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Nancy Winkelman

Partner, On leave in 2018 for public service.
T 215-751-2342
    Nancy has concentrated her practice in federal and state appellate litigation during the course of her 30-year career at Schnader. She has handled cases in a variety of substantive areas and before numerous state and federal appellate courts. In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, Nancy regularly is engaged to serve as appellate counsel at pre-trial or trial stages of litigation. She also has an extensive appellate consulting practice, which includes mooting both briefs and oral arguments. Nancy is the former co-chair of both Schnader's Litigation Services Department and of its Appellate Practice Group.

    Nancy served as President of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in 2016. She is the co-founder and first President of the Third Circuit Bar Association. She has lectured widely on appellate practice, and taught appellate advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for ten years. Nancy is recognized annually in The Best Lawyers in America in appellate law and Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star" in appellate law. For the past five years, she has been named one of Benchmark's nationwide "Top 250 Women in Litigation," one of only nine women in Pennsylvania selected for this honor. She has been a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" in appellate law since 2004 and one of the "Top 50 Female Super Lawyers" in Pennsylvania every year since 2005.


    Appellate Practice
    • In the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, obtained affirmance of dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction of several cases arising out of the Paulsboro derailment; after granting summary judgment to railroads on plaintiffs' punitive damages and certain other claims, district court had dismissed cases for failure to meet the amount in controversy required for diversity jurisdiction.
    • Obtained affirmance in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals of district court's ruling for railroads in a complex breach of contract case involving the interpretation of a lease entered into in 1962; district court had granted summary judgment after extensive discovery into the parties' course of performance.
    • Serving as appellate counsel at trial and handling the appeal in the New Jersey appellate courts, obtained victory for New Jersey Institute of Technology in long-standing trademark, breach of contract, and First Amendment dispute with former alumni association.
    • Prevailed in Pennsylvania Superior Court on behalf of railroads on issues dividing state and federal courts nationally regarding deduction from FELA verdict of railroad retirement taxes and various benefits employee received during period of disability.
    • In United States Supreme Court, served as amicus counsel to state and local judicial reform groups; assisted in upholding ban on judicial candidates' personal solicitation of campaign contributions.
    • Achieved victory for railroads in the Pennsylvania Superior Court in forum non conveniens appeal stemming from the Paulsboro derailment and chemical release.
    • Obtained reversal in Third Circuit Court of Appeals of New Jersey District Court's dismissal of Federal Tort Claim Act case.
    • Assisted, as amicus counsel and in appellate consulting capacity, in obtaining landmark victory in New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of railroads; Court held in case of first impression that railroads are vested with broad condemnation powers.
    • Engaged as appellate counsel prior to trial in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by smoke detector manufacturer in case involving seven deaths in home fire. Plaintiffs sought significant compensatory and punitive damages. Assisted in substantial pre-trial motion practice and strategy. Case settled just prior to trial.
    • Engaged as appellate counsel in product liability case involving a truck roll-over accident; obtained trial court's vacatur of $10 million punitive damages award, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court's grant of a new trial on both liability and damages, which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed.
    • Engaged as appellate counsel, achieved victory before the en banc Pennsylvania Superior Court for Drexel University's Philadelphia Health and Education Corporation, in a cy pres case involving large amount of proceeds to a trust fund.
    • Obtained victory for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an employment discrimination matter.
    • Represented product liability consumer victims in the Chrysler Bankruptcy in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • Represented railroad defendants in personal injury (child trespasser electrocution) case post-trial and on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Case settled for significantly less than the $25 million jury verdict after full briefing and oral argument in the Court of Appeals.
    • Represented (by appointment of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals) prisoner in both the Third Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court in a civil rights case involving prisoners' exhaustion of administrative remedies.
    • Appointed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to handle numerous prisoner civil rights and immigration cases, including appointment by the Third Circuit en banc as an amicus curiae to the en banc Court in an asylum case involving China's sterilization policies.
    • Served as counsel for Consolidated Rail Corporation in Conrail v. Gottshall, where the U.S. Supreme Court reversed two decisions of the Court of Appeals and limited job-related emotional distress claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act.
    • Obtained reversal in Third Circuit Court of Appeals of order granting federal habeas relief to husband who was incarcerated for more than eight years for civil contempt of an order requiring him to turn over marital assets.


    • Camphill Soltane (community for young adults with disabilities), Board of Directors, 2012-2014
    • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-PA), Philadelphia Affiliate, Legal Committee, 2008-2013
    • Disabilities Law Project, Pennsylvania, Board of Directors, Member, 1990-1999; President, 1999-2007
    • Disabilities Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Member, Board of Directors, 2007-2008
    • Haddonfield Human Relations Commission, Member (by mayoral appointment), 2004-2008


    • Western New England School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude,
      (graduated first in class)
      , 1987
    • Wesleyan University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1980

    Court Admissions

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey, 1991
    • Pennsylvania, 1987


    • Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1987-1988

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, President, 2016; Fellow, 2004-present (ninth lawyer and first woman to be selected from the Third Circuit); Elected Member of Board of Directors, 2008-present  
    • The American Law Institute, Elected Member, 2009-present
    • University of Pennsylvania Law School, Adjunct Professor, Appellate Advocacy, 2003-2008; 2009-2012
    • University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court, Master, 2013-present
    • Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Advisory Board, member, 2007-present
    • Bar Association of the Third Federal Circuit, Co-founder, President and Board Member, 2007-2010
    • Judicial Council of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed by Chief Judge of Third Circuit to Lawyers Advisory Committee, Member, 1997-2000
    • Philadelphia Bar Association, Co-Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, 2007-2008; Co-Chair, Appellate Courts Committee, 1999-2002; Investigator, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, 1998-present
    • Defense Research Institute (DRI), member, 2007-present; Vice Chair of Appellate Advocacy Seminar, 2009

    Other Distinctions

    • Listed annually in The Best Lawyers in America for Appellate Law, 2006-2018*
    • Recognized as a "Local Litigation Star" for Pennsylvania in Benchmark Litigation, 2011-2018 and Benchmark Appellate, 2012-2013
    • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation," 2012-2016 (nationwide, and one of nine attorneys in Pennsylvania to be selected)
    • Named a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" for appellate law from 2004-2017; one of the top 50 female attorneys in Pennsylvania for 2005-2016; Top 100 2014 
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
    • Named to the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™, 2011
    • Recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award, 2006
    • Honors, including the first-ever Passionately Pro Bono Award from HIAS & Council, an immigration and asylum public-interest agency, in recognition of outstanding pro bono work on an asylum case, 2005
    • Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award, recognizing excellence in providing pro bono legal services, 2005
    • The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, presented to the 20 best legal writers in the top 500 largest law firms in the United States, 2004
    • Multiple Sclerosis Leadership Class Award, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2001
    • John Minor Wisdom Public Interest and Professionalism Award, American Bar Association, 2000
    • Recipient of the Women of Distinction of Haddonfield Award, presented by Mayor, Haddonfield, NJ

    *No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.