Neal Walters is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Product Liability and Mass Tort Group, and a member of the firm's Manufacturing and Retail Industry Groups. Neal has a diverse trial and litigation practice focused on protecting product companies, as well as clients involved in technical matters, against a broad range of risks. As counsel for several consumer product manufacturers, he has defended and coordinated product liability and consumer claims, including class actions, through trial in jurisdictions across the country.
He also counsels companies on contractual, regulatory, and liability issues arising in the development, sale, and servicing of products. Most recently, this has included responding to emergent requests from clients to address COVID-19 related product risks, including the evaluation and support of emergency PPE.
- Led a team advising a major university on the compliance, risk management and licensing for the emergent April 2020 production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19.
- Currently defending one of the fastest growing domestic distributors of foreign motor vehicles in six separate class actions alleging consumer fraud and warranty theories.
- Defending Rally-Cross racing participant in the Central District of Los Angeles against contract claims by a promotions company asserting its business and national racing series failed as a result of tortious interference and fraudulent conduct.
Pro Bono Experience
Neal served as a part of a team that successfully pursued litigation, regulatory, and legislative action on behalf of an Indian tribe to secure Historic Preservation protection for a 10,000-year-old archaeological site in Northern New Jersey.
Rutgers School of Law-Camden, former Adjunct Professor, Pretrial Advocacy and Electronic Discovery
Defense Research Institute
Recognition & Accomplishments
Chambers USA, litigation: product liability (New Jersey ranking, 2012-2021; national ranking, 2009-2013)
The Legal 500 US, Product liability and mass tort defense – automotive/transport, 2015-2021
Recipient, New Jersey Law Journal "40 Under 40" award, 2007
Recipient, 2003 Conservation Award, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, for his team's pro bono efforts in successfully pursuing an injunction to preserve a site of archaeological significance on behalf of the Lenni-Lenape Indians
"The Risk Profile of An Evolving Transportation Model," ACI's Automotive Product Liability Conference, Chicago, July 17, 2019
"How IoT Regulation and Litigation are Transforming the Manufacturing Industry," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 16, 2019
"Defeating Class Actions Post-Certification: Procedural and Substantive Strategies," Strafford Publishers webinar, December 18, 2018
Board Memberships & Community Service
Neal is a Trustee of the Board of Directors, and the Chair of the Governance Committee, of the South Jersey Food Bank. Neal was a collegiate baseball player and is an athletics enthusiast. He is an avid golfer and is actively involved in coaching a variety of youth sports for the Marlton (New Jersey) Recreation Council.
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey School of Law-Newark (J.D. 1993)
Rutgers College (B.A. 1990)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit