Thomas G. Wilkinson concentrates his practice in the areas of business litigation, business torts, appellate, complex insurance coverage, and professional responsibility matters. He also has substantial experience in advising lawyers and law firms on risk management and professional liability issues. He has been retained and accepted as an expert witness in attorney professional liability and responsibility cases in state and federal courts. He has experience representing lawyers and judges in disciplinary proceedings. He also has been appointed as a neutral mediator and discovery master.
Tom is a frequent lecturer and author on civil litigation and professional responsibility topics. He is the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Ethics Handbook (5th ed.), a comprehensive review of the rules of conduct governing lawyers, with extensive citations to case decisions and ethics opinions addressing all aspects of lawyer-client relationship. He is co-author (with Cozen O’Connor attorney Dan Harrington) of the chapter on "Conflicts of Interest" in the Pennsylvania Ethics Handbook. He is the co-author of the chapters on lawyer and judicial regulation in The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law of the Commonwealth 1684-2017.
Tom is a past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), and a past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He is a master of the Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court and has been a lecturer in law on professional responsibility at Villanova University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors and previously served as the Pennsylvania State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. Tom has served as an appointed member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and ABA Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services. He is active in the Section of Litigation's Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Tom has served on the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors and is a past co-chair of its State Civil Litigation Section and Rules and Procedure Committee. He is the co-chair of the Appellate Courts Committee and vice chair of the Judicial Evaluation Commission. He is also an active member of the Professional Guidance and Professional Responsibility Committees. He is a frequent author and lecturer on civil litigation and professional responsibility topics.
He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of New Hampshire in 1978 and received his law degree in 1981 from Villanova University Law School, where he was managing editor of the Villanova Law Review.
August 17, 2023
Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
May 24, 2023
Super Lawyers has selected 42 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
May 02, 2023
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that Thomas Wilkinson, a member of the firm’s Legal Profession Services practice, has been selected to receive the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Third Circuit.
April 05, 2023
Thomas Wilkinson was quoted in an article published by Law 360, discussing the disproportionate number of IOLTA violations in Pennsylvania disciplinary actions.
September 20, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson, Daniel Harrington, and Deborah Winokur, representing the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Allegheny County Bar Associations, were quoted in a Law360 Article.
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.
August 04, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department and Legal Profession Practice Group, has been appointed to serve a four year term as a trustee on the Pennsylvania Bar Insurance and Trust Fund.
June 01, 2022
Super Lawyers has selected 49 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
January 18, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson was quoted in an article published by The Legal Intelligencer discussing how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court laid out guidelines for a new Judicial Ethics Advisory Board, which is set to take effect in July.
September 17, 2021
Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Thomas G. Wilkinson, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been elected to serve a three-year term on the American Bar Association Board of Governors representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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.
May 28, 2021
Super Lawyers has selected 47 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
March 19, 2021
Thomas Wilkinson was quoted in an article published by Law360, "Pa. Bar Leaders Aren't Giving Up On Drafting Anti-Bias Rule."
March 02, 2021
Thomas Wilkinson was featured in an article published by Law360 discussing his thoughts on the retirement of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor.
October 16, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department and Legal Profession Practice Group, has been reappointed as chair of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) Lawyers' Professionalism and Ethics Committee.
August 20, 2020
Best Lawyers selected 200 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).
August 07, 2020
Tom Wilkinson was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article which discusses how
a Pennsylvania lawyer is suing state disciplinary authorities, saying an anti-bias ethics rule scheduled to go into effect in December violates his free speech rights.
July 15, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article discussing how the American Bar Association is defending a model anti-harassment ethics rule that’s come under criticism as an overbroad regulation of attorneys’ speech.
June 11, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson was featured in The Legal Intelligencer discussing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's adoption of a new disciplinary rule saying attorneys can face discipline if, during the practice of law, they “knowingly manifest bias or prejudice, or engage in harassment or discrimination, as those terms are defined in applicable federal, state or local statutes or ordinances.”
June 05, 2020
Super Lawyers has selected 58 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
November 21, 2019
Tom Wilkinson, a leader of Cozen O’Connor’s Legal Profession Practice Group, was named a Pennsylvania Trailblazer by The Legal Intelligencer in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility.
September 16, 2019
The appointment is for a one-year term and is effective at the conclusion of the DRI 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans October 16-19.
May 21, 2019
Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
June 12, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
April 13, 2018
Thomas Wilkinson, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in American Bar Association's Litigation News's article, "Monetary Offer for Witness Testimony Triggers Suspension."
December 27, 2017
Tom Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in the ABA Litigation News article, "Virtual Law Offices Create Ethical Concerns."
December 22, 2017
Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in the article, "Nonlawyer Gets Chance to Enforce Alleged Legal Fee-Split Pact," for ABA BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct.
July 28, 2017
Tom Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discusses a Pennsylvania appeals court's decision from a suit stemming from Penn State University's internal probe of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal
December 19, 2016
Tom Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discusses how Big Law is becoming more involved with cannabis legislation in Law360.
August 17, 2015
Thomas Wilkinson discusses the appearance of impropriety doctrine for assessing attorney conflicts of interest.
July 11, 2015
Tom Wilkinson discusses protracted civil cases and how they are the exception to the rule today in Pennsylvania’s civil courts.
September 10, 2014
In an article titled, ''Seventh Circuit Rejects ‘Scandalous’ Settlement,'' Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit's scathing rebuke of class counsel in an opinion reversing the approval of the settlement in Eubank v. Pella. Referring to the case as ''eight largely wasted years,'' to the settlement as ''scandalous,'' and to the terms as ''[selling] out the class,'' Judge Posner’s opinion dealt harshly with class counsel. Tom explains the red flags that rose throughout the case and the lessons judges and lawyers can take away from them.
August 14, 2014
Thomas Wilkinson discusses a federal lawsuit challenging PA rules denying bar admission to attorneys from states lacking reciprocity agreements in Law360.
July 14, 2014
In an article titled "Pa. Adopts Rule Banning Attorney-Expert Discovery," Thomas G. Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, offers his opinion on Pennsylvania's adoption of the bright-line rule, stating that he is against the bright-line rule because of the concerns over whether improper behavior, no matter how rare, will now be nearly impossible to detect. "If a lawyer had a suspicion that that kind of misconduct was occurring, with this rule change it could be a lot more difficult to uncover that kind of misconduct," said Wilkinson.
October 01, 2013
In an article titled “Unsigned Conflict Waiver Letter Found Enforceable,” Thomas G. Wilkinson, of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses an unsigned Asian intellectual property engagement letter that was deemed enforceable by a New York appellate court.
September 10, 2013
In an article titled “Lawyers' Duty to Disclose False Evidence May Extend Indefinitely,” Thomas G. Wilkinson, of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses New York Ethics Rules regarding the lawyer’s obligation to circumvent his or her duty of confidentiality and disclose a client’s criminal or fraudulent conduct.
July 12, 2013
In an article titled, “Attorneys Suspended Nine Months for Influencing Client's Story,” Thomas G. Wilkinson, member in Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department and co-chair of the Conflicts of Interest Subcommittee of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee, examines a recent New York Appellate Division case in which two attorneys received nine-month suspensions after admitting to influencing their client’s version of events.
April 23, 2013
In an article titled, "Co-Client Relationship Between Insurer and Insured Not Automatic," Thomas G. Wilkinson of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department discusses the circumstances to which the co-client privilege applies, as well as the implications of the CAMICO Decision.
March 12, 2013
Thomas Wilkinson, along with his wife Kathleen, will receive the Gerald Abraham Award for Service to Villanova University School of Law at the Villanova Law Alumni Association's annual Alumni Reception and Awards Program on March 21 at the National Constitution Center.
November 03, 2010
Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr., a member in the firm’s Philadelphia office, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s task force on the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Report.
September 09, 2010
The Legal Intelligencer reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit struck down a set of immigration ordinances passed in Hazleton, Pa., in its ruling in Lozano v. City of Hazleton. According to the article, the three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the ordinances conflict with federal immigration laws and therefore are barred by the Supremacy Clause.
August 13, 2010
Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr., a member of Cozen O'Connor's Philadelphia office, was quoted in a recent article in the Law Bulletin about a resolution being voted on by the American Bar Association this week. The resolution calls for judges to use new terms that distinguish between prosecutors committing an error and prosecutors wrongdoing, replacing the general term ''prosecutorial misconduct.'' The article describes the reasoning behind the arguments for and against the resolution.
October 23, 2009
Cozen O'Connor member Thomas G. Wilkinson recently served as a panelist for ''Breaking Impasse in Mediation'' at the American Bar Association's (ABA) 7th Annual Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute. Tom and other panelists presented practice pointers on how to avoid impasse in mediating difficult cases. The Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute is a comprehensive program for mediators, litigators, judges and in-house counsel that utilizes faculty to present the latest research, best practices, new approaches and core competencies in the field.
February 04, 2009
Twenty-one attorneys in Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office have been named to the 2008 Pro Bono Roll of Honor of the First Judicial District (FJD) of Pennsylvania.
December 17, 2008
Cozen O'Connor members Jennifer A. Brandt and Thomas G. Wilkinson recently participated in the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's course ''Dealing with Dirty Tricks in Divorce,'' which was presented in Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg and Pittsburgh. Jennifer served as the course planner and moderator and Tom was a panelist in Philadelphia. The course was designed to assist family law practitioners when they are faced with dirty tricks in the areas of finance and reputation, and in divorce proceedings in general.
November 13, 2008
Cozen O'Connor member Thomas G. Wilkinson recently presented two seminars on topical legal ethics issues. First, he spoke on ''Ethical Considerations for Township Solicitors'' for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors in Hershey, Penn. Second, he discussed ''Confidentiality in the Insurance Defense Context'' for the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel.
June 25, 2008
The law firm of Cozen O'Connor and member Thomas G. Wilkinson have been honored by the Friends of Farmworkers for their outstanding pro bono service. Tom was honored for his ''tireless pro bono service,'' including his role as lead counsel in the federal court challenge to the City of Hazleton's immigration ordinances. The firm was honored for ''its commitment to public service,'' demonstrated by their substantial support of those involved in enjoining the ordinances, including firm members Linda Kaiser Conley, Thomas B. Fiddler, Elena Park, Ilan Rosenberg and Doreen Trujillo. The awards were presented at the Friends of Farmworkers 2008 Reception, held at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia.
June 18, 2008
Cozen O'Connor member Thomas G. Wilkinson has been elected President of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI). The PBI is an educational arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the largest non-profit provider of continuing legal education in the state. It is a non-profit organization that aims to provide Pennsylvania lawyers with information that is timely, practical, cost effective and of the highest possible quality.
May 29, 2008
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 42 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2008 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2008 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
May 08, 2008
Cozen O'Connor member Thomas G. Wilkinson recently lectured on ''Current Ethical Concerns for Arbitrators and Practitioners'' at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service's (FMCS) 29th Arbitration Symposium. The event, co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Montgomery County Labor-Management Committee, was held in Atlantic City, N.J. The FMCS Arbitration Symposium is an opportunity for members of the labor-management community and practicing arbitrators to discuss the issues they face, exchange ideas and review recent developments in labor and employment arbitration. The presenters this year included attorneys, academics, and members of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
May 06, 2008
Cozen O'Connor recently presented its 2008 Professional Liability Coverage Seminar. The seminar was comprised of a series of lectures on professional liability topics by firm attorneys.
April 08, 2008
Cozen O’Connor has announced that 61 attorneys and 8 paralegals have been named to the firm’s 2007 Pro Bono Honor Roll.
January 10, 2008
Cozen O'Connor has been honored with a 2008 Pro Bono Award from The National Law Journal (NLJ). Each year, the NLJ recognizes the lawyers and law firms that have worked to ensure that legal rights are not contingent on an individual's ability to pay for an attorney. The award committee looks for the firms and individuals who made the biggest commitments, both in time and in money on behalf of pro bono clients. Cozen O'Connor was recognized for the firm's work as lead private counsel in the Hazleton, Pa., immigration case that captured national attention last year.
January 07, 2008
Thomas G. Wilkinson of Cozen O'Connor has been named co-chair of the State Civil Litigation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. The section's purpose is to advance the development and study of the law by suggesting improvements in applicable laws, practices and procedures. A member in the firm's Philadelphia office, Tom is a member of the Commercial Litigation Department. He concentrates his practice in business litigation, business torts, complex insurance coverage and professional responsibility matters. He is a frequent lecturer and author on civil litigation and professional responsibility topics and is the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Ethics Handbook, a comprehensive review of the rules of conduct governing lawyers, with extensive citations to case decisions and ethics opinions addressing all aspects of lawyer-client relationships.
August 29, 2023
The Third Circuit Upheld a Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct prohibiting knowing harassment and discrimination in the practice of law.
July 05, 2023
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, recently issued an interesting opinion upholding claims against a New York law firm stemming from its employment of an IT support technician contrary to the terms of a restrictive covenant with his former employer. Notably the court also awarded...
May 16, 2023
The Federal District Court in Philadelphia has sanctioned a lawyer for copying and pasting opposing counsel’s motion in limine and filing it as her own work product the next day. Finding that the motion had been plagiarized, the court granted a motion for sanctions and awarded attorney’s fees...
April 24, 2023
The Third Circuit recently opined that sanctions were warranted against investors who pursued claims against an ailing company that were brought solely for the purpose of leveraging a settlement. The ruling stands as a stark warning of the potential consequences to securities lawyers and their...
January 12, 2023
Thomas Wilkinson and Rhonda Fulginiti co-authored an article for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly discussing a recent concurring opinion in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Khalil v. Williams, which threatens the Muhammad Doctrine.
January 06, 2023
Thomas Wilkinson and Deborah Winokur co-authored an article for the American Bar Association discussing how seemingly innocuous or careless acts can result in at least a partial waiver of the attorney-client privilege. They look at examples involving waiver of the privilege by the client, and also...
December 05, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson and Deborah Winokur co-authored an article for Lexology covering a circuit split the U.S. Supreme Court will address concerning the proper test federal courts should apply when assessing whether the attorney-client privilege protects communications that serve a “dual purpose.”
November 09, 2022
Did you hear about the case where the client’s CEO waived privilege by forwarding an email from his company’s counsel to a hotel’s front desk for printing? Whoops!
In Fourth Dimension Software v. Der Touristik Deutschland GMBh, linked below, the CEO of the plaintiff software company (“FDS”)...
November 04, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson and Rhonda Fulginiti authored an article for the November/December 2022 issue of The Bencher.
September 02, 2022
Thomas Wilkinson authored an article for the September/October issue of The Pennsylvania Lawyer.
June 21, 2022
The recent arrest of an armed man who planned to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has brought renewed attention to the issues surrounding the personal security of federal judges and their families. The suspect told investigators that he found Justice Kavanaugh’s home address...
December 30, 2021
A federal district court in Pittsburgh recently ruled that counsel were not permitted to advance the cost of discovery sanctions imposed by the court against their clients. In a case challenging Pittsburgh-based grocery chain Giant Eagle’s mandatory mask policy, Senior Judge Nora Barry Fischer was...
November 18, 2021
Thomas Wilkinson co-authored an article discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the practice of law.
November 04, 2021
What happens when a Pennsylvania lawyer desires to invest in a law firm in D.C. where some of the owners are not lawyers? Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, the lawyer is not permitted to make that investment, but the D.C. Rules would allow it for a D.C. lawyer.
July 07, 2021
Thomas Wilkinson co-authored an article for the July/August 2021 issue of The Pennsylvania Lawyer.
December 03, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson and Douglas Fox contributed an article to Law360 discussing how to identify and what to do when conflicts arise out of a lawyer's "personal relationship" with opposing counsel.
November 04, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson and Douglas Fox contributed an article to the PBA Federal Practice newsletter discussing lawyer’s ethical responsibilities when the their client appears to be engaging in a fraudulent scheme or criminal behavior and seeks advice in furthering that conduct.
October 28, 2020
ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (the
“Committee”) recently issued Formal Opinion 492 (the “Opinion”), in which the
Committee offers helpful guidance on navigating the duties to prospective
clients under Model Rule 1.18. Attorneys and conflict-avoidance software...
October 02, 2020
are married to lawyers, socialize
with other lawyers,
and count lawyers
they have interacted with on a professional level for years as friends.
When do these relationships create conflicts of interest that require
lawyers to take steps to address the conflict?
The American Bar...
September 09, 2020
a client terminates, without cause,
its legal representation in a contingent fee matter and subsequently retains
new counsel from a different firm, the Rules of Professional Conduct related to
the division and disbursement of fees impose certain requirements on the
successor attorney. The...
August 21, 2020
Many litigators have either retained or served as “local counsel” in state or federal courts. Litigators with national practices may work with local counsel more often than not. Those with niche practices handling cases in specialized courts, such as the Delaware Chancery Court, also frequently...
August 18, 2020
Sarah Sweeney and Thomas Wilkinson authored an Expert Analysis article in Law360 discussing how The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently issued Formal Opinion 492 and what this means for prospective clients.
August 13, 2020
Outsourcing on the Upswing
In an era where lawyers and law firms seek to run “lean” as a way of
keeping costs down, outsourcing legal and nonlegal services once performed
in-house by law firms can be a wise financial move. The advent of COVID-19 has
accelerated consideration of outsourcing...
June 22, 2020
Tom Wilkinson and Ryan Kelly discuss the firm's recent win before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
June 17, 2020
Thomas Wilkinson and Douglas Fox contributed an article to The Legal Intelligencer discussing The American Bar Association’s Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(d) (model rule).
April 20, 2020
Sarah Sweeney and Thomas Wilkinson published an article to the Legal Intelligencer discussing when a client terminates, without cause, its legal representation in a contingent fee matter and subsequently retains new counsel from a different firm, the Rules of Professional Conduct related to the division and disbursement of fees impose certain requirements on the successor attorney.
January 30, 2019
Tom Wilkinson co-authored an article on how Family lawyers face some special challenges because they deal with not only office technology but also the ethical concerns created by clients who neither know nor care about rules governing their lawyers' conduct.
October 31, 2016
Tom Wilkinson and Leigh Ann Benson, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss this case in the Pennsylvania Bar Associations Civil Litigation Update.
October 18, 2016
Tom Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discusses Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana law in the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
July 17, 2016
Tom Wilkinson and Matthew Glazer, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss photographing police in public places in the Villanova Law Review.
February 25, 2016
Thomas Wilkinson and Joshua Ruby, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss wiretap act prosecutions of defense attorneys.
April 10, 2015
Thomas Wilkinson and Alexa Sebia explain how aggressive advocacy outside the confines of the courthouse may trigger potential defamation exposure for lawyers and their clients, even for lawyers who simply circulate filed pleadings to reporters or accurately summarize them via social media.
April 01, 2015
In an article titled “A Ticket to Sue – Pennsylvania’s Registration Requirement for Foreign Business Entities,” Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Thomas O’Rourke, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the new registration regime for foreign businesses that will come into effect on July 1, 2015. Under the new requirements, foreign businesses that are “doing business” in Pennsylvania without proper authorization will still be without legal capacity to sue in Pennsylvania. It will remain critical, therefore, for each foreign business to ensure that it is properly registered, if necessary, before seeking recovery in Pennsylvania.
March 04, 2015
In an article titled “Courts Clarify Scope of Privilege for Internal Corporate Investigations,” Thomas Wilkinson and Tamar Wise, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discuss a wave of recent cases which have clarified the scope of the attorney-client and work-product privileges in the context of internal corporate investigations.
February 26, 2015
In an article titled "Court Rejects Attorney-Client Privilege in Employment Discrimination Case,’’ Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Alexa Sebia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss a Pennsylvania federal judge’s rejection of a company’s claim to attorney-client privilege as an obstacle to pursuit of a sex discrimination suit brought by a lawyer and former employee.
October 30, 2014
In an article titled “Judicial Conference Further Amends Proposed Discovery Rule Changes in Response to Extensive Comments,” Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Joshua Ruby, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure’s (Standing Committee) amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Absent changes imposed by the Supreme Court and Congress, the new rules will go into effect on December 1, 2015. Although not as expansive as the draft amendments proposed last year, the proposals substantially revise the Rules governing discovery practice in the federal courts.
September 19, 2014
In an article titled ''Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Whether Social Science is ‘Common Sense’ or a Tool to Correct Juror Misconceptions,'' Thomas Wilkinson, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Thomas O’Rourke, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss two recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases.
July 09, 2014
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued two decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases. As noted by University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, however, the opinions appear to “come from two different worlds.”
December 01, 2013
Consider the following scenario: You have been retained in a personal injury case and your opponent has hired a medical expert to testify at trial. In response to a discovery request seeking materials from the expert’s file, your opponent turns over certain documents but withholds “letters and emails” exchanged with the expert. The basis for this nondisclosure is that the correspondence is protected “attorney work product.”
November 21, 2013
Every year millions of Americans attempt to navigate the legal system without the
assistance of a lawyer. For a growing number of citizens, private counsel is unaffordable, free legal services are unavailable and they are forced to represent themselves in civil cases. In fact, each year less than 20 percent of low-income individuals with civil legal problems obtain legal assistance. Yet these legal issues involve the most basic rights that lawyers are sworn to protect, including cases involving but not limited to housing, health care, child custody and protection from abuse.
November 15, 2013
According to some estimates, discovery costs account for between 50 and 90 percent of
total litigation costs. Discovery also represents one of the major causes of delay and congestion in the judicial system. Indeed, in many ways, “[discovery] has become the focal point of litigation instead of means to an end.”
October 15, 2013
The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently issued Formal Opinion 462 – “Judge’s Use of Electronic Social Networking Media.” The Committee stated that while electronic social media (ESM) can be beneficial, its use raises concerns under the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct.
August 26, 2013
Litigation is, by its very nature, adversarial. That, of course, has not stopped the vast majority of the nation's best lawyers from lawyering in a civil manner. While riding the circuit, Abraham Lincoln - who was America's longest practicing lawyer to become President - frequently pursued opportunities for settlement or mediation, recognizing that it was often more productive for his clients to approach their opponents with professionalism and open-mindedness, and that such an approach could strengthen the lawyer's reputation and that of his or her profession. With much of the attention these days focused on the country's sixteenth President as such, there still endures the wisdom of the country lawyer who once admonished his colleagues that "[a]s a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of proclivity for conflict, personal insecurity, poor listening skills, [or] the inability to reason, discuss, and argue well."
May 01, 2013
It may be surprising to hear that there are two categories of expert witnesses under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and that the scope of discovery available from each is different. Indeed, before 2010, the federal rules addressed only a single class of expert witnesses: experts who were required to produce a written report.
December 01, 2011
Trial Court Orders Overruling Privilege Claims Still Immediately Appealable - PBA Civil Litigation Newsletter -
December 01, 2011
New York Court Rules Firm Not Liable for Issuing Legal Opinion Letter in Fraudulent Dreier DealNewsletter - ABA Section of Litigation Ethics & Professionalism Newsletter -
December 01, 2011
Federal Court Declines to Recognize Self-Critical Analysis Privilege Where Documents Were Generated Through Voluntary Self-Assessment Procedure - PBA Civil Litigation Section Newsletter -
November 01, 2011
District Court Disqualifies Counsel After Party-Appointed Arbitrator Discloses Panel - ABA Litigation News -
October 01, 2011
Accused of Bias, Judge Recuses Himself from 17 Ongoing Cases - ABA Section of Litigation Ethics & Professionalism Newsletter -
August 08, 2011
Just as lawyers now routinely conduct due diligence on opposing parties' social media pages, some lawyers also are monitoring postings by jurors on social media sites.
April 01, 2011
Ethical Vignettes - Personal Injury Potpourri -
March 01, 2011
On February 23, 2001, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania's attorney-client privilege operates as a ''two-way street'' and protects confidential communications from client-to-attorney as well as communications from attorney-to-client. See Gillard v. AIG Ins. Co., No. 10 EAP 2010 (Pa. Feb. 23, 2011). The Court's decision marks the end of lingering uncertainty that has existed in Pennsylvania regarding the scope of attorney-client privilege - uncertainty that was sharply brought into focus by the Pennsylvania Superior Court's May 2007 decision in Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Fleming, 924 A.2d 1259 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2007). There, the Superior Court construed the Pennsylvania privilege statute narrowly and held that only communications from client-to-attorney (and not attorney-to-client) were privileged.
January 01, 2011
Federal Court Declines to Recognize Self-Critical Analysis Privilege Where Documents Were Generated Through Voluntary Self-Assessment Procedure - PBA Civil Litigation Section Newsletter - Federal Court Declines to Recognize Self-Critical Analysis Privilege Where Documents Were Generated Through Voluntary Self-Assessment Procedure
November 01, 2008
The cover of a recent issue of Philadelphia magazine featured a dear departed lawyer in a casket, his arm still clutching a briefcase, with the headline ''Who Killed the Philadelphia Lawyer?'' The story posed the question whether ''the quaint notion'' of the Philadelphia lawyer is dead. To the contrary, while a number of local firms seem to be sprouting offices around the globe, they are also heavily involved in both high-and-low-profile pro bono representation in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond.
August 01, 2007
Summer 2007 - Commercial Disputes Observer -
November 14, 2006
2006 E-Discovery Seminar - New York (Marriott Financial Center) - E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Are You Prepared? - Accompanying seminar program book from the E-Discovery Seminar of 1/25/2007 at the New York Marriott Financial Center, Manhattan.
Events & Seminars
December 12, 2023
Thomas Wilkinson will serve as a faculty member at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Continuity of Legal Services for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys 2023.
October 31, 2023
October 17, 2023
- Philadelphia, PA
October 06, 2023
- Harrisburg, PA
August 30, 2023
April 20, 2023
- Norristown, PA
April 19, 2023
- Philadelphia, PA
February 08, 2023
December 09, 2022
- New York, NY
October 07, 2022
- Bedford, PA
June 25, 2022
- Philadelphia, PA
April 29, 2022
- Gettysburg, PA
November 11, 2021
October 08, 2021
August 16, 2021
January 29, 2021
December 02, 2020
November 17, 2020
October 28, 2020
October 19, 2020
September 24, 2020
August 18, 2020
August 18, 2020
December 11, 2019
November 22, 2019
- Philadelphia, PA
August 27, 2019
May 05, 2019
- Baltimore, MD
April 17, 2019
- Reading, PA
April 11, 2019
- Philadelphia, PA