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Pamela A. Bresnahan, a Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP, and head of the Litigation Practice Group in its Washington, D.C. office, passed away on Wednesday, March 31, after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. She was 66. 

Pam, a long-time resident of Annapolis, was born in Washington, D.C., to Harry and Marilyn Bresnahan. She obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Maryland, graduating with honors. 

During her remarkable legal career, which spanned over four decades, Pam was a trusted advisor to many international law firms and was regularly called upon by businesses, law firms, and insurance carriers to handle their most complex and challenging cases. Pam was known as a fierce advocate for her clients, which garnered her a well-deserved reputation as a legal expert, not only locally, but nationally as well. 

Pam acquired numerous accolades throughout her career, including being named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America and one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America. She was also named to The Best Lawyers in America in four categories: Legal Malpractice; Commercial Litigation; Bet-the-Company Litigation; and, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine and The Washington Post as one of Washington’s best attorneys. She was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers as well, where she served on multiple committees.

Pam not only enjoyed numerous professional successes, but also contributed considerably to the legal community. She was part of several professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, where she was the Chair of Rules and Calendar and Chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, as well as a Delegate-at-Large and YLD Delegate, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, where she was Chair of the Board of Trustees, and the National Judicial College, where she served as a member of the Board of Trustees.  She was also a Board Member of the American Bar Endowment.

Pam is survived by her husband, Peter F. Axelrad, a Partner at Council, Baradel, Kosmerl & Nolan, P.A., her close friend and long-time assistant, Teresa Shoemaker, and many cousins and family members.  

She is remembered by those who knew her as having a vibrant personality, a strong wit and sense of humor, and a deep dedication to her personal and professional pursuits.

Pam’s interment will be private. A celebration of her life will be held in the future at a time and place to be determined, and it will be private as well. 

People who wish to make a donation in Pam’s memory can do so at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, or the ABA Fund for Justice and Education.