Robert J. Smulktis Jr.
PA Office of Attorney General
Francis T. Chardo III
Dauphin County District Attorney's Office
Fran Chardo is the District Attorney of Dauphin County. Fran oversees an office of 31 prosecutors and 12 detectives and is the chief law enforcement officer of Dauphin County. Each year, this office prosecutes approximately 6000 felony and misdemeanor cases in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas as well as numerous cases before magisterial district judges.
Fran has served as a prosecutor since 1994. He is board certified in criminal trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Fran is an adjunct professor of law at Widener University Commonwealth School of Law. He serves as an advocacy instructor at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. Fran is a member of the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. He is a member of the Honorable William W. Lipsitt American Inn of Court.
Natalie M. Burston
Law Office of Natalie Burston
I am a lifelong Central Pennsylvania resident. I graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School in 1997 and went on to graduate from Kutztown University in 2001. After graduation, I was employed full-time by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue while attending the night division student program at Widener University School of Law. After graduating from law school, I remained employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue until accepting a position at the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office.
The Public Defender’s office hired me under a MacArthur Foundation grant which was created in the wake of the Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” scandal and sought to improve juvenile representation in the state of Pennsylvania. As an attorney committed to ensuring that all children receive exemplary representation in the criminal-justice system, I participated in drafting and editing a juvenile defense manual that is used by attorneys throughout the state of Pennsylvania. For over five years, I served as a board member of the Juvenile Defenders Association of Pennsylvania. I have also lectured at numerous presentations on the effective representation of juveniles in the state of Pennsylvania.
While at the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office, I also represented hundreds of adult clients in various stages of the criminal process. I have represented clients at both the magisterial district judge and court of common pleas levels. In this capacity, I gained invaluable trial experience that ranged from representing clients in less complex misdemeanor trials to serious felony trials.
After leaving the Dauphin County Public Defender's Office, I joined the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC). While serving in the AOPC's Judicial Education Department, I provided continuing legal education to trial judges across the Commonwealth regarding new and emerging areas of the law. In addition, I was a contributing writer for one benchbook and oversaw the creation of another benchbook, which state trial judges reference to assist in the disposition of cases.
Professional Associations and Memberships?: Dauphin County Bar Association | Pennsylvania Bar Association | Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Past Volunteer Experience: Harrisburg YWCA VIP Advisory Board Chair | Vice-President, Kutztown University Alumni Association | Secretary, Juvenile Defender Association of Pennsylvania