Lisa Smith Presta

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Lisa Smith



Lisa has earned a reputation as a formidable trial attorney who has the respect of her colleagues and the complete trust of her clients. She is a leader and mentor in her community and the legal profession, as well as at MacDonald Illig.

Her experience includes the handling of complex, multiparty litigation matters involving commercial disputes, breach of contract claims, fiduciary obligations, and professional services.  Lisa handles non-compete and tortious interference litigation, in addition to defending claims of employment harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge. She represents individuals, non-profit entities and for-profit companies in various industries, including health care, manufacturing, economic development, real estate, and insurance.

Chair of the Insurance Litigation Department at MacDonald Illig, Lisa regularly appears in state and federal court, before appellate courts, before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in arbitration tribunals such as the American Arbitration Association, and in other alternative dispute settings. Lisa is a past president of the Erie County Bar Association and has served as the Chairperson of its Civil Litigation Section. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and a frequent speaker and author on issues of substantive law and trial practice.

Bringing attention to detail to every case, Lisa has built a successful and well-respected litigation practice. Lisa puts her clients at ease by consistently delivering quality work, practical and timely advice, and effective trial representation.

Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Logo 2021

Education & Admissions

Memberships & Associations

  • Erie County Bar Association Board of Directors, 2006 - 2012
  • President of the Erie County Bar Association, 2011

Community Involvement

  • UPMC Hamot Board of Directors, 2018-present; Executive and Governance Committees
  • UPMC Hamot Heart & Vascular Institute Board of Directors, 2018-present
  • Hamot Health Foundation Corporator, 2017-present
  • Erie Club Board of Directors, 2008-2016, 2018-present; President 2014-2015
  • Achievement Center Board of Directors, 1994-2020; President 2010-2012; Capital Campaign Chair; Executive, Governance and Audit Committees
  • Erie County Bar Association Board of Directors, 2006-2012; President 2011; Women's Division Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion Committees
  • American Heart Association Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team, 2018, 2020
  • United Way 100th Anniversary Campaign Cabinet, 2014-2015

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