Charles “Chip” Becker is a partner at Kline & Specter, PC, where he has primary responsibility for the firm’s post-trial and appellate practice. He also works with firm lawyers on numerous issues as they arise in the firm’s cases, including case and claim selection, venue and dispositive motions, in limine motions, trial strategy, and settlement. He has briefed and argued cases in all of Pennsylvania’s appellate courts and in several federal appellate courts, primarily the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Through his appellate work, Becker has helped the firm protect numerous jury verdicts and rulings in plaintiffs’ favor. He also has helped win new trials in cases that resulted in defense verdicts. For example, in Polett v. Public Communications, Inc., Becker persuaded the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to reinstate a substantial verdict in the plaintiff’s favor after an intermediate appellate court ordered a new trial. In Stange v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Becker persuaded the Superior Court to affirm a plaintiff’s verdict in pharmaceutical litigation, reverse a trial court order dismissing the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, and remand for further proceedings on punitive damages. In L.R. v. School District of Philadelphia, Becker persuaded the Third Circuit to allow a civil rights lawsuit to proceed under the “state created danger” approach to proving due process violations. Becker has been involved in non-personal injury matters as well. For example, in Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., acting as pro bono counsel on appointment of the Third Circuit, Becker persuaded the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to interpret an oil and gas lease favorable to landowners on an issue of first impression in Pennsylvania law.
Becker is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a group of experienced appellate advocates committed to advancing the administration of justice and the highest standards of professionalism in the appellate courts. He serves on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Commission on Judicial Independence, which promotes understanding about the rule of law and the role of the judiciary in civil society. Becker currently is the president of the Third Circuit Bar Association, which strives to promote the quality of advocacy and practice in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Third Circuit. He is a member of the American Law Institute.
Becker recently completed ten years of service on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Courts Procedural Rules Committee, which advises the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the development and improvement of its appellate rules. He taught appellate advocacy for five years as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also chaired the Appellate Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. A graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School, Becker served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sandra L. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Becker was named as among the Best Lawyers in America by the independent peer-review rating service for 2013-2019. He was selected among the best attorneys in Pennsylvania by Super Lawyers from 2011-2020, including among the Top 100 for 2019 and 2020. He previously had been chosen by that independent rating service as a "Rising Star,” considered among the best 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state 40 or younger. In 2006, he was named a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by American Lawyer Media. Becker was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2020. He has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Becker lectures frequently at continuing legal education programs on substantive issues and on handling civil appeals. He is a chapter co-author of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Third Circuit Practice Guide and a contributor to the Third Circuit Bar Association’s Practice Guide for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He recently co-authored two chapters in The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania—Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684-2017. (Read chapter) Becker is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Third Circuit Bar Association, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice.
News Featuring Charles Becker:
- Waiver Issue Sinks Dispute Over Whether Pa.'s Business Registration Law Establishes Jurisdiction, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/26/20
- Court backs new trial after mesh defense verdict, legal Intelligencer, 4/17/20
- Becker Argues Risperdal Statute Issue Before PA Supreme Court, PCN, 5/16/19
- Report must be released, Becker quoted in priest sex abuse grand jury report, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/10/18
- Becker Interviewed On Supreme Court Judge Nominations, CBS 3, 7/9/18
- Pa. Court Won't Junk Risperdal Verdict Against J&J Unit, Law360, 2/20/18
- Superior Court Upholds Reduction of $26.6M Verdict in Knee Injury Case, The Legal Intelligencer, 12/18/17
- Chip Becker Comments On Seth Williams Trial, CBS 3 6/18/17
- Chip Becker Comments On Bill Cosby's Sexual Assault Trial, CBS 3, 6/5/17
- Judge Rejects Bid to Overturn $5M Sex Abuse Verdict, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/30/17
- Becker comments on possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees, CBS 3, 1/30/2017
- NCAA Brought Back Into Suit Over Student's Death, The Legal Intelligencer, 5/4/16
- Becker comments on NFL settlement, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/18/16
- Becker interviewed on gun control issue, CBS 3, 1/5/15
- Pennsylvania Ban on Trade Name Use Felled; Remainder of Funeral Industry Law Stands, Becker comments, U.S. Law Week 2/25/14
- Eye on the Bench, First Circuit’s Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, Becker comments, U.S. Law Week 2/25/14
- Pa. Supreme Court refuses to hear Blumer appeal, verdict stands, The Legal Intelligencer 8/14/12
- Government drops appeal in $17.5M Ellison verdict, The Legal Intelligencer 7/23/12
- Appeal of Judge's Decision on Recusal Must Wait for Outstanding Motions, The Legal Intelligencer 6/28/12
- Becker comments on venue decision Appeal , The Patriot-News, 5/16/12
- Becker files amicus brief in Genuardi case, The Legal Intelligencer 4/12/12
- PA Superior Court panel upholds $8.75M Blumer verdict, PA Law Weekly 5/16/11
- Becker comments on GSK ruling, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/28/11
- Kline, Becker win wrongful firing appeal, The Legal Intelligencer 12/30/10
- Becker interviewed on rare King's Bench petition ruling, The Legal Intelligencer 12/16/10
- Firm wins important decision on expert witnesses, The Legal Intelligencer 11/22/10
- Judge cuts Medicaid lien in Mckinney appeal argued by Becker, The Legal Intelligencer 8/26/10
- Becker wins drug lawsuit venue appeal, Legal Intelligencer, 3/22/10
- Becker comments on the Haun v. Phoenixville Hospital case, The Legal Intelligencer 11/30/09
- Specter, Becker, author article on products liability law, The Legal Intelligencer 11/16/09
- Charles Becker interviewed on product liability doctrine, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 9/21/09
- Specter, Becker author op-ed: The Exxon Decision: Another Bad Call on Punitive Damages, The Legal Intelligencer 11/18/2008; A Response and Rebuttal, PA Justice News 1/09
- Specter, Becker obtain key ruling protecting children's medical expenses, The Legal Intelligencer 11/7/08
- Pre-Emption Issue Weighed in Label Cases, The Legal Intelligencer 12/13/07
- U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal, case concluded, The Legal Intelligencer 11/28/2007
- Kline & Specter Starts Appellate Practice With Addition of Becker, The legal Intelligencer 5/16/2007
- Pittsburgh Judge Applies 1925(b) Waiver in Pro Se Litigant's Appeal, The Legal Intelligencer 5/9/2007
- Opinion Could Bring More 1925(b) Confusion, The Legal Intelligencer 4/4/2007
- Big Verdicts, Big Vacancies Top Phila. Courts' Stories in '06, The Legal Intelligencer 12/21/2006
- Key 1925(b) Appeal To Go Before High Court, The Legal Intelligencer 10/30/2006
- Judges Reject 1925(b) Argument, The Legal Intelligencer 8/30/2006
- 2006 Lawyers on the Fast Track, The Legal Intelligencer 8/28/2006