Chris is the firm's Director of the Professional Liability Department, with responsibility for 16 practice groups and approximately 150 attorneys throughout the firm. Chris also serves as a member of the Executive Committee, which is the governing body of the firm. Since joining Marshall Dennehey in 1991, Chris has developed an extensive practice in defense of a wide range of litigation areas including professional liability, construction litigation and general liability.
Additionally, Chris has defended cases involving automotive crashworthiness protection, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment, palletizing equipment, medical-surgical products, electrical appliances, smoke detectors, industrial equipment, personal protection devices and more.
Chris graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy in 1978 and received his juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 1985, graduating magna cum laude.
From 1978 to 1991, Chris served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. From 1991 to 2004, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and retired in the grade of Colonel. During this time, among other responsibilities, Chris served as a General Courts-Martial certified Military Judge.
Significant Representative Matters
Defended manufacturer of pepper spray in federal court in a product liability/police excessive force suit for wrongful death. Motion for summary judgment obtained.
Defended suit against an attorney wherein it was alleged the attorney improperly prosecuted the underlying action resulting in no recovery. Proved at trial that client attorney's tactical decisions were sound and judicious and underlying result not attributable to attorney neglect.
Defended suburban Philadelphia Economic Area Development Corporation in a breach of contract suit brought by land developer to recover $15 million in lost economic opportunities. Tried to verdict with $18,000 recovery only.
Defending for over 17 years the manufacturer, designer and distributor of automobiles, ATVs, motorcycles and varied powered equipment in wrongful death, personal injury and breach of warranty actions.
Defended manufacturer of carbon monoxide detector in wrongful death suit. Settled for nuisance value.
Defended construction manager of major Philadelphia construction project at which worker fell off ladder to concrete two floors below. Settlement made with no money paid by our client.
Coordinate pleadings and discovery for manufacturer of medical-surgical devices in national litigation.
Tried a breach of contract case for a utilities contractor versus Penn Dot, and prevailed, recovering in excess of $500,000.
Tried a breach of contract/indemnity action for a construction manager versus one of its sub-contractors and prevailed in recovering in excess of $750,000.
Areas of Practice
"Acura Integra Coupe Is Not Intended For Truckin'," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, August 1999; Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999
"Hold Onto Your Defense Evidence If You Want To Move For A Non-Suit," Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 6, 1999
"Plaintiff's Conduct May Be Admissible In A Products Liability Suit-It Depends On What You Call It," Originally published in the Winter 2002 Edition of Civil Litigation Update & reprinted in PBA's Civil, Litigation Section Newsletter, Winter 2002
"Pennsylvania Superior Court Limits Use Of Frye When Seeking To Exclude Expert Scientific Evidence," Defense Digest, 2004
"Shifting Indemnity to Sub-Contractor For Negligence Of Owner Or General Contractor: Perry/Ruzzi Doctrine Is Alive And Well In Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania Defense Institute, January 2006
Smith v. Honda, 846 F.Supp. 1217 (M.D. Pa. 1994)
Weiner v. Honda, 718 A.2d 305 (Pa. Super. 1998)
Price v. Brown, 680 A.2d 1149 (Pa. 1996)
Kukowski v. Homesburg S.C., 739 A.2d 597 (Pa. Super. 1999)
National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty, Philadelphia, 2010
Preventing Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethics Complaints in Your Law Practice, Union League, Philadelphia, October 2010
Multistate Update on Insurance Agent and Brokers' Errors and Omissions Liability and Risk Management Issues, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Seattle, WA, September 2010
Preventing Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethics Complaints in Your Law Practice, Union League, Philadelphia, October 2009
National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty, Philadelphia, 2008
Chairman, MDWCG Trial Advocacy Program, 2003 - Present
Presented, Product Liability Defenses, Insurance Institute of Philadelphia, 1998
Instructor, Trial Evidence, Coastal Carolina College, 1987
Past Employment Positions
U.S. Marine Corps (active duty), 1978 - 1991
U.S. Marine Corps, Air Support Control Officer, 1979 - 1982
U.S. Marine Corps, Judge Advocate, 1985 – 1991
U.S. Marine Corps, Navy Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, Military Judge, 1997 - 2002
Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1985 J.D.
Honors: magna cum laude
United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, 1978 B.S., with honors
Areas of Practice
- United States Naval Academy (B.S., with honors, 1978)
- University of Stetson College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1985)
- Florida, 1986
- Pennsylvania, 1988
- U.S District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1988
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2002
Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Florida Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Defense Institute
- Philadelphia Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- American Bar Association Young Military Lawyer's Award, Toronto, Canada, 1988
- Two Meritorious Service Medals for Legal Achievement, 1988, 1991
- Legion of Merit , 2005
- AV® Preeminent™ by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2007-2009