To celebrate the 8th Anniversary of our firm this month, I asked our team to share “fun facts” about themselves – and WOW did they deliver! We learned so much about each other as a team – our personal and family histories, as well as our hobbies and pastimes. We have history buffs across the board – sharing a love of Colonial/Revolutionary War era history, and art and art history. There are musicians among us who love to sing, play instruments and listen to music. Other interests include SciFi, and cooking/eating of food. And another common interest is pets – dogs and cats mostly although some of us have an unusual amount of experience with cows and goats! (Guess which ones of these I share? Pro tip – it is definitely NOT experience with farm animals, although there apparently had been a 200 pound pot-bellied pig living in what is now the kitchen in our house – in Center City Philly! – before we bought it.)
Our team is one of the things that makes our firm so special. We all genuinely enjoy what we do and enjoy doing it with each other. What I love most is the way that everyone on the team supports each other, both personally and with work projects, which enables us to do our best work for our clients, no matter what else may be going on. Truly, we put people first – each other, our clients, and our other professional colleagues and friends.
And so it is my true pleasure to share with you a little more about each member of our team!
Five Fun Facts About…
Michelle Browning Coughlin, Of Counsel:
- I am the mom of two teenage daughters and married to a middle school teacher. I grew up on a tobacco and dairy farm in a town called Sulfur Lick, Kentucky. My first “job” was bottle feeding baby calves when I was in 1st grade.
- My favorite lawyer movie is Dark Waters because it is such a realistic view of life in big law firms, but also because it shows the power lawyers can have to make a difference in people’s lives.
- I love singing at karaoke bars (I recognize that I should be embarrassed about this hobby, but what can I say? Sometimes you love what you love!).
- I am a vegetarian and I love to find vegetarian and vegan restaurants whenever I travel; I also love vegetarian cooking and have a huge collection of vegetarian cookbooks.
- I have always been an avid reader and I love checking out bookstores and libraries when I go to new places. I also have a collection of books signed by the authors.
Chuck Goodwin, Of Counsel:
- My full name is Charles Pearsall Goodwin – Pearsall being an old family name. In family tradition, my dad also had the middle name Pearsall, and it’s also our son’s middle name.
- My family is from North Carolina, with the first members of the family (both sides) arriving in the 1600’s and 1700s. Subsequent generations fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War (on both sides).
- I’m currently learning to play classical guitar.
- I have eclectic music tastes which seem geriatric today, even though I swear much of it sounds as good as it did back then.
- I show my age when I go running.
Andrew Costa, Associate:
- I studied dramatic theatre performance before law school – I was a “method” actor – but I’ve also trained in classical operatic vocal technique (called bel canto) since I was fourteen! Unlike Michelle though who loves karaoke, I never sing karaoke (😊). I do, however, serenade the highways with various musicals when driving between Philadelphia, New York City and the Jersey Shore. My repertoire includes Les Miserables and Phantom among almost any other show tune.
- I’m also a “gym rat” and avid golfer. During college, I boasted a single digit handicap, but I did not play collegiately due to my theatre commitments.
- I also play piano, though the extent of my performances amount to Christmas songs during the holidays.
- I love Sci-Fi, particularly Star Trek, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Dune Part II. I love the cinema, whether it’s an action packed film (like the new Mission Impossible) or drama, like There Will Be Blood (a favorite of mine!).
- I’m currently reading The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Galloway which discusses the psychological side of peak athletic performance, but really is a book about peak performance in any context.
Lexie Elder, Associate:
- I’m a proud Mom to an adorable rising third-grader, Lorenzo.
- In my down time, I love to paint. Recently, I started painting my son customized shoes which depict his favorite characters from TV shows (this is fair use, right?)
- I am a huge foodie and love to cook. Admittedly, I get the majority of my recipes from TikTok videos and try to make at least one to two new recipes a week.
- This summer, I started volunteering for GRRAND, which is a golden retriever rescue facility.
- In undergrad, I enrolled in an immersive Spanish speaking class and spent three months living in Madrid, Spain. I absolutely loved Madrid and still keep in touch with other students from around the world who came to Madrid to attend the program.
Ladonna Mahecha, Senior Paralegal and Practice Manager:
- I’m the proud Mom to an amazing son, EJ, and adorable Australian Labradoodle, Ava. I’m a native New Yorker living in Philly. My grandmother was 100% Norwegian. I look anything but . . .
- I love to travel – most recently to Norway and the Artic Circle in search of family roots and the Northern Lights. I am a history and art history buff – I love to study about my travel destinations before I go. But, the beach is my happy place. I love to paddleboard and kayak.
- I love to refinish furniture.
- Period movies and documentaries are my favorite types of content to watch. Shhh – I’m also a secret Sci Fi Fan (Star Trek, Space 1999 (IYKYK), Star Wars (all of it), the list is long).
- I am a HUGE Lisa Scottoline fan and have read every one of her books – especially the Rosato and DiNunzio series. I am finishing up Eternal and can’t wait to start Loyalty. What Happened to the Bennetts? was last year’s favorite.
Janet Joy, Case Management Assistant:
- I am a proud wife, daughter, mother of three (Carolyn, Stephen, and Christine), and grandmother of four (so far).
- I am shown in the photo above, with my daughter Carolyn at her wedding earlier this year.
- Most of our free time is devoted to spending time with our mothers (87 and 90), our children and grandchildren.
- The thrill and opportunity to view the world once again through the lens of a child is priceless. Also, weekends away with four generations under one roof is such a delight and pure comedy.
- I am a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution and on our local chapter committee preparing for the 250th Anniversary of our Country – July 4, 2026.
MJ Mcguire, Administrative Assistant:
- I’m a genealogist and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I’m the Registrar for the Independence Hall Chapter of DAR. I am also getting involved in the America 250! committee with our DAR chapter. It’s just getting started, but a big to-do since we are here in Philly. And I participate in the summer book club for our DAR chapter. We are reading The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr, which is historical fiction, written by Susan Holloway Scott, who is a recent member of DAR through our chapter. I put together and submitted her DAR application. Susan also wrote the book, I, Eliza Hamilton, and is working on a new book about Martha Washington.
- I have always loved cats. Now I love goats too and enjoy baby goat snuggling. I don’t follow any regular podcasts, but Justin Steinmetz [of goat snuggling fame] has a fun segment that he does on Facebook every morning at 7:11 with the goats and other animals called 7:11 Animal Heaven, that I watch every day.
- I like tours of historic places especially in Philadelphia, Cape May, NJ & Williamsburg, VA. I was in DC some years ago because I wanted to visit the National Gallery of Art to see the painting of my ancestor farm in Bucks County by Edward Hicks. My 3x-great-grandfather on my maternal patriot side on the same land that was my patriot’s farm. After DC, we went to visit Mt. Vernon before heading back home. It was awe-inspiring and I want to go back. When I was in Williamsburg, I even got to hold the painting of my ancestor’s prize bull, which is at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum storage unit as it wasn’t on display when we visited. Click here to read about the Hicks farm painting. (If you read our newsletter, it is also in the cover photo this month.)
- For shows, I’ve been watching comedy shows like Abbott Elementary, Ghosts, Young Sheldon, the new Wonder Years, and A Taste of History on PBS with Chef Walter Staib who I know. Chef Staib had the historic City Tavern on 2nd Street but, unfortunately, he had to close it due to COVID.
- I also like documentaries about Ben Franklin on PBS, presidents Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, on the History Channel or The Machines that Built America, The Foods that Build America, The Men who Built America also on the History Channel. And, of course, anything Revolutionary War. There was a new show last year on HBO called The Gilded Age, which is historical fiction that takes place in NYC with Christine Baranski. I’m waiting for Season 2 to start. My all-time favorite show is “OUTLANDER” on Starz. I started reading the books by Diana Galbadon, years ago, but only got to book 3 in the series.