F. Clay Merris, Esq.

Associate Attorney

Attorney F. “Clay” Merris, IV joined Scaringi Law in January of 2017 as an Associate Attorney practicing in criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation among other major practice areas. Attorney Merris is based in our Newport, Perry County, Pennsylvania office, and has over 10 years of legal experience.

Prior to joining Scaringi Law, Attorney Merris served as a Public Defender in the Cumberland County Public Defender’s Office since 2012. In this position, Merris represented individuals charged with every type of Misdemeanor and Felony offense from Aggravated Assault, to Sex Offenses, to Drug Delivery and Trafficking Offenses to DUI where he averaged 100 court appearances per month. Due to his extensive experience representing individuals charged with serious and high-level offenses, he is certified to represent individuals charged with homicide in capital cases – individuals facing the death penalty.

Attorney Merris has handled several hundred cases from Preliminary Hearing through the completion, including 22 jury trials and 40 non-jury trials. In addition to handling standard duty public defender cases, Merris served as the public defender representative of the Cumberland County Adult Treatment Court Team, along with a Cumberland County Common Pleas Judge, Senior District Attorney, Probation Office and various mental health and substance abuse counselors. He would enroll his clients, who were charged with crimes but addicted to drugs or alcohol, in this program and steer through successful completion resulting in dismissal and expungement of pending charges. Serving on this team of professionals provided Attorney Merris with extensive knowledge and experience in handling criminal cases for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Prior to joining the Cumberland County Public Defender’s Office, Attorney Merris worked for a local Carlisle-based attorney focusing primarily on criminal defense. Prior to this firm, Merris worked for Keystone Hearings and Appeals, LLC where he assisted the Administrative Law Judge in determining health insurance appeals and at Allied Attorneys of Central Pennsylvania, LLC where he represented individuals in family law, criminal defense, contracts cases and general civil litigation.

Attorney Merris started is legal career in Perry County when he served as a law clerk at the Perry County Court of Common Pleas in 2008.

Attorney Merris was born and raised in Perry County. He currently lives in Landisburg, Perry County.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • Family Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Civil & Commercial Litigation


  • Widener University School of Law
    • J.D., 2010
  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
    • Degree: B.A. in Political Science
    • Minor: History
    • Honors: Member of the Winning Political Science Quiz Bowl
    • 4-Year Varsity Letter Winner - Football

Past Employment Positions

  • Cumberland County Public Defender’s Office, 2012-2017
  • Law Office of Bradford Orr, 2011-2012
  • Allied Attorneys of Central Pennsylvania, 2010-2011
  • Keystone Hearings and Appeals, LLC, 2010-2011
  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Summer 2009
  • Perry County Court of Common Pleas, Summer 2008

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 2010
  • United States Federal Court, Middle District Pennsylvania, 2011

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    • Family Law Section
    • Criminal Defense Section
  • Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

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