Patricia J. Baxter is the Managing Partner of the Philadelphia Office, responsible for the day-to-day management of litigation filed in federal and state courts across the county, with a specific focus in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Patricia is an active trial attorney, who has tried cases to verdict, but who also specializes in early and efficient dispute resolution. She triages every new file at the onset of assignment in order to assess viable exit strategies (i.e. voluntary dismissal, settlement, motion practice and/or trial) and exposure in the context of indemnity, defense costs, and expert fees. Patricia does this to provide our clients, insurers and TPAs with a comprehensive plan of action (weighing liability strengths and weaknesses against exposure, costs and business concerns) within 60 days of assignment in order to implement the appropriate exit strategy and determine viability of early resolution. Patricia also specializes in early Mediations when appropriate, prior to the filing of a Complaint and/or during the pleadings/written discovery phases. If early resolution is not desired by the client or achieved, thereafter she will work closely with risk managers, in-house counsel and insurance adjusters to ensure litigation guidelines are met, within budgets and company guidelines.
Patricia’s practice is concentrated in the areas of 1) products liability (representing manufacturers and distributors of various powered industrial machinery/equipment; industrial/commercial equipment; medical devices; construction equipment; food service products; cosmetic products; aviation component parts; automotive OEM and aftermarket component parts; elevators; plumbing, electrical and lighting fixtures; and recreational equipment and related component parts), 2) aviation (representing airlines and aviation vendors, including skycaps, wheelchair handlers, plane cleaners, baggage handlers, Jetway operators, tarmac mechanics, etc.), and 3) premises liability (representing large commercial landowners and facility management companies with high self-insured retentions).
- Confirm product I.D. Get your eyes on the product!
- Defect specification.
- Risk transfer. By far the most effective early exit strategy you will ever use.
- What are you doing to preserve your evidence?
- Can you bring in the Employer in a product liability action?
- Get to know your product!
- Pointing the finger at the plaintiff in a product liability action is trickier than you think!
- How pointing the finger at the plaintiff in a product liability action is tricky! How to do just that!
- How to “frame” your product liability case, so that you streamline your efforts and focus on what’s important.
- The importance of thinking globally about your product liability case!
- Loving what you do and shout out to mentors.
- Pictures (or CCTV) are Worth a Thousand Words; Failing to Preserve ALL of Them Could Cost You in Court (Apr 4, 2018)
- “Star Wars” or Tincher V. Omega Flex: Will Disney or Pennsylvania Courts Add More Chapters to Their Respective Legacies? (Feb 22, 2018)
- Motion for Summary Judgment: An Arrow Back in the Defense’s Quiver? (Nov 14, 2017)
- Admissibility of Industry-Standards in Product Liability Cases Remains Uncertain (May 24, 2017)
- Patricia Baxter Announced As Speaker For The 2017 Clm Annual Conference. (March 28, 2017)
- Product Defect And Inadequate Warning Claims: We’ve Got A Jury For That (January 25, 2017)
- Defending Product Liability Cases: The Best Defense Remains a Good Offense (March 15, 2015)
- No Product Liability Expert? No Problem (January 6, 2015)
- Preparing Litigation Budgets in the New Product Liability/Tincher Era (January 21, 2015)
- Pennsylvania’s New Product Law Applied Retroactively (February 20, 2015)
- Who Needs Fraud? A Negligent Misrepresentation that a Product’s Design Met ANSI Standards Fuels $5M Punitive Damages Award (Oct 13, 2015)
- Effectively Employing the “Assumption of the Risk” Doctrine in Product Liability Cases: Proving Plaintiff’s Appreciation of All Potential Pitfalls (Oct 6, 2015)
- Downstream Distributor in Product Liability Action Entitled to Indemnification from Manufacturer, Even Absent a Finding of Defect (Sep 25, 2015)
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
Honors and Professional Activities
- 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award for Civil Litigation
- 2014 Speaker, CLM Annual Conference, Walking the Line: Ethical and Practical Considerations in Deciding When and How to Split the Claims and Coverage Files
- 2015 Speaker, Updates/Developments in Product Liability: August 2015 Update
- 2016 Sweeping Developments in Product Liability Insurance: January 2016 Update
- 2016 Speaker, CLM Annual Conference, Product Liability: Tender Issues in Today’s Global Economy
- 2017 Speaker, CLM Annual Conference, Risk Management: balancing the interests of the Insured and Insurer when business concerns and litigation exit strategies are at odds
Areas of Practice
- Insurance Law & Defense
- Products Liability
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Philadelphia Pro Bono Committee
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Widener School of Law, J.D., 1998
- Virginia Tech, B.S., 1995