Shanin Specter has obtained more than 200 jury verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million and more than 50 case resolutions — 17 verdicts — greater than $10 million. Among his verdicts are $153 million against a major automaker and $109 million against an electric power company. Specter's legal victories have included newsmaking, industry-changing cases involving medical malpractice, defective products, medical devices, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents and general negligence.
Specter waged an epic battle against the Ford Motor Co. on behalf of the family of Walter White, a three-year-old boy who was run over and killed when the parking brake in his father's F-350 spontaneously disengaged. Specter won two verdicts in White v. Ford — for $153 million and $52 million. His efforts were chronicled in the book Bad Brake.
Specter won a $109 million jury verdict for the family of Carrie Goretzka, who was killed by a fallen electric line. (See The Goretzka Case) The verdict is the largest contested liability personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania history; the case settled for $105 million, also the Pennsylvania record. The White and Goretzka cases, among others, helped Specter win designation as Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyer of the Year 2016 by the independent rating service Best Lawyers in America.
In 2019, Specter obtained a $75 million settlement in a wrongful death case, the largest pre-trial settlement in a case in Pennsylvania history. In 2020, he achieved a $12.75 million settlement with Monteris Medical Inc. whose medical device broke during surgery and resulted in severe and permanent brain damage to a patient. (Read article) Specter followed that in November 2021 with a $9.7 million medical malpractice verdict -- nearly $11.6 million with prejudgment interest -- against the neurosurgeon and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital involving the same operation. (Read articles)
In July 2023, Specter obtained an $11 million settlement with a Philadelphia social welfare agency for failing to oversee an infant’s care, leading to catastrophic child abuse. The infant suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in quadriplegia and blindness, requiring lifetime skilled care. (See media coverage) The following month, Specter achieved a $6.5 million settlement with Piazza Nissan of Ardmore, Pa., in the case of an 89-year-old woman who was struck and killed while on a sidewalk by a Nissan driver exiting the dealership. (Article coming)
In 2022, Specter achieved a $30 million settlement and safety improvements in a case in which an auto accident involving a commercial vehicle in Delaware County, Pa., caused a seven-year-old child to suffer a severe brain injury.
Beyond winning substantial monetary compensation for his clients, many of Specter's cases have prompted changes that provide a societal benefit, including improvements to vehicle safety, nursing and hospital procedures, the safe operation of police cars, training for the use of CPR at public institutions, and inspections, installation and maintenance of utility power lines. The Goretzka case even spurred the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to create a new Electric Safety Division to investigate reported electrical injuries. Similarly, Specter’s lawsuit – plus television appearances calling for action – on behalf of the victims of a fire escape collapse helped move the City of Philadelphia to enact an ordinance requiring all fire escapes to be regularly inspected by an independent structural engineer.
Specter earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an LL.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University and has compiled a lengthy record of professional accomplishments and accolades. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a group of the best 100 trial lawyers in the country. He is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute. Specter was featured on the cover of Super Lawyers magazine, in which the independent rating service called him one of the most celebrated and respected catastrophic injury litigators in the country.
Specter was the recipient of the Michael A. Musmanno Award, the highest honor conferred by the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. (Read acceptance speech.) He also received the top honor given by the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award "in recognition of those qualities of leadership, service and devotion to the Association's cause." The National Law Journal selected Specter as one of the top ten litigators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while other organizations have named him as among the best attorneys in the state and in the nation.
In 1995, six months after opening the firm with partner Tom Kline, he won a $24.25 million jury verdict for a little girl left severely brain damaged in a swimming pool accident. (See Weightman v. National Realty Corp.) At the time, it was the largest compensatory damage verdict ever awarded in Pennsylvania. Two years later, in Sparber v. DuPont, Specter won a Delaware-record $19.9 million verdict against a hospital after a 15-year-old patient was accosted by a visitor, the attack resulting in catastrophic nerve damage. In 1998 Specter won a $6.8 million verdict for a man injured in a motorcycle accident while wearing a defective helmet. (See Wandel v. Bell Sports, Inc.)
Specter, known for his tenacity and an impeccable attention to detail, has set records in other medical-malpractice cases. In 2000, he won the then-largest medical malpractice verdict in Pennsylvania history for David Caruso, a 20-year-old who was left in a near-vegetative state after receiving negligent care at a Philadelphia hospital. Specter demonstrated his ability to captivate a courtroom in that case, giving a closing speech in which he spoke for Caruso in the first-person, as if he were the young man who would never be able to again enjoy life's simple pleasures. Many in the courtroom were moved to tears, including members of the jury, which awarded $49.6 million.
Among his most well-known cases, Specter in 2001 won an unusually large settlement -- reported in the news media at about $18 million -- in a suit involving a defective BB gun that badly brain damaged and led to the death of a teenage boy. The Mahoney case, and Specter's investigation of the gun, resulted in an exposé on the ABC program 20/20 featuring Specter and led the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to seek the recall of 7.4 million defective Daisy BB guns. The case was the subject of the book Two Boys.
In another case, this one involving the death of a pedestrian run down by a speeding Philadelphia police car, Specter won not only monetary compensation for his client but also important reform for Philadelphia citizens. The Gillyard/Rich case resulted in a $2.45 million settlement against the city under the Civil Rights Act, sparking the police commissioner to mandate extensive training and make driving rule changes to improve police and civilian safety.
In 1997, Specter won a major monetary settlement and also important hospital reforms in a case involving the death of a baby following a cervical cone biopsy performed on his mother during pregnancy. The procedure was conducted at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia even though surgical complications the hospital was not equipped to handle, as the hospital had no department of obstetrics or neonatal unit. The baby, Brandon Molloy, suffered brain damage due to perinatal asphyxia and died seven months later. Under the settlement, Graduate Hospital agreed to halt procedures on pregnant women.
In 2003, Specter won a $20 million compensatory verdict for 19-year-old Hugh Gallagher IV, who was catastrophically injured when nurses at Temple University Hospital failed to respond in time to his blocked airway. After the verdict, Specter prevailed in two appeals before Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the verdict was upheld finally — with interest — when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 2007.
In 2004, he won a $19.1 million verdict for a Hazleton woman struck by a careless driver while she was working as a flagger at a construction site. Teresa McManamon suffered serious injuries that left her unable to care for herself or her three children. The verdict was paid in full in 2007 following appeal.
In a retrial of the punitive damages only in the White v. Ford case, Specter in 2004 again won a major verdict against Ford following a two-week trial in Reno, Nev. The jury awarded $52 million. The verdict was again appealed and the case was settled in 2008.
Later in 2004, Specter won a jury verdict for Nicholas Woolfolk, a two-year-old boy who fell from a window at his Philadelphia apartment complex after a screen popped out of its casing. The child suffered brain damage and blindness in one eye. Because of a pre-verdict agreement, the child received $12.25 million.
A few months later, Specter, along with Lisa Dagostino, won a $7.8 million jury verdict for the family of a baby who suffered brain damage after being improperly resuscitated after birth, going nine minutes without a breath or a heartbeat. The verdict was paid in full. The medical malpractice verdict in Briggs v. UPMC Shadyside Hospital set a record for a medical malpractice verdict in Allegheny County. This record was broken by Specter in 2007.
In a defamation case, Specter, with partner Tom Kline, represented noted Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Richard Sprague in a suit filed against radio personality Howard Eskin. Eskin alleged that Sprague had paid off a witness to change his testimony in the Allan Iverson prosecution. The case was settled in 2004 with Eskin making a public apology and being suspended from the radio show for 30 days. His employer, Infinity Broadcasting, also agreed to pay "substantial" compensation to Sprague. (Click here for more on the story.)
The withdrawal from the market of the prescription painkiller Vioxx led to a major role for Specter in this national litigation. In 2005, Specter was selected to take the depositions of Merck CEO Ray Gilmartin, Merck Research Laboratories President Peter Kim, Merck former Senior Vice-President Alan Neis and Merck Senior Biostatistician Deborah Shapiro. Specter's examination of Shapiro was held by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee to be the only evidence sufficient to support a punitive damages verdict against Merck. (View Kim deposition excerpts  . View Shapiro deposition excerpts  .)
In 2006, Specter was lead counsel in representing a 14-year-old Philadelphian who was rendered a quadriplegic as a result of being restrained in a rear center seat lap belt, instead of what should have been a lap-shoulder belt, during a head-on collision. The case was settled during trial for $30 million, the most ever paid by this major automaker to settle a personal injury lawsuit.
Also in 2006, Specter, along with Kline & Specter lawyer Don Matusow tried Lee/Egan v. Abington Memorial Hospital. This case concerned a newborn with a highly treatable eye condition (Retinopathy of Prematurity) that went untreated because the hospital and several physicians failed to give the newborn, Emmitt Lee, a follow-up eye exam. The missed exam led to Emmitt's total blindness. The jury awarded $20 million to compensate Emmitt, which was the highest personal injury award in Montgomery County history and the largest medical malpractice award in the history of the Philadelphia suburbs (See The Lee Case.) The verdict was appealed but paid in full in 2007.
In 2007, Specter tried a case resulting in a very substantial settlement against the University of Pittsburgh (see Pratt). In this case, campus police failed to timely revive a student who had collapsed in class, resulting in her suffering severe brain damage. In addition to a confidential monetary settlement, the university agreed to hire a medical director for their police department, provide their police officers with quarterly refresher courses on CPR and the use of automatic external defibrillators (AED) and twice annually test their officers' proficiency in CPR and AED use. After the case was settled, Specter made a presentation to a symposium at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law on the use of video in the courtroom. He played the videotape of the day-in-the-life of Erica Pratt, which was narrated live at the symposium by her mother, Diane Pratt, as part of a mock direct examination. (View the presentation)
Also in 2007, Specter obtained a $57 million verdict on behalf of a young man catastrophically injured at a Pennsylvania hospital during the birth process. Pursuant to an agreement entered into toward the close of the trial, the case was settled on a high-low basis for the agreed-upon upper limit of $23 million.
In 2008, Specter obtained a $35 million settlement with 16 defendants in the Bridgeport Fire case. Along with colleagues at the firm including Jason L. Pearlman and Kila B. Baldwin, Specter represented more than 100 businesses and individuals in the class action for losses suffered in the massive fire that destroyed the Continental Business Center in Bridgeport, Pa. in 2001. A five-week trial was in the midst of jury deliberations when the final defendant agreed to settle. (See Bridgeport)
Again in 2008, Specter, along with Charles Becker, established important Pennsylvania law. Now, minors may pursue claims for their medical expenses even if their parents failed to timely file such claims. (Read more)
In 2009, Specter teamed with Andy Youman and Gary Zakeosian to try the case of Greg Volutza, a 37-year-old Reading pharmacist. Volutza had seen his internist complaining of chest tightness, a feeling of thickening in his throat, jaw pain, lightheadness and anxiousness. Instead of diagnosing possible acute coronary syndrome and sending Volutza to the emergency room, the internist diagnosed him with apparent non-cardiac chest pain. Four days later, Volutza suffered a fatal heart attack. A Berks County jury concluded a two-week trial with an award of $4 million for Volutza's wife and daughter. (See Volutza) The verdict was paid in full.
Also in 2009, Specter, along with Kila Baldwin and Dominic Guerrini, tried the wrongful death case of Joseph Blumer, 43. Blumer was killed when the parking brake on the 2002 Ford F-350 tow truck he was operating spontaneously disengaged, trapping him under the truck. An Allegheny County jury awarded his wife and two daughters $8.75 million. The defective parking brake was manufactured by Dura, the successor corporation to the parking brake manufacturer in White v Ford. (See Blumer) The Blumer case was also profiled in the book Bad Brake. The verdict was upheld by the appellate courts and was paid in full in 2012.
Specter, again in 2009, obtained a seven-figure financial settlement against the private operator of a Philadelphia public middle school where a child was sodomized by another student. The school, according to the complaint in that case, had an environment that was "prone to sexual assaults on children" and supervisors who failed in their duty to protect children.
At the end of the year, in December 2009, Specter, along with Michael Trunk, won a nationally publicized $7.5 million settlement against La Salle University for a football player who suffered a concussion in practice and was prematurely cleared to play and later sustained severe brain damage in a game. (See The Plevretes Case)
In 2010, Specter negotiated the settlement of McKinney v. Philadelphia Housing Authority for $11.9 million, one of the largest civil rights suit recoveries on record, on behalf of a child catastrophically injured due to mold exposure in public-subsidized housing. (See news coverage)
Later in the same year Specter secured a $27.6 million verdict for Margo and Dan Polett arising from the negligence of a medical device manufacturer and a public relations company. The defendants placed Mrs. Polett on an exercise bike for a promotional video following knee surgery, resulting in a catastrophic injury. (News coverage)
In 2011, Specter obtained a $21.6 million verdict, including periodic payments, against Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., in the Graham case. Specter proved that Hamot’s nurses failed to alert the obstetrician of variable decelerations in a twin birth, leading to a delay in childbirth and severe brain damage in Ja'Kareon Graham. The verdict is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in the history of Erie County. The verdict was paid in full by the defendant.
Later in 2011, Specter won a $17.5 million verdict, including periodic payments, for a former U.S. Marine in a medical malpractice case against the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center. Specter tried the case with Regan Safier in federal court in Philadelphia to Judge William H. Yohn Jr., non-jury. Christopher Ellison suffered a massive and debilitating stroke after a dental procedure in which his blood pressure had dropped precipitously several times. The verdict was paid in full in 2012 when the government dropped its appeal. (See Ellison) The award was the largest malpractice payout by the VA over a 10-year period ending in 2012, according to an analysis by Cox Media Group. (News coverage)
In 2012, Specter settled a case for $5 million involving the death of a citizen of Mexico whose vehicle was stopped at a red light when it was rear-ended by a vending company truck. The settlement, said Specter, “stands for the important proposition that the Pennsylvania courts apply the same law regardless of nationality."
In 2012, Specter won a $109 million jury verdict in Goretzka v. West Penn Power, along with Kline & Specter attorneys Kila Baldwin and Dominic Guerrini. The verdict, a Pennsylvania record, was comprised of $48 million in compensatory damages and $61 million in punitive damages. Some 10 weeks later, in February 2013, Specter settled the case for $105 million, believed to be the largest-ever settlement for such a personal injury case in Commonwealth history. (See news coverage) The firm's work led to an enforcement action by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission against the power company and eventually an agreement that WPP would retrain its linemen and conduct infra-red inspections of all power lines. As a result of the Goreztka case, the PUC also created an Electric Safety Division to investigate reported electrical injuries.
Also in 2012, Specter filed suit in the Philadelphia "House of Horrors" case against child advocates, a social services provider and the City of Philadelphia responsible for a decade of torture endured by Beatrice Weston after she was placed in the custody of an abusive aunt. (See The Weston Case) The case was settled in 2015 for $3.5 million.
In 2013, Specter, along with Kline & Specter attorneys Michael Trunk and Lisa Dagostino, achieved a $19 million settlement in a birth injury case for the family of a newborn who suffered a severe brain injury following a uterine rupture caused by overmedication involving Pitocin, which is used to stimulate contractions. Later in the year, Specter obtained a $30 million settlement for a child who suffered severe brain damage due to improperly managed anesthesia during a routine medical procedure.
In 2014, Specter achieved a $15 million settlement in a birth injury case against a northern New Jersey hospital, a labor and delivery nurse and an obstetrician. The case was settled in the fourth week of trial and was complicated by the fact that the obstetrician had only $1 million in insurance coverage and the hospital enjoyed charitable immunity that limited a damage award to only $250,000.
Later in 2014, Specter settled a medical malpractice case against a Philadelphia hospital for $16 million. The case involved a 57-year-old periodontist who received improper care following a heart by-pass procedure, resulting in a brain injury. One month later, Specter obtained a $10 million settlement for the family of a 21-year-old mechanic who was crushed to death beneath a truck at a Philadelphia-area refinery which had failed to implement adequate vehicle maintenance procedures.
In 2015, Specter settled a medical malpractice case against a Philadelphia hospital for $15 million involving medical care causing a stroke in a middle-aged woman.
In the same year, Specter won jury verdicts totaling $46.5 million against a security company for the families of two women who were gunned down at work in the Kraft Foods plant in Northeast Philadelphia by a disgruntled employee. Specter obtained $8.02 million in compensatory damages and, after the first jury deadlocked on punitive damages, he won a $38.5 million punitive award in a new trial before a second jury. (Brown/Wilson Case) The Brown/Wilson case and the first vaginal mesh verdict for $12.5 million were the two largest verdicts in Philadelphia for 2015, noted The Legal Intelligencer.
In 2016, Specter filed suit on behalf of consumers, retailers, distributors and trade associations seeking to void the Philadelphia Soft Drink Tax, which adds a 1.5-cent per ounce tax on to soft drink purchases in the city. (Read article)
In 2015 and 2016, Specter won verdicts against Johnson & Johnson for $12.5 million and $13.5 million. The results were on behalf of an Indiana woman and a New Jersey woman who were injured by surgically implanted vaginal mesh. The cases were the first two in Philadelphia and are among thousands pending nationally over vaginal mesh. (See news articles)
In 2018, Specter obtained a $30 million settlement for a worker who suffered severe injuries when he fell nearly 50 feet from a cell tower in Allentown, Pa., when a ladder rung to which he was tethered dislodged. (read article)
In 2019, Specter obtained a $75 million settlement, the largest pre-trial settlement of a personal injury case in Pennsylvania history.
In May 2021, Specter filed suits alleging 16 people contracted cancer from exposure to ethylene oxide, a gas emitted from a B. Braun medical instrument sterilization facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (WFMZ-TV, The Morning Call, Law360 lehighvalleylive.com)
Specter has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995, including for 2021, and is AV-rated in Martindale-Hubbell. In 2016, Specter was named by the Philadelphia Business Journal to its “Power 76” list comprised of business, political, educational and legal professionals the newspaper called the most influential people in the Philadelphia region. Specter also has been singled out or selected for inclusion by the following organizations:
- American Law Institute, founded in 1923 and considered the leading organization producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. Former members included Chief Justice and President William Howard Taft and Judges Benjamin N. Cardozo and Learned Hand.
- , which for 20 straight years, including 2023, named Specter as among the best lawyers in Pennsylvania based on ballots sent to attorneys in the state and review by a special committee. In 2023, Specter for the 20th time was also named among the Top 10 attorneys in Pennsylvania by Super Lawyers. *
The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization that limits U.S. membership to 500 attorneys recommended by their peers and trial judges for outstanding skills and ability as well as excellent character and integrity.
The American College of Trial Lawyers, which selects the top 1 percent of trial lawyers from the United States and Canada based on mastery of trial advocacy and s marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism.
- The World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers, which selects "only the best individuals" from more than 60 jurisdictions worldwide, naming Specter a "pre-eminent practitioner."
While Specter has successfully sued many big companies, he's also earned their respect. In their October 2013 report "The New Lawsuit Ecosystem," the U. S. Chamber of Commerce said Specter is one of the most "highly respected plaintiff's lawyers" in the nation.
Specter is often sought for his opinion on a wide range of issues. In December 2020, he was asked to comment on a possible Pennsylvania referendum seeking to overhaul the system of electing appellate judges statewide, instead having those judges elected regionally by geographical districts. Specter, in an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, said that would result in a massive loss of voting rights since voters would go from helping to decide 31 statewide judicial seats to having a say in just three. “That would be the greatest loss of core constitutional power that citizens have in my lifetime,” he said. (Read the article)
Specter has sought to improve the legal profession, including an effort involving multidistrict litigation. In December 2020, he submitted a formal letter to the MDL Subcommittee of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure suggesting a series of amendments. Included were recommendations for quicker trials and court approval of mass settlements. (Read the letter) (Read article)
Specter served as a member of a hearing committee on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1989 to 1994 and as a chairman from 1994 to 1995. He was a member of the Civil Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001. Specter was the Governor's appointee to the Pennsylvania Medical Professional Liability Insurance Catastrophe Loss Fund Advisory Board, a position he held from 1997 to 2002. He is a member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice.
Specter attended the William Penn Charter School, which in 2015 awarded him its Alumni Society Award. He graduated with honors in political science from Haverford College. While at Haverford, Specter won the Harry S Truman Scholarship Award, a national scholarship awarded to one sophomore from each state who is regarded to have the best potential for a in public service. He was profiled on the cover of Parade magazine in connection with the award. (Read the article) Specter earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also earned a Masters of Law degree from Cambridge University with First Honors. (Watch Cambridge video featuring Specter)
Specter serves as the Irving R. Segal Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Since 2000, he has taught at Penn Carey, including Trial Advocacy, Practice of Law, The Civil Justice System as an Agent of Change, How to Ask a Question (Hear a podcast on the subject) and Evidence and Trial Practice. (See student praise in the Times of India, 11/6/13, The Daily Pennsylvanian, 11/7/13.) Specter supervised the independent study work of Penn student Chris Iacono, who did groundbreaking investigation and analysis of U.S. News & World Report’s law school rating system. Read the article. Specter is a Professor of Practice at UC Law SF (formerly Hastings) and a Lecturer in Law at Berkeley Law and Stanford Law School, where he has taught since 2015. Specter has taught Torts, Advanced Torts, Evidence, The Civil Justice System as an Agent of Change and How to Ask a Question at the San Francisco-area law schools. Specter served as an attorney for UC Law SF in its successful 2020 lawsuit against the City of San Francisco in relation to unsafe and unlawful conditions in the Tenderloin neighborhood.
In March 2020, Specter gave a talk at Berkeley Law on the topic “How to Get a Job You’ll Really Like.” In the same academic year, he also gave the talk by invitation at UC Law SF, Stanford and the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University. (Watch the video) He spoke on the subject in late 2022 at the Kline School of Law at Drexel University (Watch the Video) and again at UC Law SF in 2023 (Watch the video). Specter also was the lead speaker in late 2022 for Tort Law Education Day sponsored by Ralph Nader's American Museum of Tort Law. (Watch the program)
Specter and his wife Tracey are firm believers in giving back to the community. In June 2023, they personally committed $10 million to the Share Food Program that provides breakfast and lunch to some 300,000 students in the Philadelphia region, food to 7,000 seniors and operates 105 food pantries. (Watch video) In 2017, Specter made a substantial gift to the UC Law SF Foundation, which is used primarily for student scholarships. In 2021, he and Tracey made the $10 million lead gift to the Arlen Specter U.S. Squash Center, the national home for squash that features 20 courts and programs for school children in the community. (See Squash Magazine article, See 2022 Inquirer article, World Squash Library article, Visit Specter Center website)
Prior to opening Kline & Specter, PC, with Tom Kline in 1995, Specter was an associate at James E. Beasley, Sr.'s law firm in Philadelphia from 1984-1995. (See Shanin Specter's "Remembrances of James E. Beasley," 3/3/15)
Specter is admitted to practice in the U. S. Supreme Court, the Third, Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Specter is an avid squash player. In 2016, he was elected to the Board of Directors for US Squash, the 112-year-old national governing body that promotes the growth and development of the sport. He played for the United States team in the 2005 Maccabiah Games, the Olympic-style event held in Israel every four years. Specter won a gold medal at the games, along with other members of the United States' 45-49 team. In 2014, Specter teamed with Karen Kronemeyer to win The Walter Hammer Flight of the member-guest Doubles Squash Tournament at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, losing only one game (with match scores of 3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-0) en route to their victory in The Stanley W. Pearson, Sr. Invitational. In 2015, Specter and doubles partner John White won the title in the annual "Best Shot Ball" charity tournament, which raised more than $250,000 to benefit city youth.
Specter and other lawyers at Kline & Specter are very active in the community (See Charities), with 2012 marking the opening of two major facilities made possible thanks to donations by the law firm. The Kline & Specter Squash Center at Drexel University features seven courts and seating and hosts the Dragons’ Top 10 in the nation squash program, while the Kline & Specter Courtroom at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is used to teach trial and appellate advocacy, conduct mock trials and arguments and hear Pennsylvania Superior Court arguments. (Watch dedication ceremony)
Specter was featured in the 2018 book titled “Supreme Leadership” written by Alinka Rutkowska and containing profiles of 34 successful business leaders from throughout the United States. (Read the chapter on Specter) Specter is featured in the book “Crystal Mesh” about lawsuits over transvaginal mesh products surgically implanted in women who later suffered severe injuries when the plastic-like medical device eroded inside their bodies. In the book, by Jennifer Banmiller and Alicia Mundy, Specter is critical of law firms that accumulated large inventories of cases and then took “puny” settlements from manufacturers. (Learn more)
Specter is a keen observer and a good writer. He has penned many published articles on diverse topics. Among his latest, written for smerconish.com, were pieces titled "Dominion's Riches Come at Our Expense" in April 2023, "It’s 2050 in Singapore" in January 2023, another during the 2022 World Series titled a "Letter from Houston", and earlier in the year for Smerconish on "The Path to Peace in Ukraine." (Read article) For CNN in June 2020, he wrote that "Corona virus waivers and immunity bills are a big mistake." (Read the article) Also in 2020, Specter co-authored the foreword for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice's "MedMal for Beginners," a 63-page handbook on handling medical malpractice litigation in the commonwealth. (Read the handbook) Along with Chip Becker and Tom Kline, Specter authored a chapter about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and medical malpractice in the book "The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania -- Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684-2017." (Read the chapter) He also wrote with Becker and Kline an article titled "How NOT to Manage a Common Benefit Fund: Allocating Attorneys' Fees in Vioxx Litigation" in the Fall 2016 Drexel Law Review. Also in 2016, Specter wrote "The Absent Plaintiff Attorney" for Trial magazine, an article in which he encouraged plaintiffs' attorneys to recruit on law school campuses. In the March 2018 issue of Trial, a publication of the American Association for Justice, Specter was featured in an article about strengthening the plaintiff bar, including the importance of recruiting law school students to become plaintiffs attorneys lawyers. (Read the article) He also wrote about mediation as the concluding 18-page chapter of the book “Global Perspectives on ADR,” which looked at various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in countries throughout the world. (Read the complete chapter) Specter contributed to an article in the June 2018 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine titled "Informed Consent and the Role of the Treating Physician." (read article) In May 2018 Specter was a featured guest on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour on "The Myth of the Litigious Society." (Hear the broadcast)
The Philadelphia Inquirer published Specter's opinion piece titled "Philly vs. San Francisco: Which city has the brighter future?" in May 2018. (Read the article) He wrote previous articles for the newspaper on the state of Cambodia, headlined “The silent crisis today in the tort field: the uncompensated victims of medical malpractice,” and another about South Africa titled "Cape Town's beauty can shroud its history,"
As an avid Phillies fan interested in the intersection of baseball and the law, Specter wrote two articles on the topic. (See his 2007 Op-Ed about Barry Bonds in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Read his 2011 Inquirer Op-Ed on religion and baseball.)
CNN in 2015 published Specter's opinion piece on the Iran nuclear agreement and a year earlier another article titled "Don't let the auto industry kill you." He also authored a story about race titled "The President Stands His Ground" for The Daily Beast in July 2013. In November 2013, also for The Daily Beast, Specter wrote about the assassination of President Kennedy titled "Shanin Specter on His 50 Years With the Single Bullet Theory." See also The Philadelphia Business Journal. See Kennedy Assassination 50th Anniversary coverage.
In 2015, months after the death of David Garth, Specter wrote a lengthy remembrance of the decades-long relationship between the famed political consultant and his father, the late Sen. Arlen Specter. (Read it here)
- Loved ones sue after Maryland man kicked out of Lyft is struck, NBC 4 Washington, 10/5/23
- Family Receives $6.5M Settlement for Woman, 89, Struck and Killed by Car, The Legal Intelligencer, 8/31/231
- How Plaintiffs Counsel Negotiated a $6.5M Settlement Over an 89-Year-Old Woman's Wrongful Death, The Legal Intelligencer, 8/23/23
- The Courts Are Not the Way to Beat Donald Trump, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish.com, 8/21/23
- A history of squash and the Specters’ role, World Squash Library, August 2023
- Specter, Lepisto, Dunbar reach $11 million settlement with agency over child abuse, KYW News Radio, 7/7/23 (Listen to audio); Law360, 7/7/23
- Specters announce $10 million gift to Share food program, 6/1/23
- Dominion’s Riches Come at Our Expense, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish.com, 4/20/23
- It’s 2050 in Singapore, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish.com, 1/2/23
- Letter from Houston, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish.com, 10/31/22
- Plaintiffs Firms' Pitch to Rising Lawyers: Don't sell out to Big Law, The Legal Intelligencer, 9/27/22
- Verdict in Illinois case could have implications for suits against B. Braun, Lehigh Valley Regional News WFMZ-TV 69News, 9/21/22
- Pennsylvania Stakes Its Claim as Center of the Political Universe, The New York Times, 9/2/22
- Specter praises the late Robert Britton, The Legal Intelligencer, 8/15/22
- Kline & Specter files suit in connection with fatal stabbing of Roger Segal at a South Philadelphia Wawa, Fox 29, 8/2/22; CBS News 3; NBC News 10
- Specter says giving PA legislature power to decide venue would ramp up tensions between branches of government, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/15/22
- Specter comments on challenges of recruiting staff, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/15/22
- The Path to Peace in Ukraine, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish, 3/11/22
- How to Get a Job You Really Like, UC Hastings College of the Law, 2/28/22
- Judge rules for full delay damages in Brassloff case despite pandemic, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/21/22
- Federal agency fails to notify Allentown residents about their increased cancer risk, Actions News 6, 2/11/22
- Shanin Specter on the Trouble with Tort Law, Corporate Crime Reporter, 12/29/21
- Specter comments: "Law Firm Talent Wars, They're Not just for Associates Anymore," The Legal Intelligencer, 11/17/21
- $9.7 million verdict won in botched brain injury case, The Legal Intelligencer, 11/16/21; The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/12/21; Law360 11/12/21
- Opening Ceremony for the Arlen Specter US Squash Center, 10/2/21
- Philly squash elite convert historic armory to public courts, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/10/21
- Kline & Specter requiring COVID boosters for staff, The Legal Intelligencer 8/23/21
- Specter on Bryce Harper vaccination, Smerconish, CNN, 8/14/21
- Specter on the benefits of vaccine mandates, Philadelphia Business Journal, 8/12/21
- Covid-19 Threatens to Blow Up Law Firms’ Intense Office Culture—for Good, Wall Street Journal, 8/6/21
- Shanin Specter interviewed on mandating vaccinations, WPVI-TV 6 7/27/21
- It’s Time to Change the Delta on the Delta, by Shanin Specter, Smerconish, CNN, 7/19/21
- Specter discusses litigation over carcinogenic emissions from B. Braun Medical plant, Court Radio, 6/29/21
- Specter criticizes B Braun Medical motion to dismiss EtO lawsuits, Law360, 6/25/21
- Specter comments on workforce returning to office, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/9/21
- Trump intervened in NFL scandal, late senator's son says, CNN 5/30/21
- Specter files suit for 16 over cancer-causing plant emissions, WFMZ-TV, The Morning Call, Law360 lehighvalleylive.com, 5/5/21
- "Is Our Vaccination Strategy Correct?" -- by Shanin Specter for The Michael Smerconish Program, Sirius XM, 4/28/21
- How to beat the next pandemic, commentary by Shanin Specter, The Michael Smerconish Program, Sirius XM, 4/18/21
- Specter comments on Fair Share Act Application, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/24/21
- Specter notes need for MDL changes, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/3/21
- Specter comments on Bloomsburg University hazing suit, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/26/21, WBRE-TV 3/1/21; WNEP-TV
- Specter comments on Met-Ed settlement over electrocution death of Northampton County man, lehighvalleylive.com, 2/4/21
- What Commonwealth Court's Decision to Scrap Victim Rights Amendment Could Mean for Judicial Districts Plan, The Legal Intelligencer, 1/14/21
- Specter comments on lawyers allegations of misappropriated client money, The New York Times, 1/14/21
- Specter comments on suit by San Francisco restaurants over government fees, San Francisco Business Times, 1/13/21
- Attorney fees awarded over improper removal of case, proceeds to be donated, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 12/22/20
- MDL badly in need of reform, says Specter, Legal Newsline, 12/11/20
- Specter comments on restarting of civil trials in Philadelphia, The Legal Intelligencer, 12/3/20
- Shanin Specter discussing the political and legal issues in the presidential election on "Let's Go There" Channel Q, 11/3/20; 11/4/20; 11/5/20; 11/10/20
- Specter quoted on jurisdiction ruling in $12.85M Pelvic Mesh Case, The Legal Intelligencer, 10/21/20
- Specter quoted on sexual abuse at D.C. pre-school, The Washington Post, 10/21/20
- Specter discusses COVID, Supreme Court ... the Court Radio Show, 10/11/20
- With President Donald Trump diagnosed with the coronavirus, Shanin Specter opined in an editorial for NBC News and in an interview on Sirius XM’s "The Michael Smerconish Program” on whether the president could be successfully sued for giving someone else the disease. His conclusion: While the president’s actions were negligent, winning a lawsuit against him would be very difficult.
- Specter comments on legislative Covid-19 indemnity proposals, KTVU-TV, San Francisco, 7/20/20
- Specter comments on San Francisco hotel ordinance dispute, San Francisco Business Times, 7/20/20
- Opinion Specter on "Smerconish" on coronavirus waivers and immunity, CNN, 6/20/20
- Coronavirus waivers and immunity bills are a big mistake, Opinion by Shanin Specter, CNN 6/19/20
- Specter comments on med-mal immunity, the Court Radio Show, 5/3/20
- Specter opines on social/medical strategy of the pandemic, smerconish.com, 5/1/20
- Specter comments on liability immunity, The Bozemen Daily Chronicle, 4/29/20
- Retired Eastern District of Pa. Judge Lowell Reed, 89, Remembered as a Leading Mentor, The Legal Intelligencer, 4/23/20
- State regulators seek $4.5 million from Met-Ed over death of Williams Township teacher electrocuted in his backyard, Allentown Morning Call, 7/24/19
- Commentary on Congressional questioning, Smerconish on CNN, 7/20/19
- $13.5M Pelvic Mesh Verdict Affirmed, New Jersey Law Journal, 4/15/19
- Shanin Specter comments on lawyers fees in vaginal mesh litigation, The New York Times 2/1/19
- Woman who needed 9 surgeries to fix pelvic mesh awarded $41M, LawWeekly, 2/1/19
- Specter profiled in Squash Magazine, January 2019
- US Squash to Establish National Center at 32nd Street Armory in Philadelphia, Squash Magazine, 9/14/18
- 23 infants infected at CHOP after eye exams with contaminated equipment, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/29/18
- Specter discusses attorney-client (Michael Cohen-Donald Trump) privilege on the “Smerconish” TV show on CNN, 7/21. Watch Segments 1 and 2
- Specter on the Smerconish radio show on SiriusXM (POTUS 124) on 7/23 and 7/25.
- The Legal Intelligencer June 19, 2018 article on “Litigation Departments of the Year.” Kline & Specter was the winner for Products Liability/Mass Torts
- $12.8M Pelvic Mesh Verdict Stands as Pa. Begins to Weigh 'Bristol-Myers' Venue Standard, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/19/18
- Kline & Specter gets $30M settlement for a worker terribly injured when he fell from a cell tower: WFMZ-69 5/21/18 (watch video); The Legal Intelligencer, 5/21/18; Law 360 5/21/18; The Washington Post, 5/21/18; The New York Times, 5/21/18
- Shanin Specter featured in Trial Magazine, March 2018
- Pa. Judge affirms jurisdiction on out-of-state mesh cases, Law360, 12/6/17
- J&J Loses Bid To Shrink Phila.'s Pelvic Mesh Mass Tort, The Legal Intelligencer, 12/6/17
- After Six-Year Reprieve Philadelphia Back Among The Judicial Hellholes, The Legal Intelligencer, 12/5/17
- A Quality Reputation: Kline & Specter, The Legal Intelligencer, 11/2/16
- J&J Cries Foul Over Additional Pelvic Mesh Depositions, The Legal Intelligencer, 10/4/17
- Shanin Specter speaks on public safety at the Breaking Through Power conference, 9/29/16
- Shanin Specter interviewed on The Ralph Nader Radio Hour, 9/24/16
- Specter comments on lawsuit filed to void soft drink tax, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/15/16
- Shanin Specter comments on new accusations in child sex abuse case, CBS 3 05/6/16
- Specter says J&J has "lost its way," New Jersey Law Journal, 3/31/16
- The Absent Plaintiff Attorney, by Shanin Specter, Trial Magazine March 2016
- J&J Subsidiary Seeks to Ax $13.5M Pelvic Mesh Verdict, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/24/16
- Attorney Slams Pelvic Mesh Maker As 'Beyond Reckless' in Closing, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/10/16
- Jury Awards $13.5M in Second Pelvic Mesh Trial, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/10/16
- Jury Ready To Decide 2nd Philly Pelvic Mesh Case, Law360, 2/9/16
- Bard Mesh Patients Cite Slow MDL Pace In Bid To Move Suits, Law360, 2/3/16
- Pelvic Mesh Counsel Sanctioned for ‘Poisoning’ Questions, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/3/16
- Parties spar over pelvic mesh efficacy in second trial, The Legal Intelligencer, 1/25/16
- Specter interviewed on Brown/Wilson case for BET network's documentary crime series "Criminals at Work," 1/6/16
- Phila. judge increases $12.5M award in pelvic mesh suit for delay damages, The Legal Intelligencer, 1/19/16
- After trip, Specter authors article on the current state of Cambodia, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/16
- Specter interviewed by Fox Business Network on mispackaged birth control pills, 11/12/15
- Specter comments on birth control controversy, CBS 3, 11/11/15
- High Court Revives $27.6M Verdict for Promotional Video Injury, The Legal Intelligencer, 10/28/15
- Jury award in plant shooting emphasizes the need for proper security controls, Security InfoWatch, 4/22/15
- $38.5 million punitive-damage award in Kraft-Nabisco shootings, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/31/15
- Jury awards additional $38.5 million in Kraft plant shooting in Northeast Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Daily News, 3/31/15
- Jury Awards $38.5M in punitives for fatal Kraft factory shooting, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/31/15
- Jury awards $40M in damages in Kraft Foods plant shooting, Law360, 3/31/15
- Jury awards $38.5 million-plus in fatal shooting at Philadelphia Kraft plant, New York Daily News 3/30/15
- Jury Awards $38.5 million-plus in fatal shooting at plant, Statesville Record & Landmark, 3/30/15
- Punitive phase begins in $8M factory shooting trial, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/24/15
- Jury Awards $8M for victims of fatal factory shooting, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/27/15
- Don’t let the auto industry kill you, by Shanin Specter, CNN Opinion, 7/31/14
- Shanin Specter comments on VA hospital care, LawyersandSettlements.com, 7/8/14
- Shanin Specter comments on new report issued on brain injury in newborns, ABC News 5/28/14
- Cape Town's beauty can shroud its history, by Shanin Specter, The Philadelphia Inquirer 2/9/14
- Landlord sued over deadly collapse: The Philadelphia Inquirer 1/28/14
- Specter quoted on Supreme Court pharma ruling: The Legal Intelligencer, 1/28/14
- West Penn Power to pay civil penalty in power line death case: Transmission Hub, 1/14/14
- PUC approves penalty against power company: Law360, 1/9/14; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1/10/14
- Shanin Specter comments on Cape May County house explosion lawsuit: NBC 10-TV 12/18/13-4PM; CBS 3 TV 12/18/13-6PM; Fox 29-TV 12/18/13-6PM; NBC 10-TV 12/18/13-6PM; Fox 29-TV 12/18/13-5PM; (See full television and newspaper coverage)
- Kline & Specter verdict largest vs. VA over 10 years, Cox Media Group, WPXI.com 11/12/13
- Shanin Specter comments on Malpractice Payouts to U.S. Veterans, Bloomburg 9/9/13
- Shanin Specter files suit in unnecessary stent procedure case, CBS 3 5/1/13
- Specter interviewed on unnecessary stent procedures, CBS 3 4/3/11-11PM
- TV COVERAGE: Specter comments on "House of Horrors" case, ABC 6 News 2/28/13-11PM (see all Weston Coverage)
- NEWSPAPER COVERAGE: Pa. Utility Will Pay $105M In Power Line Death Settlement, Law360 2/20/13
- Specter wins RECORD $109 MILLION VERDICT in power line case. See all Goretzka Case coverage, 12/6/12
- Specter sues city over captivity and torture of 10-year-old girl, ABC 6 8/20/12; CBS 3 8/20/12; Fox 29 8/20/12
- Specter lauds government dropping appeal of $17.5M Ellison verdict, The Legal Intelligencer, 7/23/12
- Specter comments on PUC complaint against utility, The Post-Gazette, 6/6/12
- Based on Specter complaint, PUC sues to make utility fix power lines, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 6/5/12, York Daily Record 6/5/12; WTAE-TV 6/5/12 (Watch Video)
- Shanin Specter interviewed on suit over power line death, 1/17/12 (Watch Video)
- Specter comments on PSU investigation, Fox News 11/22/11
- TV COVERAGE: Specter comments on Penn State matter, Fox News 11/16/11; ESPN, 11/14/11; ABC6, 11/13/11
- Specter wins $17.5M med-mal verdict for ex-Marine, 9/15/11 (The Ellison Case)
- Specter comments on the Ellison case, CBS3, 9/15/11 (Watch Video)
- $27.6 M verdict upheld in promo video case, The Legal Intelligencer 9/12/11
- Pa. Superior Court upholds $5.2M Volutza verdict, Reading Eagle 8/20/11
- Specter wins $21.6M med-mal verdict, Erie Times-News, 4/21/11
- Specter wins $27.6M verdict against device maker, PR firm, 11/23/10 (The Polett case)
- Specter files suit in Megabus crash, 10/15/10 (see coverage)
- ESPN features the Plevretes case, Shanin Specter (Watch Video)
- Plane, paper-mache elk parts, used to impress jury, The Philadelphia Inquirer 3/1/10
- Specter comments on $7.5M settlement in football concussion case, 11/30/09
- Specter, Becker, author article on products liability law, 11/16/09
- Specter wins $8.75M verdict in Blumer vs. Ford product liability case, The Legal Intelligencer 3/23/09
- Specter, Becker author op-ed: The Exxon Decision: Another Bad Call on Punitive Damages, The Legal Intelligencer 11/18/08; A Response and Rebuttal, PA Justice News 1/09
- Specter chosen for Musmanno Award, Verdict 10/08
- Shanin Specter profiled in "Lawyers and Settlements," 7/7/08
- Damages reach $35 million in '01 Bridgeport fire, The Philadelphia Inquirer 4/25/08
- Montco Fire Class Action Settles for $35 Million, The Legal Intelligencer 4/25/08
- U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal, case concluded, The Legal Intelligencer 11/28/07
- Dallas Morning News quotes Shanin Specter in White v. Ford 9/28/04
- Shanin Specter in NY Times about defective Daisy BB guns 3/17/01
- Shanin Specter on TV, the Mahoney case 3/13/01(Watch Video)
- Shanin Specter quoted in Daily News in the Caruso Case 8/24/00
- National Law Journal cites “The Big Numbers” 2/22/99
- Shanin Specter quoted in Lawyers Weekly USA 1/11/99
- Shanin Specter in police safety case 10/07/97 (Watch Video)
- Kline & Specter donates $50,000 to AIDS Law Project
More about Shanin Specter’s notable cases:
The McKinney settlement