Colleen  D. Shields wilmington

Colleen D. Shields



Colleen Shields is an experienced and successful civil litigator with 30 years of first chair jury trial experience. She focuses her practice on defending high-exposure, complex cases in the areas of professional negligence, products liability, premises liability, sexual abuse, and general commercial liability. Colleen has represented physicians and individual health care providers in nearly every medical specialty and has tried numerous medical malpractice cases successfully to defense verdict. Colleen represents community hospitals and academic medical centers in matters involving individual claims as well as class action lawsuits. She also defends manufacturers in science-driven state and multi-district litigation involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Representative Matters

  • Defends hospitals, medical practices and individual health care providers in negligence actions.
  • Defends medical device manufacturers in state and federal multi-district litigation.
  • Defends pharmaceutical companies in federal multi-district litigation.
  • Defends attorneys in legal negligence actions.
  • Defends professionals under errors and omissions policies in the areas of insurance, accounting, engineering, and architecture.
  • Multiple jury defense verdicts in medical negligence cases against hospitals and individual physicians involving issues in internal and family medicine, emergency care, general surgery, neurology, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, urology, geriatric care, dermatology, cardiology, radiology, anesthesia, and pain management medicine.
  • Significant experience in defending nursing homes and long term care facilities in suits involving death and serious injury.
  • Led a trial team that defended several schools, religious orders, parishes, and nonprofit youth-based organizations in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse.

Professional Affiliations

  • Delaware Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute, State Representative for Delaware
  • Defense Counsel of Delaware, Board Member; Past President; Past Vice President; Past Secretary/Treasurer
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), President Elect and National Board Member of the Delaware Chapter
  • International Society of Barristers, Fellow

Community Involvement

  • Padua Academy Board of Trustees, Counsel (2011 – Present)
  • Cab Calloway High School Mock Trial Team, Former Attorney Coach (2005 – 2008)
  • The State of Delaware Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Panel (2004-2005)

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 and 2024 for Commercial Litigation
  • Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion as a Top Lawyer by Delaware Today Magazine, in medical negligence defense and civil litigation
  • Selected for inclusion in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • Padua Academy’s 2015 Non-Faculty Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership
  • 2016 DRI State Leadership Award

News and Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • “Let’s Just Call the Judge (or not): Deposition Civility,” CLE program panelist, Delaware State Bar Association’s Women in the Law Retreat, April 2024.
  • “Motion Practice – Discovery and Expert Disputes,” co-presented for the Delaware State Bar Association and Delaware Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) continuing legal education program, June 2, 2023.
  • Understanding the Malpractice Landscape Post-COVID-19,” Medical Society of Delaware Practice Management Series, November 12, 2020.
  • “ABOTA: American Board of Trial Lawyers,” co-presented at the Delaware State Bar Association’s 28th Annual Women and the Law Section Retreat, February 2020.
  • “Legal Significance of Documentation in the Age of the Audit Trail,” co-presented at the  Kennedy Health Inaugural Emergency Department Symposium, May 2019. 
  • “Legal Significance of Documentation in the Age of the Audit Trail,” co-presented at the Kennedy Health 6th Annual Med Surg Tele Symposium, October 3, 2018.
  • Discovery of Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”), panel moderator for the Delaware State Bar Association program The Nuts, Bolts, and Hard Drives of Trial, December 2017.
  • “Let Your Personality Be Your Profit and Not Your Punishment,” panel presenter at the 25th Annual Women and the Law Section Retreat of the Delaware State Bar Association, March 2017.
  • Preventing and Opposing Apex Depositions of Top Corporate Executives,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2016.
  • “PG Version of Truth or Dare,” panelist, discussion about difficult scenarios involving issues of ethics and civility confronted in daily practice, 23rd Annual Delaware State Bar Association Women and the Law Retreat, March 7, 2015.