Kathleen D. Wilkinson: Lawyer with Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Kathleen D. Wilkinson

Phone215.606.3905

Peer Rating
 5.0/5.0
AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • e-Discovery
  • Employment & Labor
  • Hospitality
  • Insurance Agents & Brokers
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Coverage
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability & Services
 
Contact InfoTelephone: 215.606.3905
Fax: 215.627.2665
http://www.wilsonelser.com/attorneys/kathleen_d_wilkinson
 
University Kean University, B.S., 1978, summa cum laude/Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
 
Law SchoolVillanova University School of Law, J.D., 1981 Villanova Law Review, MemberReimel Moot Court Competition Semifinalist
 
Admitted1981, Pennsylvania; 1983, New Jersey; 2003, U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
 
Memberships 

Memberships & Affiliations

Philadelphia Bar Association, Past Chancellor and Cabinet Member: 2005 - present
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Voting Member of House of Delegates for Zone One, Philadelphia: 2003 - present; Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, November 2002 - present
Philadelphia Association of Defense Lawyers
Historical Society of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
The Lawyers Club of Philadelphia
Forum of Executive Women
Asian American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
Louis D. Brandeis Society
Brehon Society
Justinian Society

Board Positions
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Board of Governors
Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Board of Directors
Philadelphia Bar Foundation, Board of Directors
Philly VIP, Board of Directors
Philadelphia Defender Association, Board of Directors
PILCOP, Board of Directors
Friends of Farmworkers, Board of Directors

 
Biography

Well known throughout Pennsylvania’s legal community for her consummate legal skills and uncompromising dedication, Kathleen Wilkinson served as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2013, only the sixth woman to lead this 13,000-member organization founded more than 200 years ago.

Kathleen built her practice and earned her reputation defending complex cases involving a variety of products, including medical devices and pharmaceuticals, as well as construction, premises and professional liability matters. A litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Kathleen is regularly entrusted by clients with their most difficult cases, frequently involving death and severe injury and exposures of up to $20 million. Her clients include a major insurance brokerage firm, construction companies and major products manufacturers. Well versed in the substance and subtleties of insurance policies, she also serves as a technical writer for self-insured municipalities.

Kathleen has tried many cases to verdict, occasionally arguing before the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She works closely with her clients to help ensure an appropriate and effective resolution to liability actions. Kathleen also serves as a judge pro tem and discovery master in state and federal court, earning the respect of the bench and bar. Closer to home, she served on Wilson Elser’s Equity Partner and Associate Focus Committees and has been instrumental in the firm’s implementation of part-time policies for its attorneys.

Recognition and Work in the Community
Well known for her strong leadership capabilities, Kathleen was appointed by former Governor Edward G. Rendell to serve on the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness, a statewide committee charged with making recommendations to the three branches of government on eliminating racial, gender and ethnic bias. She was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence Committee from 2006-2008.

Kathleen was also a founding member of Villanova University's School of Law J. Willard O’Brien Inn of Court (a member of American Inns of Court); in 2002-2003 she was Program Chair. In June 2004, Kathleen became the first woman president of the Inn of Court. In 2013, she was honored by the Villanova Law Alumni Association and received the Gerald Abraham Alumni Association Award for Service to Villanova Law School, as part of a program entitled “Our Future in Focus: Advance, Transform, Lead.” This award is presented each year to an alumna who has exhibited outstanding leadership qualities and made significant contributions toward assisting the law school in fulfilling its mission and goals.

Kathleen has served as chancellor-elect, vice chancellor, secretary and assistant secretary of the Philadelphia Bar Association, as well as co-chair of the State Civil Litigation Section, co-chair of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Essay Competition, co-chair of the Rules Committee, and co-chair of the Women in the Profession Committee, among many other positions. She was elected to the Board of Governors and served from 2001-2003.

Active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Kathleen received the Anne X. Alpern Award from the PBA Women in the Profession Committee in June 2008. This award is presented to a woman attorney who has had a significant professional impact in Pennsylvania, demonstrated leadership in her profession and community, participated in mentoring activities and engaged in significant activities on behalf of women in the profession.

Professional Achievements
National Judicial College: Member of Philadelphia Planning Committee, 2007, 2009, 2013
National Association of Women Judges Conference: Member of Friends Committee planning conference, 2007
Villanova Law J. Willard O’Brien Inn of Court: President: 2004-2006; Immediate Past President: 2007; Program Chair: June 200 3-2004; founding member of Inn
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee: appointed by a Justice of Supreme Court to provide recommendations concerning the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence; Member 2006-2008.

Philadelphia Bar Association
Secretary: 2008-2012
Assistant Secretary: 2005-2007
Board of Governors Member: January 2001-December 2003
State Civil Litigation Section: Section Co-chair, 2006 & 2007; Section Secretary, 2005
Task Force for Civil Litigation Section: Member of Interim Executive Committee to State Civil Litigation
Section and assisted in creating the Section: June 2004-2005
Executive Council of the State Civil Litigation Section, Member: 2005-2007
State Civil Rules Committee: Committee Co-Chair: 2003 & 2004; Member since 1997
Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention: 2006 & 2007 & 2011 to present
Women in the Profession, Committee Co-chair: 1998 & 1999

Pennsylvania Bar Association Contributions
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section: Executive Board: May 2004-2010
Mid-year Meeting, Co-chair, 2007
Zone One Director of Political Action Committee of PBA: 2007-2010
Prepared and presented resolutions before Board of Governors and House of Delegates, which adopted PBA Diversity Policy, and diversity representation on Nominating Committee, 2006
Women in the Profession, Committee Co-chair, 2004-2006
Helped develop and obtain PBA approval of part-time policies for lawyers, 2000

Awards & Distinctions

Gilbert Nurick Award, Conference of County Bar Leaders of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, 2014

AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Philadelphia’s Top Rated Lawyers, Insurance, 2012

Included in the 2013 Pennsylvania Top 50 Women list by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2006-2007, 2009-2014

Alumni of the Year, Kean University, 2010

Woman of Distinction, Kean University, 2009

Anne X. Alpern Award, Pennsylvania Bar Association Women in the Profession Committee, 2008

Woman of the Year, Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 2007-2008

Villanova Law School Inn of Court, President, 2004-2006

Pennsylvania Bar Association, Leadership Award, 2006

Publications

What Remains of Act 13 in Pennsylvania after Robinson? Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Strikes Further Provisions of Act 13 as Unconstitutional

PA Appeals Court Affirms Rights of Towns to Regulate Drilling

August 15, 2014

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional provisions of Act 13 that required municipalities to adopt uniform zoning requirements that could allow drilling in all zoning districts. In so ruling, the court found that the disputed provisions of Article 13 violated the Environmental Rights Amendment in that it removed from Pennsylvania’s municipalities the right to be stewards over natural resources within their own borders.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Whether Drug Company Has Expanded Duties

PA Rules on Drug Company’s Expanded Duties

February 10, 2014

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that primary responsibility for drug safety rests with the manufacturer, which has superior access to information about its drugs, especially in the post-marketing phase as new risks emerge. The Supreme Court further held that “pharmaceutical companies violate their duty of care if they introduce a drug into the marketplace, or continue a previous tender, with actual or constructive knowledge that a drug is too harmful to be used by anyone.”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations

Pennsylvania Restores Ability of Municipalities to Limit Drilling

January 15, 2014

In a recent decision, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court confirmed municipalities’ constitutional right to limit gas drilling activities through local zoning rules and imposed a more structured state decision-making process to grant waivers from setbacks required for certain bodies of water.

2013 ESI Case Law Update

April 2013

The 2013 ESI Case Law Update recaps those ESI cases that will likely have the greatest impact on you, your business and how you prepare for and defend civil litigation.

Insurance Agency Risk Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding E&O Claims

Additional Insureds and Related Topics

December 17, 2012

Additional Publications

How Medical Device Manufacturers Can Limit Lawsuits, Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (May 1993)
Training, Safety, and the Law--Considerations for the Metal Stamping Industry on Avoiding Lawsuits, Stamping Quarterly, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International Pressworking Division (Spring 1993)
Admissibility of State of the Art Defense--Manufacturer's Expertise May No Longer Be Allowed in the Courtroom, Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly (October 1988)
Constitutional Law - Privacy - Invasion of Privacy Justified Where Hospital Records Are Sought for Grand Jury Investigation, 29 Villanova Law Review 499 (1981)

Events

Managing Your Message: Making the Most of Every Day of Your Presidency

Speaking Engagements

February 4-10, 2015

National Conference for Bar Presidents Midyear Meeting

Kathleen Wilkinson Co-moderator at Philadelphia Bar Association Program with Guest Speaker Michael F. Consedine, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner

Speaking Engagements

September 17, 2014

Philadelphia Bar Association Committee on Insurance Practice

Kathleen Wilkinson Chairs Host Committee of Vision 2020’s Women’s Wit and Wisdom Luncheon

Speaking Engagements

May 5, 2014

Empowering Women to LEAN-IN

Speaking Engagements

April 22, 2014

Global Tax Management Women’s Initiative

21st Century Challenges for Nation’s Oldest Bar

Speaking Engagements

February 24, 2014

The Cosmopolitan Club

Hidden Product Liability Risks on your MedTech Company Website

Speaking Engagements

February 27, 2013

Medmarc

How to Get Involved in Leadership Activities While Advancing Your Professional Legal Career

Speaking Engagements

November 3, 2012

Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession: 2012 Fall Retreat

Local Leader Program

Speaking Engagements

October 2, 2102

Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Fill Her Shoes

Speaking Engagements

September 20, 2012

Villanova University School of Law’s Women Student Leadership Program

Addressing Inequities and Securing Fairness and Equal Justice in Pennsylvania’s Court System

Speaking Engagements

May 2012

Philadelphia Bar Association

Whether Leading Globally or Locally: How Do You Make Change Happen?

Speaking Engagements

May 2012

Women in the Profession Annual Meeting

Social Media; Twitter in the Court: From Facebook to Social Media, the New Discovery and Trial Frontier

Speaking Engagements

April 2012

Berks County Bar Association

Wilkinson to Speak at Berks County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference

Seminars/Webinars

April 4, 2012

20th Century Associates in a 21st Century Legal Environment: Preparing Today's Law School Graduates

Speaking Engagements

April 2012

Berks County Bar Association

Social Media and the Right to Privacy

Speaking Engagements

January 2012

Hot Topics in Civil Litigation

Kathleen Wilkinson to Participate on Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE

Seminars/Webinars

August 12, 2011

Additional Events

“Is Anything Private Anymore? Testing the Limits of the Public’s and Parties’ Right to Know in Civil Litigation,” Philadelphia Bar Association Bench Bar and Annual Conference, October 2011

“Survey Says: An Empirical Look at Diversity in the Legal Profession,” Philadelphia Bar Association Bench Bar and Annual Conference, October 2011

“Technology in the Courtroom,” Civil Litigation Update, Pennsylvania Bar Association Midyear Meeting, February 2011

“Technology in the Courtroom,” Philadelphia Bar Association Bench Bar and Annual Conference, October 2010

“How to be the Big Kahuna,” PBA Leadership Training, Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Summer Conference, July 2010

“The Pursuit of Equal Justice in the Courts - The Pennsylvania Story,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Midyear Meeting, January 2010

“State and Federal Coordination in Complex Litigation and Mass Tort Cases,” Bench Bar Annual Conference, CLE Speaker, 2009

“60 Minutes with Pennsylvania’s Appellate Court Judges,” PBA Midyear Meeting, 2009

“Direct Examination Techniques,” Lawyers Club, 2008

“Settlements and Verdicts in Philadelphia County,” Bench Bar State Civil Litigation Section, 2008

“Conducting Meaningful Mediations,” PBA Midyear Meeting, 2007

News

Philadelphia Bar Foundation Honors Former Board Members Wilkinson and Fedullo

December 23, 2014

National Diversity Council to Honor Kathleen Wilkinson with the Leadership Excellence in the Law Award

August 7, 2014

Kathleen Wilkinson Appointed to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Bar Association

June 23. 2014

Kathleen Wilkinson Honored by Pennsylvania Bar Association for Dedication and Service

March 18, 2014

Philadelphia Inquirer Quotes Kathleen Wilkinson in Article about the Impact of Legal Services on the Philly Economy

November 19, 2013

Kathleen Wilkinson Named Recipient of the 2013 Philadelphia Business Journal Women of Distinction Award

November 4, 2013

Kathleen Wilkinson to be Honored at Israel Bonds Legal Division Tribute Dinner

October 21, 2013

Kathleen Wilkinson Elected to the National Council of Bar Presidents and Presents at Conference

September 23, 2013

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel Publishes Letter by Kathleen Wilkinson

July 3, 2013

Kathleen Wilkinson to Speak at Temple Law School Graduation

May 23, 2013

Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court Presents Kathleen Wilkinson with the J. Clayton Undercofler, III Award

May 22, 2013

Kathleen Wilkinson to Receive Award at Career Wardrobe’s Annual Fundraiser

April 16, 2013

Villanova Law Alumni Association to Honor Kathleen Wilkinson

March 16, 2013

The Villanova Law Alumni Association will honor Kathleen Wilkinson with the Gerald Abraham Award sor serive at its annual Alumni Reception & Awards Program

Kathleen Wilkinson Inducted as 86th Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association

January 28, 2013

Specialty Profession Services Contributes to Agents of America e-Book, Insurance Agency Risk Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding E&O Claims

January 16, 2012

Kathleen Wilkinson Serves as Commentator for the Pennsylvania Superior Court En Banc Session for PCN-TV

November 2, 2012

Wilkinson Selected for Advisory Council for Pennsylvania Conference for Women

July 5, 2012

Kathleen Wilkinson was selected as one of 38 members of the Advisory Council for the ninth annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women, the largest women’s conference in Pennsylvania.

Wilkinson Weighs in on the Selection of Appellate Judges

April 5, 2012

In her role as Chancellor-Elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Kathleen D. Wilkinson testified before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee in support of adopting House Bills 1815 and 1816 regarding selection of appellate judges.

Three from Philly Make Philadelphia’s List of Top Rated Lawyers for 2012

February 16, 2012

Kevin Kavanagh, Kenneth Scott and Kathleen D.Wilkinson have been named to the prestigious Philadelphia list of Top Rated Lawyers.

Kathleen Wilkinson Assumes Position as Chancellor-Elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association

January 18, 2012

Kathleen Wilkinson is named Chancellor-Elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Wilkinson Elected to Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute

July 1, 2011

Kathleen Wilkinson was elected to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI), the continuing-education arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association for a three-year term.

Wilkinson Elected Vice Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association

December 21, 2010

Kathleen D. Wilkinson (Partner-Philadelphia) has been elected Vice Chancellor of the 13,000 member Philadelphia Bar Association.

 
Reported CasesRepresentative Matters; While Kathleen continually seeks and frequently achieves early resolutions, she is not afraid to elevate matters to court if it helps to advance her clients' objectives. She has tried many cases to verdict at both the state and federal levels. Currently handling the defense of two companies, which provide drug information, in more than 300 pharmaceutical cases in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, and have obtained dismissals from over 65 cases to date. Successfully defended a case against a clip manufacturer in state court in Cincinnati, OH. The plaintiff mother donated a kidney to her son and nearly died from the alleged failure of a clip used to close the renal artery, which led to severe bleeding and damage to all major organs. Duration of this highly technical case was several years, and a favorable outcome was obtained for the client. The demand was $20 million. This case was successfully mediated. Reached nominal settlement of a New Jersey case against a catheter manufacturer. Obtained a defense verdict in a New Jersey case against elevator maintenance company. Obtained defense verdicts in mass tort cases in Philadelphia County on many occasions for lack of sufficient product identification or exposure by plaintiff to clients' products. Successfully defended and obtained the dismissal of a latex manufacturer due to lack of involvement with latex in its gloves. Tried a case in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court against a medical device spray company that settled shortly after cross-examination of the plaintiff. Successfully defended construction company and owner in case involving a death and alleged brain injury allegedly sustained in an accident following the design and installation of an elevator. Settlement demand was in excess of $10 million. Obtained dismissal of construction company and obtained nominal settlement for owner. Successfully defended construction company in case involving a death following an alleged fall from a multi-story building during construction. Case involved very complex indemnity and insurance issues with settlement demand of $20 million. Successfully defended construction company and owner in suit involving electrical burns during installation of power to a construction site, resulting in dismissal of owner and nominal settlement for construction company. Settlement demand was in excess of $10 million. Obtained summary judgment on many occasions in favor of construction companies involving statutory employer defense. Successfully defended against injunction sought to force insurer to pay insurance policy proceeds into court. Obtained revision of insurance policy with dismissal of client insurer from suit. Successfully defended insurance brokers on many occasions involving allegations of potential gap in coverage with dismissal of brokers from suits. Obtained dismissal of insurance broker from suit pending in Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court seeking over a million dollars in damages if prize policy placed by broker did not cover casino winnings.
 
ISLN902756142
 

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Daubert Déjà Vu
Kathleen D. Wilkinson, November 8, 2014
On June 27, 2014, in In Re: Zoloft, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion excluding an expert in a case that bears a striking resemblance to the facts of Daubert v. Merrell Dow. We think Judge Rufe’s decision in Zoloft will serve as useful...

Does Pennsylvania Permit Manufacturing Defect Claims Involving Medical Devices?
Kathleen D. Wilkinson, November 8, 2014
I am writing to report about a recent dismissal of a manufacturing defect claim made against a medical device manufacturer in the USDC for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This decision is favorable to our clients that are involved in defending medical devices. We believe this case may...

What Remains of Act 13 in Pennsylvania after Robinson? Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Strikes Further Provisions of Act 13 as Unconstitutional
Michael J. Cawley,Kathleen D. Wilkinson, August 19, 2014
Earlier this year, we reported in our Client Alert dated January 15, 2014, on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013). In Robinson, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional provisions of Act 13 that required...


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Office Information

Kathleen D. Wilkinson

Independence Square West, Suite 1130 East
PhiladelphiaPA 19106-3308




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