Firm Overview

Diana Stavroulakis, Esq., is a sole practitioner who has focused her career on Criminal Law.  After nearly 20 years as a practicing attorney, Diana Stavroulakis, Esq. has developed a proficiency in appellate advocacy and primarily handles criminal cases on direct and collateral appeal in both state and federal court. Her varied legal experience provided a solid foundation upon which to build her private practice.

Upon Admission to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1990, Ms. Stavroulakis served as a Judicial Law Clerk for current President Judge Kate Ford Elliott of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.  This position afforded Ms. Stavroulakis an opportunity to work with President Judge Ford Elliott on drafting the Memorandums and Opinions which announced the Court’s decisions on pending criminal appeals.

Thereafter, Ms. Stavroulakis accepted an appointment to serve as an Assistant District Attorney in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania, for then-District Attorney and current Superior Court Judge Robert E. Colville. As an Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Stavroulakis served in the General Trial Unit and the Area Prosecutor Unit. She was responsible for prosecuting criminal cases from the preliminary hearing stage through to the trial and sentencing stages of the cases.  Ms. Stavroulakis was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to many of the Magisterial District Justice Offices throughout Allegheny County where she would prosecute cases initiated by the local police departments, as well as to file and prosecute privately filed criminal cases for residents of those communities. Those areas included Downtown Pittsburgh, the Hill District, East Liberty, Homewood-Brushton, Sheridan, Robinson Township, Moon Township, Coraopolis, Bloomfield, Oakland, and McCandless Township.

In 1995, Ms. Stavroulakis decided to open her own law firm, which was initially a “general practice” office.  This gave Ms. Stavroulakis an opportunity to assist clients on a wide range of legal issues including:  Family Law – such as Divorce, Support, Custody and Adoption; Landlord/Tenant cases; Contract review and negotiation; preparation of Last Will & Testament, Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney documents; Probate of Estates; Real Estate Closings and preparation and filing of Deeds; Personal Injury claims; and primarily Criminal Defense at Magistrate Hearings, Trials, Sentencings and on Appeal for cases including charges of DUI, Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Trespass, Possession and Distribution of Drugs, Firearms Violations, and Homicide.

In 2006, Ms. Stavroulakis expanded her criminal appellate practice to include both state and federal criminal cases pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which encompasses Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Virgin Islands.  In 2007, she became admitted to the West Virginia Bar, in order to accommodate numerous requests from potential clients residing in Brooke and Hancock Counties in WV. In 2009, she extended her practice, once again, to include state and federal cases pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which encompasses West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.

Over the past 15 years in private practice, Ms. Stavroulakis’ practice has evolved to the point that she now focuses almost exclusively on criminal defense, and particularly criminal appellate advocacy. In this capacity, she has represented well in excess of a hundred individuals with cases pending on appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court and Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Attorney Stavroulakis’ knowledge of, and passion for, criminal appellate advocacy has garnered the notice of colleagues in both the Bench and the Bar. Ms. Stavroulakis was honored to be asked to return as a Judicial Law Clerk for President Judge Kate Ford Elliott on two occasions, on a part-time interim basis, while the Judge had a temporary vacancy and needed to keep her cases moving during that time. Ms. Stavroulakis was similarly honored to serve as a Judicial Law Clerk on a part-time interim basis for The Hon. John L. Musmanno of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, when he needed someone to keep his cases moving during a similar temporary vacancy. Additionally, many of Ms. Stavroulakis’ colleagues request her assistance with appellate procedure, and quite often request her collaberation in drafting appellate briefs for their criminal cases pending on appeal.

Although Ms. Stavroulakis focuses her efforts on criminal defense and criminal appellate advocacy, she still receives calls from former clients or referrals from former clients for assistance on a wide variety of legal issues.  To accommodate those individuals, Ms. Stavroulakis has aligned herself with colleagues who do focus on these other areas of law and can often provide a referral in those instances, if Attorney Stavroulakis is unable to assist these clients.  In turn, Ms. Stavroulakis regularly works with these same attorneys on their criminal appellate cases.  The attorneys with whom Ms. Stavroulakis most often maintains such a referral affiliation basis are Steven Valsamidis, Esq., and Steven C. Townsend, Esq.

Bar Admissions:

Pennsylvania Bar 1990

West Virginia Bar 2007

Court Admissions:

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania                               November 1990

U.S. District Court for the Western District of PA      November 1990

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit                 June 2006

Supreme Court of West Virginia                               March 2007

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of WV     March 2007

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit               August 2009


Duquesne University School of Law, JD     1990

Washington & Jefferson College, BA         1987


Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, Third Circuit

Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, Fourth Circuit