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For Piccone, Law Provides Way To Help People

Arthur PicconeWhen Art Piccone contemplated a career as a lawyer, he figured it would be a good way for him to do what he had always seen his parents doing - helping people in the community.

"When I was growing up, I can remember driving around with my dad on holidays, dropping off baskets of food for people," Piccone says, recalling his childhood in Forty Fort. "My father was active in Republican politics and our house was busy with community leaders. My mother always baked and made food for people. We always had a crowd of people over to the house for Sunday dinner."

During his undergraduate years at Dickinson College, Piccone thought he wanted to pursue a career in government. He majored in political science with minors in economics and English. But in the end, he stayed in Carlisle and began what would become an "undying love affair" with the Dickinson School of Law. After earning his law degree, he served on the school's Board of Trustees for 24 years and has been the recipient of numerous awards from the school.

"I wanted to be of service and the law seemed like a way I could help people," says Piccone. "When you help somebody who's been injured, help a young couple adopt a baby, help a family purchase their first home, help people who have fallen on hard times find a way to a better financial future, that's what it's all about. That's why I became a lawyer."

His father, Arthur Sr., was a stalwart in the Republican Party in Forty Fort and Luzerne County. Piccone followed in his father's footsteps and became a lifelong leader in GOP politics himself.

Admitted to the bar in 1959, Piccone practiced law as a solo practitioner and in several different firms and partnerships before joining Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn in 1979.

In the interim, he served four years in the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office, becoming First Assistant District Attorney after only a year. In that role, Piccone prosecuted all types of criminal cases, including a number of murders. After leaving the DA's Office, he was appointed as Special Counsel to the Department of Labor and Industry, and later as a Worker's Compensation Judge, where he refereed about 30,000 black lung cases.

In 1990, he began pursuing a leadership role in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, eventually becoming President. One of the highlights of his career, Piccone says, was when he got to make a speech on individual liberties on the floor of Carpenter Hall in Philadelphia - the same floor where the Founding Fathers stood - as part of the Bar Association's 100th anniversary.

In addition to the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Piccone has served as President of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Luzerne County Bar Association and the State Conference of County Bar Presidents. In addition to his leadership in professional organizations, Piccone has been involved in numerous community organizations and cultural affairs programs.

In 1982, he took over ownership of Clearbrook, saving the addiction-treatment facility from foreclosure, and has served as its Chairman of the Board ever since.

Under his leadership, Clearbrook has gone from a family-run facility serving a dozen patients a day to one of the best addiction-treatment centers in the country, serving more than 100 patients a day and employing a staff of 90.

Piccone and his wife and college sweetheart, Sandra, have three children - Robert, who serves as President of Clear-brook; David, a retired Navy commander who flies commercial jets for American Airlines; and Jocelyn, who directs the obstetrics/gynecology program at Wright State Medical School.

These days, Piccone practices corporate and commercial litigation as one of the senior partners at HK&Q, and continues to thrive on his work.

"I've had the great fortune of working with some of the best lawyers in the business over the years," says Piccone. "My partners made it possible for me to do so many of the wonderful things I've been able to do - partners who backed me up, partners who championed my causes. We shared tears of joy at the birth of a child and tears of sorrow at the death of a loved one. We really became part of a big family."