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J. Denny Shupe

Partner
T 215-751-2300
F 215-972-7413
    Denny Shupe is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, a former member of Schnader's Executive Committee, and past Chair of the Firm's Litigation Department. He also previously chaired the Firm's Aviation Group and its Product Liability Group.

    His practice concentrates on risk management and representation of international, national, and regional companies in a wide variety of commercial, product liability, and business litigation matters. In aviation matters he represents domestic and global aircraft, engine and aircraft component manufacturers, airports, airlines, insurers, Part 135 operators, Part 145 repair stations, and corporate aviation in a wide variety of litigation and accident investigation matters.

    In Mr. Shupe's commercial, product liability, and business litigation practice, he has represented manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, industrial and high technology equipment, metals and chemicals. In his aviation practice, he has represented domestic and foreign aircraft, engine and aircraft component manufacturers, airports, airlines, air taxi and commercial operators, and corporate aviation in connection with aviation and railroad accidents. He also handles litigation for insurance companies involving coverage disputes, fraud allegations and other insurance liability issues.

    Mr. Shupe is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, where he serves as the Chair of its Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee (U.S.). He also is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. One of the leading aviation and products lawyers in the United States, Chambers USA 2017 noted, “Denny Shupe is valued by his clients for the high quality of his representation in a broad range of contentious matters, including product liability and commercial disputes on behalf of industry players. Sources describe him as an 'enormously experienced' and 'strategic' lawyer with 'a strong ability to engender confidence.'" In Chambers USA 2016, Mr. Shupe was lauded by "one impressed client" as having "a keen understanding of the circumstances we are faced with and has successfully positioned us for the most favorable outcome." In addition, The Legal 500 has described him as a "superior trial lawyer" with “outstanding technical knowledge."

    A retired Air Force command and instructor pilot, Mr. Shupe served 23 years as an active duty and reserve officer. His military domestic and international flight experience includes over 4000 hours in T-41, T-37, T-38 and C-141 aircraft. While on active duty he also served as an operations research systems analyst, as a flying wing executive officer and inspector general, and as the aide-de-camp for two general officers.

    AREAS OF EXPERIENCE

    • Lead counsel for one of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation and corporate aircraft, and multiple aircraft/engine component manufacturers, in state and federal court actions nationwide in litigation alleging product defects and noncompliance with federal aviation regulations;
    • Lead counsel in achieving a defense verdict for one of the world's largest international airlines in a case brought under the Montreal Convention after a passenger suffered anaphylactic shock;
    • Lead counsel for one of the defendants in litigation arising from the 2014 crash of a Gulfstream IV aircraft in Bedford, Massachusetts;
    • Lead counsel for one of the world's leading manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems and command and control systems in litigation arising from the U.S. Army's operation of drones;
    • Lead counsel for a finance company in litigation arising from the crash of Cessna Citation 560XLS near Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2014 while carrying Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos;
    • National counsel for aircraft component manufacturer in multidistrict litigation arising from the 2008 crash of a Spanair MD-82 aircraft in Madrid, Spain; 
    • Lead counsel for one of the world's international and domestic leading aircraft engine manufacturers in litigation arising from a variety of commercial and military helicopter crashes, including a military helicopter crash in Iraq; 
    • Co-lead counsel for a defense contractor in litigation arising out of a multiple fatality aircraft crash in Afghanistan; 
    • Lead counsel for one of the world's leading helicopter engine manufacturers in multiple actions arising from the fatal crashes of civilian and Navy and Army aircraft in the United States and overseas; 
    • Co-lead counsel for a Part 135 charter operator in litigation arising from a multiple fatality crash in Owatonna, MN; 
    • Lead counsel for one of the world's leading international manufacturers of thrust reversers for transport category aircraft in achieving a defense verdict in a commercial dispute in a Florida federal court involving tens of millions of dollars of alleged damages; 
    • Lead counsel for an aerospace insulation blanket manufacturer in federal multidistrict litigation arising out of the crash in 1998 of Swissair Flight 111; 
    • Lead counsel for a manufacturer of diacetyl in litigation alleging diacetyl-induced lung disease; 
    • Lead counsel for an FAA Part 145 Certified Repair Station in litigation arising out of the fatal crash of a Cirrus SR22 aircraft; 
    • Lead counsel for an avionics company in a multi-fatality general aviation crash involving a Mooney M20U aircraft; 
    • Defended the engine manufacturer in multiple wrongful death suits arising out of the crash of the developmental V-22 Osprey titlt-rotor aircraft in Virginia, including a defense verdict; 
    • Defended the owner/operator of a Bell 412 helicopter involved in a mid-air collision over Merion, Pennsylvania, involving the death of a U.S. senator; 
    • Defended a helicopter engine manufacturer in state and federal court litigation involving a wide range of commercial, tort and RICO claims; 
    • Lead counsel for one of the world's largest international airlines in litigation involving personal injury, baggage and cargo loss, and damage claims.

    COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

    Mr. Shupe's current pro bono and community service focus is in support of a variety of military veteran causes, including representation of veterans before the Veterans Administration. The Philadelphia Business Journal presented him with one of its inaugural Veterans of Influence Awards in 2015, the Pennsylvania Bar Association presented him with its Ernico Award for lifetime pro bono service in 2018, DRI presented him with its national community service award in 2003, and Schnader presented him with its Harrison Award for community service in 2013. His community activity board service has included the following:

     
    • New Leash on Life USA Board Member, 2011-2015
    • Home Port Alliance for the USS New Jersey, Inc., Board of Trustees, 2008-2015
    • Gettysburg College Parents Advisory Board member, 2008-2011
    • United Service Organizations (USO) Affiliate Council, national chair, 2003-2005 and 2006-2007; national chair emeritus, 2005-2006
    • United Service Organizations (USO) of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO), Board of Directors, 1991- 2008; Board chairman, 2001-2004

    He has been a frequent keynote speaker to veteran organizations and other community groups.

    Education

    • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1989
    • Arizona State University, M.B.A., high honors, 1983
    • United States Air Force Academy, B.S., With Distinction, 1976

    Court Admissions

    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. Tax Court

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 1989

    Professional Affiliations

    • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2013-present; Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee (US), chair, 2017-2018, vice chair, 2015-2017
    • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) member, 2005-present
    • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation and Forum on Air and Space Law, member
    • Pennsylvania Bar Association, member, 2017-present
    • Defense Research Institute Aerospace Law Committee: chair, 2006-2008; vice chair, 2004-2005; Product Liability Committee (member)
    • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, adjunct assistant professor, aviation law
    • Philadelphia Bar Association, member; Military Affairs Committee, Co-chair, 2015- present
    • International Aviation & Transportation Safety Bar Association, member

    Other Distinctions

    • Ranked by Chambers USA as "America's Leading Aviation Lawyers," 2013-Present
    • Recognized by The Legal 500, Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation, 2010-Present
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Aviation Law, 2015-2019
    • Listed in Who's Who Legal: Transport, 2018, 2019
    • Listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2013-Present, and as Leading Product Liability Attorney 2016
    • Listed among the Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers in the World by the Legal Media Group, 2012-Present
    • Listed among the Leading Aviation Lawyers in the World by the Legal Media Group, 2011-Present
    • Recognized as a "Local Litigation Star" for Pennsylvania in Benchmark Litigation, 2013-Present
    • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers (Transport: Aviation-Contentious), 2013-Present
    • Recognized in the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards for Industrial Defence, 2016
    • Selected by Corporate LiveWire as "Lawyer of the Year-Aviation," Pennsylvania, 2014
    • Selected as one of the "Leading Lawyers 500" by InterContinental Finance Magazine, 2013-Present
    • Selected as a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" for aviation, 2004-2018
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
    • Recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Jeffrey A. Ernico Award for lifetime pro bono service, 2018
    • Member, Aviation Insurance Association Eagle Society
    • National Law Journal Defense Win of the Month, 2002
    • Recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award, 2013
    • U.S. President's Call to Service Award from President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (nominated by USO of Illinois for at least 4,000 hours of support of U.S. armed forces through the USO), 2007
    • Selected as a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" for business litigation, 2004-2010, 2017 
    • Defense Research Institute Community Service Award, 2003
    • Philadelphia Business Journal Veterans of Influence Award, 2015
    • United States Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots, Commander's Award, 2002
    • National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leadership Class of 1998
    • Honorary commander, McGuire Air Force Base, NJ, 1994-1995, 2004-2005, 2006-2013
    • Bronze Good Citizenship Medal from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, September 1999
    • Military service awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review, editor