Prominent trial attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney April Byrd has joined Eckert Seamans in Philadelphia
May 4, 2020
Eckert Seamans is pleased to welcome Member April M. Byrd to the firm’s Philadelphia office. A former federal prosecutor and accomplished trial attorney, Byrd has handled cases in a wide range of practice areas, including product liability and mass torts, business disputes, toxic tort, and white collar. In addition, she has defended companies and executives against investigations and prosecutions conducted by federal and state governments, organized and directed complex internal investigations, and advised clients on various compliance issues. Byrd joins from the law firm of Shook Hardy & Bacon.
“April has earned a reputation as a dynamic trial lawyer with years of experience both as a prosecutor and in private practice,” said Albert M. Bixler, Member-in-Charge of the firm’s Philadelphia office. “April adds significant depth and strength to our litigation practice, and her expertise and counsel will be a tremendous benefit to the firm’s clients.”
”I was drawn to Eckert Seamans’ litigation track record and culture of teamwork,” said Byrd. “I look forward to collaborating with talented lawyers across a wide range of industries.”
Byrd has successfully represented clients in the flavorings, fragrance, pharmaceutical, personal care, health care, retail, chemical, and other industries in both individual cases and multidistrict, mass tort and class action litigation, including the defense of putative ADA public accommodation class actions. Beyond her trial work, she has substantial experience developing case strategy, working with experts, taking and defending key witness and expert depositions, building the company story, and directing dispositive motion practice. She regularly appears in various federal and state courts.
Byrd’s extensive trial experience includes her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Districts of Delaware and Washington, D.C., where she successfully first-chaired numerous federal jury trials and state jury and bench trials in a variety of complex prosecutions, including high-profile political corruption cases. As an AUSA, Byrd also successfully defended numerous federal appeals, including an appeal to the Third Circuit that resulted in a favorable ruling on an issue of first impression. She began her career as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she defended multi-million dollar tort litigation brought against the United States in federal courts throughout the country.
Active in the profession, Byrd is active in the professional development of junior attorneys and law students, with an emphasis on trial and oral advocacy skills. She regularly serves on the faculty of trial advocacy programs and has been an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Villanova University School of Law for many years.
Byrd’s leadership extends beyond her law practice into prominent roles of professional organizations, including President-Elect and Counselor of the J. Willard O’Brien Villanova Law American Inn of Court and past service on the editorial board of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s publication, The Philadelphia Lawyer. In 2014, she became a Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Byrd is also involved in her community in various organizations, including the National Association of University Women Suburban Philadelphia Branch, of which she was a charter member. She is the proud mother of a rising fifth-grader.
Byrd received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law (1995), where she served as a managing editor for the Villanova Law Review. She received her B.A., cum laude, from Swarthmore College (1991).