Sam, a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, formerly served as a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. While Sam’s practice has focused in several substantive areas, he is best known as a go-to trial lawyer who can and will take any matter into a courtroom. In addition to handling his caseload, Sam is regularly asked to teach on trial-related issues. Sam is also widely known for his often-high-profile pro bono cases, which have included several capital and non-capital homicide cases.
A commercial litigator, Sam has tried to verdict a variety of cases; he concentrates on representing global manufacturers of products in litigation and product safety matters. He has litigated disputes about intellectual property, healthcare, securities, banking and insurance coverage and more. He has also litigated restrictive covenants and theft of trade secrets claims in the context of departing employees. Sam has extensive experience representing members of the equestrian sport in a wide variety of matters.
Sam is committed to pro bono work and capital case representation in particular. His accomplishments include successful retrials of two separate death-condemned inmates before juries, both cases resulting in unanimous verdicts for the defense. In its piece on the Anthony Wright case, Rolling Stone called Sam a “powerhouse trial attorney.”
His work also includes serving as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and teaching trial advocacy and other courses for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).
News & Publications
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2020
- Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2019
- Many Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers
- Schnader Attorneys Receive Recognition for Pro Bono Efforts
- Schnader Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers 2017
- 40 Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2018
- Many Schnader Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers 2016
- Anthony Wright Featured on WHYY’s Radio Times
- Anthony Wright Found Not Guilty After 25 Years in Prison
- Thirty-Seven Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2017
- Sam Silver Inducted into International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Big-Name Criminal Defenses Offer Pressure and Reward for Schnader
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2016
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2015
- Rolling Stone Notes Sam Silver Role in Overturning a 22-Year-Old Murder Conviction
- Schnader Attorneys Win Pro Bono Award
- “The Value of First Impressions: Considering the Effect of Motions for Preliminary Injunctive Relief on Ultimate Results in IP Cases”
- Schnader Attorneys Help Overturn 22-Year-Old Philadelphia Murder Conviction via DNA Testing
- Thirty-Two Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2015
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2014
- Third Circuit Rejects New Jersey’s Effort to Sanction Sports Wagering
- Schnader Attorneys Achieve Victory for Electrical Transmission Company
- “Taking A Swing At The ‘Baseball Rule'”
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2013
- Texas Plaintiff Takes Another Swing at the “Baseball Rule”
- Thirty-One Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2014
- The Enhanced Scrutiny of Class Definitions Under the Ascertainability Requirement: An Additional Hurdle for Plaintiffs or an Increased Burden for Defendants?
- Schnader Attorneys Featured in an Article About Dismissal of Brain Cancer Cluster Case Brought Against Schnader’s Client Rohm and Haas Co.
- Supreme Court Holds That Solicitation of Clients is Not a Permitted Use Under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
- Federal Court Dismisses Class Action Complaint Based on Pre-Complaint Offer of Settlement
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2012
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2013
- Schnader Assists in Successful Challenge to 24/7 Policy in New Jersey
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2012
- The Legal Intelligencer Honors Schnader Team with “Unsung Hero” Pro Bono Award
- Schnader Attorneys Successful in Securing Parole for Pro Bono Client William J. Barnes
- U.S. Magistrate Judge Calls for Release of Firm Client William J. Barnes on His Request for Parole
- Sam Silver Mentioned in Recent Article on William J. Barnes
- Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2011
- Thirty Schnader Attorneys Recognized as “The Best Lawyers in America” for 2012
- Firm Obtains a Significant Victory in Gates v. Rohm & Haas
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2011
- The Schnader Team Representing William Barnes Featured in Several Articles Detailing His Request for Parole
- Thirty-Two Schnader Attorneys Recognized as “Best Lawyers in America” for 2011
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2010
- Schnader Successfully Obtains Complete Acquittal on Murder Charges Against William J. Barnes
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2010
- Pro Bono Newsletter Fall 2009
- Many Schnader Attorneys Honored as 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Eight from Schnader Are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- Twenty-Eight from Schnader in Best Lawyers in America 2009
- Silver Inducted as Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers
- Many Schnader Attorneys are 2007 Super Lawyers, 2008 Best Lawyers
- Twenty-Seven Schnader Attorneys Named 2007 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Silver Featured in Article on Rolan Case
- Sam Silver Wins Philadelphia Bar’s Wachovia Fidelity Award
- Thirty-Five Schnader Attorneys Are 2006 Super Lawyers
- Team Schnader Supports American Cancer Society
- Supreme Court Decides Standard for Injunctions in Patent Cases
- New Jersey Supreme Court Broadens Liability of Property Owners to Protect Spouses of Those Working on the Premises
- Pennsylvania Federal Court Extends Alternative Liability Theory to Products Liability Case
- Philadelphia Court Holds Unenforceable Class-Action-Blocking Provisions in Contracts of Adhesion
- Silver, Pelletier Honored for Pro Bono
- Pro Bono Newsletter
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Honored as ‘Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’
- Schnader Secures New Trial for Man on Death Row Almost 20 Years
- Schnader Attorneys Appear in a Variety of Forums
- Pro Bono Newsletter
- Schnader Attorneys Feted as Super Lawyers
- Schnader Lawyers Noted as ‘Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ in 19 Categories
Community & Pro Bono
- Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Vice President, Board of Directors
- Public Interest Civil Litigation Fund (a nonprofit entity that provides funding to attorneys for handling court-appointed cases for indigent litigants), officer
Pro Bono and Civil Rights Matters
- Sam successfully obtained a full acquittal on murder charges brought against the Firm’s pro bono client William J. Barnes. Barnes was charged with causing the death of Philadelphia Police Officer Walter T. Barclay in 2007, 41 years after Barnes had shot and partially paralyzed Barclay. Sam discussed the case on The Michael Smerconish Show, a nationally syndicated news and talk show on Philadelphia’s CBS Radio affiliate, 1210 AM WPHT.
- Sam has challenged himself and others at our Firm by repeatedly leading teams of trial lawyers in successful attacks on death sentences. Twice, these teams have persuaded courts to vacate death sentences imposed by juries and to grant retrials, and in both cases, with Sam as lead trial counsel, these teams have obtained unanimous verdicts in favor of our clients when they have gone before new juries.
- In addition, for more than a decade Sam has been a coordinator of the Prisoner Civil Rights Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and, at the request of the court, Sam participated in the Third Circuit’s Task Force on Counsel for Indigent Litigants in Civil Cases.
- Sam discussed his experiences in capital cases on “One on One with Steve Adubato” on CN8, The Comcast Network.
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1989
- Middlebury College, A.B., magna cum laude, 1986
- Pennsylvania, 1989
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- University of Pennsylvania Inn of Court, member
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
- Prisoner Civil Rights Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, co-coordinator
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, 2009-2020 and Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2020
- Noted as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” for civil litigation defense, 2004-2019
- Recipient of the First Judicial District Pro Bono Publico Award, 2014
- Co-recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s annual Wachovia Fidelity Award, for improving the administration of justice and the profession, 2006
- Recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award, 2006
- Recognized for pro bono work by the Public Interest Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, 2001
- Recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award, 2000
- Selected as one of Pennsylvania’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 2003. This honor was conferred upon 29 of Pennsylvania’s lawyers under 40 years of age as a result of a statewide nomination process.
- Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®
Sam has litigated matters concerning products as diverse as heavy industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals and food supplements and also has tried multiple product liability cases and handled multiple nationwide recalls ranging from automotive parts to recreational products and toys. He has been involved extensively in mass tort product liability litigation.
Sam has represented serious equestrians in all manner of disputes concerning their sport and business. He also serves on the planning committee and is a frequent speaker at the National Conference on Equine Law.
He has defended several members of the profession in disciplinary hearings before the governing body of the equestrian sport in the United States;
- He defended an international horse trader against fraud and related claims associated with the purchase and sale of horses and the management of horse farm operations;
- He has handled multiple matters (some in the courts, others before litigation ensued) stemming from disagreements over the terms and conditions of sales of valuable show horses;
- He regularly advises equestrians concerning their business operations and contracts.
Sam has handled a broad array of intellectual property cases involving trademarks, trade secrets and claims of patent infringement. These cases have included:
- A dispute between an internationally-known celebrity and her former business partners, whom Sam defended;
- The defense of a university professor accused of misappropriating trade secrets from a private company; and
- The prosecution of claims on behalf of a manufacturer of a product used by the military against an alleged infringer of that product.