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Deena Jo Schneider

T 215-751-2166
    Ms. Schneider focuses her practice in appeals, motions, and issue-oriented litigation. She is experienced in virtually every aspect of appellate practice and often serves as appellate counsel during the preparation, trial, and post-trial stages of litigation. She has litigated in numerous different federal and state courts, including multiple times in the Supreme Court of the United States. Her work has encompassed such diverse substantive areas as employment practices and benefits, constitutional law, punitive damages, antitrust and trade regulation, administrative law, professional liability, business torts, and products liability. She also has addressed many procedural issues at both the trial and appellate levels, including class actions, jurisdiction, standing, preemption, venue, pleading standards, and standards of review. In addition, she has a significant counseling practice, especially as an appellate consultant and in the areas of trade regulation and e-commerce and technology. She regularly presents and speaks at programs and writes on appellate, antitrust, and other issues. Ms. Schneider is resident in the Firm's Philadelphia office.


    Appellate Practice
    Ms. Schneider served as co-chair of Schnader's appeals and issues group for many years. Her notable appellate successes have involved:
    • Employment Discrimination – won, sustained in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and defeated U.S. Supreme Court review of summary judgment for Fortune 50 employer in nationwide class action claiming race discrimination in managers' promotion, pay, and working conditions; also obtained reversals of discrimination findings and entries of judgment for employers from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in bet-the-company age discrimination class actions involving pension and severance plans and the first sex discrimination suit tried against a law firm.
    • Federal Procedure – as appellate counsel, obtained the first ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that a party may move to alter or amend the judgment based on legal error under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 without first moving for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50.
    • Bankruptcy – as appellate counsel for Chapter 11 trustee in adversary proceedings seeking to recover millions of dollars for creditors, defeated efforts to remove the Trustee based on claims of invasion of privacy and to stay all proceedings based on the Fifth Amendment rights of the former owner of the bankrupt company then under indictment, and defended preliminary injunction and other remedies designed to prevent movement of assets into offshore accounts.
    • Public Financing – on behalf of municipal interests, defeated multiple challenges, culminating in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, to municipal financing and construction of a new professional football stadium and baseball park in Philadelphia.
    • Trust Indentures – obtained rulings from New York state appellate courts reversing judgment of hundreds of millions of dollars on defaulted notes based on plaintiffs' failure to comply with statutory requirements and affirming dismissal of action by foreign bank maintaining loan collateral based on lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens.
    • Taxation – sustained on appeal in the Pennsylvania appellate courts and successfully opposed U.S. Supreme Court review of rulings that local government efforts to tax receipts from business activities conducted outside the jurisdiction were unconstitutional.
    • Family Law – established law in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concerning the legal standards governing child custody disputes under the Hague Convention; defeated constitutional challenges in Pennsylvania appellate courts to formula for calculating alimony pendente lite and statute permitting grandparent visitation (avoiding U.S. Supreme Court review of the latter decision); sustained on appeal various alimony, equitable distribution, and support awards and obtained reversals or remands of adverse awards.
    • ERISA – established for the first time in the U.S. Supreme Court the scope of review of an ERISA plan administrator's denial of benefits and who is a plan participant.
    • Information Disclosure – in multiparty litigation of first impression, obtained rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court precluding release of data about television fires collected by manufacturers and sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
    • Privilege and Recusal – on petition for mandamus, persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to prohibit release of attorney-client privileged documents and to direct recusal of trial judge in celebrated tobacco litigation.
    • Section 1983 – in pro bono representations, obtained the first rulings from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that prison guards may be liable under the Eighth Amendment for failing to intervene to prevent unconstitutional acts by fellow officers, and that prisoners may pursue claims for being held in administrative segregation in retaliation for filing civil rights actions and damages for violations of their religious freedom.

    Complex Litigation
    Some of Ms. Schneider's other major cases have involved:
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duties Under ERISA – obtained dismissal with prejudice of ERISA claims against major mortgage reinsurer that offered and held company stock in employees' retirement plan accounts during the sub-prime mortgage crisis; defended megaretailer's retirement plan fiduciaries in nationwide class action alleging failure to make adequate contributions to accounts of employees claiming wage and hour law violations (case settled favorably as part of wage and hour settlement).
    • Wage and Hour – dramatically limited class based on plaintiffs' counsel's communications to potential members and successfully petitioned for permission to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit the overlapping FLSA national opt-in and Rule 23 state-law opt-out classes that were certified (case settled favorably before appellate ruling).
    • Eminent Domain – defended amount of compensation paid by Philadelphia for large tract of land originally designated for redevelopment that was later taken for use as airport employee parking lot (obtained favorable settlement as part of larger land deal).
    • Collection of Judgments – defended multiple proceedings in New York state courts to enforce hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments against manufacturing conglomerate (favorable settlements reached with most creditors).
    • Historic Preservation – defended municipal interests in litigation seeking to overturn protection of "Dream Garden," a celebrated Maxfield Parrish-Louis Comfort Tiffany glass mosaic mural located in a private building across from Independence Hall (settlement obtained by which museum will own and maintain the mural in place forever).
    • Conflict of Interest – successfully defended AmLaw 100 law firm in recusal proceedings designed to derail restructuring of a major insurance company.
    • Third Party Subpoenas – represented major publishing house served with extensive discovery requests in antitrust litigation (negotiated agreement resulting in repayment of substantial portions of discovery costs).
    • Securities Fraud – represented plaintiffs in adversary proceedings against an investment adviser and creditor in the largest Chapter 11 reorganization to that date; in transnational claims against a lender and other parties to acquisition and in post-settlement dispute resolution proceedings in Spain and Sweden; and in a short seller's suit alleging artificial inflation of a company’s stock price (negotiated favorable settlements in all cases).

    Antitrust and Trade Regulation
    Ms. Schneider handles all types of antitrust and regulatory matters, from litigation and third-party subpoenas to government investigations and rulemakings. She counsels clients concerning pricing practices, distribution arrangements, product and geographic allocations, tying and exclusive dealing arrangements, market definition and concentration analyses, intellectual property administration, and joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. Her major representations in this area have included:
    • Unfair Competition – defense of waste management company in Sherman and Lanham Act suit by new market entrant and of software developer in licensee's suit under Sherman Act and California antitrust and unfair business practices law (favorable settlements negotiated).
    • Robinson-Patman Act – defense of major publisher in multiparty litigation claiming discrimination in pricing and promotional allowances (negotiated consent decree setting new industry practices).
    • Sherman Act – defense of major television network in long-running government litigation claiming anti-competitive practices, including negotiation of consent decree setting new industry standards and later modification of same in light of changing market conditions.
    • Regulatory Proceedings – representation of various clients in numerous administrative inquiries, rulemakings, and other proceedings and in appeals challenging rules designed to guard against allegedly anti-competitive practices, including development of economic analyses and preparation of fact submissions and briefs.

    E-Commerce and Technology
    Ms. Schneider has represented clients in different industries on legal issues related to the Internet, licensing and other technology matters.
    • She drafts and reviews Internet site privacy statements and terms of use and advertising and other policy statements.
    • She prepares policies and counsels clients concerning records retention and use of e-mail, voicemail, and information services.
    • She negotiates and drafts agreements covering product and technology development, distribution arrangements, and licensing and provision of consulting and other services.


    • Yale Club of Philadelphia, President 2008-10; Council 2004-present
    • Yale Alumni Schools Committee of Philadelphia, Director 2004-present
    • Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance Roundtable, 2012-present
    • YaleWomen, founding member; Strategic Planning Committee 2010-11; Marketing and Communications Committee 2012-present






    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1974
    • Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1971

    Court Admissions

    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Third, Eighth and Ninth Circuits
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 1974

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers, Executive Board 2011-present; Chair of Membership Committee 2012-present; Planning Committee for American Judges Education Institute 2011-2013 Summits, Programming and Rules Committees
    • American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, Pricing Conduct Committee, Vice-Chair 2011-present; Advisory Board 2009-2011
    • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Appellate Practice Committee
    • Bar Association of the Third Federal Circuit, founding member; Board of Governors 2012-present; Co-Chair of Rules Committee 2012-present; Programs Committee
    • Pennsylvania Bar Association - Appellate Advocacy, Women in the Profession, and Quality of Life/Balance Committees
    • Philadelphia Bar Association - Appellate Courts and Women in the Profession Committees
    • Supreme Court Historical Society
    • Third Circuit Historical Society

    Other Distinctions

    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for appellate law, 2008-2017
    • Noted as a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" for appellate law, 2004-2006, 2009-2011, 2013, 2016-2017 
    • Listed in Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law, and numerous similar publications
    • Listed as a Top Lawyer by Corporate Counsel
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®