From our offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, McDonnell & Associates provides exceptional individualized legal services to some of our nation’s largest corporations. We are a mid-sized litigation boutique with the experience of a large law firm. Our professionals represent businesses in the practice areas of employment law, transportation, premises liability, premises security, and products liability. Our lawyers have tried over 100 jury trials to defense verdicts in multiple jurisdictions. The firm’s lawyers frequently serve as national or consulting counsel to a Fortune 5 corporation in catastrophic medically complex cases; and have created a network of preeminent medical experts to assist with the defense team. The firm also has special expertise in litigation arising from criminal acts of third parties where there are allegations of inadequate security or the misuse of firearms. In defending complex and catastrophic cases, our professionals utilize focus groups, mock trials, and on-line opinion exercises to develop favorable data-proven strategies and risk analysis. We have adapted the same winning strategies to employment and other complex business litigation.
McDonnell & Associates actively promotes women and minorities in its hiring and promotional practices. Among the firm’s leadership, 75% of our partners are women and 25% are minorities. Further, McDonnell & Associates actively recruits and partners with other diverse suppliers for goods and services utilized by the firm. The firm is active in the community; and most of our attorneys serve in various capacities with many charities.
As Co-founder, President, and Managing Partner of McDonnell & Associates, Courtney Seda McDonnell has worked to build a diverse law firm that caters to the needs of each client, gives back to the community, and provides professional growth opportunities to the firm’s attorneys. Courtney has strived to assemble a diverse team of attorneys that provide high-quality, creative, and cost-effective legal services to businesses.
Courtney handles all of the business, financial, marketing, recruiting, and administrative aspects of the firm. She also supervises client accounts and the attorneys’ case assignments. As part of her commitment to diversity, Courtney actively recruits diverse vendors to provide services to the firm. In 2014, Courtney received the SmartCEO Brava Award for outstanding female entrepreneur.
Committed to the success of women attorneys and work-life balance, Courtney created a flex-time program that currently benefits more than 46% of the firm’s attorneys. Courtney has spoken on the topic of diversity and work-life balance on several occasions, including for a “Fortune 500” Company and the National Association of Women Lawyers. Courtney is an active member and supporter of the National Association of Women Lawyers and the National Association of Women Business owners. Courtney is also a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms.
Courtney is passionate about “giving back.” To that end, Courtney is very involved in community outreach and instills this principle into the firm culture. For several years, Courtney served as a pro bono attorney with the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Courtney was recognized by the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania for exemplary pro bono work and was enrolled in the Pro Bono Honor Roll in 2010 and 2011. Courtney is currently working as a volunteer for the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Courtney is also an active supporter and volunteer for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, Unite for HER, and the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation.
As a trial attorney, Courtney focuses on the firm’s premises liability and premises security cases. She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Courtney has tried several cases to verdict and is an active part of the trial team at the firm.
Before attending law school, Courtney taught Latin at a prestigious private school and participated overseas in the study of classical language and archeology. Courtney graduated from The Dickinson School of Law in 1995, where she was a write on candidate for Law Review. Courtney graduated from Dickinson College in 1991 and was a member of the Honorary Society for Latin majors.
Directory Listing Information
McDonnell & Associates, P.C.
PENNSYLVANIA:king of Prussia NEW JERSEY:
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:ADA (litigation) LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:ADA (compliance) LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Agency Investigations LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Arbitration LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Drafting Employee Handbooks / Policies / Documents LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:FMLA (litigation) LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:FMLA (compliance) LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Harassment / Discrimination / Retaliation LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Internal Investigations LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:Title VII PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION: TORT: TRANSPORTATION:
Serve as coordinating and trial counsel for a large retailer for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS”), traumatic brain and spinal cord injury cases throughout the country. In that capacity, we recently obtained a defense verdict in New Jersey arising from a display collapse where the plaintiff demanded multi-million dollar damages allegedly due to CRPS treated with multiple surgical and interventional procedures.
Successfully defended a catastrophic multiple-fatality motor vehicle accident in two separate jurisdictions where the plaintiffs claimed that an employer required its manager to work a 22-hour shift before he fell asleep at the wheel during his drive home. In cases of first impression, both federal and state courts separately rejected any employer’s duty to prevent a fatigued employee from operating his personal vehicle to drive home.
Successfully defended a workplace shooting for a large retailer where a customer purchased ammunition and then shot his wife, an off-duty employee, in the back of the store. The District Court and then the Third Circuit held that an employer has no duty to prevent domestic violence at the workplace and an ammunition retailer has no duty to screen purchasers for signs of mental illness or homicidal tendencies.
Defended premises security case in Massachusetts that involved an assailant who abducted a young mother and toddler from a parking lot and traumatized them physically and mentally for several days. The plaintiff claimed that the parking lot offered inadequate security. The firm was retained only a few weeks before trial and conducted mock trials before focus groups to develop the most effective trial strategy. After the firm obtained multiple in limine orders that limited the types of “other crime and incidents” evidence plaintiff could present at trial, which essentially resulted in partial summary judgment for her key liability theory, the case settled on terms favorable to the client.
Served as defense counsel in formulating a national trial strategy for “take home” asbestos cases. Focus groups were conducted in multiple magnet jurisdictions throughout the country to test themes and evaluate likely jurors’ reaction to certain epidemiological evidence.
Defended a premises security case that involved an assailant abducting a young mother and toddler from a parking lot. During a drug fueled crime spree, the assailant carjacked the plaintiff’s vehicle and forced her to drive to multiple locations where he raped her in the presence of her toddler. The plaintiff claimed that the parking lot offered inadequate security. Patrick was retained only a few weeks before trial due to an illness of prior defense counsel. Firm utilized focus groups to develop successful defense narratives and learn the demographics of likely favorable jurors. The firm also filed multiple successful motions in limine that effectively limited the types of “other crime and incidents” evidence that plaintiff could present to establish negligent security. Following the rulings on the evidentiary motions and Patrick McDonnell's opening statement that stressed themes developed during the focus group sessions, the case settled on terms favorable to the client.
Retained by corporation-defendant to serve as coverage and monitoring counsel to secure indemnity and “ready the case” prior to trial. Plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a defective toy and filed a product liability suit against the insolvent manufacturer and retailer. Firm obtained insurance coverage for the retailer despite the manufacturer’s insolvency and effectively utilized focus group to “try” the case before negotiating a favorable settlement. The focus group sessions demonstrated that a jury was likely to consider the plaintiff’s own fault in causing the accident even though the injuries were severe.
Successfully defended a large manufacturer of space heaters to a defense verdict where it was alleged that a large commercial rental property was destroyed in a fire due to manufacturing and design defects.
Massachusetts New Jersey Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania