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Keith E. Whitson

Partner, Pittsburgh Office Managing Partner
T 412-577-5220
    A seasoned litigator with more than 20 years experience, Mr. Whitson represents a diverse clientele of manufacturers, service providers, insurance companies and individuals in state and federal courts throughout the country. His practice focuses on general commercial litigation, product liability, insurance coverage and appellate advocacy. He also has substantial experience in aviation litigation, environmental law and toxic torts. He is Managing Partner of the Firm's Pittsburgh Office.

    A member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, Mr. Whitson is an approved mediator and early neutral evaluator with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and serves in a variety of ADR roles, including settlement counsel.


    Mr. Whitson's representative matters include:

    Commercial Litigation
    • Defended an engineering firm from allegations stemming from a landslide at a municipal solid waste landfill.
    • Defended a national cable service provider from a competing cable provider's claims for interference with contract, unfair competition and trespass.
    • Represented a printing press manufacturer in litigation arising out of a fire at a commercial printing operation that was believed to have originated in the printing press.
    • Prosecuted and defended breach of contract and breach of warranty claims on behalf of numerous clients including manufacturers of thermoplastic composites, medical devices and aircrafts; a real estate firm, a software licensing company, and a civil engineering firm.
    • Prosecuted and defended numerous claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, and similar claims on behalf of numerous clients including a cardiac monitoring company, a developer of telemedicine products, a manufacturer of air freshening products, a manufacturer of boilers and heat recovery steam generators, and a manufacturer of water purification technology.
    • Prosecuted and defended numerous claims involving disputes among shareholders of corporations and members of limited liability companies, including entities involved in construction services, advertising services, and janitorial services.
    • Represented a major health care provider in antitrust litigation with a large healthcare insurer and a competing health care provider, whose claims ultimately were dismissed. Led a team of 15 attorneys in extensive discovery efforts including predictive coding, drafted and argued numerous motions, and participated in overall strategy decisions and settlement negotiations.
    • Represented an investor in a major film project in litigation with the film's producers over the credits and distributions due to the investor. Negotiated additional credits and distributions as part of a settlement of all claims.
    • Represented potentially responsible parties in CERCLA cost recovery and contribution actions, including a five-week allocation trial which resulted in an allocation of less than 1 percent to the client.
    • Represented the Trustee in the bankruptcy proceedings of a large food services company and affiliated entities, and successfully obtained an injunction preventing the president and owner of the bankrupt entities from dissipating assets.
    • Represented a national brokerage firm in a dispute as to whether an alleged beneficiary defrauded the client's customer into naming him beneficiary of her brokerage account. Secured a nominal settlement with the alleged beneficiary to preserve the customer's assets.
    • Replevied numerous assets, including airplanes, tractor trailers, a fire engine, an ice hockey rink, computer equipment, gasoline and printing presses, on behalf of various manufacturers and lenders
    • Prosecuted claims on behalf of a factoring company against account debtors for payment of receivables purchased. Obtained two non-jury verdicts against account debtors and recovered 100 percent of total amount owed to the client.

    Product Liability and Toxic Torts
    • Represented manufacturers of various aviation components in litigation surrounding aircraft accidents, including multidistrict litigation in which all claims against the client were dismissed.
    • Represented a manufacturer of printing presses in various product liability actions arising from employees who suffered injuries including de-gloving and amputation while working on those presses. Obtained favorable settlements or complete dismissals in each instance.
    • Represented a manufacturer of tungsten carbide in an action involving hard-metal disease in a customer's employee, and successfully negotiated an eight-party settlement.
    • Represented a manufacturer of flooring tiles where tiles in a high school building failed to adhere to the underlying concrete, and litigation ensued over the cause of the failure. Client contributed a nominal amount to an overall settlement between numerous parties.
    • Represented a manufacturer of corrugated boxes in an action alleging that defective boxes caused the destruction and spoliation of thousands of boxes of vegetables, and achieved a favorable settlement during trial.
    • Represented manufacturers of various products, including brakes, printing presses, pumps, electrical products, cranes, heat exchangers, mufflers and joint compound in asbestos litigation.
    • For one client, obtained dismissals or summary judgment in 570 individual cases without paying any amounts in settlements or judgments.
    • Represented various manufacturers in litigation over the source of fires that caused extensive property damage.

    Insurance Coverage
    • Represented insurance carriers in litigation over the applicability of policies to underlying asbestos and other toxic tort litigation, and obtained favorable settlements on behalf of those clients.
    • Represented an insurance carrier in negotiations and litigation with an airport authority over claims arising out of the collapse of a runway.
    • Represented an insurance carrier with respect to claims arising out of the contamination of a major water supply in a metropolitan area.
    • Assisted an insurance carrier with revisions to its policy language in light of lessons learned from a mass disaster.
    • Prosecuted declaratory judgment actions and defended breach of contract and bad faith lawsuits on behalf of insurance carriers in multiple states.
    • Obtained rescission of an insurance policy based on fraudulent misrepresentations made in the insurance application.


    • Allegheny County Bar Foundation, Trustee, 2013-17
    • Legal Services to Immigrants and Internationals, part of Jewish Family & Children's Service, Board of Directors
    • Women and Girls Foundation, Board Director
    • American Red Cross, Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, past Board Member


    • Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1993
    • Duke University, B.S., 1990

    Court Admissions

    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 1993
    • New York, 1994
    • Ohio, 1996
    • West Virginia, 2011


    • Honorable Thomas A. Wallitsch, Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County

    Professional Affiliations

    • Allegheny County Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee, Vice-Chair 
    • Allegheny County Bar Association, Gender Equality Committee
    • Allegheny County Bar Association, Public Service Committee
    • Allegheny County Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees
    • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
    • Defense Research Institute, Appellate Advocacy Committee, Steering Committee
    • Leadership Pittsburgh XXVI
    • 3rd Circuit Bar Association

    Other Distinctions

    • Recognized in Who's Who in Energy, 2014-17
    • Sole recipient of the Client Choice Award for Product Liability in Pennsylvania (Client Choice Guide - USA & Canada), 2014
    • Recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award, 2012
    • Named as a 2008 "Lawyer on The Fast Track" by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly
    • Recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award, 2008
    • Named a ‘Pennsylvania Rising Star’ by the publishers of Law & Politics and Super Lawyers, 2005
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, 2018