both business and estate matters.
Michael graduated summa cum laude from Slippery Rock University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and was a Dean’s Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 2017.
During law school he interned in Black Box Corporation’s in-house legal department and in the United States District Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Michael is a decorated Pennsylvania Air National Guard veteran, and he actively participated in the law school’s Veterans Practicum. Following law school, Michael worked as a volunteer attorney with Federal Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He also spent time at a boutique civil litigation law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, specializing in insurance defense.
Mr. Roche is licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of both the Allegheny and Washington County Bar Associations.
Blake J. Birchmeier graduated, magna cum laude, from the Ohio Northern University – Getty College of Arts & Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts degree, having a Major in History and a Minor in Public History and Museum Studies. During his undergraduate studies, Blake competed as an NCAA Division III athlete, playing centerfield for the ONU baseball program and was employed by the University as a Resident Director through the Office of Residence Life.
Following his undergraduate education, Blake remained in Ada, Ohio, where he attended the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University. During law school, Blake became a member of the Ohio Northern Law Review, where he served both as a Staff Editor and Associate Editor, earning the Outstanding Staff Editor Award for his role with Vol. XLI in 2015. After his first year of law school, Blake came to Washington, Pennsylvania, where he interned with the Honorable Katherine B. Emery, President Judge of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. At the close of his second year, Blake secured a year-long clerkship with a solo practitioner in Lima, Ohio, where he assisted in the firm’s civil, estate, and criminal defense practice. Throughout his third year of law school, Blake was a legal intern at the Ohio Northern University’s Transactional Clinic, where represented numerous 501(c)(3) organizations throughout the State of Ohio. During his three years of legal education, Blake continued his employment with the Office of Residence Life at Ohio Northern University, serving as the Resident Director for law student housing as well as a sophomore dormitory on campus.
Blake graduated from the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University in May 2017, earning a certificate in Corporate Law and receiving a CALI Award for achieving the highest grade in the courses of Taxation of Business Entities and Advanced Legal Research.
After law school, Blake had the privilege of serving as Deputy Clerk for the Honorable Robert W. Rettich, III, in his hometown of Miamisburg, Ohio, where he assisted in the Court’s Civil Division. Blake came back to Washington, Pennsylvania, to accept a clerkship with the Honorable Katherine B. Emery, President Judge of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. His clerkship with Judge Emery covered all areas of civil law as well as work with the Orphans’ Court Division.
Blake is a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Blake is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Washington County Bar Association.