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M. Patrick Yingling

M. Patrick Yingling


Practice Areas


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2011, J.D., cum laude, University of Pittsburgh Law Review - Senior Articles Editor; Order of the Barristers; John H. Morgan Memorial Scholarship; CALI Award for Excellence in Criminal Procedure, Advanced Legal Writing, and Federal Appellate Advocacy; Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team; Study Abroad - Bucerius Law School, Germany (2009) and University of Bologna, Italy (2010)
  • University of Heidelberg, 2008, Study – Geschichte (History) and Deutsch als Fremdsprache (German as a Foreign Language), Baden-Württemberg Scholarship
  • Bucknell University, 2007, B.S., cum laude, Management, Dean's List; Patriot League Academic Honor Roll; Men's Golf Team; Student Calling Program Manager

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Pennsylvania
  • Illinois (admission pending)

Court Admissions

  • All State Courts - Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania


  • German

As a member of the firm’s appellate practice group, Patrick has briefed and argued appeals in courts across the country. He also has authored numerous amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to joining Reed Smith, he taught as a Visiting Lecturer at Moi University School of Law in Kenya and clerked for Judge D. Michael Fisher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In addition to his appellate work, Patrick has developed an extensive pro bono practice. Most prominently, he successfully litigated two landmark same-sex marriage cases that garnered both national and regional attention: In re Estate of Kimberly M. Underwood (recognizing the country’s first common law marriage through a retroactive application of Obergefell v. Hodges) and Estate of Bernard O. Wilkerson (recognizing a common law same-sex marriage as of July 4, 1990—the earliest known same-sex marriage in the country).

Patrick also has been an advocate for transgender rights. As vice-chair of the Pittsburgh office’s Name Change Project, he worked with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund to represent seven individuals in achieving court recognized name changes.

Patrick’s pro bono civil rights practice also has involved representation of clients in police excessive force controversies, landlord-tenant disputes, and death penalty cases. Notably, in a case before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that confirmed the Governor of Pennsylvania’s constitutional power to issue reprieves in death penalty cases, he authored an amicus brief on behalf of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the NAACP, the Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and the Jewish Social Policy Action Network in support of the Governor and his reprieve power.

Patrick has written extensively in the areas of appellate procedure, public corruption, and civil disobedience. He has spoken at conferences and symposia throughout the United States and abroad, and his work has been published in the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality, Dublin University Law Journal, Cleveland State Law Review, Duquesne Law Review, University of Baltimore Journal of International Law, U.S. Law Week, BNA, Jurist, Corporate Counsel, For The Defense, and The Legal Intelligencer.

Patrick is the Chair of the Affiliates Advisory Group of the Younger Comparativists Committee for the American Society of Comparative Law. He also serves as an Academic Associate at I·CONnect, the blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and ConstitutionMaking.org, where he regularly contributes to a feature titled “What’s New in Public Law.” In addition, Patrick serves on the Newsletter Committee of the Third Bar Association, which edits and publishes the quarterly newsletter "On Appeal."

Employment History

  • 2013 - Reed Smith
    • Associate in Appellate Litigation
  • 2012 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • Law Clerk to the Honorable D. Michael Fisher
  • 2012 - Reed Smith
    • Associate in Commercial Litigation
  • 2011 - Moi University School of Law (Eldoret, Kenya)
    • Visiting Lecturer
  • 2010 - Reed Smith
    • Summer Associate
  • 2010 - U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
    • Judicial Intern to the Honorable Nora Barry Fischer
  • 2009 - U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
    • Judicial Intern to the Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose


  • Honorable D. Michael Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit