Phil Yannella
Phil Yannella

Philip N. Yannella

Tel 215.864.8180
Fax 215.864.8999

Philip N. Yannella is a member of the firm's Product Liability and Mass Tort Group. He has more than 15 years' experience representing pharmaceutical, biologics, and medical device companies in a wide range of products liability, negligence, and consumer fraud litigation, from case filing through trial. Mr. Yannella has served in a national coordinating role in mass tort litigation relating to a COX-2 inhibitor, a statin, a tobacco product, an anti-anemia drug, antipsychotic medication, and latex gloves. He has also represented manufacturers and refineries in litigation involving a diabetes drug, weight loss medication, motor oil, forklifts, popcorn products, an herbicide, and refining operations. 

Mr. Yannella is also the Practice Leader of the firm's E-Discovery and Data Management Group. He manages eDiscovery issues in high-profile litigation, counseling clients worldwide on data preservation, retrieval, and privacy matters. He has significant experience representing Fortune 500 companies on eDiscovery and data management issues in bet-the-company litigation, particularly in the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

Mr. Yannella has served as the principal member of national discovery teams in large-scale litigation and has experience advising on cross-border data collection matters. He is highly experienced in discovery coordination and management, overall discovery strategy and litigation readiness, data privacy law, records management, and the Stored Communications Act.

Representative Matters

  • Served as national discovery counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to a COX-2 inhibitor
  • Served as national discovery counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an antipsychotic medication
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an anti-anemia medication
  • Obtained a favorable result for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in trial relating to weight loss medication
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical company in litigation concerning the confidentiality of clinical trial data
  • Served as lead counsel for a pharmaceutical device company in a toxic tort class action arising from the alleged release of chemicals from the company's North Carolina facility
  • Represents a manufacturer in products liability litigation relating to property damage allegedly caused by an herbicide
  • Represents an oil refiner in litigation arising from alleged benzene exposure at a refining plant
  • Represented a leading clinical laboratory in false claims actions initiated by attorneys general in several states
  • Obtained multiple summary judgment awards in favor of a major cigarette manufacturer in Pennsylvania state court
  • Served as a member of the team that created new Pennsylvania law by successfully arguing that the "heeding presumption" was inapplicable to consumer products voluntarily purchased and consumed
  • Served as a member of the trial team that successfully overturned "midnight" litigation passed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, stripping the City of Philadelphia of certain powers
  • On behalf of an indigent former prisoner, argued a 1983 case before the Third Circuit resulting in the creation of new law for prisoner civil right claims; commended by Third Circuit for "zealous and able advocacy"

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Marjorie O. Rendell, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1996-1997

Professional Activities 

The Sedona Conference Institute
Member, International Data Privacy, eDiscovery, and Cross-Border Data Transfer Issues Working Groups

Defense Research Institute



Co-author, "NJ Data Encryption Law: Will It Become National Standard?" New Jersey Law Journal, March 24, 2015

Author, Pennsylvania eDiscovery, published by The Legal Intelligencer, August 2014

Co-author, "Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords," Ballard Spahr alert, August 11, 2014

Co-author, "Proposed Changes to Civil Rules Could Limit Scope of eDiscovery," Ballard Spahr alert, May 1, 2014

Co-author, "Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Ballard Spahr alert, March 25, 2014

Co-author, "Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent-Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds," Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical, March 2014

Co-author, "Pa. Supreme Court Opens Door to Latent-Disease Lawsuits," The Legal Intelligencer, February 11, 2014

Co-author, "Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, January 23, 2014

"Bits and Bytes: What Forensic Analysis Can Reveal," The Legal Intelligencer, January 29, 2013

Co-author, "The Interplay Between FDA Approval and Discovery Rule," Law360, March 8, 2012

"Potential Taxation of E-Discovery Costs Could Alter Discovery Paradigm," The Legal Intelligencer, October 25, 2011

Co-author, "Eastern District of Pennsylvania Decision Permits Taxation of eDiscovery Costs," Ballard Spahr alert, August 4, 2011

Co-author, "The Dawn of Internet Privacy?" Law360, April 22, 2011

Co-author, "E-Discovery: 'Pension Committee,' One Year Later," New York Law Journal, March 21, 2011

Co-author, "The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Review of the Act and Its Potential Impact on Private Litigation," BNA's Product Safety & Liability Reporter, January 31, 2011 

Co-author, "FDA's Draft Public Disclosure Proposals and Their Potential Impact on Product Liability Litigation," BNA's Toxics Law Reporter, July 29, 2010 

Co-author, "Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom Adopt U.S.-Style Electronic Discovery," Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, June 2009 

Co-author, "Decisions Up Stakes for Managing E-Discovery Cases," The Legal Intelligencer, July 30, 2008 

"Who Pays for eDiscovery?—Cost-Shifting Strategies," eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel, Chapter 24, Thomson-Reuters, July 2008 

"Backup Tapes in Mass Tort Litigation," National Law Journal, June 19, 2007 

"Trial Issues," Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Deskbook, Chapter 11, Law Journal Press, 2004 

"Stuck in the Web of Formalism: Why Reversing the Ninth Circuit's Ruling on The Pledge of Allegiance Won't Be So Easy," Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Volume 12, Fall 2002

Speaking Engagements

"How the Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Will Affect Discovery," Ballard Spahr CLE program, live in Philadelphia and via webinar, June 25, 2014

"E-Discovery Breakfast Briefing: Taking Control in Litigation and Regulatory Matters," The Huron Legal Institute, Philadelphia, May 20, 2014

"Ethics for Discovery 2013," Practising Law Institute, New York, July 22, 2013

"Avoiding the Pitfalls of 'Bring Your Own Device' Policies," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 12, 2013

"New Amendments to Pa. Rules of Civil Procedure On eDiscovery," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 8, 2012

"Ethics for Discovery 2012," Practising Law Institute, July 27, 2012

"eDiscovery & Social Media in Litigation: Practical, Legal & Ethical Issues," Camden County Bar Association, May 9, 2012

"Leveraging Predictive Coding To Focus on Litigation Strategy," Navigant Expert Insights webinar, February 8, 2012

"Data Security in the Cloud and its Implications on eDiscovery," IQPC's The 6th eDiscovery for Pharma, Biotech, and Medical Devices Industries Conference, Philadelphia, October 25, 2011

"Taxation of E-Discovery Costs Not Limited to High-Profile Cases, Says Big Firm Partner," Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists Podcast Interview, August 17, 2011

"Ethics for E-Discovery 2010," Practising Law Institute, July 28, 2010

"Federal Rule of Evidence 502: The Changing Landscape of Discovery in the Electronic Age," Webcast by DRI's Product Liability Committee, June 3, 2010

"Data Security, Corporate Compliance and E-Discovery: Navigating the Data Morass," NJCCA's 7th Annual All-Day Conference, September 24, 2009

"Rule 502 and Its Impact on E-Discovery: Using the New Provisions to Reduce the Costs of Privilege Review Without Increasing the Risks of Waiver," ACI's E-Discovery and Document Management Conference, September 22, 2009

"Designing, Implementing, and Maintaining Document Management Policies that Survive Multi-Jurisdictional and International Discovery of Scientific E-Data," ACI's Document Management, E-Discovery, and Litigation Readiness Conference, April 1, 2008

"Responding to Electronic Discovery Requests and Preparing for Rule 26(f) Conferences," Association of Corporate Counsel's E-Discovery: Bridging the Gap between Legal and IT Seminar, July 9, 2007

"Document Retention and Disposal Management in an E-Discovery World," Ethisphere, October 15, 2006

Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D. 1997)
Member, Political and Civil Rights Law Review; Member, Temple Moot Court; Recipient, Trial Advocacy Program's Outstanding Advocate award

Temple University (B.A. 1991, summa cum laude)

New Jersey


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit