Peter J. Hoffman

Member
Chair, Professional Liability

Overview

Peter Hoffman represents clients in all aspects of discovery, case management, negotiation, trial, and appeals. Peter’s trial practice focuses on complex cases, such as commercial litigation, legal malpractice, antitrust, securities, class action, intellectual property, construction, products liability, toxic torts, and insurance coverage. In addition, a significant portion of his practice is concentrated in medical malpractice, and he tries as many or more of these cases than anybody in the Philadelphia area. Peter has tried numerous high exposure cases to verdict and is often asked to mediate or arbitrate complex civil cases.

Deeply committed to serving the legal profession, Peter dedicates his time to many professional organizations and committees. Notably, he is chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee and was a member of the Hearing Committee for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Governor’s Task Force on Medical Malpractice, and Pennsylvania Senate Select Committee on Medical Malpractice. For his service, Peter has received many accolades throughout his legal career. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization limited to 500 active fellows from the United States, as well as the American College of Trial Lawyers, another invitation-only organization limited to top trial lawyers – one percent of the total population of lawyers. He is also a recipient of the Defense Research Institute’s Fred H. Sievert Outstanding Defense Bar Leader Award and is regularly ranked highly in a number of legal ranking publications.

Peter is an adjunct professor of law at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Prior to joining Eckert Seamans, he was a shareholder in the firm McKissock & Hoffman, P.C.

Representative Matters

  • Served as counsel for limited partners in a major real estate project in Philadelphia achieving favorable result for clients.
  • Served as statewide liaison counsel to health care providers in breast implant and diet drug litigation.
  • Served as lead trial counsel and project manager for over 500 malpractice cases in Maryland alleging unnecessary cardiac stents; led trial teams including a case of 21 consolidated plaintiffs.
  • Served as counsel in a helicopter crash, successfully representing plaintiffs.
  • Served as counsel to hospital in which there were allegations of child abuse by a physician who later was convicted and sentenced to numerous life sentences.
  • Arbitrates and mediates complex civil cases, including medical malpractice, insurance coverage, and child abuse.
  • Served as counsel for a major refinery against plaintiffs seeking compensatory and punitive damages for exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Served as counsel for property owners in litigation against a builder alleging water intrusion, property damage, and mold exposure; successfully obtained compensatory and punitive damages.
  • Contributes to the Pennsylvania General Assembly with respect to legislation regarding medical malpractice, including punitive damages, collateral source rule, and expert qualifications.
  • Successful defense in over 100 medical malpractice cases in Philadelphia County achieving defense verdicts. Most recently achieving defense verdicts for hospitals in two complex cases:
    • Death of a 40-year-old male with a large family for alleging failure to diagnose and treat congestive heart failure.
    • Post-operative vision loss following spine surgery. Co-defendant was found 100 percent liable for verdict in excess of $20 million.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Governor’s Task Force on Medical Malpractice
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Chair of the Civil Procedural Rules Committee
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Hearing Committee for the Disciplinary Board
  • Pennsylvania Senate Select Committee on Medical Malpractice
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • American Hospital Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM)
  • Temple Inn of Court
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers; “Top 10 in Pennsylvania,” “Top 100 in Pennsylvania,” and “Top 100” in Philadelphia
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America
  • Philadelphia Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year,” 2012-2013
  • Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1989 Fred H. Sievert Outstanding Defense Bar Leader Award

News and Insights

Publications

  • “What to Do If You’re Hit With a Scope-Related Lawsuit,” co-authored for Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, December 2018.
  • Risk Management Handbook for Healthcare Organizations, American Society for Health Care Risk Management, 2011.
  • “The Defense Counsel’s Perspective: Medicolegal Issues in Orthopedics,” Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, 2005.
  • Contributing author to Eckert Seamans’ Professional Liability Update, 2007 to present.

Media Coverage

  • “FJD Mulls What Injustice Looks Like – And How to Fix It,” The Legal Intelligencer, October 2011.
  • “Doctor liable despite no patient relationship” American Medical News, August 10, 2009.
  • “Paper record system has its own benefits” Health Risk Management, June 2009.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Civil Law Update,” co-presenter at the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges Mid-Annual Meeting, February 2016, July 2017 and 2018
  • “Civil Litigation Update,” course planner and speaker, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (Course planner for over 20 years.)
  • “Lessons Learned from the Legendary James Beasley, Sr.,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2015.
  • “Updates in Civil Litigation” – Annual co-presenter at the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
  • “Success with Summary Judgment Motions,” co-speaker and co-planner, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, December 4, 2013.
  • “Pennsylvania’s new ‘Apology law,” webinar, Pennsylvania Medical Society, 2013.
  • “New Joint and Several Liability Law in Pennsylvania,” First Judicial District Court, January 26, 2012.
  • “Getting to End Game,” planner and presenter, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, October 21, 2011.
  • “Medical Malpractice,”  Drexel Health Law Society and American Constitutional Society, October 17, 2011.
  • “The Corporate Witness,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2009.
  • Lectured for: the Defense Research Institute, Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvania Defense Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The National Judicial College, Pennsylvania State College of Trial Judges, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, as well as numerous medical and other professional or trade associations.