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Robert G. Devine Partner

Chair, Litigation Department and Catastrophic and Excess Liability Group
Philadelphia, PA | Direct 215.864.7000
Cherry Hill, NJ | Direct 856.317.3647 | Fax 856.317.3607
 | deviner@whiteandwilliams.com
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As a trial lawyer for 25 years, Robert Devine has been preparing for and trying cases in multiple jurisdictions, achieving maximum results – whether it’s obtaining a settlement or verdict – across all of his practices.  Bob concentrates his practice in the areas of catastrophic loss matters, construction litigation, employment law, commercial litigation, professional liability, products liability, premises liability, transportation law and dram shop liability.  Bob represents both insured and self-insured entities.  He also serves as regional and local counsel for manufacturers, trucking companies, general contractors, retail convenience food markets and other commercial enterprises.

He is looked to by major excess carriers to try some of their most difficult and largest exposure matters pending in the region.

As Chair of the Litigation Department, Bob manages over 70 attorneys in six offices where the White and Williams LLP commitment to excellence in providing optimal results in a cost-effective manner is carried forward into every one of the departments’ lawyers’ practices.  In addition, Bob is a member of the firm’s Executive and Partner Compensation Committees.  As Chair of the Catastrophic and Excess Liability Group, the focus is maintained on fully and completely preparing matters for trial, at any retention point along the life cycle of the file, which permits the rather unique service of trial lawyers bringing additional levels of analysis, trial strategy and courtroom trial technique to be realized.

During law school, Bob served as an associate editor of the Rutgers Law Journal

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict on behalf of a regional material handling service and supply company after a six-week trial involving wrongful death and survival claims. Plaintiff alleged damages arising from negligent maintenance of a pallet truck involved in a warehouse accident. Retained as lead counsel shortly before initial trial date with a demand at $15 million (Superior Court of N.J., Camden County)
  • Represented an international engineering/construction services company in a construction site accident case where an ironworker alleged traumatic brain injury after being struck by a knuckle boom crane. Retained ten days before trial with a $10 million demand. Filed five motions in limine, retained and served five expert reports (lifecare, economics, vocational, life expectancy and liability) and joined subcontractor employer for contractual indemnity all within ten days. Case settled for $1.5 million (partially structured and less than half economic damages) after four days of trial (Superior Ct. of N.J., Middlesex County)
  • Represented international sporting goods manufacturer in a product liability action involving a youth baseball aluminum bat which allegedly permitted dangerous batted ball speeds. The Plaintiff was a 12-year-old male pitcher hit in the chest with a batted ball causing commotio cordis (extremely rare condition whereby heart stops) and subsequent catastrophic brain injury. Settled on the eve of trial after mediation and mock trial (Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County)
  • Commercial trucking accident which rendered plaintiff wheelchair bound; retained as lead counsel five days before trial commenced; case settled for $2.9 million after three days of jury selection; eve of trial demand was $4.9 million (Superior Court of NJ, Bergen County)
  • Fatal bus accident involving a two-year-old pedestrian girl; retained as co-counsel at conclusion of discovery; settled on eve of trial for $2.65 million (Superior Court of NJ, Middlesex County) 
  • Commercial premises/products liability claim brought by delivery driver alleging infectious process from food waste caused total disability; retained during discovery; settled during trial for $8.85 million (Superior Court of NJ, Middlesex County) 
  • Products liability case involving residential furniture retailer/manufacturer which arose from death of three-year-old female; retained as lead counsel after discovery; settled at mediation for $2.3 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Commercial motor vehicle accident case which rendered 40-year-old father catastrophically brain-injured; retained as lead counsel after discovery; settled on eve of trial for approximately $10.6 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Premises liability case in which a 30-year-old plaintiff medical student suffered debilitating spinal injuries; retained as lead counsel after discovery and one-month prior to trial; high-low agreement secured during trial resulted in $18 million settlement after three-week jury trial verdict for
    $85 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Construction site fatal accident where construction worker killed from fall down elevator shaft; retained as lead counsel after discovery; settled on eve of trial in excess of $4 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Products liability case involving commercial refrigeration equipment discharging refrigerant damaging material inventory of stored product; retained as lead counsel during discovery; trial demand was $26 million; jury verdict of $5 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Fatal commercial trucking accident involving plaintiff physician and a nationwide trucking company; retained as co-counsel near the conclusion of discovery; settled for $1.75 million, below the excess carrier's layer of coverage (Superior Ct. of NJ, Essex County)
  • Commercial trucking accident case in which the plaintiff college student lost his leg due to a head-on accident; retained after discovery; pre-trial settlement of $2.9 million (Superior Ct. of Delaware, Kent County)
  • Products liability case involving nationwide retailer and garage door opener manufacturer where four-year-old plaintiff was rendered a spastic quadriplegic when she was trapped beneath a garage door; retained as co-counsel; pre-trial settlement of $4 million with $2.2 million structured (U.S. District Court for the Western District of PA)
  • Premises liability case involving a catastrophically brain-injured and permanently disfigured 12-year-old boy; retained as lead counsel for resort shortly before trial; case settled three days into trial for approximately $4.8 million (Court of Common Pleas, Lehigh County, PA)
  • Products liability case involving industrial manufacturer of packaging equipment which allegedly caused 29-year-old forklift operator spinal injuries rendering her wheelchair-bound; retained as lead counsel and settled on first day of trial for $700,000 (Court of Common Pleas, Westmoreland County, PA)
  • Products liability case involving manufacturer of cherry picker in which plaintiff electrician alleged permanent disability due to electrocution; retained during expert discovery as lead counsel; settled at mediation for $3 million, below excess coverage (Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, PA)
  • Products liability case involving handgun manufacturer in which 8-year-old plaintiff was shot in head by 15-year-old resulting in significant head and brain injuries; retained as co-counsel after discovery; settled on eve of trial for $1.3 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Products liability case involving a vehicle dealer which arose from passenger van rollover causing four deaths and seven injuries; retained as lead counsel after discovery; settled after multiple mediation sessions below the excess carrier's layer of coverage (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
  • Products liability case involving nationwide manufacturer of an underground propane tank which allegedly leaked causing a home to explode, killing a 32-year-old father of two; retained as co-counsel; settled during the first day of trial for $9 million (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County) 

Recognition & Involvement

Bob has been AV® Preeminent™ rated by the Martindale-Hubbell rating system.

For 15 years, Bob was involved in the community serving as coach for youth soccer, baseball and basketball.  

Events

Bar and Court Admissions

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Supreme Court

Education

Rutgers University School of Law, JD, cum laude, 1986 

Rider College, BA, magna cum laude, 1983

Memberships

American Bar Association

New Jersey Bar Association

Pennsylvania Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Pennsylvania Bar Association 

Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel

Philadelphia Bar Association

Trial Attorneys of New Jersey