Denis Lawler has spent his entire career trying cases. Most recently, those matters have involved:
- The defense in arbitration of a supplier who had terminated a long-term supply contract on the grounds of impossibility, resulting in a defense verdict and the award of $1,000,000 in attorneys’ fees under a fee-shifting provision in the contract involved;
- The defense of a seller of a business against claims of breach of warranties and representations in the sale; the liability phase had been lost by predecessor counsel; in the trial of the damages phase, plaintiff’s $30,000,000 claim based on an economist’s report was thrown out, resulting in a minimal award, which in turn led to a filing by the plaintiffs of new actions in federal court under RICO; and most recently,
- The defense of corporate fiduciaries in trust matters before Pennsylvania Orphans’ Courts.
Mr. Lawler has received the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Estates and orphans’ court litigation involving the representations of foreign claimants to Pennsylvania estates, will contests, disputes involving powers of attorney, and disputes involving nonprofit corporations.
Contract matters involving representation of guarantors, builders, developers, landlords, mortgagees, and land owners in various disputes including construction and zoning matters.
Legal professional liability matters involving disputes between law partners, recovery of funds from embezzling attorneys, and defense of malpractice claims.
Government contracts involving various disputes in the Court of Federal Claims challenging government actions involving acquisition of goods and services.
First jury trial: the defense of first-degree murder charge, one year out of law school, with his father at counsel table, resulting in a voluntary manslaughter verdict.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Mr. Lawler is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Philadelphia County (2011-2017).
- He served as a board member and past president of The Lawyers’ Club of Philadelphia and St. Joseph’s University Law Alumni.
- He is a member of the Brehon Law Society and North Hills Country Club, where he served on the board and as president.
- Mr. Lawler served as a member of La Salle College High School’s Board of Trustees (2009-2014).
- He is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court (Treasurer 2012-2018).
- He was a founding board member of Philabundance, a food distribution network providing food to the hungry in the Delaware Valley.
- He is a member of the Board of the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Awards and Recognition
- McClanaghan Award, St. Joseph University Law Alumni, November 2004, For outstanding work in the profession and commitment to the University
Articles and Presentations
- Speaker, Archer & Greiner’s 6th Annual Estate Litigation Seminar – Seven Deadly Claims (NJ, May 2018)
- After ‘Reasonable Compensation’ Litigation, Who Pays Trustees’ Attorneys? – Part One
- After ‘Reasonable Compensation’ Litigation, Who Pays Trustees’ Attorneys? – Part Two
- Attorney-Client Privilege: Is There a Fiduciary Exception? Part One
- Attorney-Client Privilege: Is There a Fiduciary Exception? Part Two
- Trustee-Attorney Communications: How Privileged Are They?
- A Warning About Releases: A release to ‘all other persons’ will release all other persons
- Speaker, Archer & Greiner’s 5th Annual Estate Litigation Seminar – Hot Trends: Trust Under Agreement of Edward Winslow Taylor (PA 2017)