Clifford Sacalis

Tel 215.864.8874
Fax 215.864.8999

Clifford Sacalis practices complex commercial litigation and primarily focuses on commercial real estate litigation, regulatory investigations, insurance litigation, and disputes involving Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act.

In his real estate litigation practice, Cliff represents property owners, developers, landlords, tenants, and lenders. He has litigated numerous commercial landlord-tenant cases, prosecuted waste claims against guarantors, and obtained injunctions for nuisance. In addition, he has defended clients against eminent domain proceedings, represented lenders in construction loan litigation, and successfully foreclosed on hundreds of millions of dollars of commercial real estate throughout the Commonwealth. Most recently, Cliff represented a national retailer in AAA arbitration relating to a commercial lease. He helped defeat a landlord's $9 million counterclaim on summary judgment, and, as second chair in the arbitration, obtained complete victory, including pre- and post-award interest, costs of arbitration, and attorney's fees. The $2 million arbitration award was affirmed by both the federal district court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cliff also maintains a diverse insurance practice representing insurers, insureds, and brokers in both litigation and regulatory proceedings. Cliff has defended insurers against fraud, negligence, and antitrust claims. He also regularly litigates and counsels clients concerning coverage issues under a variety of policies, including commercial general liability (CGL), directors and officers (D&O), and professional liability. Most recently, Cliff represented a national restaurant chain in a coverage dispute relating to unsettled data breach issues. Cliff also helps clients navigate investigations by insurance regulators and negotiates favorable resolutions on their behalf.

Cliff's practice also includes representation of medical marijuana organizations in disputes pertaining to Pennsylvania's medical marijuana laws. Cliff's understanding of Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Act and its implementing regulations allows him to counsel clients, and helps him to negotiate and litigate disputes concerning the licensing, growing, selling, and testing of cannabis products.

Cliff also has significant in-house litigation experience. During an eight-month secondment in 2018 with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Cliff worked with outside counsel and managed significant environmental tort litigation—both class actions and MDLs—in state and federal courts throughout the country. Cliff also conducted internal investigations and assisted with responses to regulatory requests, including analysis of subpoenas and document requests, interviews of employees, and assessment of key issues such as privilege and employee rights. In addition, Cliff contributed to a large valuation project critical to the merger and subsequent spinoff of DowDuPont's materials science, agriculture, and specialty products businesses. Cliff's in-house experience provides him with unique perspective on the challenges faced by in-house counsel in achieving successful results in litigation.

Prior to becoming a full-time associate at Ballard Spahr, Cliff was a member of the firm's 2011 summer associate class and served a clerkship with the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2010.


Contributor, "Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Civil Practice Manual, 18th Edition," June 1, 2017

"Use Law School Skills To Adapt in the First Year," The Legal Intelligencer, September 10, 2013

Recent Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Cyber-Insurance: An Integral Part of Any Commercial Insurance Program," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, July 11, 2016

"Civil Practice and Procedure in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas," Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, June 17, 2015

Villanova University School of Law (J.D. 2012, magna cum laude)
Managing Editor, Villanova Law Review Symposia; Member, Order of the Coif

James Madison University (B.A. 2009)

New Jersey


U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

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

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit