Lori J. Cerato, Esq. established her Elder Law practice in August 2000 in Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. A Scranton native, Attorney Cerato graduated from the University of Scranton, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in History. After working in the banking industry for several years, she enrolled at the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, receiving her Juris Doctorate in 1993. During her final year at Dickinson, Attorney Cerato worked as a law clerk to the Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Insurance in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In August 1993, Attorney Cerato began a two-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Ronald E. Vican, President Judge of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. From January 1994 to August 1995, Attorney Cerato also served as law clerk to Senior Judge James R. Marsh.
From September 1995 to August 4, 2000, Attorney Cerato was an associate attorney with O’Malley & Harris, P.C., a regional insurance defense litigation firm, working first from its Wilkes Barre office and later from the Stroudsburg office. During that time, Attorney Cerato handled all aspects of civil litigation throughout the Northeast Pennsylvania region in the areas of workers compensation, motor vehicle, and medical malpractice litigation including pleadings, motion’s practice, discovery, deposition, trials and appellate practice. She had the privilege of submitting a brief to the United States Supreme Court on a matter she successfully defended where the Plaintiff sought allocator.
Attorney Cerato opened her practice in Stroudsburg on August 7, 2000 concentrating on Elder Law which includes estate planning, long term care planning, estate administration, Medicaid applications and appeals for long term care placement, guardianship, and Orphan’s Court litigation. While her practice is focused in Monroe County, Attorney Cerato has handled client matters in the surrounding counties of Lackawanna, Northampton, Lehigh, Pike, Wayne, Carbon, and Luzerne.
Admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, United States Middle District Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, Attorney Cerato is a member of the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.
In 2003, Attorney Cerato became a faculty member for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute providing instruction to attorneys on “How to Represent an Individual Entering a Nursing Home.” For more than twenty years she authored a monthly column on Elder Law in “SAGE” until the Pocono Record ceased publication with the September 2021 issue.
Certified as a mediator by the President Judge of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas, Attorney Cerato has been appointed by local judges to mediate civil disputes between parties.
Attorney Cerato often speaks to local community groups on Elder Law Issues: American Association of University Women, Arrowhead Lakes Senior Group, Christ Episcopal Church family group, New Residents Club of the Poconos, Older Adult Learning Center of East Stroudsburg University, The Center for Vision Loss, Pocono Tranquil Gardens, Pocono Medical Center, Pennsylvania State Education Association of Retired Teachers-Pocono Chapter, St. Luke’s Church Family Group, The Women’s Club of Country Club of the Poconos, the Pocono Parkinson Support Group, Stroud Community Club, Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, Women’s Club at Pocono Farms, Congregation B’nai Harim, Pocono Area AARP, Pocono Pines Lions Club, Caregiver’s Support Group at the Loder Center, Kiwanis Club, Verizon Telecom Pioneer Luncheon, Friendship Club of St. Matthew’s Parish, and Chestnut Ridge Seniors. Attorney Cerato has lectured on elder law at Northampton Community College Center for Adult Learning.
In 2014, Attorney Cerato served as President of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) where she has been a member since 1993 and on the Executive Board from 2010 to 2015. During her term as President, Attorney Cerato oversaw restoration of the front porch of the MCBA building located in Stroudsburg’s historic district, began the task of establishing an archive of MCBA history, which resulted in a publication honoring the MCBA Centennial, and led a group of past presidents and young lawyers in creating a strategic plan for the first time in the 100-year history of the MCBA.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed Attorney Cerato to a six-year term on the Supreme Court Orphan’s Court Procedural Rules Committee from 2014 through 2019. She is a member of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws, a standing group of attorneys and judges who assist the General Assembly with recommendations.
Appointed by the Monroe County Commissioners, Attorney Cerato serves as Treasurer of the Monroe County Hospital Authority. In 2022 she became President of the Monroe Animal League, a 501(c)(3) organized in 1943, with a focus on providing spay/neuter vouchers to promote feral cat health and to help needs-based pet owners. She resides in Stroudsburg with her husband, E. David Christine, Jr., the elected District Attorney of Monroe County.