Advertising Disclosure Email Disclosure
PDF version

Teresa Ficken Sachs

Co-Chair, Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group
2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 575-4560
(215) 575-0856 - Fax

Terry serves as the co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group. In her capacity as an appellate attorney, Terry has developed significant experience representing all manner of insureds, self-insureds and insurance carriers. With 34 years of experience as a civil litigator, including 20 as a trial attorney, Terry has the understanding and the ability to work closely with trial counsel, prior to and during trial, to ensure that all potential appellate issues are preserved.

Terry has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, regularly appears before all levels of the Pennsylvania state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts, and has also argued before the Supreme Court of Ohio. Terry is experienced in product liability matters, in a broad range of issues involving the defense of health care systems and physicians (enhanced by her background as a trained pharmacist), and in insurance coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage disputes for a number of large insurance carriers. 

Frequently, Terry is asked to make presentations and author articles on insurance-related topics, as well as appellate practices. She has often been asked to represent insurance industry groups, as amici curiae, before the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts. Terry has been among the top five percent of lawyers chosen by her peers in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as published by American Lawyer Media and Philadelphia Magazine. In 2013, she chaired the Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.

Dedicated to community service, Terry currently serves as a board member, Vice President and Registrar for the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club. As well, she is a board member of the Twin Lakes Conservancy.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Pursued successful appeal to Superior Court from trial court's grant of new trial after jury returned a defense verdict in medical malpractice case.  The Superior Court found that the trial court abused its discretion in granting a new trial based upon a juror's alleged failure to disclose certain information, where the information would not have been a basis to strike the juror for cause.   

  • Successfully defended appeal to Superior Court in legal malpractice action by principals of telecommunications company against their prior counsel. 

  • Pursued successful appeal to Supreme Court of Ohio in wrongful death case involving application of an arbitration clause to a lawsuit by the decedent's estate. 

  • Successfully defended appeal to Superior Court in declaratory judgment action seeking UIM benefits from carrier than had paid all applicable coverage in motor vehicle death case.  

  • Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal, after obtaining summary judgment in favor of insurance carrier, in declaratory judgment action involving enforceability of policy exclusion regarding insureds to whom coverage would be extended.  

  • Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in declaratory judgment action challenging coverage denial to insurance broker in claim alleging payment of more than $1 million due to fraud by broker. 

  • Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in brain cancer death case against university and health system.  The decedent was a university research scientist; the plaintiff claimed that the decedent's brain cancer was due to alleged radiation exposure in the university research facility.  The issues included applicability of the federal Price-Anderson Radiation Act standards as well as claimed medical malpractice.  

  • Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in case seeking damages in excess of $12 million arising from construction of natural gas pipeline.  The plaintiff alleged negligent misrepresentation under the Bilt-Rite doctrine with respect to certain design activities; the Third Circuit affirmed that the Bilt-Rite doctrine did not apply to impose a duty on the defendants.    

  • Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in suit alleging deceptive conduct under multiple state and federal laws in a sale of property. 

  • Successful defense on appeal of judgment for defendants in premises liability death case.

  • Represented large university in successful defense of post-trial motions following verdict in university’s favor in case involving catastrophic injury to student, and affirmance of that result on appeal.

  • Represented major university health system in successful defense of Superior Court appeal involving issues of first impression regarding expert witness requirements in alleged nursing malpractice case, and ongoing defense in Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

  • Represented insurance carrier in successful appeal to Superior Court and successful defense in Supreme Court resulting in reversal of seven-figure judgment arising from shooting during armed robbery.

  • Represented Northeastern Pennsylvania college in successful appeal to Superior Court and successful defense in Supreme Court, resulting in reversal of $2.5 million judgment against the college and remand for entry of judgment in its favor in case arising from campus construction project and involving complex issues including college’s control over the worksite.

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Personal Injury Potpourri, Faculty, The Dispute Resolution Institute, April 2018

  • Highlights in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law, Marshall Dennehey Health Care and Health Law Seminar, November 9, 2017

  • Key Developments in Pennsylvania UM/UIM Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Auto Law Update, Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg, PA, October 2017

  • 2016 Most Important Recent Cases, Dispute Resolution Institute's 18th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, April 12, 2016

  • Highlights in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law, Health Care and Health Law Seminar, Marshall Dennehey, November 5, 2015

  • What Can We Learn from Nancy Raynor?, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, June 2015

  • Appellate Watch, Dispute Resolution Institute's 17th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, 2015

  • Appellate Law and Procedure Update 2012, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, 2012

  • Appellate Update 2011-2012, Defense Research Institute, 2012

  • Guest Lecturer/Panelist, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2011

  • Winning (or Not Losing) Your Case On Appeal, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2010

Published Works

  • "The Supreme Court's Enforcement of Antidiscrimination Laws," chapter author, The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684 – 2017. Penn State University Press, January 2018

  • "Automobile Insurance Law - Substance and Ethics," UM/UIM Update, Philadelphia Bar Education Center, 1995

Media Commentary

  • "4 Ways Kraft Shooting Case Could Reshape Punitive Damages Litigation," Delaware Law Weekly and The Legal Intelligencer, July 21, 2017


  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, PA (J.D., 1984)

    Honors: cum laude

    Honors: Member and Officer of the Moot Court Board

  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (B.S., 1980)

    Major: Pharmacy

    Honors: cum laude

    Honors: Rho Chi National Pharmaceutical Honor Society

    Honors: Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society

Defense Digest Article December 4, 2017
Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 4, December 2017 by Christopher E. Dougherty, Esq. We in senior management frequently talk about—and are very proud of—the culture of our firm. That culture is generated and sustained by teamwork,..., The MDWCG Difference By Terry Sachs In more than 30 years of practice, I have been at a large firm, a small “boutique” firm and a mid-size firm. I’ve seen first-hand that each firm develops its own environment, or “..., Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 4, December 2017. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not...
Apr 21, 2016
The defense prevailed in their representation of a major insurance carrier in an insurance coverage case involving claims by an insured business owner for coverage under a commercial general liability policy. The insured was transporting chairs and...
Apr 21, 2016
Marshall Dennehey attorneys were victorious in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an insurance coverage and bad faith case. The case involved claims by an insured for coverage under a Business Owners and Technology Professional Liability policy...
March 4, 2019
John J. Hare and Teresa Ficken Sachs, Co-Chairs of the Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, have been selected 2019 "Influencers of Law" in the area of business litigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The awards program recognizes...
November 1, 2018
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin has been named a "2019 Best Law Firm" in multiple practice areas, both nationally and across numerous regions of the country, by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. Additionally, the firm's Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group was ranked both...
October 10, 2018
Teresa Ficken Sachs, Co-Chair of the Appellate Advocacy & Post-Trial Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, presented her first oral argument before the Supreme Court of the United States on October 3, 2018, in the case of Knick v. Township of Scott, Pa., No. 17-647....
May 21, 2018
Sixty-nine attorneys from the Pennsylvania offices of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin have been selected to the 2018 edition of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine. A Thomson Reuters business, Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have...
November 27, 2017
Teresa Ficken Sachs, Vice-Chair of the Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, was selected as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal's 2017 "Women of Distinction." The program recognizes 30 female leaders in the Philadelphia region who...
October 13, 2017
Teresa Ficken Sachs, Esq., Vice-Chair of the Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (AAAL) at the Academy's 2017 Fall Meeting, held October 6 - 8 in San Francisco. The...
June 15, 2015
Teresa Ficken Sachs, shareholder and vice chair of Marshall Dennehey's Appellate Advocacy Practice Group, was awarded the William J. O'Brien Distinguished Service Award as "Defense Lawyer of the Year" by the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel (PADC). Ms. Sachs was honored at the...
January 14, 2015
Well-known appellate attorney Teresa (Terry) Ficken Sachs has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin as a Shareholder and Vice-Chair of the firm's Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group.  In this capacity, she will work closely with practice group chair, John J. Hare, in...
Conference Apr 6, 2017
Rasheen Davis and Teresa Sachs are presenting at the upcoming Personal Injury Potpourri conference, hosted by the Dispute Resolution Institute. Rasheen will discuss how to avoid statute of limitations problems and Teresa will present important case...

Areas of Practice


  • Villanova University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1984)
  • University of Connecticut (B.S., cum laude, 1980)

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1984
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Associations & Memberships

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee, 2018
  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Fellow, 2017
  • Bar Association of the Third Federal Circuit
  • Lawyers’ Club of Philadelphia - Board of Directors (2013)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Defense Institute - Board Member 2006-2012
  • Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel - Past President, President-Elect, Vice President and Secretary; Board Member 1997-2004
  • Philadelphia Bar Association - 2013 Chair, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention; Member, Appellate Courts Committee
  • Twin Lakes Conservancy - Board Member, 2000-Present
  • Hearing Committee Member, Serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 2000-2006
  • Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club - Board Member, Vice President and Registrar, 2003 – Present; Commissioner of travel soccer program, 2004 – 2009

Honors & Awards

Year Joined Organization: 2015

Before you send this email please note:

You are attempting to send email, through a link on our website, to an attorney of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin or an employee in our firm. Please note that your email may not be treated as confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon the transmission of an email through this website if you are seeking to enter into such a relationship. Until such time as we have agreed to represent you, no information in your email will be treated as confidential. Please contact us directly by telephone at 1.800.220.3308 if it is your intent to seek legal counsel with our firm or convey confidential information.

If it is still your intent to send this email, knowing that it may not be treated as confidential, you may accept our terms of agreement by pressing "OK". If you choose not to accept these terms of agreement you may navigate away from this page by pressing "Cancel."