Christopher E. Dougherty

Director, Professional Liability Department
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman, Executive Committee
Shareholder

Chris is the Director of the Professional Liability Department with responsibility for 16 practice groups and approximately 150 attorneys. In 2013, Chris became a member of the firm's Executive Committee, a three member entity that governs the day-to-day operations of the firm, and now serves as the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Chris also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors since being elected to the position in January, 2014. 

Since joining Marshall Dennehey in 1991, Chris has developed an extensive defense practice in a wide range of litigation areas:  professional liability, construction litigation and product liability. His aptitude for managing people and legal practices led to his leadership roles on the top governing bodies of the firm.

Chris graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy in 1978 and received his juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 1985, graduating magna cum laude.

From 1978 to 1991, Chris served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. From 1991 to 2004, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and retired in the grade of Colonel. During this time, among other responsibilities, Chris served as a General Courts-Martial certified Military Judge.

Significant Representative Matters

Defended manufacturer of pepper spray in federal court in a product liability/police excessive force suit for wrongful death. Motion for summary judgment obtained. 

Defended suit against an attorney wherein it was alleged the attorney improperly prosecuted the underlying action resulting in no recovery. Proved at trial that client attorney's tactical decisions were sound and judicious and underlying result not attributable to attorney neglect. 

Defended suburban Philadelphia Economic Area Development Corporation in a breach of contract suit brought by land developer to recover $15 million in lost economic opportunities. Tried to verdict with $18,000 recovery only.

Defending for over 17 years the manufacturer, designer and distributor of automobiles, ATVs, motorcycles and varied powered equipment in wrongful death, personal injury and breach of warranty actions.

Defended manufacturer of carbon monoxide detector in wrongful death suit. Settled for nuisance value.

Defended construction manager of major Philadelphia construction project at which worker fell off ladder to concrete two floors below. Settlement made with no money paid by our client.

Coordinate pleadings and discovery for manufacturer of medical-surgical devices in national litigation. 

Tried a breach of contract case for a utilities contractor versus Penn Dot, and prevailed, recovering in excess of $500,000.

Tried a breach of contract/indemnity action for a construction manager versus one of its sub-contractors and prevailed in recovering in excess of $750,000.

Representative Cases

Smith v. Honda, 846 F.Supp. 1217 (M.D. Pa. 1994) 

Weiner v. Honda, 718 A.2d 305 (Pa. Super. 1998)

Price v. Brown, 680 A.2d 1149 (Pa. 1996)

Kukowski v. Homesburg S.C., 739 A.2d 597 (Pa. Super. 1999)

Classes/Seminars Taught

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty, Philadelphia, 2010

Preventing Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethics Complaints in Your Law Practice, Union League, Philadelphia, October 2010

Multistate Update on Insurance Agent and Brokers' Errors and Omissions Liability and Risk Management Issues, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Seattle, WA, September 2010

Preventing Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethics Complaints in Your Law Practice, Union League, Philadelphia, October 2009

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty, Philadelphia, 2008

MDWCG Trial Advocacy Program, Chairman, 2003 - Present

Product Liability Defenses, Insurance Institute of Philadelphia, 1998

Trial Evidence, Instructor, Coastal Carolina College, 1987

Published Works

"Talkin' 'Bout Their Generation -- Don't Believe the Hype," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, September/October 2018

"Shifting Indemnity to Sub-Contractor For Negligence of Owner Or General Contractor: Perry/Ruzzi Doctrine Is Alive And Well In Pennsylvania," Defense Digest, Vol. 11, No. 2, June 2005 and Pennsylvania Defense Institute, January 2006

"Pennsylvania Superior Court Limits Use Of Frye When Seeking To Exclude Expert Scientific Evidence," Defense Digest, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2003

"Plaintiff's Conduct May Be Admissible In A Products Liability Suit-It Depends On What You Call It," Civil Litigation Update, Vol. 7, No. 1, Winter 2002 and Pennsylvania Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section Newsletter, Winter 2002 and Defense Digest, Vol. 7, No. 3, June 2001

"Hold Onto Your Defense Evidence If You Want To Move For A Non-Suit," Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 6, December 1999

"Acura Integra Coupe Is Not Intended For Truckin'," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, August 9, 1999; Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 1, February 1999

Admissions
Florida
1986
Pennsylvania
1988
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
1988
U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
2002
Education
Stetson University College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1985)
United States Naval Academy (B.S., with honors, 1978)
Honors & awards
American Bar Association Young Military Lawyer's Award, Toronto, Canada
1988
AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
Legion of Merit
2005
Meritorious Service Medals for Legal Achievement
1988, 1991
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
2007-2009, 2014-2019
Associations & memberships
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
American Bar Association (Lawyers' Professional Liability Consortium)
Florida Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pennsylvania Defense Institute
Philadelphia Bar Association
Year joined
1991