Paul F. Laughlin

Co-Chair, Behavioral Health Risk and Liability Practice Group

Paul is the supervising attorney of the Health Care Department in the Allentown office and co-chair of the Behavioral Health Risk and Liability Practice Group. He began his career as a prosecutor, but in recent years has focused his professional efforts on matters including medical/professional liability defense, corporate/commercial litigation, construction/real estate litigation and civil rights litigation.

An active trial attorney, Paul has tried in excess of 130 cases to a jury verdict. He has successfully defended countless professional liability matters, including a high percentage of medical and legal malpractice cases. He represents physicians, physician groups, nurses, psychiatrists, hospitals, long-term care facilities and veterinarians in medical liability matters and attorneys, law firms and real estate agents in professional liability actions as well as professional licensing prosecutions. Paul also represents builders and contractors in construction cases, as well as government agencies in civil rights cases.

A frequent participant in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, Paul has received formal training as a mediator through the Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He has been selected to serve as a neutral arbitrator and has been certified to serve as an arbitrator in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Paul received his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame and his juris doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a business editor of The American Criminal Law Review. He then began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office where, as a member of the Homicide Unit, he was entrusted with significant cases including numerous capital murder prosecutions. Paul was also selected to serve as a Special Assistant United States Attorney to assist in the coordination of a joint federal and local arson task force that culminated in the successful investigation and prosecution of the Quaker Lace factory arson, which was subsequently selected as a model for arson investigations and prosecutions nationwide.

Paul maintains an active role in the community. He has served as a member of the advisory board for the Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth and has volunteered as a youth baseball coach.

Significant Representative Matters

Secured defense verdict after a four-week trial on behalf of a physician who was alleged to have been negligent by failing to administer iv-tPa and for failing to transfer patient for advanced stroke treatment. Evidence of damamges presented to the jury was in excess of $20 million.

Successfully defended two neurosurgeons, a neurologist and a hospital in a jury trial involving a 21-year-old male who had been hospitalized following a car accident and subsequently passed away as the result of a ruptured aneurysm.

Secured defense jury verdict in medical liability case involving brain injury allegedly caused by forceps, with damages projected by economists in excess of $50 million.

Secured summary judgment in favor of client in a case involving an accident resulting in paralysis of a child. The verdict against remaining parties exceeded $30 million.

Obtained favorable development in jurisprudence related to venue in medical professional lawsuits and in particular leading to removal of a Lehigh County health care provider from courts in Philadelphia.

Classes/Seminars Taught

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: How the Internet Can Make or Break the Medical Professional Negligence Case, 63rd Annual Joint Meeting of the Lehigh County Bar Association and Lehigh County Medical Society, September 9, 2014

Highlights in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law, 2013 Trends in Health Care and Health Law Seminar, Marshall Dennehey, November 7, 2013  

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Patients, Sacred Heart Hospital of Allentown's Family Practice Residency Program, January 2010

CLE Trial Advocacy Seminar: Closing Arguments, 2008

Anatomy of a Lawsuit, Sacred Heart Hospital, 2007

CLE Seminar on Fraud and Abuse, Insurance Society of Philadelphia, 2006

Mitigation and Litigation, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, 2006

Tort Reform and The Impact Upon Medical Practitioners, presentation for physicians at Sacred Heart Hospital, 2005

Disclosure and Reporting of Medical Errors, presentation for physicians at Pocono Medical Center, 2005

Patient Safety and Risk Management Seminar, presentation for physicians at Easton Hospital, 2005

M-Care Act, Re: Expert Witness, 2003

Death Penalty Litigation, 2001

Cross-Examination, 1997

Expert Witnesses, 1995

Lectures, Re: Closing Argument, Widener University and University of Pennsylvania Law School

Published Works

"Child Protective Services Law: Implications for Behavioral Health Organizations," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, March/April 2021

"Ethics in Government Act," American Criminal Law Review, 5th Survey of White Collar Crime, Volume 26, No. 3, 1989

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1990)
University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1987)
Honors & awards
Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms – Service Recognition Award
Year joined