John P. Lavelle, Jr., represents clients in product liability, complex commercial, class action, and election law litigation. John has more than 20 years of experience defending medical device and pharmaceutical companies in product liability claims, both at trial and in appellate litigation. He also defends putative class actions involving consumer and financial services products.
John has successfully defended clients in product liability disputes involving pacemakers, cardiodefibrillators, drug and insulin pumps, neurostimulators, stents, knee and hip replacements, vaccines, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceuticals. He also defends industrial equipment, consumer products, and chemical manufacturers in product liability cases.
John’s class action practice includes the defense of consumer and financial services products in federal as well as state courts.
John also counsels clients on state and federal election and campaign finance laws. He currently serves as Pennsylvania state counsel for the Hillary for America campaign, and previously served as Pennsylvania state counsel to the Obama for America campaign. He also has led statewide and regional voter protection programs for candidates and political campaigns.
John speaks frequently on product liability and litigation issues. He serves on the boards of Community Legal Services, Inc.; Philadelphia Legal Assistance; and the Princeton Club of Philadelphia. He has served as a special master appointed by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and also as a member of the Court’s Merit Selection Panel for Magistrate Judges.
At the beginning of his career, John served as a law clerk to Judge Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr., of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Obtained dismissal of a contribution claim by a hospital concerning a personal injury suit arising from misuse of a medical device.
Obtained dismissal of numerous individual cases involving medical devices on the basis of federal preemption.
Obtained the first Pennsylvania appellate decision recognizing that strict liability does not apply to prescription medical devices.
Obtained dismissal of a product liability action concerning an antipsychotic pharmaceutical product.
Defended litigation concerning a pharmaceutical product in state and federal court.
Served as lead defense counsel in a mass tort proceeding concerning a vaccine product.
Obtained dismissal of a putative consumer class action concerning flat screen televisions.
Defended an automobile finance company in a putative class action alleging violations of notice requirements for consumer credit transactions under state law.
Defended providers of consumer financial services in putative class actions alleging state consumer fraud and misrepresentation claims.
Defended the owners and operators of a hotel in a putative class action alleging that class members contracted illnesses from food served at the hotel.
Represented a vaccine manufacturer in a nationwide class action involving consumer protection and fraud claims.
Led statewide and regional voter protection programs for candidates and campaigns.
Argued and obtained a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholding the right of voters who have moved to vote in their district of registration under federal and state law.
Harvard Law School, 1988, J.D., Cum Laude
Princeton University, 1985, A.B., Magna Cum Laude
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits
Clerkship to The Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr.
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Dispute resolution - Product liability, mass tort and class action - pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense, The Legal 500 US (2014–2017)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation (Pennsylvania) (2006–2017) and Product Liability (Nationwide) (2006–2016)
Listed, The Best Lawyers In America, Product Liability Litigation (2007–2018)
Named 2014 Pennsylvania Product Liability Department Of The Year by The Legal Intelligencer
Listed, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (Top 100 Pennsylvania and Philadelphia 2007–2010)
Member, Philadelphia Bar Association
Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, American Bar Foundation
Member, Defense Research Institute, Inc.
Member, American Law Institute
Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
Sustaining Member, Product Liability Advisory Council