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Keith E. Smith
Member

Two Liberty Place
50 South 16th Street, 22nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

P: 215.851.8403
F: 215.851.8383
E: ksmith@eckertseamans.com

Four Gateway Center, Suite 301
100 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102

P: 973.855.4700
F: 973.855.4701
50 West State Street, Suite 1400
P.O. Box 1298
Trenton, NJ 08607-1298

P: 609.989.5098
F: 609.392.7956
V-Card
Keith E. Smith

Keith Smith focuses his practice on commercial litigation, product liability and class action litigation. His practice is devoted to the regional and national representation, in an advisory capacity and as trial counsel, of clients as plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of matters including products liability, class action, warranty, anti-counterfeiting and brand integrity, fire, construction, sexual abuse, employee terminations, restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, employee fraud and embezzlement, contract disputes, and general commercial litigation. His clients include numerous national and international manufacturers of commercial and industrial machinery, automobiles and component parts, food and food products, tobacco, consumer products, textiles, and alloy, carbon, and composite piping. He has represented manufacturers in the defense of numerous national and state class actions involving allegations of product defect, warranty and consumer fraud.

Representative Matters
  • Class action trial counsel for one of the nation’s largest insurance companies in defending litigation alleging, on behalf of a class of medical providers, a failure to pay millions of dollars in interest on hundreds of thousands of bills submitted under state statutes and not paid within thirty days of submission. Obtained dismissal on the merits of common law claims for conversion, unjust enrichment, and an accounting. After the conclusion of the trial, the entire class was decertified based on the evidence as presented at trial;
  • Representing international bank in wage and hour overtime pay class actions under state minimum wage laws and collective action under Federal Fair Labor Standards Act alleging that certain salaried employees have been misclassified as exempt and therefore not entitled to overtime pay;
  • Representing regional multi-state supermarket chain in wage and hour class action litigation under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and collective action under Federal Fair Labor Standards Act claims alleging that supermarket chain is a “joint employer” under such state and federal overtime statutes with contracted vendor of cleaning services;
  • Class action counsel representing an international snack food manufacturer and distributor against claims that independent delivery operators working under a Distributor Agreement are in fact franchisees entitled to various protections and prohibitions on termination found in state franchise practices acts;
  • Class action trial counsel for the U.S. subsidiary of an international automobile manufacturer against allegations of breach of express warranties, implied warranties and violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act in which the defense verdict returned as to the implied warranty of merchantability claim and remaining verdict returned represented a small fraction of the amount claimed on behalf of the class and in line with the terms of previously agreed upon multi-state and national settlements reached after the start of trial;
  • Representing a distributor of musical instruments in a numerous class actions and multi-district litigation pending in the Southern District of California alleging antitrust violations and price manipulation in a hub and spoke conspiracy through the use of suggested minimum advertised pricing policies. Twice obtained the dismissal of the Federal antitrust claims. Oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled for October 2014;
  • Represented a vehicle service contract issuer against individual and class action claims alleging breach of contract, violation of consumer protection statutes and Magnuson Moss claims;
  • Represented as national counsel an international manufacturer of water heaters in successfully defeating numerous national and state class actions (seeking damages in excess of $1 billion) in which class certification was overturned by the Texas Court of Appeals;
  • Represented Japanese automobile manufacturer in nationwide class action alleging property damage resulting from vehicle accidents allegedly connected to recall of vehicle, in which the nationwide settlement of class action was negotiated prior to class certification hearing;
  • Defended a putative national class action against an American subsidiary of a foreign manufacturer of microwave ovens on behalf of a class of over two million purchasers alleging a defective part created an increased risk of fire, in which the case was dismissed with prejudice prior to class certification;
  • Representing the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances in the front-loading washer products liability class action litigation alleging mold problems in certain models of washing machines;
  • Defending insurance group in class action litigation alleging, on behalf of a class of medical providers, a failure to pay interest on invoices submitted under state workers’ compensation statutes and not paid within thirty days of submission;
  • Lead trial counsel to one of the world's quality-leading manufacturers of small household appliances in a fire property damage case alleging defects in a toaster and damages in excess of $500,000 in a fast-tracked case that was tried within ten months of filing the complaint, obtained a defense verdict of no defect;
  • Represented apparel manufacturers and the leading national manufacturer of tuxedos for the rental market in cases arising from claims of defective fusible interlining leading to delamination and buckling of coat fronts in which he obtained successful settlements for several clients and a verdict in New York County Supreme Court in excess of $1.35 million after a six-week jury trial;
  • Representing financial services company and related individuals in various litigation matters arising out of premium finance transactions;
  • Representing a group of investors in securities litigation arising out of misrepresentations made to investors and conversion of investors' funds in violation of investor agreements;
  • Representing developers, general contractors and subcontractors in breach of contract disputes arising from completed and suspended construction projects;
  • Representing national bank in various litigation matters involving enforcement of loan rights, fraud, conversion and conspiracy claims;
  • Represented numerous automotive component part manufacturers in product liability litigation including manufacturers of commercial brake systems, airbags, seat belts and semiconductors used in the automotive industry;
  • Represented individual investor in claims alleging violations of RICO, fraud and civil conspiracy;
  • National representation of a supplier of alloy and carbon pipe fittings to the energy industry as plaintiff and defendant in cases alleging specification deficiencies involving inadequate heat treatment, product deformity, improper composite material and other alleged metallurgical deficiencies;
  • Represented a food product distributor against claims of breach of warranty and fraud alleging that one of its products was infested with beetles when delivered to its customer;
  • Represented a successful candidate’s campaign for the United States Congress in areas of federal regulations in advertising, challenging false advertising, ballot challenges and overseeing vote canvas and certification;
  • Successfully represented plaintiff in a sexual abuse case against a prestigious private boarding school in Princeton, resulting in the New Jersey Supreme Court overturning over 40 years of charitable immunity law (Hardwicke v. The American Boychoir School);
  • Represented German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in personal injury and property damage product liability cases, including crashworthiness and idle fire cases;
  • Represented an international automobile component part manufacturer in “flex-fan” cases across Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region;
  • Represented market leading tobacco company in trademark and brand integrity litigation involving the sale of counterfeit cigarettes and obtained numerous temporary restraining orders, ex parte seizure orders and dozens of permanent injunctions against infringers for trademark violations;
  • Represented one of the nation’s leading technical and engineering recruiting and staffing agencies against a former placement manager for violation of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and obtained a temporary restraining order against the former employee and ultimate dismissal of the former employee from the competing firm;
  • Represented a national leader in the distribution of specialized alloy fittings for the energy industry in a dispute against the former president of an acquired corporation for subsequent violation of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions of post-acquisition consulting agreement;
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest suppliers and installers of home improvement products against a former executive employee who had sold several businesses to the client, and negotiated a seven figure buy-out by the executive of his non-compete obligations, after litigation in federal and state courts and before the AAA.

Practice Groups
Litigation
Class Action Litigation
Product Liability
Food Liability Litigation
Trucking and Logistics

Education
J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1992, Villanova Law Review 1990-1992
B.A., Villanova University, 1989

Admissions
Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Professional Affiliations
Philadelphia Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
New York Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Defense Research Institute, Class Action Membership Chair, Member of the Editorial Board
Villanova School of Law, Board of Advisors
Villanova Law J. Willard O'Brien American Inn of Court

Articles
  • “50 State Class Action Compendium,” author of the Pennsylvania Chapter for the Defense Research Institute, March 2011.


Presentations




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