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Jay Evans is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department. His practice encompasses a wide array of litigation and appellate matters. He regularly counsels clients on complex issues including management of national case inventories, products liability, contracts, real estate, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and other business disputes.

Mr. Evans’ practice includes serving as national coordinating and local counsel for companies, particularly automotive and vehicle equipment manufacturers, facing significant litigation matters in the realm of product liability and toxic torts. Jay has represented companies in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and across the United States in these complex toxic tort matters. Jay assists companies and individuals in internal investigations and analysis to prepare for or avoid civil or criminal matters. Jay also guides nonprofit organizations through a range of issues, including governance and compliance matters as well as crafting, revising, and implementing contracts and releases.

In his representations, he has handled all aspects of preparing for and litigating various matters, from pleadings and depositions, Frye/Daubert challenges, trials, and appeals. A key element of Jay’s practice is his thorough understanding of his clients’ products, businesses, and goals. Jay collaborates with his clients to design cost-effective, efficient strategies that will suit their legal and financial objectives. Whether litigating a serious product defect case, negotiating and interpreting contracts, or providing lease advice, he strives to help clients better position themselves in the legal arena and global marketplace by avoiding unnecessary litigation and comprehensively preparing for necessary or inevitable litigation.

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Community & Pro Bono

Mr. Evans’ community and pro bono focus is on education, outreach, youth, and the proper application of justice. Jay works as a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions, guiding puppies from 8 weeks to 18 months before they enter professional service dog training. Canine Companions leads the service dog industry so its clients can live with greater independence. 

Jay works with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to increase awareness of the resources available to those facing wrongful convictions and facing re-entry after an exoneration. Jay has worked on addressing wrongful conviction claims and filing appellate briefs on issues of general interest to all exonerees and the wrongfully convicted.

Jay is also active as a part of his church community, and as President Emeritus of the Arcade Comedy Theater’s nonprofit efforts to expand inclusive educational opportunities in comedy and the performing arts, in line with Arcade’s goal to provide Laughs for All.

Pro-Bono

  • Sought DNA testing for prisoners maintaining their innocence in decades-old sexual assault and murder cases
  • Authored amicus briefs in support of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project’s positions regarding prisoners’ access to public records and filings in light of prisoners’ lack of access to the courthouses or use of the Internet; presumption of such access was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and rights of unrepresented prisoners were expanded
  • Represented a criminal defendant whose private and privileged counseling sessions were divulged to a third party without consent
  • Represented a wrongfully convicted man in a malicious prosecution matter regarding the six years he spent in prison before being exonerated in a second trial

Community Activities

  • Canine Companions, Volunteer Puppy Raiser, Pittsburgh Volunteer Chapter
  • Majority Inspector of Elections, Ross Township Ward 3 District 4
  • Arcade Comedy Theater, President Emeritus (2022-present), Board of Directors (2015- 2021), President (2018- 2021)
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
  • Garden City Church

Education

  • University of Notre DameJ.D.1998magna cum laude
  • Harvard CollegeA.B.1995cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Court Admissions

  • 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 Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Appellate Advocacy Committee
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute

  • Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Arbitration Division, Court-Appointed

    Arbitrator and Housing Mediator

  • Certified by the LUMA Institute as a Practitioner of Human-Centered Design

Other Distinctions

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, 2022-2023
  • Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®

Representative Matters

  • Managing nationwide toxic tort litigation for a heavy equipment manufacturer, including coordinating all discovery and expert preparation for trial testimony.
  • Defended lease-related suits on behalf of a retailer that was forced to close because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Conducted a comprehensive internal investigation to aid with a recommendation to senior management regarding the conduct of new employees. The client was informed that its new hires were allegedly violating their covenants with a former employer. Included extensive interviews of employees and their supervisors, as well as reviewing images of computers, USB devices, drives, phones, text messages, voicemails, and company and personal email boxes. Client was able to make selective decisions regarding termination and retention of the employees.
  • Drafted amicus brief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of an automotive company regarding the proper standard for assessing expert testimony regarding disease causation in the Pennsylvania courts.
  • Assisted several automotive and heavy equipment clients in preparing for and trying toxic exposure cases, including several jury verdicts
  • Prepared and delivered arguments for a client accused of discovery violations and facing significant sanctions in a matter pending in Illinois. Persuaded a judge inclined to rule unfavorably that no sanctions or adverse order of any type were warranted.
  • Defended dozens of lease-related suits on behalf of a retailer that made a strategic decision to exit the Pennsylvania marketplace.
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