Hon. Lawrence F. Stengel (Ret.)


Judge Lawrence F. Stengel (Ret.), Chair of the Internal Investigations Group at Saxton & Stump, has nearly 30 years of judicial experience which enables him to conduct fair and thorough internal investigations for corporations, educational institutions, governmental agencies, municipalities and other organizations across the country. He also leads Optimal Dispute Resolutions, a rapidly growing regional and national ADR provider.

Representative matters in his practice include:

  • He was appointed by the court to serve as Special Investigator in the National Football League’s (NFL) Concussion Settlement program. In this position, he supports the implementation of the NFL settlement agreement by leading the investigation of possibly fraudulent claim submissions and making recommendations to the Special Masters overseeing the administration of the fund.
  • He currently serves as Chair of the Independent Oversight Committee for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP). This program is independent from the Archdiocese and was established to provide a process for compensation to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
  • He was recently appointed to serve as Special Master in a complex civil case in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
  • He has been requested by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to serve as a mediator in a complex civil case.
  • He was invited to give testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s IRRP.

Judge Stengel also works with the Saxton & Stump Labor and Employment Group. He has significant experience in various kinds of employment cases having presided over trials, decided hundreds of summary judgment motions and helped parties reach a settlement in countless cases.

He works closely with Saxton & Stump’s Intellectual Property Group, an area in which he has critical experience, having tried cases and decided issues in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret litigation.

Judge Stengel has presided over a breadth of criminal and civil trials for 28 years, both jury and non-jury. He has extensive experience in deciding matters involving corporate governance, civil rights violations, discrimination and compliance with federal and state regulations. He has worked with law enforcement professionals, attorneys and others and understands the need for legal expertise and interpersonal skills in conducting sensitive and confidential investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Judge Stengel served as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Stengel has proudly served the community for nearly three decades — 14 years as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (EDPA) and 14 years on the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.

From 1990 until 2004, Stengel served as a judge on the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas where he presided over hundreds of trials, jury and nonjury; wrote hundreds of opinions; and conducted settlement conferences in numerous cases. He handled 20 homicide cases, two of which were capital cases that went to trial. His state court work included many complex negligence, product liability, professional malpractice, land use and commercial cases involving trials, hearings, motions and settlements. In 2003, he was nominated to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President George W. Bush. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 16, 2004.

Early in his career, from 1980 to 1984, he was in private practice in Pittsburgh with Dickie, McCamey, and Chilcote, P.C. He then began his own practice in Lancaster with his father, Lawrence E. Stengel, from 1985 until 1990.

At the federal level, Judge Stengel has written hundreds of opinions and has presided over dozens of civil and criminal trials, including two multidistrict litigation cases. In 2009, he was appointed to the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources, the committee responsible for human resources policy for the entire federal judiciary. He was subsequently named Chairman of the Committee by Chief Justice Roberts in 2015.

Judge Stengel received a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Joseph’s University in 1974 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1980. While in law school, he served on the Law Review and published a Comment. He was a teacher at Lancaster Catholic High School from 1974 until 1977; an adjunct professor at Millersville University from 2000 to 2004; an adjunct professor at Franklin and Marshall College for 21 years, from 1997 to 2018; and an adjunct professor at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University from 2013 to 2018.


University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1980

St. Joseph’s College (now St. Joseph’s University), B.A., 1974


Pennsylvanians For Modern Courts, Board Member


Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Civil Practice in the Eastern District, April 2019

ABC Keystone, Navigating the Top Legal Issues Facing HR Professionals, December 2018

Professional Career

Chief Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2017-2018

Member, Third Circuit Judicial Council, 2017-2018

Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2004-2018

Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1990-2004

Executive Committee and Education Committee, Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, 2000-2004

Adjunct professor, Franklin & Marshall College, 1997-2018

Adjunct professor, Millersville University, 2000-2004

Adjunct Professor, Beasley School of Law at Temple University, 2013-2018

President, Lancaster Bar Association, 2002

Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources, 2009-2018

Chair, Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources, 2015-2018


Presidents Award, Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, 2002, for preparing and presenting a panel discussion on Racial Disparity in Sentencing at a statewide judges’ conference

Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, Pennsylvania Dutch Council of the Boy Scouts of America

Alumni Citation for Outstanding Professional Achievement from Lancaster Catholic High School, 2005


Provides internal investigation services to organizations including corporations, non-profits, school districts, colleges and universities, government agencies, and municipalities 

Worked with law enforcement professionals and attorneys throughout his career to conduct sensitive and confidential investigations in a variety of subject areas 

Has 28 years of experience presiding over criminal and civil trials involving many different legal issues, factual questions, and management challenges


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