Support Staff

Karen A. Sheriff, Senior Paralegal

Karen Sheriff has worked with Attorney Cognetti for over twenty years. She has over three decades of experience as a family law litigation paralegal. She is responsible for the management of all aspects of the family law process including the drafting of pleadings and motions; managing discovery issues; deposition preparation; document productions; and trial preparation and support. At Cognetti Law Group, we use a team approach when handling client’s cases, and Ms. Sheriff is an integral part of this team. From client and caseload management to legal research and writing, Ms. Sheriff is an invaluable asset to the firm and has garnered the respect of both clients, judges, and opposing counsel.

Ms. Sheriff is a PACE Registered Paralegal and a Pennsylvania Certified Paralegal. She received her paralegal degree in 1988 from Central Penn College and subsequently returned and completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in legal studies graduating cum laude. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Central Pennsylvania Paralegal Association, of which she was President from 2018 to 2020. She is also a delegate to both the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations, and serves on several committees. In 2019, Ms. Sheriff, along with six paralegals from across the Commonwealth, founded Family Law Paralegals of Pennsylvania (FLPP). FLPP’s goal is to provide family law paralegals throughout the state with better access to information and resources relating to family law matters. Through the collective skills of its members, FLPP provides a reliable resource for paralegals practicing family law. Ms. Sheriff is proud to serve on FLPP’s inaugural Board of Directors.

Ms. Sheriff was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She has been married to her husband, Ken, for almost 30 years, and enjoys traveling and camping with her family.

Lynn Bookamer, Office Administrator

Lynn Bookamer is the office administrator. In addition to supporting the litigation team of Maria P. Cognetti and paralegal, Karen Sheriff, she is also integral in the day to day operations of the firm. She brings more than 24 years of experience in family law to the firm.

Ms. Bookamer has extensive knowledge of the litigation process and discovery. She plays a vital role in interacting with court personnel, attorneys and staff from other firms.

Ms. Bookamer was born and raised in Pennsylvania and resides in Cumberland County with her husband.

Karrie Macknair, Office Manager

Karrie Macknair is the Office Manager for Cognetti Law Group. She works alongside Attorney Cognetti to oversee the daily management of the law firm, which includes leading the administrative staff, overseeing recruitment efforts, marketing and handling business and client relations. She brings more than 10 years of managerial experience in medical and educational administration to the law firm.

Ms. Macknair received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Right out of college, she began her professional career with Penn State Health and worked her way up to her most recent educational management role at Penn State University. She joined Cognetti Law Group when she moved to Cumberland County in April 2022.

Outside of her professional career, Ms. Macknair is also a world record holding and all-time world ranked professional powerlifter and coach. She takes great pride in working with young and advanced athletes alike. When she’s not in the gym, Karrie enjoys traveling, kayaking, hiking and spending time with her family.

April Staruch, Receptionist/Legal Assistant

April Staruch is a Receptionist/Legal Assistant for Cognetti Law Group. April provides a warm, professional, and welcome first point-of-contact for our office. Her role is further broadened as a Legal Assistant in support of the legal team. April brings several years of unique combined experience as both a Legal Assistant, a Veteran having served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, specializing as a Motor Transport Operating Assistant to the Aide-De-Camp, along with secretarial duties to support the mission of the Army.

Ms. Staruch has three adult children, and she relishes spending time with her family and friends. She’s an avid equestrian enthusiast and she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, kayaking, attending concerts, gardening, and vacations at the beach. She’s an animal lover who has raised Rhodesian Ridgeback show dogs, chickens, rabbits and has two favorite barn cats, Collin and Yuikki. In addition, she’s a connoisseur in the kitchen and specializes in creating gourmet dinners and desserts geared towards her Polska heritage.

Karen A. Sheriff, Senior Paralegal

Karen Sheriff has worked with Attorney Cognetti for over twenty years. She has over three decades of experience as a family law litigation paralegal. She is responsible for the management of all aspects of the family law process including the drafting of pleadings and motions; managing discovery issues; deposition preparation; document productions; and trial preparation and support. At Cognetti Law Group, we use a team approach when handling client’s cases, and Ms. Sheriff is an integral part of this team. From client and caseload management to legal research and writing, Ms. Sheriff is an invaluable asset to the firm and has garnered the respect of both clients, judges, and opposing counsel.

Ms. Sheriff is a PACE Registered Paralegal and a Pennsylvania Certified Paralegal. She received her paralegal degree in 1988 from Central Penn College and subsequently returned and completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in legal studies graduating cum laude. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Central Pennsylvania Paralegal Association, of which she was President from 2018 to 2020. She is also a delegate to both the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations, and serves on several committees. In 2019, Ms. Sheriff, along with six paralegals from across the Commonwealth, founded Family Law Paralegals of Pennsylvania (FLPP). FLPP’s goal is to provide family law paralegals throughout the state with better access to information and resources relating to family law matters. Through the collective skills of its members, FLPP provides a reliable resource for paralegals practicing family law. Ms. Sheriff is proud to serve on FLPP’s inaugural Board of Directors.

Ms. Sheriff was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She has been married to her husband, Ken, for almost 30 years, and enjoys traveling and camping with her family.

Lynn Bookamer, Office Administrator

Lynn Bookamer is the office administrator. In addition to supporting the litigation team of Maria P. Cognetti and paralegal, Karen Sheriff, she is also integral in the day to day operations of the firm. She brings more than 24 years of experience in family law to the firm.

Ms. Bookamer has extensive knowledge of the litigation process and discovery. She plays a vital role in interacting with court personnel, attorneys and staff from other firms.

Ms. Bookamer was born and raised in Pennsylvania and resides in Cumberland County with her husband.

Karrie Macknair, Office Manager

Karrie Macknair is the Office Manager for Cognetti Law Group. She works alongside Attorney Cognetti to oversee the daily management of the law firm, which includes leading the administrative staff, overseeing recruitment efforts, marketing and handling business and client relations. She brings more than 10 years of managerial experience in medical and educational administration to the law firm.

Ms. Macknair received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Right out of college, she began her professional career with Penn State Health and worked her way up to her most recent educational management role at Penn State University. She joined Cognetti Law Group when she moved to Cumberland County in April 2022.

Outside of her professional career, Ms. Macknair is also a world record holding and all-time world ranked professional powerlifter and coach. She takes great pride in working with young and advanced athletes alike. When she’s not in the gym, Karrie enjoys traveling, kayaking, hiking and spending time with her family.

April Staruch, Receptionist/Legal Assistant

April Staruch is a Receptionist/Legal Assistant for Cognetti Law Group. April provides a warm, professional, and welcome first point-of-contact for our office. Her role is further broadened as a Legal Assistant in support of the legal team. April brings several years of unique combined experience as both a Legal Assistant, a Veteran having served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, specializing as a Motor Transport Operating Assistant to the Aide-De-Camp, along with secretarial duties to support the mission of the Army.

Ms. Staruch has three adult children, and she relishes spending time with her family and friends. She’s an avid equestrian enthusiast and she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, kayaking, attending concerts, gardening, and vacations at the beach. She’s an animal lover who has raised Rhodesian Ridgeback show dogs, chickens, rabbits and has two favorite barn cats, Collin and Yuikki. In addition, she’s a connoisseur in the kitchen and specializes in creating gourmet dinners and desserts geared towards her Polska heritage.

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