The law firm of Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP has named Brandon S. Harter a Partner effective January 1, 2020.

Brandon uses an efficient, tech-savvy approach to provide quality legal counsel to his business, municipal, and individual clients. And for Brandon’s clients in the tech sector, his love of technology brings an additional level of understanding about the unique challenges they face.

Brandon’s practice regularly involves handling lawsuits in the Pennsylvania and federal courts. In those disputes, his eDiscovery knowledge provides an invaluable resource to improve his client’s chances of victory. Brandon also serves as a discovery master who is appointed by the Court to help other lawyers resolve their discovery disputes.

Outside the litigation arena, Brandon’s practice regularly includes reviewing contracts and providing advice on employment law and municipal law issues. Brandon’s unique experience and perspective are invaluable to his clients on privacy, data security, and social media issues that increasingly arise for both private businesses and public entities.


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One of the most common issues I am asked about is what a small business can do about online criticism. Here are five practical tips any business can use to help manage their online reputation.

  1. Know What is Being Said About You

To effectively manage your online reputation, you need to know what is being said about your business. Keep an eye on the platforms that matter most to you. For a professional services business like mine, that means watching platforms like LinkedIn. But for other businesses Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon might be more important. And almost every business benefits from keeping an eye on Google’s reviews.

And try to keep an eye on what is being said in the news because many online newspapers allow comments to be posted after articles. We use Google Alerts to get automatic email notifications when our firm or attorneys are mentioned online.

  1. Respond, But Remember You Cannot Argue with Crazy

It is important not to ignore online criticism. But you also cannot argue with a crazy customer. Remember that the primary purpose of responding to an online critique is not to resolve that customer’s situation (more on that below). The purpose is so the rest of the world reading the criticism can see you responded in an empathetic and respectful manner. Use some form of “we are sorry to hear you had a bad experience,” but do not use a stock response. Craft each response based upon the criticism leveled. That shows you are aware of the concern and care about it.
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Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP is pleased to announce that Mikayla Godwin has earned a Certified Paralegal credential from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).  In addition to being a certified paralegal, Mikayla holds an Associate in Arts in Paralegal Studies from Harrisburg Area Community College and has worked as a legal assistant since

Each year SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon honors five local small businesses for their success. This year’s winners included both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses. It also included new companies and those taking their products and services to another level.

I could tell you about each of the award winners, but the best source of information about them is

Wrestlemania was this past weekend, and Linda McMahon is rumored to be stepping down as the head of the Small Business Administration.  I have a rule that when those two things happen in the same week, it is time to link back to my favorite blog post: How Your Small Business is Like Professional Wrestling.

My son and I are still watching wrestling.  And there are even more lessons you can learn from wrestling.  Here are more to add to the list:
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Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP is pleased to announce that Julia G. Vanasse (known as “Julie”) has joined the firm’s Family Law practice group. She returns to private practice after serving for almost 20 years as a Lancaster County Divorce Master, where she presided over numerous divorce cases during her tenure. Prior to being appointed

I recently attended a SCORE luncheon where the presenter commented that we live in a “VUCA” world. VUCA meaning volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. I’m typically not a huge fan of such corporate-speak, but in this instance I thought it was a perfect distillation of the daily challenges we all face personally and professionally.

There’s no better time than early January to consider your goals for the year. If you’re still debating your top New Year’s Resolution candidate, let me make a suggestion to survive this VUCA world: get a mentor.
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