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Stephen J. Shapiro

Partner
T 215-751-2259; 856-482-5752
    Mr. Shapiro, vice chair of the firm's Litigation Services Department, defends industry-leading financial services companies and professional services providers in litigation involving allegations of fraudulent conduct, breaches of fiduciary duty, malpractice, and trademark/trade name infringement. As a member of Schnader’s Aviation Group, Mr. Shapiro has significant experience defending the nation’s largest commercial airlines against claims by passengers arising under both state law and federal treaties. Mr. Shapiro also serves as chair of Schnader’s Communications and Media Practice Group. He worked as a news photographer before entering the legal profession and brings real-world experience and industry knowledge to his communications and media practice.

    AREAS OF EXPERIENCE

    Financial Services Litigation
    • Successfully defended a Fortune 100 bank in a complex lender liability action seeking in excess of $30 million in damages arising out of allegations that bank personnel made fraudulent statements and omissions to a customer of the bank. A jury returned a complete defense verdict on behalf of Mr. Shapiro's client at the conclusion of an eight-day trial (Chester County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Defended against and successfully settled on behalf of a Fortune 100 bank claims alleging fraudulent conduct and seeking the return of millions of dollars of loan repayments brought by the bankruptcy trustee of a former customer (U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Advised and assisted one of the nation's largest issuers of credit cards in avoiding threatened infringement litigation arising out of the client's use of a trademark in its advertising.

    Aviation
    • Defended and successfully resolved claim against commercial airline under the Montreal Convention for the alleged loss of an irreplaceable item checked as baggage on an international flight (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Obtained defense verdict in favor of a commercial airline after a four day jury trial in a suit brought by a passenger under the Montreal Convention for injuries allegedly sustained on an international flight (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.)
    • On behalf of a commercial airline, defended and successfully resolved claim under the Montreal Convention for alleged damage to cargo shipped internationally (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York).
    • Obtained summary judgment in favor of commercial airline in a case governed by the Montreal Convention in which the plaintiff alleged that he was injured by an aircraft component during an international flight (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Obtained judgment on the pleadings in favor of commercial airline on the grounds that the plaintiff's state law claim alleging she was injured by another passenger during boarding was preempted by federal law (Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania).
    • Defending commercial airline in Montreal Convention claims brought by passengers who allege they were injured when their flight encountered severe turbulence.

    Professional Liability Defense
    • Defended Am Law 100 law firm against and successfully settled complex, multi-party suit involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy and racketeering brought by a creditor of one of the law firm's former clients, an originator and securitizer of sub-prime loans, for in excess of $500 million in alleged damages. (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware).
    • Defended Am Law 100 law firm against and successfully settled a suit involving allegations of professional malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty brought by the bankruptcy trustee of one of the firm's former clients. (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware).

    Commercial Litigation
    • On behalf of a multi-national company in the packaging industry, defended and successfully settled claims alleging theft of trade secrets and breach of a distribution agreement (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and American Arbitration Association).
    • Initiated and successfully settled breach of contract and fraud claims on behalf of a purchaser of commercial mortgages against the current and former special servicer of a CMBS for failing to close on the sale of a multi-million dollar loan (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Defending majority shareholder of a closely held corporation in breach of contract and fraud action brought by minority shareholder (Allegheny County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Represented claimant in a AAA arbitration who contended that defendant had breached an agreement to settle a patent infringement case. A panel of three neutral arbitrators issued an award of $72.5 million in favor of claimant.
    • Pro bono: Successfully settled, on behalf of a tenant, a breach of lease claim against the tenant and counterclaims against the landlord for fraudulent inducement (Philadelphia County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Brought suit on behalf of corporate client against former officer and director for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of assets and usurpation of corporate opportunities. Case successfully settled after first day of non-jury trial (Bucks County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Initiated, litigated and successfully settled arbitration proceeding on behalf of management consulting firm for recovery of millions of dollars in damages incurred when the firm’s client breached the contract between the parties (ARIAS U.S. Arbitration, Philadelphia, Pa.).
    • Defended and successfully settled suit against former principals of defunct retailer who allegedly fraudulently induced landlord to enter into and perform obligations under commercial leases (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Defended and successfully settled claims brought against software manufacturer in multiple jurisdictions for alleged product deficiencies.
    • Pro bono: Obtained summary judgment on liability in favor of prisoner who was not notified before a government agency demolished his house (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Defended and obtained voluntary dismissal of claims alleging that clients’ email marketing practices violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County).
    • Defended and successfully settled claim alleging that the former employee violated non-competition obligations in employment agreement (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).

    Trademark and Trade Name Litigation
    • Brought trademark infringement action on behalf of pharmaceutical company and negotiated a settlement pursuant to which the defendant corporation agreed to change its name and stock symbol (United States District Court for the District of New Jersey).
    • Represented a marketing company in an advertising dispute with Martina Navratilova and successfully settled claims for trade name infringement and counter-claims for breach of fiduciary duty. (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Brought and successfully settled a trade mark infringement suit on behalf of an Ivy League university (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Brought and successfully settled a false advertising claim on behalf of a Norwegian company that manufactured military equipment (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida).
    • Defended against and successfully settled service mark infringement claims against a regional real estate brokerage (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Delaware County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).

    First Amendment & Media Law
    • On behalf of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News, obtained an injunction requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to make the entirety of lethal injection executions visible and audible to the members of the public and the press selected to witness them. The court found, as a matter of first impression in the Third Circuit, that the public and press have a First Amendment right to witness the entirety of executions. Under a subsequent settlement agreement, the Department of Corrections revised its policies to permit witnesses to see and hear executions in their entirety. (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania).
    • Obtained summary judgment for local affiliate of national television network in lawsuit alleging that an investigative news report broadcast by the affiliate defamed plaintiff (Philadelphia County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Filed, on behalf of a Lower Merion student and his family, a motion to intervene in the Lower Merion School District "Spycam" litigation. The motion sought to protect the privacy of students whose images may have been captured by the school district’s unauthorized remote activation of webcams installed on school-issued laptop computers (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania).
    • Defended against and successfully settled an invasion of privacy suit brought by a professional model against a regional magazine and professional photographer (Montgomery County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas).
    • Drafted portions of amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of an appellate court decision blocking the Child Online Protection Act from taking effect on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.
    • Defending member of non-profit board in suit alleging that client defamed plaintiff by requesting an investigation of allegations made by others (Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Pennsylvania)

    Appellate Practice
    • On appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, successfully obtained on behalf of a Fortune 500 motor carrier a ruling invalidating millions of dollars of excessive assessments levied by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

    COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

    • Judge of Elections for Precinct 635, Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania (re-elected to a second four-year term in November 2013)

    Education

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude Order of the Coif, 1999
    • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude, 1995

    Court Admissions

    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • U.S. Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey, 1999
    • Pennsylvania, 1999

    Professional Affiliations

    • Philadelphia Bar Association, member

    Other Distinctions

    • Listed in Who's Who Legal: Transport, 2017
    • First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Roll of Honor, 2012
    • Recognized among 'Pennsylvania Rising Stars' by the publishers of Super Lawyers, for general litigation, 2006-2007; 2013-2014