James H. Heller

Co-Chair, Commercial Litigation Department
Chair, Product Liability

Philadelphia

(215) 665-2189

(215) 701-2189

Recent News:

Pennsylvania Powerhouse: Cozen O'Connor

Jim Heller, co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing Cozen O’Connor attorneys steering some of the most notable matters in Pennsylvania.

Jim Heller is a nationally recognized product liability attorney with nearly 40 years of trial experience. He is co-chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, chair of the firm's Product Liability Practice Group, and a member of the firm's Management Committee and Board of Directors.

The focus of Jim’s preeminent product liability practice is defending single- and multi-plaintiff catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims. Jim has tried more than 60 cases to verdict or judgment and litigated hundreds of matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country. His record of success representing companies faced with extraordinary liability, sympathetic plaintiffs, and intense media scrutiny places him squarely among top-tier defense counsel.

Jim serves as national trial counsel to two public corporations. In that role, he first-chairs all litigation and trials, coordinates national litigation strategy, advises on external communications and product manuals, and serves as liaison to regulators and policymakers.

In addition to his primary practice, Jim has deep experience litigating toxic tort class actions, complex commercial disputes, health care fraud, and intellectual property infringement claims.

He first joined Cozen O’Connor in 1985, when the firm still had fewer than 60 lawyers, and has played a central role in building Cozen O’Connor’s award-winning Commercial Litigation Department from the ground up. Jim was recently profiled in The American Lawyer’s “Litigation Leader” series, which featured practice leaders of the country’s biggest litigation firms.

Jim is a SuperLawyer, and ALM Top-Rated Lawyer. He is also a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council and Phi Alpha Delta, the largest professional law fraternity in the U.S.

Jim earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan in 1982, and his J.D. at the University of Miami School of Law in 1985. 

Experience

News

Pennsylvania Powerhouse: Cozen O'Connor

September 12, 2022

Jim Heller, co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing Cozen O’Connor attorneys steering some of the most notable matters in Pennsylvania.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

'Battle of the Experts': How J&J Won Its Talc Trial in Plaintiff-Friendly Philadelphia

September 28, 2021

Jim Heller was featured in an article published by The Legal Intelligencer, which discusses the J&J Talc trial in Philadelphia.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

47 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 28, 2021

Super Lawyers has selected 47 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Litigation Leaders: Cozen O’Connor’s Jim Heller on Building Trial-Ready Product Liability, White Collar and Class Action Teams

March 29, 2021

The American Lawyer profiled Jim Heller as part of its Litigation Leader series, which features the country's biggest firms' litigation practice leaders.

What to Know as Hurricane Sally Nears: Dangers and Realities of Portable Generators

September 14, 2020

Jim Heller was quoted in the Wall Street Journal discussing whether or not manufacturers will be held liable for any injuries or deaths during Hurricane Sally.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Fifty-Eight Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 05, 2020

Super Lawyers has selected 58 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Jury Sent Message With $8B Risperdal Verdict, but Lawyers Don't Expect it to Stand

October 09, 2019

Jim Heller was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer discussing the multibillion-dollar verdict that the jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson this week.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

64 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 21, 2019

Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Punitives Promise Fiercer Fight In Philly Risperdal Trial

January 28, 2019

Jim Heller, co-chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law's 360 article, "Punitives Promise Fiercer Fight In Philly Risperdal Trial."

The Verdicts That Left A Mark In 2018

December 17, 2018

Jim Heller, vice chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "The Verdicts That Left A Mark In 2018."

Cozen O’Connor Names Four Shareholders to Board of Directors

September 11, 2018

Cozen O’Connor has elected shareholders James H. Heller, Lori Kalani, Howard Maycon, and Martin Schrier to the firm’s board of directors.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Pa. High Court's 'Roverano' Ruling Likely to Reshape Strict Liability Litigation

August 09, 2018

Jim Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer's article, "Pa. High Court's 'Roverano' Ruling Likely to Reshape Strict Liability Litigation."

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Prescribing Doc's Testimony Key In 2nd Philly Xarelto Trial

April 04, 2018

James Heller, vice chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department and chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice, was quoted in Law360's "Prescribing Doc's Testimony Key In 2nd Philly Xarelto Trial."

James Heller Named to Product Liability Advisory Council

March 28, 2018

James Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was admitted as a sustaining member to the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC).

$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say

December 06, 2017

James Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say."

Xarelto User Faces Hard Sell In 1st Philly Mass Tort Trial

November 03, 2017

James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in Law 360's article, "Xarelto User Faces Hard Sell In 1st Philly Mass Tort Trial."

With Upcoming Xarelto Bellwether It's All Eyes on Philadelphia

November 02, 2017

James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer article, "With Upcoming Xarelto Bellwether It's All Eyes on Philadelphia."

Publications

Lacrosse Equipment Manufacturers Facing Challenges [The Legal Intelligencer]

February 10, 2015

In an article titled ''Lacrosse Equipment Manufacturers Facing Challenges,'' James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, and Christopher Passavia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and their abrupt announcement in November 2014 that it had voided the manufacturer's certification of two of the nation's most popular lacrosse helmets (Cascade's R model and Warrior's Regulator model). The announcement quickly led to the filing of two putative class action consumer lawsuits against Cascade, one of which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a lawsuit by NOCSAE against Warrior in federal court in Missouri.

An Attack on Plaintiffs' Use of Consumer Complaints [The Legal Intelligencer]

February 11, 2014

In products liability actions, plaintiffs use prior consumer complaints as evidence that a defect existed or that the defendant ignored a known defect. Precluding these prior consumer complaints is important to the defense, because this evidence has significant potential to prejudice the jury and lead to the imposition of liability in cases where plaintiffs have failed to produce sufficient proof of a defect. For these reasons, defendants must challenge the admissibility of prior consumer complaints. Defendants should argue that the communications are not substantially similar to the facts, circumstances and defects claimed in the case at issue (and are, thus, not relevant), and are inadmissible hearsay.

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • University of Michigan, B.A., 1982

Awards & Honors

ALM Top Rated Lawyer – Litigation

Pennsylvania Super Lawyer 2008-2021. This award is conferred by Super Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc.