April M. Byrd
April M. Byrd is an accomplished trial attorney who has handled cases in a wide range of practice areas, including product liability and mass torts, business disputes, toxic tort, and white collar. A former federal prosecutor, April 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.
An experienced trial attorney, April 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
April’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, April 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. April 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.
April 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.
April’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. April 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.
- Serve as trial and national counsel for international flavorings company in multi-jurisdictional “popcorn lung” litigation;
- Served as expert counsel for key defense expert whose trial testimony helped secure complete defense verdict in multi-district pharmaceutical litigation;
- Successfully tried complex breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims, resulting in verdict for client;
- Defeated class certification in putative ADA public accommodation class action; obtained dismissal of putative ADA public accommodation class actions on the pleadings;
- Obtained summary judgment on employee’s Millison claims resulting in dismissal of toxic tort litigation;
- Conducted internal investigation in response to a whistleblower complaint that uncovered widespread fraud; counseled client on development and implementation of a comprehensive compliance program;
- Successfully represented medical doctor before licensing board on issues relating to telemedicine;
- Represented witness in federal healthcare criminal trial.
- Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Villanova University School of Law
- Villanova Law Alumni Association, President
- J Willard O’Brien Villanova Law American Inn of Court, President-Elect, Counselor, and Executive Committee Member
- Villanova Law Minority Alumni Society, Member of Board of Advisors; Chair of Book Scholarship Committee; and Past President
- National Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association, Past Co-Chair of Minorities in the Profession Committee; Past Editorial Board Member of the Philadelphia Lawyer Magazine
- National Association of University Women-Suburban Philadelphia Branch
- Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Parent Volunteer
- Abington Friends School, Fourth Grade Clerk
Awards and Recognition:
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellow (2014)
News and Insights
- “For Black Attorneys, Floyd Killing Hits Home,” Law360, June 2020.
- “Prominent trial attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney April Byrd has joined Eckert Seamans in Philadelphia,” May 2020.
- “Best Practices in Conducting Internal Investigations,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Legal Primer Virtual CLE (Part 2), August 3, 2021. (recording)