Christopher P. DePhillips

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Christopher P. DePhillips is Of Counsel to Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, and a key member of the Litigation Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, asbestos litigation, toxic tort, pharmaceutical liability, general liability defense and commercial litigation. He is also Deputy General Counsel and Director of Compliance of Porzio Life Sciences, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the law firm. 

Mr. DePhillips’ approach to litigation defense leads him to determine early on what it will take to remove the client from the case as quickly as possible, whether it is an industrial product that is alleged to have harmed a plaintiff, a piece of equipment that has malfunctioned, an asbestos or pharmaceutical product alleged to have caused a medical injury, or an injury that has occurred on the premises of a client. If early settlement or summary judgment is unlikely, Mr. DePhillips prepares aggressively for trial.

Mr. DePhillips has represented his litigation clients in both national counsel and local counsel capacities. He has national counsel experience in asbestos, product liability, and environmental contamination matters. As local counsel in New Jersey and New York, he has attracted clients from all over the country. His clientele is varied and wide-ranging, which is a testament to his trial experience and the strategic thinking he brings to his cases. He is a leader in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), an invitation-only defense organization.

Clients who look for tenacity and a well-conceived strategy in a lawyer look to Chris DePhillips. He is unusually well-skilled at grasping both the 30,000 foot view and the minute details of the cases he defends for his clients. Clients find that his natural diplomacy and strong interpersonal skills enhance his ability to be effective with them, and with difficult adversaries and judges. Clients never question that Mr. DePhillips is in command of their matters – he carefully balances the details of each matter ensuring that the overall strategy is advanced. He amasses a team that is cohesive and maintains open lines of communication to and from the client. Advocacy is at the heart of his approach, and he is relentless in pursuing his clients’ interests.

Prior Relevant Experience
  • Gibbons, P.C., Director, Products Liability, 2013–2016
  • Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., Principal, 1992–2013
  • Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry, United States District Judge, District of New Jersey, Judicial Intern, 1990
  • Office of the Attorney General, State of New Jersey, Law Clerk, 1990
  • Honorable Marge Roukema, Member, U.S. House of Representatives, Legislative Assistant and Assistant Press Secretary, Washington, D.C., 1987–1989
Organizations/Memberships
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Member, 2010-present.
  • Wyckoff Township Committee, Member (elected position), 2010-2012.
  • Mayor, Township of Wyckoff, N.J., 2012. 
  • LJN’s Product Liability Law & Strategy, Board of Editors, 2009–2013.
  • American Bar Association: Program Chair, TIPS Toxic Tort Committee, Teleconference/Webinar CLE, 2009; Vice-Chair, TIPS Toxic Tort Committee, 2007-2013; Past Chair, TIPS Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee, 2004-2005; Member, ABA TIPS Emerging Issues and Governmental Affairs Committee, 2005-2007; Member, ABA House of Delegates, 1996-2005; Member, ABA Young Lawyers Division, 1994-2001, including Assistant Executive Counsel Coordinator, 1994-1995; National Conference Team, 1995-1996; Resolutions Committee, 1996-1997; and Long Range Planning Committee, 1996-1999. 
  • Defense Research Institute, Toxic Tort Committee, 2007–present.
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice, 2005–2010.
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Judicial Administration Committee, 2004–2005; Legislative Committee, 2003–2005; Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility, 2000–2002; Legislative Coordinator, 1997–1999; Young Lawyers Division ABA District Representative, 1994–1995; Product Liability and Toxic Tort Section Board of Directors, 1993–1995; Young Lawyers Division, Executive Committee, 1993–2001.
  • Community Blood Services, Bergen County, New Jersey, Member, Board of Trustees, 2005–present.
  • Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Member, Board of Trustees, 2005–2009.
  • Wyckoff Education Foundation, member, Board of Trustees, 2007-2010.
  • Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court, 1994–1996.
Publications
  • Co-Author, "NYC Mayor Bloomberg Encourages Cities to Take the Lead in Battle against Climate Change," DRI Today, September 3, 2013.
  • Co-Author, "O Canada! What We Can Learn from Thee? A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Discovery Procedures," DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar, August 28, 2013.
  • "Mississippi Burning II: Eaton v. Frisby and the Ruin of Best Intentions," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, June 24, 2013.
  • Co-Author, "Journey Across the Pond: the Tension Between Broad U.S. Discovery Procedures and Strict EU Privacy and Data Protection Laws," Product Liability Law & Strategy Newsletter, April 2013.
  • Co-Author, "What Can We Learn from Our Neighbors to the North and Our Friends Across the Pond?," Product Liability Law & Strategy, February 2012.
  • Co-Author, "The Products Liability Act, the Economic Loss Rule and the Integrated Product Doctrine,” Law Journal Newsletters, Product Liability Law and Strategy, Vol. 29, No. 12, June 2011.
  • Co-Author, "Climate Change and Global Warming: Avenues for Addressing the Problems," Product Liability Law and Strategy, Vol. 29, No. 6, January 2010.
  • "Recent Corruption Arrests Could Lead To More, And Tougher, Pay-To-Play Laws," Association of Corporate Counsel, Focus on the New Jersey Chapter, August 2009.
  • "NJ Trial Court Dismisses Two Hormone Therapy Cases Against Manufacturers - Warnings Declared Adequate As a Matter of Law,” Product Liability Law and Strategy, Vol. 28, No. 9, March 2009.
  • "The New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds the Constitutionality of the State's Pay to Play Law and Requires Strict Adherence to Its Provisions," Porzio Update, January 2009.
  • "Two Recent New Jersey Cases Suggest Limited Liability for Defendants in Automotive Cases," ABA TIPS Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2008.
  • “Business Beware: Political Contributions Can Cost You Government Contracts,” Porzio Update, August 2008.
  • “New Jersey Court Dismisses Two Hormone Therapy Cases Against Manufacturers: Warnings Declared Adequate As a Matter of Law,” Porzio Update, August 2008.
  • "It's a Small World After All – The FDA and the Challenges Presented by Nanotechnology," DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Newsletter, January 2007.
  • "How the Pharmaceutical Industry is Coming Under Attack — Part I," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, December 2006.
  • “Will Congress Follow the Lead of State Legislatures and Force the Pharmaceutical Industry to Counteract the Methamphetamine Epidemic?,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, November 2005, American Bar Association (ABA) Trial Tort and Insurance Practice Section Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Newsletter, Winter 2006.
  • “Practice Tip: Experts and the Morass of Mass Tort Litigation,” Products Liability Law & Strategy, August 2005.
  • “Federal Class Action Reform Legislation Enacted After Years of Failure,” American Bar Association (ABA) Trial Tort and Insurance Practice Section Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Newsletter, Spring 2005.
  • “How to Keep from Getting Blindsided by E-Discovery,” New Jersey Law Journal, April 26, 2004.
  • “Will Tort Reform Be the Legacy of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund?,” New Jersey Law Journal, September 8, 2003.
  • “Momentum is Gaining for a Legislative Solution to the Asbestos Litigation Quagmire: Will Congress Finally Act?,” International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Newsletter, May 2003.
  • “Now is Congress’ Window of Opportunity to Resolve the Asbestos Litigation Crisis,” New Jersey Law Journal, February 3, 2003.
  • “Asbestos Litigation Is a Crisis Spiraling Out of Control,” New Jersey Law Journal, January 27, 2003.
  • “Removal of a Safety Guard Could Satisfy the Intentional-Wrong Exception,” New Jersey Law Journal, November 4, 2002.
  • “Delegates to ABA Invite Comments,” New Jersey Lawyer, July 30, 2001.
  • “How to Conduct a Product Safety Investigation and Campaign,” For the Defense, Defense Research Institute Committee Perspectives, April 2001.
  • “Should Corporate Officers Face Jail Time For Product Defects?,” New Jersey Law Journal, December 4, 2000.
  • “Dismissal of Toxic Tort Lawsuits Tied to Worker’s Compensation Proceedings,” New Jersey Lawyer, June 5, 2000.
  • “Winning the Proximate Cause War in Workplace Product Liability Cases,” New Jersey Law Journal, November 15, 1999.
  • “Plaintiff’s Habitual Disregard of Safety Warnings May Be Needed To Rebut Heeding Presumption,” Defense Research Institute, ACMIE Newsbrief, Winter 1999.
  • “New OSHA Regs Will Alter Forklift Operator Training,” Leader’s Product Liability Law and Strategy, February 1999.
  • “Habit Evidence Needed To Rebut Heeding Presumption,” Leader’s Product Liability Law and Strategy, December 1998.
  • “Post-Sale Duty to Warn Satisfied by Retrofit Programs,” Leader’s Product Liability Law and Strategy, November 1998.
  • Product Liability Newsletter, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), March 1994.
  • “The Challenge Posed by the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals: A Commentary,” Journal of Products and Toxics Liability (1993).
  • “At the Dawn of a New Day or the Brink of More Confusion—Will the U.S. Supreme Court Answer the Call to Establish Workable Standards for the Admissibility of Novel Scientific Evidence?,” Journal of Products and Toxics Liability (1993).
Speaking Engagements
  • Moderator, “Amended Rules of Civil Procedure - How They are Being Implemented,” The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Winter Conference, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8, 2017.
  • "The U.S. Supreme Court - The Road Ahead," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, September 19, 2016.
  • "The Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are Here: What You Need to Know to Defend Your Clients," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Webinar, December 15, 2015.
  • Co-Chair, "12th Annual Corporate Counsel Symposium," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, New Orleans, LA, September 28-30, 2015.
  • Moderator and Presenter, "Using Proven and Successful Mediation Strategies To Settle the Difficult Cases," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Webinar, December 10, 2014.
  • Program Chair, "Defending the Company: Forecasting, Managing, and Responding to Today's Legal Threats," The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Symposium, Phoenix, AZ, September 18-19, 2014.
  • Moderator and Presenter, "Perspectives on an Effective Mediator," The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Greenbrier, WV, July 31, 2014.
  • "Sampling, Extrapolation, and Experts: What’s Left?" The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Marco Island, FL, March 2, 2014.
  • Moderator and Presenter, "Class Action Settlement Administration," The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, San Antonio, TX, March 2013.
  • Moderator, “Facing Punitive Damages: Company Valuation, Reserves and Other Requirements,” The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, September 13, 2012.
  • Panel Moderator, “Facing Punitive Damages: Company Valuation, Reserves and Other Requirements,” Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, September 13, 2012.
  • "Toxic Torts that Result in Premises Liability:  The Plague That Won't Go Away," ABA TIPS Products Liability Committee Seminar, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 6, 2009.
  • "Hot Topics in Environmental Law: Global Warming and Climate Change," ABA Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, August 1, 2009.
  • "Be on Your Best Behavior:  An Ethics Update for Municipal Lawyers, Lawyer-Lobbyists, Public Officials and Those who Contribute to Them,” New Jersey State Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting, Santa Barbara, California, November 7, 2007.
  • “The Fairness in Asbestos Resolution Act of 2005—A Template for Future Product Liability Reform” and “JCAHO White Paper on Medical Liability Reform,” Presented to the Health Care Institute of New Jersey, Princeton, New Jersey, September 23, 2005.
  • Panelist, “Practice of Law in New Jersey Law Firms,” Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, New York, May 4, 2005.
  • “The Life of an Invention: From Cradle to Class Action,” Panelist on Federal and State Class Action Reform Legislation, ABA Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, August 8, 2004.
  • Panelist, “How to Succeed as a Summer Associate,” Seton Hall Law School, Newark, New Jersey, April 15, 2004.
  • Guest Speaker, Seton Hall Law School Legislative Bureau, Newark, New Jersey, February 12, 2004; November 1, 2001.
  • “ABA TIPS Products Liability Megaconference,” Program Chair, Amelia Island, Florida, June 21-22, 2001.
  • “Avoiding Liability for Employee Claims: Employment Law for Construction Projects in New Jersey,” Presenter on OSHA and Products Liability Issues, Parsippany, NJ, May 9, 2001.
  • “100 Days to Trial,” NJ ICLE Seminar, August 16, 2000.
  • “OSHA Round Table,” Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation, Morristown, New Jersey, August 31, 1999.
  • “The Evaluation and Settlement of Product Liability and Toxic Tort Cases from the General Practitioner’s Perspective,” NJICLE Personal Injury Seminar, July 1993, June 1994.
  • “The Defense Lawyer’s Involvement—Can You Protect the Investigation?,” Transportation Megaconference—Trucking and Motor Carrier Litigation and Catastrophic Motor Vehicle Accidents—ABA Section of Tort and Insurance Practice and the Division of Professional Education, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 5, 1993.
  • “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Anticipated Decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow—The Dawn of a New Beginning for the Admissibility of Novel Scientific Evidence or Just More Confusion,” NJICLE and New Jersey State Bar Association Seminar on Product Liability and Toxic Tort Law, February 6, 1993.

Practice

Industries

Related Media

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1992
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1995
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1998
  • New York, 1999
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2000
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 2000
  • Pro Hac Vice Admissions between 1993 and 2003 in West Virginia, Ohio, Texas and other states
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2008

Education

Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey, J.D., 1992

  • First Place, Appellate Advocacy Competition, 1991
  • National Appellate Advocacy Competition, 1991
  • Articles Editor, Seton Hall Legislative Journal, 1991–1992
  • Author, Can Congress Save RICO from Judicial Overkill?, 15 Seton Hall Legis. J. 545 (1991)
  • Student Attorney, Family Law Clinic, 1991–1992
  • Tutor, Student Tutorial Organization, 1991


Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., B.A., Government-Comparative Politics, Minor—Philosophy, 1987

University of Essex, Colchester, England, Exchange Student in European and Soviet Politics, 1985–1986