Merle W. Powell Jr. Photo
Merle provides support to the Business & Finance Department and the Litigation Department where he concentrates on the defense of clients in the financial sector. He joined Reed Smith in 2014 bringing with him 17 years of legal experience. Before earning his law degree, Merle acquired administrative and leadership skills as an officer in the U.S. Army which he later applied as a manager working in the environmental engineering and services industry. After law school, Merle was licensed in both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and established his practice in western Pennsylvania. Focusing on civil litigation, he represented both plaintiffs and defendants and acquired substantial hands on experience in areas such as small business representations, financial counseling and workouts, reorganization plans, and bankruptcy matters.


  • Duquesne University School of Law, 1993, J.D.
  • University of Pittsburgh, 1986, B.S., Biological Sciences, minors in Chemistry and Literature, summa cum laude

  • Pennsylvania

  • State Supreme Court - Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

  • Honorable Lee Mazur, Court of Common Pleas - Allegheny County, Pennsylvania