Photo of Walter (Pete) H.  Swayze, III

Walter (Pete) H. Swayze, III

Shareholder | pswayze@smsm.com
Shareholder | Philadelphia, PA
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Walter "Pete" Swayze, Managing Shareholder of Segal McCambridge's Philadelphia office, serves as Chair of the firm's national General Litigation Practice Group. He primarily concentrates his practice on defending clients facing claims of catastrophic injuries from products liability and complex litigation matters. 

Mr. Swayze has prepared complex construction, professional liability, transportation, and civil rights matters for trial and has significant jury trial experience in high exposure cases in both state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He has also served as designated trial counsel in various state and federal courts in his role as coordinating counsel. He has prepared and presented corporate designates, engineers, doctors, experts, and licensed professionals of all disciplines for deposition. Further, Mr. Swayze is experienced in complex trial motion practice and the preparation of case dispositive motions in courts throughout the United States, and he has handled numerous appellate matters including arguing cases in the Pennsylvania Superior Court, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Swayze previously served as lead defense counsel in the Philadelphia latex glove allergy litigation; he now serves as defense liaison counsel in two pharmaceutical products liability matters involving branded and generic prescription drugs and medical devices pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. At the national level, Mr. Swayze has served as National Coordinating Counsel for two OTC drug product companies, participating and managing the clients' cases on a national basis, and he represents clients as local counsel on numerous coordinated defense efforts. Prior to joining Segal McCambridge as a shareholder in 2000, Mr. Swayze was a shareholder and Chair of the Drug and Medical Device Practice Group for a large Philadelphia-based regional law firm.

Mr. Swayze is involved in numerous organizations including the Council on Litigation Management, Defense Research Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel. He has been asked to address both industry groups and insurers at distinguished forums including national conferences, speaking on topics such as issues presented in various types of litigation, substantive issues of the law, and effective claims handling under the purview of the relationship between the insurance company and its lawyers.

Mr. Swayze lives in Media, Pennsylvania with his wife, Joanne, two sons, Hunter and Jake, and a daughter, Katelyn.

Honors

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2015
  • Selected for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list (no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2011-2016)
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Product Liability, 1989

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Council on Litigation Management
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Litigation Counsel of America, 2015 Fellow
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Published Appellate Opinions

Polski v. Quigley Corporation, 538 F.3d 836 (8th Cir. 2008).

Whitson v. Safeskin, 313 F.Supp.2d 473 (M.D. Pa. 2004).

Morgan v. Gay, 466 F.3d 276 (3d Cir. 2006).

Events


Speaking Engagements

"Litigating a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim: A Case Study," PBI CLE Webcast (June 30, 2016). 

"Does Your Corporate Counsel Relationship Need Counseling?" HB Drug & Device Seminar, Philadelphia, PA (October 20, 2015).

"Traumatic Brain Injury: The Medical and Legal Aspects of Brain Injury Litigation," PBI CLE Webcast (August 21, 2015). 

Legal Intelligencer/ALM In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, "Product Liability Litigation Trends for 2015," Philadelphia, PA (March 24, 2015). 

"Discovery Best Practices post-Actos: Minimizing the Risk of Harsh Defense Sanctions in an MDL," ACI 19th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, New York, NY (December 8-10, 2014). 

"How to Handle the Difficult Judge," Magna Legal Services presents Streamlining Relationships with Outside Counsel, Atlantic City, NJ (November 12-13, 2014).

"Top Legal Issues of 2014," HB Litigation Conferences presents Drug & Device Defense: Emerging Litigation and Regulatory Developments, Philadelphia, PA (October 22, 2014)

Traumatic Brain Injury: The Medical and Legal Aspects of Brain Injury Litigation, “Mild TBI: Defending and Disproving the Brain Injury that is Beyond Objective Medical Evidence,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE seminar (November 6, 2013).

The Dispute Resolution Institute's 15th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, “Joinder, Contribution, Cross-Claims and Indemnity,” Philadelphia, PA (April 16, 2013).

"Product Liability Law Review and Update," co-presenter, The Legal Intelligencer's In-House Counsel Seminar, Philadelphia, PA (October 17, 2012).

The Dispute Resolution Institute's 2nd Annual Philadelphia Mass Tort Symposium (December 8, 2011).

"The Un-Generic Problems with Generics: Coming Supreme Court Decisions, Preemption & More," Mass Torts Judicial Forum with Hon. Marina Corodemus (Ret.), HB Litigation Conferences, Philadelphia, PA (June 27, 2011).

"Substantive Pennsylvania Jurisprudential Issues in Mass Tort Cases," Dispute Resolution Institute's Mass Tort Symposium, Philadelphia, PA (December 7, 2010).

"Don't Settle for Less: Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement -- the Defense Perspective," Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Philadelphia, PA (October 22, 2010).

"Risk Managing Your Clinical Trial Process against Liability Claims," 2010 Annual Meeting, Drug Information Association (DIA), Washington, D.C. (June 13 - 17, 2010).

"Hammer Time! Revisiting the 'Hammer' Letter," Crittenden Insurance Coverage Forum, Philadelphia, PA (October 1-2, 2009).

"Litigation Minefields." Annual International Convention, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Philadelphia, PA (June 19-22, 2005).

Author

"Demons In The Inbox: Employer Protection From The Plague Of Inappropriate E-Mails," Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney's Employment Law Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 1 (Winter 2007).

Editor

LexisNexis Practice Guide: Pennsylvania Personal Injury Litigation (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Editions, LexisNexis Matthew Bender).

Education

University of Richmond, B.S., 1986

New Jersey Police Academy, Cape May County

Widener University School of Law, J.D., 1990, cum laude

Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1990 
    Pennsylvania, 1990
    U.S. District Court, Colorado
    U.S. District Court, New Jersey
    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit 
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit