June 27, 2012 – Philadelphia, PA – Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is saddened to announce the passing of a long-time partner and valued friend, John M. Armstrong, on June 22, 2012. Mr. Armstrong was managing partner of Schnader’s Cherry Hill office, and was an active trial and appellate litigator until his passing.
“John was more than a terrific lawyer, he was an important part of the fabric of our Firm and a good friend to us all,” said David Smith, Chairman of the Schnader Firm.
Mr. Armstrong’s practice focused on environmental litigation, with particular emphasis on CERCLA and the New Jersey Spill Act. Indeed, Mr. Armstrong had a virtually encyclopedic knowledge of environmental law that served him and the Firm’s clients well in many litigation battles. In recent years, he tried to successful conclusions the prosecution of a CERCLA contribution suit on behalf of an electronics company, against hundreds of companies who had delivered toxic waste to a Superfund site near Scranton, and defended a chemical manufacturing company in a similar action brought by six Fortune 500 companies in connection with a Superfund site in Rhode Island. Not surprisingly, Mr. Armstrong was named a “New Jersey Super Lawyer” for environmental law for eight straight years, beginning in 2005. Mr. Armstrong handled other commercial disputes and, at the time of his death, had just concluded the trial of a case in Newark for a public research university.
Mr. Armstrong was also recently involved in several pro bono matters, where he was successful in aiding prisoners with disabilities. Mr. Armstrong felt that it was important, as a member of the bar, to advocate for individuals facing the hardship of prison with the additional difficulties presented by disabilities. The Honorable Joel Schneider, Magistrate Judge with the District Court of New Jersey, wrote of Mr. Armstrong’s efforts: “Without [his] help, a deserving plaintiff would have been unable to protect his rights. [Mr. Armstrong] deserve[s] to be commended for [his] exemplary efforts.”
Mr. Armstrong received his B.A. magna cum laude from Temple University and his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. He was a member of the American Bar Association, and a member of the New Jersey Bar Association.
Mr. Armstrong was a mentor to associates and a source of insight to his fellow partners. Through his practice, Mr. Armstrong demonstrated his collegial nature, while being tenacious in the courtroom.
John was active in the community as a supporter of the Make A Wish Foundation and in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties. Mr. Armstrong had a tremendous love for dogs – he and his wife Marie owned a black labrador retriever named “Buster” – and was a dedicated supporter of the charity, New Leash on Life. He was also an avid supporter of Temple and Big 5 Basketball, as well as all four major Philadelphia sports teams.
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