One of Central Pennsylvania's most recognizable law firms has changed its direction with a rebranding and resizing effort.
After almost 40 years as Angino & Rovner PC, the Susquehanna Township personal injury law firm famous for its local television commercials, will soon be known as the two-lawyer law firm of Angino & Lutz.
The name change comes as five of the Angino and Rovner's seven lawyers — including namesake Neil J. Rovner — resigned during the last four months, according to firm founder Richard C. Angino.
The resignations came when Angino, 73, said he wanted to make the firm smaller, exclude its medical malpractice portion and concentrate almost solely on personal injury.
Angino said Rovner's departure was for "personal reasons," after he had been at the firm since 1977.
He said he told the firm's lawyers that if they did not bring in new clients to help the business's financial performance, he wouldn't be able to pay them. That's when the resignations came, he said.
"That was all the situation was," he said. "In any business, if you can't produce results, this is what happens."
The firm's name change is likely to occur within "the next couple of weeks," Angino said, and will include a new website. The firm will continue to occupy its office on Front Street in Susquehanna Township, a building Angino said he and his wife, Alice, own.
The lone lawyer staying — Dave L. Lutz — is being added to the firm's name as a partner, and Angino said the firm is moving to a more "boutique" business model of less clients and more personal service.
In 1995, the firm handled a high of 834 cases, according to Angino's records. That number steadily dwindled to 230 in 2013.
Angino and Lutz expect to handle about 110 cases per year, he said.
"There is too much competition out there today," Angino said about the personal injury side of litigation. "When we were growing, our intention was to dominate the personal injury field of law. And we did. But it's not something we want to do any more. We want to be smaller, we want to have more personal service for our clients."
At its high in about 2000, Angino said, the firm had 18 lawyers and a staff of 55. For the last decade, the firm had about eight lawyers and a staff of 12. When the slew of resignations started four months ago, Angino said, there were seven lawyers.
Only one staff member was laid off because of the firm's new direction, he said.
Angino started the firm in 1968, when the founder of its former incarnation, Solomon Hurwitz, died. Angino had worked for the firm for three years prior.
"Over the last four months, it's been very stressful," he said. "But I feel like it's 1968 all over again. I'm an individual who likes challenges. I'm not about to hang it up."