Peter J. Neeson, a practicing trial attorney for 35 years, is Chair of Rawle & Henderson’s Environmental, Toxic and Mass Torts Department where he concentrates his practice in those areas. As part of his departmental responsibilities, Mr. Neeson has been involved in the defense of numerous toxic tort matters in multi-district and class action cases in both state and federal courts, including, but not limited to, formaldehyde, multiple chemical sensitivity, sick building, latex glove, benzene, underground storage tank, orthopedic bone screw, pharmaceutical and asbestos litigation including the defense of over 3,000 such cases against a major manufacturer. He has also participated in the defense of several generators in CERCLA superfund cases. Mr. Neeson has been the National Coordinating Counsel for a major insurance carrier in the FRT litigation and has had National Coordinator responsibilities in the asbestos, latex glove and the PPA pharmaceutical drug litigations.
Mr. Neeson is a frequent writer and speaker on litigation issues and is the author and/or editor of a number of publications, including his efforts as the editor and co-author of a 1995 ABA-TIPS book on the Comprehensive General Liability Policy. Mr. Neeson is the past Chair of Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee of the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, a former member of its governing Council, and ten years ago spearheaded the development of the National Trial Academy in conjunction with the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Utilizing state of the art technology, the National Trial Academy is widely recognized as the premier forum of its kind in which to train young lawyers how to try jury trials. In February of 2004 Mr. Neeson was elected as Vice Chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. He assumed the chairmanship of this ABA Section in August of 2006. In that same year, Mr. Neeson founded and co-inaugurated the TIPS Leadership Academy, a diversity program specifically designed to develop and train future community and bar leaders. It was the first national bar association program of its kind. In 2012, the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section awarded Mr. Neeson its most prestigious honor, the James K. Carroll Award for outstanding leadership qualities and service to the Section. Mr. Neeson is also a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and a past member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Association of the Defense Counsel.
Among his pro bono activities, Mr. Neeson was Vice Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Eastern Pennsylvania, a current member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, the City’s civic/business facilitator for the promotion and development of sporting events in the City, past President of the Philadelphia Amateur Sports Corporation, General Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee for Philadelphia Women’s Basketball 2000, the local organizing committee for the NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball tournament and an Executive Committee Member for the 2003 U.S.G.A. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship held in Philadelphia. More recently, Mr. Neeson has been asked to serve as general counsel and the Chair of the Board of the Biotech Foundation, an innovator of new vaccine and biofuels technology and as general counsel and a member of the Board of Trustees of Philadelphia 2016, Philadelphia’s effort to bid for the summer Olympics in 2016. Since 2009, Mr. Neeson has been a member of the Broad of Directors of the National Judicial College, the organization which trains the country’s state court judges. He was asked to serve as Chairman of the Board and has assumed that position as of June 2014.
Mr. Neeson graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Aero Space Mechanical Engineering in 1970 and from the University of Miami (cum laude) with a J.D. in 1978. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New York, and has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Neeson was individually honored when he was selected by his peers in an extensive nomination and polling process conducted by Law & Politics as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers from 2004 through 2014. He was selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources by Martindale-Hubbell.
Pennsylvania: Asbestos Litigation – "Every Exposure" Theory Rejected, Rawle's Reports, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2012
ABA-TIPS Reference Handbook on the Comprehensive General Liability Policy (1995 Publication) (Editor)
Voir Dire: A Trial Technique in Transition, The American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Volume 4, Number 3, Page 23 (Spring 1981)
The Current Status of Architects’ and Engineers’ Malpractice Insurance, Insurance Counsel Journal, January 1978
- New York
University of Notre Dame (B.S., 1970)
University of Miami (J.D., cum laude, 1978)
National Judicial College (Board of Trustees)
American Bar Association , Tort and Insurance Practice Section
Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee,
Chair-Elect, 1992-1993, Chair, 1993-1994, 2006-2007
Philadelphia Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association (Member, Executive Council, Young Lawyers Division, 1983-1985)
Defense Research Institute
Pennsylvania Defense Institute
Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel (Executive Committee, 1994-2000)
U.S. Olympic Committee for Eastern Pennsylvania (Vice Chairman)
Philadelphia Sports Congress (Member of the Board of Directors)
Philadelphia Womens Basketball 2000 (“PWB 2000”) (General Counsel/Executive Committee)
Philadelphia Amateur Sports Corporation (President)
The Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia (Board of Governors)