Litigation & Trial Practice

Our litigation & trial practice group delivers the results our clients need.

When disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation, or if claims are brought in court, you can rely upon Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba’s trial attorneys. We work to attain optimal results for you in the state and federal trial and appellate court systems, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and beyond.

Our attorneys handle a full spectrum of litigation matters, from uncomplicated claims to the complex, always focusing on the needs of our clients, the objectives to be attained, and the bottom line. We represent Fortune 500 companies, regional businesses, local enterprises, national and local banks, small business owners and individuals. Like them, you can rely on us to advise, advocate and successfully represent your interests.

At FLB, we are well aware that litigation is often stressful and presents inherent risks and that the outcomes can be crucially important. We work diligently and aggressively to find solutions and are here to help you assess the risks, manage them and achieve the most favorable results.

Despite experience in a variety of areas, including arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, our trial lawyers are ready and willing to take the case to a judge or jury when needed.

We are guided by what’s in your best interest and have the skills, dedication and experience to deliver results both inside and out of the courtroom.

Our Service Areas


Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba recognizes the pervasive impact of bankruptcy law on your commercial transactions, business dealings, land use and litigation.

With attorneys who practice regularly in bankruptcy courts, FLB has the expertise to help you navigate the intricacies of these financial hurdles.

With knowledge in commercial reorganization and experience in representing creditors in insolvency situations, our attorneys work with you in securing optimal results.

At FLB, we have substantial experience representing commercial creditors and financial institutions in protecting their claims in the face of increased personal bankruptcies by customers and borrowers and in providing cost-effective solutions.

Our attorneys provide general legal representation, counseling and litigation assistance to homeowners associations (HOAs), condominiums, planned communities and property management companies throughout eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.

The Firm’s litigation and trial attorneys regularly work with businesses and their owners, corporations, banks, medical practices, lenders and others regarding the following:

  • Breach of contract and business disputes
  • Construction litigation and bond claims
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • First amendment, defamation, privacy and media law
  • Restrictive covenants/non-compete agreements
  • Trade secret protection
  • Business torts
  • Fiduciary duty
  • Regulatory litigation
  • Shareholder and partner disputes and business divorce
  • Healthcare litigation
  • Creditors rights including: collection, foreclosure, enforcement of judgments
  • Preferences, fraudulent transfers and adversary proceedings
  • Banking and credit union representation, including “lender liability” defense
  • Property damage
  • Condemnation, boundary disputes and land use
  • First Amendment, defamation and privacy
  • Foreclosure, repossession and replevin
  • Corporate dissolution
  • Lender liability defense

Whether a developer, an owner, contractor or supplier, none want to encounter any problems on a project.  Yet, disputes over bids, quality of construction, payment or contract interpretation do occur.  The attorneys at Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba have successfully represented all of these divergent interests.  Whether it is litigation or Alternate Dispute Resolution, FLB is capable.

Our attorneys’ experience range from homeowner and small commercial disputes, to those involving projects in the tens of millions of dollars.

Our Employment Law & Labor Relations Group advises and represents employers in matters involving human resources, labor and employment laws, and protection of business assets.

With more than 12 decades of combined experience in labor and employment law, and a perspective earned as former judicial law clerks, in-house counsel, and trained mediators, we help employers avoid litigation and defend them when claims are filed.

We work closely with business owners, executives, managers and human resource professionals to ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws governing the employer-employee relationship, reduce the risk of workplace claims, and increase workplace morale and productivity.

Our healthcare attorneys regularly appear in state court and federal court throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and beyond. We have represented clients before various state agencies, including the Department of Environment Protection (DEP), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Public Welfare (DPW). We collaborate with members of our employment, intellectual property, and real estate groups to provide comprehensive representation.

Our Service Areas

  • Administrative proceedings
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Bankruptcy
  • Civil
  • Commercial disputes
  • Discrimination and harassment claims
  • Employment/employee relations
  • Expert witness discovery
  • Medical staff disputes
  • Post-trial and appellate practice
  • Professional liability oversight counsel
  • Professional licensure inquiries and disputes
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Shareholder and ownership disputes
  • Trade secret disputes
  • Workers’ compensation defense

Notable representations

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for a health system against a physician regarding an appeal of the fair hearing process
  • Secured dismissal of all claims in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for fraudulent transfer
  • Secured relief from a restrictive covenant in a physician-practice dispute
  • Obtain municipal approval for development of medical office building involving an historic structure
  • Secured municipal zoning approval as appellate counsel for physician-owned hospital
  • Counseled imaging facility investigated by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Regularly serve as mediators and arbitrators in healthcare law matters

At FLB, we address your IP matters with efficiency and efficacy. Our attorneys handle a range of IP matters including copyright and trademark law, as well as trade secrets and unfair competition. We conduct IP audits and evaluations, in order to support your company’s strategic plans, assess where your company may be at risk, or identify opportunities to maximize the value of its intellectual capital.

Our Litigation & Trial Practice is trusted by a variety of sophisticated businesses to defend their interests in the unfortunate instance of claimed personal injury or significant property damage.

We aggressively defend and refute unjustified claims and strive to limit our clients’ exposure and risks throughout the defense of any matter. In getting to know and appreciate our clients’ businesses, we take a proactive approach to assist them in avoiding future claims.

We also assist individuals who suffer personal injuries as a result of the conduct of others. Our attorneys handle select cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, focusing on providing reliable information and achieving quality results.

Because every situation is unique, our strategies are tailored to meet the needs of our clients in a respectful and compassionate manner, yet with an aggressive and efficient approach to obtain the most favorable result.

We are focused on defending employers, including self-insured companies against workers’ compensation claims. Our experience spans many types of workers’ compensation claims including those involving physical injuries, occupational diseases, emotional injuries, and catastrophic or fatal injuries.

Our defense of employers includes work before various Workers’ Compensation Judges as well as the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board and the Pennsylvania Appellate Courts.

As with its litigation practice, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba employs an aggressive, business-oriented approach consistent with its clients’ personalities and cultures, leading to an extremely close and efficient working relationship focused on quality representation. Each case stands on its own.

We have also counseled clients regarding risk management method they can use to reduce their workers’ compensation exposures and improve future claims experience and experience ratings.


Recent Accomplishments and Results

  • Doug Smillie successfully represented the City of Allentown in a de facto taking case before the Commonwealth Court, bringing an end to a lengthy litigation matter.
  • Doug Smillie successfully represented The Express-Times and in a case involving the Right to Know Act Law and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Joe D’Amico obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Allentown in a case arising from a fatal traffic accident.
  • Jacob Sitman won a dismissal of a wrongful and retaliatory discharge claim brought by the former employee of the Firm’s client.
  • Maraleen Shields obtained a jury verdict in favor of the City of Allentown in a jury case stemming from a slip and fall on a City pedestrian bridge.
  • Jacob Sitman won a dismissal of employment and discrimination retaliation claims in a case brought against Lehigh University.
  • Maraleen Shields successfully represented the City of Allentown in a jury trial stemming from a trip and fall on a City street.
  • Doug Smillie and Maraleen Shields won an arbitration on behalf of the City of Allentown in a dispute brought by Lehigh County Authority and several suburban sewer authorities.
  • Doug Smillie and Barbie Zicherman negotiated a $276,000 settlement in a complex dispute over workers compensation insurance premiums related to individuals alleged to be independent contractors in a case filed in federal court in Philadelphia.
  • Doug Smillie and Maraleen Shields successfully represented two members of an LLC asserting claims of oppression by the majority owners. The case resolved an issue of first impression before the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
  • Doug Smillie and Barbie Zicherman negotiated a $600,000 settlement in favor of our client, a multinational insurance corporation, putting to end a long-pending insurance premium dispute.
  • Doug Smillie represented a local company that engineers, sells, produces, and supports high-quality compressor packages. The case involved a claim against a global supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials over a product that was alleged to have failed. Doug successfully negotiated with the manufacturer’s counsel to resolve the claim without litigation.
  • Doug Smillie successfully represented the City of Allentown at trial and on appeal in a case challenging the award of the City’s trash and recycling contract.
  • Doug Smillie and Joshua Gildea successfully argued for an early dismissal in New Jersey federal district in a case against the Firm’s client arising out of a trucking accident, saving our client substantial time and expense, and avoiding the need for protracted litigation.
  • The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s client, a well known amusement park.  Joe D’Amico successfully defended the client in the case claiming that it, among others, was responsible for a fatal automobile accident in which a pedestrian (who was also a park employee) was struck and killed.
  • Joshua Gildea and Maraleen Shields obtained summary judgment in favor of a client in a dispute arising from the sale of a business. FLB represented the defendant in opposing claims against him for indemnification and for alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • In federal court in Philadelphia, Doug Smillie successfully tried a business litigation matter in front of jury, resulting in a $1.5M verdict.
  • A jury found in favor of Joe D’Amico, who obtained a defense verdict in his client’s favor in a multi-million dollar contract case against PPL Electric in Northampton County, PA.
  • The Firm has successfully represented the nation’s largest insurance broker in various matters, obtaining multiple summary judgments and verdicts.
  • The federal court granted summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s client, a prominent university, in a case claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • FLB helped exonerate a local car dealer in federal district court, defending claims of discrimination under ADA and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by a former employee.
  • In a case that involved Right to Know Law and the Pennsylvania Corner’s Act, Doug Smillie successfully argued for the release of autopsy reports before the PA Supreme Court.
  • The Firm defended two physicians under the provisions of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HQIA) for their participation in a peer review proceeding. The trial court agreed they were entitled to immunity and the decision was affirmed by the PA Superior Court on appeal.
  • The Firm was successful in defending a lender-liability case before a jury in Lehigh County; the trial judge granted our motion for a compulsory non-suit, dismissing all claims against a regional bank.
  • Mike Nesfeder successfully challenged a confessed judgment of over $360,000 against our client, allowing the claim to be resolved for a fraction of that amount.
  • Doug Smillie and Barbie Zicherman settled a commercial case in the federal court in New Jersey, resulting in a $750,000 recovery for our client.
  • The Bankruptcy Court granted summary judgment in favor of two physicians represented by Doug Smillie and Josh Gildea where the trustee sued for alleged fraudulent transfers. The decision was affirmed by the District Court.
  • Three separate juries in three different cases found in favor of a supermarket chain represented by Joe D’Amico where individuals asserted claims for personal injury.

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A consultation with an attorney from our firm may only be facilitated subsequent to a comprehensive conflict of interest assessment. This preemptive process is designed to recognize and evaluate any potential conflicts that may arise prior to our firm engaging with a new client or legal matter.

In simpler terms, a conflict could arise if the opposing party in your case is a current or recent client of our firm, or if your details are flagged in our database as being in opposition to an existing client. In the event of such a conflict, our firm may be unable to represent your matter.

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