Gross McGinley co-founder, Malcolm Gross to retire

Stacy Wescoe//December 15, 2021

Gross McGinley co-founder, Malcolm Gross to retire

Stacy Wescoe//December 15, 2021

Malcolm Gross –

A well-known Lehigh Valley attorney is retiring from the practice he helped establish. 

Malcolm J. Gross, who co-founded Allentown-based Gross McGinley, has announced his retirement from legal practice.  

He plans to remain active at the firm in a mentorship role, as well as in the community as a lecturer and public speaker. 

Partners in the firm spoke of Gross’ long career in law. 

“Mal’s reputation as a great litigator is well known.” said Gross McGinley Managing Director Deb Faulkinberry. “He took on causes that weren’t attractive or very profitable, because he believed wholeheartedly in them. If he believed in it, he fought for it.” 

Gross may be best known in the Lehigh Valley for his counsel and defense of the Morning Call newspaper. 

“Mal was responsible for pre-publication clearance of articles,” recalled Paul McGinley co-founder of Gross McGinley. “He would review a journalist’s content prior to publishing, to ensure it complied with the law, and spent many nights in the newsroom, checking facts and helping get articles ready for the next day. Mal was passionate about fair and accurate publishing. He was deeply and intellectually involved with First Amendment Law, as well as Right-to-Know requests, making sure the community had the information it needed.” 

Gross has served as a mentor to many lawyers and was an inspiration for his son Jack Gross, the firm’s managing partner, to become an attorney. 

“I never wanted to be a lawyer,” said Jack Gross. “After college, I started working at the firm and my dad had me involved in two big trials and when I saw what he actually did and the way he did, that’s when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. He’s interested and caring, and his clients know how much he cares about them. He’s always recognized the key to success is having a relationship with his clients, so even if he didn’t know the answer, he would find out and provide the best counsel he could. He’s the best lawyer I know.” 

Within the legal community, Mal was an active member in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Bar Association of Lehigh County, Lehigh County Court Mediation Panel, Donald E. Wie and Barristers Inn, and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, including past member of the Hearing Committee and Disciplinary Board. In addition to several milestone cases, he won two of three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Throughout his career, he was named multiple times to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers lists, as well as selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America. He was also honored by The Legal Intelligencer with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and work in First Amendment and Media Law. 

Outside of his legal practice, Gross was also active within the nonprofit community in the Lehigh Valley. 

In 2000, he was court appointed to serve as a trustee of the Harry C. Trexler Trust. He completed two 10-year terms before stepping down in 2020. He’s also served in a leadership capacity with Lehigh County Historical Society, Da Vinci Science Center, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Sacred Heart Hospital, Muhlenberg College Board of Associates and Lehigh Valley Business Partnership Coalition on Health Care. He and his wife Janet continue to support The Baum School of Art. 

Gross graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1962 and earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.  

He served as a law clerk for Justice Egan from 1965 to1966, then completed his post-law school preceptorship with Allentown attorney Ray Brennan for two years. 

He started the law firm Gross & Brown, where he brought on Paul McGinley as an associate attorney. A few years later, Mal and Paul partnered to form the law firm of Gross McGinley & McGinley in downtown Allentown in 1976 with now Judge Carol McGinley.  

In 1985, they moved to the firm’s current location in Crown Tower on Seventh Street in Allentown, where he has continued to practice as a counselor and litigator to hundreds of businesses and individuals. 

In his retirement, Gross will stay on as a mentor at Gross McGinley and will continue to lecture at tri-country bar events, as well as the Lehigh County Historical Society.  

He also plans to spend more time in his personal library, which contains a collection of approximately 5,000 books. 

“One of the best things about retirement is not having an alarm clock anymore,” said Gross. “I look forward to spending time with my family and giving lectures.”