Joel  M. Doner wilmington

Joel M. Doner



Joel M. Doner practices out of Eckert Seamans’ Wilmington office. He also maintains an active practice in Philadelphia, South New Jersey and actively litigates in the U.S. District Courts of Delaware and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania . His practice focuses on general litigation, with particular emphasis on products liability, mass tort, defective construction, corporate litigation, and personal injury matters. He has significant experience in complex litigation involving insurance coverage, significant property loss, serious personal injuries, and wrongful death matters. Joel has tried cases before juries in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania, and the Superior Court of Delaware. Further, he has argued appeals before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania; New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division; and the Delaware Supreme Court.

Outside of litigation, Joel’s practice involves assisting small businesses in corporate formation, commercial contracts, and advising them on legal issues in order to avoid potential litigation or defend corporate lawsuits.  Further, he has advised several nonprofit organizations on legal matters, both before and after litigation has begun.

Representative Matters

  • Conducted virtual depositions as Lead Defense counsel in multiple asbestos matters, successfully argued motions in the Delaware Superior Court via zoom and court conference systems, since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down live depositions and court hearings.
  • Successfully represented a co-owner in Delaware’s Court of Chancellery matter over a legal dispute between the co-owners of the business.
  • Successfully defended multiple manufacturers, land owners, and contractors in asbestos-related matters in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
  • Argued on behalf of a Delaware contractor before the Delaware Supreme Court, resulting in precedent-setting law on the application of the Delaware Statute of Limitations.
  • Successfully represented a national retail business in trial in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the defense of claims for injuries that occurred on their properties. Including a successful appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court in one matter and obtaining a new trial for the client.
  • Successfully represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan in defense of multiple claims from uninsured plaintiffs who were in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Represented various Pennsylvania insurance companies in defense of a bad faith claims.
  • Represented a national retailer in Federal Court in defense of claims related to an allegedly defective sports drink sold by them at various locations throughout the United States.
  • Successfully represented a New Jersey commercial real estate company in an appeal to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, on a precedent-setting matter in order to recover commissions for the sale of a commercial marina.
  • Advised various insurance companies and corporate clients in evaluating potential claims prior to a filed lawsuit to help determine the carrier’s and or client’s potential course of action.
  • Assisted multiple small businesses in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with corporate formation, dissolution, drafting and analysis of various contracts, and non-disclosure agreements.
  • Assisted several 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with initial formation, contract disputes, harassment policies, and other potential litigation issues.

Professional Affiliations

  • Delaware State Bar Association LGBTQ+ Section; Executive Committee Member, Law School Liaison and Events Committee Member.
  • Delaware Bar Association; Environmental Law Section
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Delaware Delmed Defense Coordinator’s Steering Committee

Community Involvement

  • The Historic Society of Salem County, NJ.
  • The Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, Inc., Legal Advisory Committee.
  • Widener University’s School of Law first year student program, Annual Moot Court Judge
  • Annual Judge at “The Quaker Challenge” which is part of the College National Moot Court Competition hosted at the University of Pennsylvania

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 or 2024 for Litigation – Insurance; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • 2020 – Elected to a 2nd Term to the Executive Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association – LGBTQ+ Section.
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2009-2010 Cambridge Who’s Who Registry of Professionals

News and Insights



Speaking Engagements

  • “Delaware Asbestos Litigation Update,” Perrin Mid-Atlantic Asbestos Litigation Conference, June 2018.
  • “The Importance of ADR,” panelist, Perrin Mid-Atlantic Asbestos Litigation Conference, June 2017.
  • “Sophisticated Deposition Strategies,” National Business Institute, November 2015.
  • Perrin Mid-Atlantic Asbestos Litigation Conference, January 2015.
  • “Cross Examination Techniques,” National Business Institute, June 2014.
  • “Advanced Trial Tactics,” National Business Institute, September 2013.
  • “Asbestos Litigation Tactics,” Asbestos: Current Issues and Effective Litigation Tactics, National Business Institute, November 2011.
  • “Where Are We Now? Litigation Status Update,” Delaware Asbestos Litigation Conference, February 2010.
  • “Civil Liability of Police Officers,” Conference of the D.T.O.A. on Civil Liability for Police Officers, October 2005.


When not at the office, Joel spends his time camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. He also has a strong interest in medieval and colonial history.  He is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., where he engages in armored combat, fencing, and archery.  He is a member of the Salem County Historic Society. He and his wife purchased a colonial era home built in 1757.  Their home was recently featured in a book on colonial brick work.  With whatever free time he has left, Joel spends it with his wife working on their home and gardens.