Shawn M. Dorward, Esq. Contact Check Attorney Dorward's Discipline History

Shawn M. Dorward, Esq.

Litigation Associate

Attorney Shawn Dorward is recognized as one of the most dedicated and hardworking attorneys in Pennsylvania, making him an outstanding protector of your rights. He has handled hundreds of cases ranging from Pennsylvania DUI (including CDL and refusal cases), to DUI with drugs, assault, battery. With your case, Shawn vows to work extremely hard to secure for you the best possible outcome.

Shawn pledges to provide you with informed analysis and honest advice to help you make the right decision for your case and your future.

Attorney Dorward's primary practice is criminal law, with specialization in DUI. He is especially well versed in challenging Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from breath and blood testing. As a trial attorney, he is not afraid to argue matters before a judge and challenge the State’s sloppy forensic labs. A brutal cross-examiner, Shawn has repeatedly forced police officers to admit to untrustworthy evidence. As a criminal defense attorney, Shawn excels in challenging cases with the latest in forensic science.

Shawn Dorward is widely respected for his knowledge of forensic science and his willingness to fight tirelessly for his clients.

Attorney Dorward is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all Pennsylvania State Courts. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court-Middle District of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court. He is an active member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

With hundreds of hours of advanced DUI and forensic science training, Shawn’s combination of knowledge and experience are unmatched by other DUI lawyers in Pennsylvania. Dorward brings his experience to the courtroom to defend your rights.

Some highlights of Attorney Dorward's specialized DUI training are:

On most nights, you’ll find Attorney Dorward in his office, preparing his cases long after the support staff has left. A firm believer in hard work, preparation, and dedication, Shawn feels at home in the courtroom because that's where he excels in protecting your rights. Attorney Dorward prides himself on promptly returning phone calls and being available to you 24 hours a day.

Attorney Dorward earned his undergraduate degree at Temple University where he majored in Sport Management. Through his major he had the opportunity of working with several major professional teams in Philadelphia including the Phillies and 76ers. While at Temple, he also participated in student government and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity where he had the opportunity to volunteer for several local community outreach programs.

After graduating from Temple, Attorney Dorward attended Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. Here he dedicated his studies to criminal defense and in his third year participated in the criminal law clinic where he had the opportunity to represent individuals charged with summary and misdemeanor offenses. He also worked with a local criminal defense attorney primarily on a death penalty case where the Defendants life was ultimately spared.

While outside of work Attorney Dorward enjoys spending time with his family and working out in his local gym. With every aspect of his life, he attempts to be the best and always strides to put his best efforts forward.

Use the download link to the left to download Attorney Dorward's resume.

Attorney Dorward

  • Holds a current Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) rating as recognized by the USDOT;
  • Instructor rating in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Advanced Roadside Impairment Driving Enforcement, Drugs that Impair Driving and Drug Recognition Expert Courses based on the NHTSA curriculum
  • Has been conferred plaques in recognition of attendance at the NCDD Summer Session held at Harvard School of Law in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
  • Passed the proficiency based testing in Advanced Forensic Blood and Urine

DUI Certificates and Training

Seminar Nametags

Other Credits

From Clients

We hired Shawn in 2017 to represent my husband when he was wrongly accused of aggravated assault in York County. I heard that the McShane Firm was the best around, and when I placed my initial call for consultation I had every intention of hiring Justin McShane, as I wanted the best of the best.
Shawn was the attorney to call me back. I was an emotional wreck when he called me, and he took the time to listen to what had happened.
My husband was attacked by 3 men, one of whom had stolen our car a month before and we had charges pending against. The assault took place in retaliation to these charges, yet the investigating officer never looked into motive, and immediately assumed my husband, who had a stroke a month before, is disabled, and was just diagnosed with cancer, was the perpetrator. He spent 3 months in prison with cancer, and without proper medication for his complex medical conditions. We lived in absolute hell for the 2 years that these charges were pending.
From the very first phone call, Shawn immediately and passionately vowed to defend my husband. I was given the choice to hire any attorney in their practice, but from that first consultation, I went with my gut and chose Shawn. His professionalism, compassion, and empathy were evident. It was a bit scary for me to know that I wasn't choosing the man that the firm is named for, but something in my heart told me that Shawn was the true man for the job, and Shawn proved me right every single step of the way!
Over the next two years, Shawn represented us fiercly in each proceeding (so many I can't even remember the number). He, and his paralegal Amanda were always on their absolute A Game, with collecting all of the evidence and keeping us abreast of exactly what was happening in very confusing and scary times for us. He gave us his cell number and answered calls and texts from us promptly, and at all hours of the day and night.
Shawn collected the necessary medical information for my husband to receive medical bond, thus enabling him to receive treatment for the cancer that was killing him, and to be home and nursed back to health with his 2 children and myself. Shawn's hard work truly saved my husband's life!
My husband calls Shawn a bulldog in the courtroom because he digs in and fights for us to the end. This is absolutely true. Shawn was up against much of our evidence being suppressed and horribly twisted news stories that painted my husband as a monster. The recording of our hour long 911 call somehow disappeared! The call proved we reported the assault and asked for help. The hospital records were even altered and my husband overheard the officer telling the medical personnel that there was nothing wrong with him, and that the record should reflect that! Despite all of these unbelievable barriers, Shawn took this case to a jury trial and won!
He has a commanding presence in the courtroom, and his likable and professional demeanor have proven to be invaluable in the good working relationships he has with the DAs and judges.
It is horribly traumatic to live through something like this. However, with Shawn on our side every step of the way, it gave us some peace of mind knowing that he was not just fighting for us, he was really WITH us. He made the scariest time of our lives bearable and ensured that our family would not be broken up. Our kids will never again live the hell of seeing their innocent father "behind the glass" of a prison visitation room.
We highy recommend Shawn to any and everyone needing a defense attorney. We never thought we would genuinely come to love him, but he feels like family to us now. He truly is a super hero. We will be grateful for his representation for the rest of our lives.
Professional, compassionate, a winner, and all around excellent attorney.from Attorney Dorward’s Avvo profile

I hired Shawn Dorward to represent me in my DUI case because he came highly recommended. I have a Commercial Drivers License and could not afford to lose my livelihood. Mr. Dorward did and outstanding job and was very informative. Mr. Dorward got my charges reduced to a M2 with no loss of License or traffic violations. Thank You for the outstanding job!!!!
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I reached out to Shawn in a panic related to a first time DUI. I was completely new to this type of situation and have a profession where these type of charges could be an issue for my employer. He was kind and helpful and provided with me a lot of clear information. He called me back quickly and was very reassuring and supportive. If you are looking for someone to go the extra mile and have a case that might not be your basic DUI offense, Attorney Dorward is a great choice for your criminal defense.
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I couldn’t be happier with your work! Amazing lawyer, and great guy to deal with! Really cares about his clients well being and success!
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Where do I begin? My son's criminal case took 3 1/2 years and Shawn was there every step of the way. He not only was there for my son, he was there for my whole family. It wasn't unusual for me to have a question very late at night and Shawn immediately answered me. When I spoke with him over the phone or in the office, he truly and wholeheartedly listened; like he had nowhere else to be even though I know how busy he is. The time, care, and patience that he puts into his cases is unlike any attorney I've ever known.
My son said that he couldn't imagine having to go through what he did without Shawn by his side.
I hope that we will never need a defense attorney again, but if we do there is no question that Shawn will be the one I call!!!
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From Peers

Attorney M. Miller, Jefferson City MO

I endorse this lawyer.

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Attorney Michael Sherman, Pittsburgh PA

Shawn Dorward is a well-known DUI defense attorney who is respected by his peers for his outstanding trial skills. Shawn has traveled all over the United States to learn the latest scientific techniques and trial tactics involved in defending DUI cases. Shawn possesses superior knowledge in defending DUI cases. I endorse Shawn’s work as a DUI defense attorney. He’s someone you can trust to handle your case.

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Attorney Jesse Hernandez, San Antonio TX

Shawn is an outstanding criminal defense attorney. His work ethic and desire to get the best results for his clients separate him from his peers. When I have clients in Pennsylvania that ask me who I recommend they hire for their criminal defense cases I tell them: Shawn Dorward.

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Attorney Richard Lawson, Atlanta GA

He is well thought of in the legal community. He is a skilled litigator and negotiator. You are well-served with him on your side.

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Attorney David Brengle, Troy MO

Attorney Dorward is a trained in the latest and best DWI defenses. I know that he attend DWI training seminars on a regular basis where he has developed skills rivaling the best DWI defense lawyers in the nation. Attorney Dorward is a part of the leading DWI defense firm in Pennsylvania. Any person in Pennsylvania would be lucky to have Attorney Dorward working on their case.

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Attorney Todd La Neve, Clarksburg WV

Shawn is a rising star. His style and presence match perfectly with a solid legal mind and combine to make him an attorney in whom clients can be confident and comfortable. His role in the McShane Firm just ensures that he will continue to receive top-notch training and experience that will set him apart from the pack in PA. I happily endorse Shawn's quality work.

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Attorney Glen Neeley, Ogden UT

What a lawyer. Shawn is an awesome trial attorney. I met Shawn at a training seminar in PA. He had the courage to go first in demonstrating his skills in the Court room. I was in awe. He has the ability to take a complex story and tell it to the jury in a simple and understandable fashion with passion and confidence.

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Attorney Michael DelSignore, Stoughton MA

I had the opportunity to see Shawn deliver an opening statement at a recent seminar and find him to be extremely persuasive and skilled trial lawyer. He is a confident and effective speaker. I would recommend him to anyone facing DUI or criminal charges.

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Attorney Robert Keefer, Harrisonburg VA

I recently had the opportunity to work with Shawn at a seminar on developing the ability to successfully communicate with juries. Shawn has abundant natural skill as a communicator and worked hard to become even better to protect his clients. Shawn has also made the commitment to understand the science behind the tests the police attempt to use in determining who is a drunk driver. So few lawyers make that commitment even though everyone who helps those charged with DWI/DUI should. I strongly endorse Shawn.

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Attorney Robert Leonard, Marietta GA

I have met Shawn and several very high level seminars and I am very impressed with him. I wish that I had the foresight to try to get all of the training that he has at such an early stage in his career. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with. He works for and is trained by one of the best in the business, Justin McShane.

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Attorney Patrick Ferris, Douglas GA

I recently attending a conference with Mr. Dorward at the Harvard University Law School. Shawn and I were both assigned to have our trial skills evaluated by the nation's best DUI trial lawyers. Shawn was awesome. He is a dynamic trial lawyer, able to adapt to those unexpected circumstances that arise in trial even for the most prepared lawyer (and I know that Shawn thoroughly prepares for trial). I would trust Shawn to represent anyone, even myself, in a DUI trial.

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Attorney Marcos Garza, Knoxville TN

I had the opportunity to meet Shawn at the DUI Defense College at Harvard University during its summer session. Shawn is not only exceptionally bright, he is dedicated to provided the very best legal representation possible for all of his clients. His commitment to the practice of DUI defense shows in his drive to perfect is skills and maximize his clients' chance of obtaining a "not guilty."

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Attorney F. Powers, Charlotte NC

On occasion I meet an attorney whom I immediately say to myself, "Wow, this person has it together." I've watched this guy at work. I've seen his natural trial skills and frankly, I left impressed after our sessions at the National College of DUI Defense (Summer Session) which took place at Harvard Law School. Not only is he an excellent attorney, he works for a firm for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect. You won't go wrong using this smart, zealous attorney. He's a top-notch attorney from a top-notch firm.

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Attorney Michael Romano, Bend OR

Shawn, and the other attorneys at The McShane Firm LLC, are committed to providing top-notch defense for all motorists in the unfortunate position of being charged with DUI in Pennsylvania. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawn and the McShane Firm to anyone looking for the best representation in DUI defense.

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Attorney Douglas Chanco, Atlanta GA

Shawn and I met at a Drug Recognition Expert seminar his firm sponsered. He and I discussed several complex legal issues involving citizens charged with DUI's in states other than where they are licensed to drive. Shawn is a very knowledgeable attorney who added much to the highly technical discussion. Furthermore, he is surounded by other very talented DUI/DWI Defense lawyers who make up an excellent team. I would most certainly recomend him to anyone accused of DUI. I endorse this lawyer's work.

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Attorney Andrew Alpert, Bowie MD

I met Shawn while attending a Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor Course and was very impressed by his drive and desire to provide the best possible defense for his clients. I would recommend Shawn to anyone seeking skilled representation for a DUI offense in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Attorney Richard Kodzis, Millersville MD

I strongly endorse Attorney Dorward. I have had the opportunity to closely observe his work ethic and his dedication to his clients. Unlike far to many DUI/DWI defense attorneys, Attorney Dorward is extremely knowledgeable of his craft, and takes the effort to maintain his skill at the highest level. He works hard for his clients, and it shows in results. I frequently encounter him at advanced training not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the east coast. I unhesitatingly endorse him.

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Attorney Craig Rosenstein, Scottsdale AZ

Shawn and I met at a blood seminar in San Diego. He is a smart and capable attorney who impressed me with his knowledge of blood analysis issues. I would recomend Shawn to anyone accused of DUI.

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Attorney Cory Yager, Atlanta GA

I met Shawn at a high level Forsensics Course in San Diego, California. Shawn tackled the scientific material at the course with enthusiasm and through our conversations showed that he is very committed the Defense of allegedly impaired drivers. Shawn is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and is very knowledgable in the field of DUI/DWI law.

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Attorney William Bly, Biddeford ME

Shawn has been practicing law for a short time but he has been studying the fine points of criminal litigation for a long period of time. Shawn clerked for Justin McShane while studying for the bar. During that time, Shawn was involved in numerous cases and helped Attorney McShane prepare for trial. While learning from the best, Shawn has been busy developing his own style and finding his own voice. He is a charismatic lawyer and a skilled trial attorney. His experience is vast in comparison to his time in practice and in fact, he already has more trial experience than many attorneys with 10+ years of experience. If you are considering retaining Shawn you should have absolute confidence in his abilities and commitment to your case.

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Attorney Bruce Robinson, Baltimore MD

I endorse this lawyer's work. I have known Mr. Dorward for a number of years now and am pleased to say he is one of the attorneys that is vigilantly staying on top of and honing his skills in the DUI field. The laws and technology regarding DUI detection and defense are constantly changing and Mr. Dorward has demonstrated his desire to continue learning by regularly attending local and national DUI seminars. He is a fine attorney.

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Attorney Gary Pirosko, Denver CO

I met Shawn through the National College for DUI defense. We attended the most rigorous DUI blood testing courses in the country together. Very few DUI attorneys could pass the final test, but Shawn shined. When your liberty is on the line, look no further.

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COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Daniel Eugene LANDIS, II

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has issued a decision in the case of _COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Daniel Eugene LANDIS, II, Appellant,_ 2108 MDA 2012 (April 8, 2014), an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Juniata County, Judge Kenneth A. Mummah, Criminal Division, CP–34–CR–0000167–2010.The Panel was composed of Judges BENDER, WECHT and FITZGERALD who wrote the Opinion. There was no dissent. The Appellant appealed from a judgment of sentence entered in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas after a jury found him guilty of, /inter alia,/ DUI-highest rate of alcohol.Appellant claimed that he was entitled to a new trial because the finding that his blood-alcohol level was over .16% within two hours of driving was against the weight of the evidence. The Panel agreed and ruled that the Appellant was entitled to a new trial on the count of DUI—highest rate of alcohol because the blood-alcohol test result of .164%, which was relied on by the Commonwealth, was subject to a 10% margin of error and there was no further evidence to sustain the jury's finding that his blood alcohol level was .16% or above within two hours of driving. Section 3802(c) of the Motor Vehicle Code provides that: An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual's blood or breath is 0.16% or higher within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle. The Superior Court agreed that the jury's verdict on the count of DUI-highest rate of alcohol was against the weight of the evidence. The evidence that his blood-alcohol level was .164% was unreliable because the medical technician only took one sample of blood and ran only one test. Moreover, the result from an Avid Axsym machine was less accurate than a gas chromatography test, and the evidence at trial established a 10% margin of error in the results from the Avid Axsym machine. The trial record did not contain a reasoned basis for accepting the specific reading of .164% as either accurate or precise. There was no support for a finding that the reading registered by the Avid Axsym machine was any more reliable than the possible blood-alcohol levels within the 10% margin of error. Moreover, since there was no direct or circumstantial evidence regarding the possible applications of the 10% margin of error, the trial evidence required the jury to speculate that Appellant's actual blood alcohol content was .16% or higher within two hours of driving. Therefore, the Panel held that the Appellant was entitled to a new trial on the count of DUI—highest rate of alcohol. The attorney for the Appellant was Shawn Michael Dorward, of the McShane Firm, Harrisburg, PA.

Commonwealth v. Yohe

Commonwealth v. Yohe - The firm once again finds itself involved with the Supreme Court of the United States. We recently filed a petition in the High Court for Writ of Certiorari. This is the case where we argued the NMS labs Henry-Ford-Assembly-line-like forensic science method violates the 6th Amendment’s Confrontation Clause. We presented the following question: The United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment guarantees criminal defendants the right to a fair trial – including the right to confront “witnesses” against them. Here, the government introduced a forensic toxicology report via a “witness” who reviewed and confirmed laboratory analysts’ work – but did not perform, observe, or have any personal connection with the analysis. Does a “witness” who reviews and confirms others’ work violate the Confrontation Clause” In other words, who is the “witness” against the defendant? At trial, the government did not present the particular witness from NMS Labs who physically conducted the accused’s blood analysis. Instead, the government and NMS presented only the PhD who reviewed the data generated by the particular witness. Trial counsel, the McShane Firm’s own Attorney Shawn Dorward, timely objected—making a complete proffer to preserve the Confrontation Clause error. Attorney Dorward carefully preserved his objection under both federal and state law. The trial court overruled the objection and allowed the “surrogate” witness to testify in lieu of the particular witness. Despite Attorney Dorward’s best efforts, the Judge disagreed with Dorward at trial and returned a guilty verdict for the BAC count, but found the accused not guilty of DUI: General Impairment. Never losing sight of the Constitutional harm, Attorney Dorward again asserted error in a well-written post-sentencing motion and accompanying legal memorandum. Sometimes, judges change their minds. And, upon reviewing the “surrogate’s” testimony and the presented arguments, the trial court agreed the government violated the accused’s Constitutional rights. At the time this all happened, the trial court was bound by the case Commonwealth v. Barton-Martin, which held that a violation of confrontation required the charge at issue to be dismissed. Despite the binding precedent of Barton-Martin, the trial court ordered a new trial as the remedy. Knowing that remedy to be in error in that the proper remedy under Barton-Martin was vacating and discharging the defendant of the conviction, Attorney Dorward filed a motion for reconsideration with the trial court for the remedy. A hearing was scheduled for this motion; however, prior to the court date the government sought appeal of the grant of the new trial. Thus, the government became the appellant. The McShane Firm, LLC became the appellee. After receiving briefs a three justice panel of the Superior Court disagreed with the trial court and overturned the grant of the new trial. In essence the three justices in the Superior Court, in a published opinion, held the testimony of the “surrogate” was sufficient Confrontation for the accused. Attorney Dorward then enlisted the help of Attorneys Justin McShane and Josh Auriemma to perfect a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Typically, Pennsylvania’s highest court grants very few of these motions—but the court granted it here. The Court wanted to help guide the issue and hear the lawyers on both sides argue the issue. On that appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, several organizations wrote amicus briefs—“friends of the court”—including: the National College for DUI Defense Attorneys (NCDD); the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys (PADDDA); the Pennsylvania Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL); and the Philadelphia Defender Association. Ultimately, after the Court received briefs from the accused, the government, and the interested organizations, the case went to oral argument. Attorney Dorward argued the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Sadly, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s decision. Following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s affirmation, The McShane Firm, LLC went to the mat. With the hard work of Attorneys Justin McShane, TC Tanski, and Shawn Dorward as well as Richard Roberts, a law student intern, the firm drafted and filed a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. Now that we’ve filed the Petition, it’s up to the United States Supreme Court to either deny the petition or grant it. Once a Petition is granted by the High Court, briefs are filed and arguments are presented.

If you're looking for professionally aggressive representation, contact The McShane Firm today and put Harrisburg's most highly-trained attorneys in your corner. WE FIGHT!