Sarah A. Wess

Sarah A. Wess

Location:
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Phone:
215-348-2605
Fax:
215-348-5247
Email:

Sarah A. Wess has over ten years of experience in the field of criminal prosecution and served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Bucks County District Attorney's Office prior to joining the firm in October of 2012. Ms. Wess served as an Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the prosecution of juvenile offenders in the District for violent crime, including homicide. She also handled the District of Columbia Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. Ms. Wess also served as an Assistant District Attorney in both Westchester County and Steuben County, New York. As a prosecutor in Westchester County's Special Prosecution Division, Ms. Wess was assigned to one of New York's first Integrated Domestic Violence Courts and further prosecuted felony sex crimes and child abuse cases. She handled cases from arrest through jury trial, including grand jury presentment. As a prosecutor in Steuben County, Ms. Wess was responsible for the entire domestic violence caseload in the county, served as the coordinator of a multi-disciplinary Domestic Abuse Review Team and assisted in the development of the county's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. In addition to her trial litigation experience, Ms. Wess is an experienced appellate attorney and has presented oral argument before the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

In the summer of 2015, Ms. Wess expanded her practice to include Family Law. She practices in Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties. 

In addition to her prosecutorial experience, Ms. Wess served as an Attorney Advisor for AEquitas, The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women. As an Attorney Advisor, Ms. Wess provided training, resource development, case consultation and technical assistance to prosecutors and allied professionals. Ms. Wess also worked as a Senior Attorney for the DNA Forensics Program at the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), the research, training and technical assistance division of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), where she provided training and technical assistance to prosecutors on the legal application of DNA evidence. Ms. Wess has served as faculty for NDAA's DNA Forensic Program, the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse (NCPCA) and the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women (NCPVAW).

Areas of Practice

  • 90% Family Law
  • 10% Criminal Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 60% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1997
  • Pennsylvania, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1997
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2005

Education

  • Albany Law School of Union University, Albany, New York
    • J.D. - 1996
    • Honors: Moot Court Board Distinguished Service Award, May 1996
    • Honors: Director Dominick Gabrielli National Family Law Appellate Competition, May 1995-96
  • Saint Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, New York
    • B.A. - 1993
    • Major: Philosophy/Pre-Law

Published Works

  • Admissibility of DNA Evidence: Applying Crawford v. Washington, APRI’s SILENT WITNESS, [cited in A Litigators Guide to DNA from the Laboratory to the Courtroom, Michaelis, Flanders and Wulff, Published by Elsevier (2008)], Volume 10, Number 1, November 1, 2006
  • Co-Author, Michigan Courts Examine the Admissibility of Medical Hearsay (Jenifer Markowitz, N.D.), Sexual Assault Report, Volume 13, Number 3, January/February, 2010

Classes/Seminars

  • Co-Presenter (Diane Moyer), "Using Pre-trial Motions Effectively", National Institute On The Prosecution Of Domestic Violence, Chicago, IL, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Diane Moyer), "Cultural Considerations in Domestic Violence Prosecutions", National Institute On The Prosecution Of Domestic Violence, Chicago, IL, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Diane Moyer), "Cultural Considerations in Sexual Assault Prosecutions", National Institute on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, San Francisco, CA, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Hon. Videtta Brown), "Cultural Considerations in Domestic Violence Prosecutions", National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence, Dallas, TX, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Grace Diez-Arguelles), "Collaborating with Agencies and Advocates", National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence, Dallas, TX, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Diez-Arguelles), "Securing the Uncooperative Victim", National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence, Dallas, TX, 2010
  • Co-Presenter (Douglas Miles), "Cultural Considerations in Sexual Assault Prosecutions", National Institute on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, Miami, FL, December 4, 2009
  • Co-Presenter (Veronique Valliere, Psy.D.), "Offender Focused Themes and Theories", National Institute on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, Miami, FL, December 4, 2009
  • Co-Presenter (Jeffrey Greipp), "Stalking and Technology", Mississippi Prosecutors Association Conference, Robinsville, MS, 2009
  • Co-Presenter (Jeffrey Greipp), "Alcohol Facilitated Sexual Assault", Mississippi Prosecutors Association Conference, Robinsville, MS, 2009
  • Co-Presenter (Delbra Thomas), "Cultural Considerations in Sexual Assault Prosecutions", National Institute on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2008
  • "Facilitator and Courtroom Critiquer", Child Proof, National Advocacy Center, Columbia, SC, 2007
  • "Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault", Rape Crisis of the Southern Tier, Corning, NY, 2007
  • "Confronting Difficult Issues in Cases of Domestic Violence", Steuben County Magistrates Association, Painted Post, NY, 2004
  • "Stalking and Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault", Rape Crisis of the Southern Tier, Corning, NY, 2004
  • "The Link between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence", District Attorney Pirro Reports, Cable News Broadcast, White Plains, NY, 1999
  • "The Link between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence", Westchester County Police Academy, Valhalla, NY, 1999
  • Faculty Development Course, National Advocacy Center, Columbia, SC, December 4, 2006 - December 7, 2006
  • Assistant United States Attorney/Special Assistant United States Attorney Basic Training Course, Washington, D.C., July 9, 2007 - July 20, 2007

Honors and Awards

  • Humanitarian & Animal Cruelty Prosecution Excellence Award, NY Finger Lakes SPCA, May 6, 2006
  • The award featured in The Prosecutor Magazine, a publication of the National District Attorney’s, May/June, 2006

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2014
  • Bucks County Bar Association, Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • VITA Education Services, Member, Board of Directors, 2015