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and Chief Counsel

Christopher A. Ferrara, Esq.

Vice-President and
Associate Counsel

Thomas F. Portelli, Esq.

Pennsylvania Litigation
Denis V. Brenan, Esq.

West Coast Litigation
James M. Bendell, Esq.

Director of Apologetics
Gerald Christian Matatics

Advisory Board

Msgr. Charles T. Moss

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

Fr. Willian F. Ashley

Fr. John A. Perricone

Count Neri Capponi


Christopher A. Ferrara
President and Chief Counsel

Born New York, New York 1952

BA Fordham University, 1973. JD Fordham University School of Law, 1977.

Mr. Ferrara was engaged in the general practice of law in New York and New Jersey from 1977 to 1991, gaining wide experience in trial level and appellate litigation.

In 1990 Mr. Ferrara founded the American Catholic Lawyers Association and, since approximately 1991, has concentrated his practice on the pro-bono representation of Catholics in religious and civil liberties cases, both civil and criminal, both plaintiff and defense.

Mr. Ferrara has a number of significant appellate victories to his credit including the recent decision of the Second Circuit in Spitzer v. Operation Rescue, striking down and expanded injunction against pro-life activists under FACE, and narrowing the grounds for liability under FACE for the alleged making of threats.

Mr. Ferrara has also won a number of acquittals and dismissals of pro-life activists at the trial level and obtained an appellate court reversal of a $109 million verdict against pro-life activists in Portland, Oregon, whose reinstatement by a sharply divided (6-5) en banc panel is now the subject of continued proceedings in the federal district court.

Mr. Ferrara is a widely published author on Catholic Church affairs and co-authored The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church (Remnant Press, 2002).

Thomas F. Portelli
Vice President and Associate Counsel

Born Paterson, New Jersey, 1948.

BA Seton Hall University 1970. JD North Carolina Central University Law School, 1975. LLM New York University, 1980.

Mr. Portelli has extensive experience in labor law and employment discrimination matters. He has served in numerous public capacities including Hearing Officer for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (1976-1980), Counsel President and Police Commissioner for the Borough of Haledon (1980-1985), Assistant County Counsel for Passaic County (1981-1993), and is currently Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Paterson.

Denis V. Brenan
Pennsylvania Litigation Counsel

Born June 21, 1937, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

BA, Lehigh University, 1959. Attended Villanova Law School on full scholarship. JD, 1962.

Labor lawyer for Bethlehem Steel Company from 1962 to1967. Judge Advocates Corps., United States Air Force, 1963 - 1966 (while on leave of absence from Bethlehem Steel). Joined the internationally-recognized law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in 1968 and retired as a full partner in 2002.

Mr. Brenan now devotes himself exclusively to religious liberties litigation in the pro-life and First Amendment arenas. In 2002 he became Pennsylvania litigation counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Association. In 2003 Mr. Brenan was also elected president of the National Lawyers Association, the pro-life alternative to the American Bar Association.

  James M. Bendell
  West Coast Litigation Counsel

 Born 1951, Camden, New Jersey

 AB, College of William and Mary, 1973. JD Rutgers University Law School, 1976.

From 1978 to 1980 Mr. Bendell served as Assistant Municipal Attorney for Anchorage, Alaska, acquiring extensive experience in municipal law. From 1981 to 1982 he specialized in insurance defense practice in Alaska representing various governmental entities in that state in a wide array of claims litigation including highway negligence and police liability.

Mr. Brenan's clients included Providence Washington Insurance Co., Nautilus Insurance Company, and Alaska National Insurance Company. From 1992 to the present Mr. Bendell has been engaged in general practice with a specialty in civil rights litigation on behalf of Catholics. In addition to serving as West Coast Litigation Counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Association, Mr. Bendell is a board member and legal counsel for Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., an organization of lay Catholics dedicated to defending the integrity of the Catholic faith.

Gerald Christian Matatics
Director of Catholic Apologetics

Gerald Christian Matatics is known throughout the English-speaking world as one of the most exciting and intellectually gifted defenders of the Catholic Faith in our time.

Formerly an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and a vigorous opponent of Catholicism, he spent three years researching and attempting to refute the Catholic Faith to prevent friend and former seminary classmate Scott Hahn from embracing it.

Finally convinced by his studies that Catholicism is the original and authentic form of Christianity, Gerry, together with his wife and children, entered the Catholic Church in 1986. He was the first PCA minister ever to become Roman Catholic; several have since followed him.  


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