Cathleen M. Devlin

Cathleen M. Devlin

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (215) 972-8562
Fax: (215) 972-1835

Primary Office

Philadelphia
Centre Square West
1500 Market Street, 38th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2186

Cathleen M. Devlin

Partner

Cathleen M. Devlin

Cathleen Devlin is chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department, a role in which she guides the Department’s strategic focus and initiatives, manages its daily operations, and oversees more than 200 litigators across the Firm’s 16 offices. She is the first woman to serve in the role at the Firm.

A seasoned trial lawyer, negotiator and problem-solver, Cathleen is recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the top 250 women litigators across the country. She has over 25 years of experience handling high-stakes commercial contract and business tort matters and complex environmental disputes nationwide. She also focuses on defending class actions and counseling clients in navigating investigations and audits arising from federal and state government inquiries. Cathleen has achieved favorable outcomes for her clients by way of successful motions and arguments, trial judgments, appeals, arbitration awards and mediated settlements.

Cathleen is an avid golfer, and has a niche practice counseling golf industry clients about developments in the law as to golf course design safety issues, disputes with neighboring property owners and other contract, tort, real estate and environmental issues affecting golf course owners and operators. Beyond golf, Cathleen is passionate about supporting National Parks conservation and animal rescue and adoption organizations. She is also committed to serving the legal profession through active participation in the leadership of the ABA Litigation Section. She currently serves as a co-chair of the Section’s Communications Committee and a member of the Section’s Task Force on Racial and Economic Justice, having recently concluded a three-year term as a member of the Section’s governing Council.

Experience

Business Litigation
A national online, on-demand retail and delivery service for household products, food and beverages, and other everyday needs, defending a putative wage and hour class action filed by delivery drivers.
A North American funeral home and cemetery operator's defense of a proposed class action in federal court alleging mishandling of burials at multiple cemeteries.
An online retailer's defense of a class action alleging violations of New Jersey's Truth-In-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA) based on the terms of the user agreement on the client's website.
A prominent gaming and entertainment client's breach of contract and defamation case in New Jersey federal court arising from an agreement to develop and implement an online gaming and gambling system for a casino.
A Fortune 500 waste industry client and two former corporate officers' six-month bench trial in New Jersey state court, defending against claims of fraud and breach of contract arising from the formation, operation and dissolution of a joint venture.
The same waste industry client's defense of a complex employee stock option contract dispute, including a bench trial and an appellate argument in Pittsburgh state court.
A food and agribusiness client's intellectual property dispute relating to an innovative manufacturing technology.
A prison commissary supplier's multiple federal court civil rights lawsuits brought by inmates concerning product quality and pricing.
A regional public accounting and advisory firm's responses to subpoenas issued for court appearances, depositions and production of tax and accounting records throughout Pennsylvania.
Environmental Litigation
A Fortune 500 waste management client's defense of proposed class actions in Pennsylvania state court alleging odors arising from landfill construction, operation and maintenance.
An international specialty metals and chemicals manufacturer's defense of a CERCLA and HSCA cost recovery and contribution action initiated by PADEP, seeking to fund cleanup of industrial solvents in groundwater alleged to have discharged from operations of a former facility in suburban Philadelphia.
A manufacturer of specialty silicone products in defending litigation initiated by the Illinois EPA arising from a major plant explosion, and negotiating a resolution addressing the alleged short-term and long-term environmental impacts of the incident.
A paper broker’s pursuit of CERCLA and Illinois common law claims against a neighboring train maintenance facility for the costs of cleanup of leaks, spills and releases of hazardous substances contaminating the client’s property.
A leading manufacturer of electronic components navigating its response to claims filed in Canada alleging PCB contamination arising from the operations of a former subsidiary.
An international flooring manufacturer's pursuit of a RCRA citizens' suit against the current owner of a former manufacturing facility site based on the current owner's failure to comply with RCRA permit obligations.
A mining and minerals industry client's successful pursuit of CERCLA contribution claims for the costs of cleanup of lead, arsenic and cadmium in soil on residential properties alleged to have been caused by historical zinc smelting operations in Oklahoma, currently on appeal to the Tenth Circuit.
A landfill operator client facing a proposed class action initiated by area residents in New Jersey alleging negligence and public and private nuisance claims arising from alleged landfill odors.
An international industrial manufacturing client defending against CERCLA contribution claims for the costs of remediating soil and groundwater contamination alleged to arise from the historical operation of a steel fabrication facility in western Pennsylvania.
An energy industry client defending against CERCLA cost recovery and contribution claims stemming from the cleanup of coal tar contamination at multiple former manufactured gas plant sites, including a two-week bench trial in federal court in New York.
A Fortune 500 waste industry client negotiating with federal and state agencies and PRP groups to address the costs of remediating closed municipal landfill sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.
Government Investigations and Audits
Two major public university systems undertaking internal investigations and audits concerning alleged non-compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the anti-harassment provisions of Title IX.
A bankruptcy court-appointed independent examiner investigating creditors' allegations of wrongdoing in the $3.6 billion leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company.
An SEC-appointed independent examiner investigating Time Warner/AOL's historical accounting for online advertising revenues, which led to a revenue restatement of over $500 million by the company.

Thought Leadership

No results.

No results.

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Named a Distinguished Leader by The Legal Intelligencer, 2022

Named a "Local Litigation Star" in Pennsylvania by Benchmark Litigation, 2020 to present

Named to Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2021

Named a "Future Star" in Pennsylvania by Benchmark Litigation, 2011 to 2019

Member of U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" National Tier 1 ranked Environmental Law Practice

Named one of Pennsylvania's "Lawyers on the Fast Track," American Lawyer Media, 2008

Selected to the Rising Stars list, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2005 and 2006

Memberships and Affiliations

Adjunct Professor, Trial Advocacy, Villanova Law School, 2008-2014

Member, Drew University Philadelphia Alumni Club

Member, National Parks Conservation Association

Member, Litigation Section, American Bar Association

  • Communications Committee Co-Chair, 2021 to present
  • Task Force on Racial and Economic Justice Member, 2021 to present
  • Council Member, 2019 to 2021
  • Strategic Planning Action and Implementation Committee Member, 2019 to 2021
  • Managing Director, 2017 to 2018
  • Managing Director Designate, 2015 to 2016
  • Division VI Director, 2014 to 2015
  • Corporate Counsel Committee, Co-Chair, 2011 to 2013

Member, Business Law Section, American Bar Association

  • Business and Corporate Litigation Committee

Member, Civil Litigation Section, Pennsylvania Bar Association

Member, International Association of Defense Counsel

Member, Business Law Section, Philadelphia Bar Association

  • Federal Courts Committee
  • Women in the Profession Committee

Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

  • Civil Trial Bar Section
  • Dispute Resolution Section

 

Education

J.D., cum laude, Villanova University School of Law, 1994

B.A., summa cum laude, Drew University, 1990

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
Pennsylvania

Firm Involvement

Chair, Litigation Department

Litigation Department Liaison to the Executive Committee 

Cathleen Devlin is chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department, a role in which she guides the Department’s strategic focus and initiatives, manages its daily operations, and oversees more than 200 litigators across the Firm’s 16 offices. She is the first woman to serve in the role at the Firm.

A seasoned trial lawyer, negotiator and problem-solver, Cathleen is recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the top 250 women litigators across the country. She has over 25 years of experience handling high-stakes commercial contract and business tort matters and complex environmental disputes nationwide. She also focuses on defending class actions and counseling clients in navigating investigations and audits arising from federal and state government inquiries. Cathleen has achieved favorable outcomes for her clients by way of successful motions and arguments, trial judgments, appeals, arbitration awards and mediated settlements.

Cathleen is an avid golfer, and has a niche practice counseling golf industry clients about developments in the law as to golf course design safety issues, disputes with neighboring property owners and other contract, tort, real estate and environmental issues affecting golf course owners and operators. Beyond golf, Cathleen is passionate about supporting National Parks conservation and animal rescue and adoption organizations. She is also committed to serving the legal profession through active participation in the leadership of the ABA Litigation Section. She currently serves as a co-chair of the Section’s Communications Committee and a member of the Section’s Task Force on Racial and Economic Justice, having recently concluded a three-year term as a member of the Section’s governing Council.