Personal Statement of Experience

Adrian Roe Statement of Legal Experience

            For those of you that would prefer to see a resume, please click HERE.

This Statement provides an overview of my legal work.

I have tried three civil jury trials as first chair in federal district court and three civil jury trials as first chair in state court with each trial lasting at least a week. I have tried a civil bench trial in federal court and approximately four civil bench trials in state court. I have tried several arbitrations. I have served as first chair in both the prosecution and defense of preliminary injunction proceedings. Several of those proceedings involved constitutional issues. E.g., Swartzwelder v. McNeilly, 297 F.3d 228 (3d Cir. 2003); Bruderhof Foundation, Inc. v. Varner, 2:97-cv-1472 (W.D. Pa.). I have taken or defended hundreds of depositions and argued many civil motions. I have argued both federal and state court appeals. I have represented clients in alternative dispute resolutions proceedings including both early neutral evaluation and mediation.

I have handled cases in a wide variety of areas including breach of contract, employment discrimination, free speech and other constitutional claims, civil fraud and claims under Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and wage and hour law.

I have defended approximately twenty-five (25) federal felony cases and have tried a federal criminal jury trial.

I have been named as class counsel (or co-counsel) in a number of class actions.   E.g., Chevalier v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., No., GD 13-017194 (Allegh. Cty. Pa. Oct. 20, 2014); Pedder v. Tar Wars Trucking, Inc., 2:13-cv-454 (W.D. Pa.); Vargas v. GNC General Nutrition Centers, Inc., 2012 W.L. 3544733 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 16, 2012); Neals v. MGIC, Civil Action No. 10-1291, 2011 W.L. 1897442 (W.D. Pa. Apr. 6, 2011).

For approximately the last seven years, I have served as the principal supervising attorney for the Federal Litigation Clinic at Duquesne University School of Law. Each year certified law students participate in actual cases pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and/or the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania pursuant to the courts’ student practice rules. In connection with the appellate cases, students work with experienced counsel in formulating the arguments to be presented, preparing the opening brief and joint appendix and, if applicable, the reply brief, and eventually presenting oral argument to a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (when argument is granted). As examples, I served as counsel of record in the following cases that were handled in whole or in part through the Duquesne Clinic: United States v. Cegledi, ___ Fed. Appx. ___, 2015 W.L. 4430769 (3d Cir. July 21, 2015); United States v. George Hopkins, 568 Fed. Appx. 143 (3d Cir. 2014); Verde-Rodriguez v. Attorney General, 734 F.3d 198 (3d Cir. 2013); Washington v. Secretary Pa. Dep’t of Corr., 726 F.3d 471 (3d Cir. 2013); Cardona v. Bledsoe, 681 F.3d 533 (3d Cir. 2012); Ball v. SCI Muncy, 385 Fed. Appx. 211 (3d Cir. 2010).

In relation to district court cases, Clinic students work on all phases of the litigation process including formulation of case management plans and interacting with the court and opposing counsel at the case management conference; drafting and responding to written discovery; taking and defending depositions; drafting a pretrial statement; drafting and arguing motions in limine; settlement negotiations; and if the case is not resolved, all phases of jury trial from jury selection through closing. The following citations refer to district court cases handled through the Clinic. Bazemore v. Morris, No. 2:13-cv-652 (W.D. Pa.); Douglas v. Jin, Civil Action No. 11-0350, 2014 W.L. 1117934 and 2014 W.L. 1813229 (W.D. Pa. May 7 & Mar. 20, 2014); Walker v. Campbell, Civil Action No. 09-282, 2011 W.L. 6153104 (W.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2011).

In addition to the Federal Litigation Clinic, I co-teach a one-semester seminar course at Duquesne Law School entitled “Civil Rights Litigation.”

My practice generally has not been a “high volume” practice in terms of having a large number of open matters at one time. However, I have been involved in several cases that involving large numbers of actual or putative class members. E.g., Patterson v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., Nos. GD-03-021176 and GD-05-017476, 2013 W.L. 3502094 (Allegh. Cty., Pa. June 24, 2013) (statewide consumer class action); Neals v. MGIC, Civil Action No. 10-1291, 2011 W.L. 1897442 (W.D. Pa. Apr. 6, 2011) (nationwide class of women on maternity leave). I have also been involved in several “collective” or “representative” actions that generally involve fewer class members but require individualized case processing. For example, in the Vargas case, the settlement class consisted of approximately three hundred and seventy-five (375) store managers. The process of establishing potential liability and then identifying class members with viable claims (and the settlement value of those claims) entailed four years of litigation.

            I have served as counsel of record in several cases involving true questions of first impression. For example, the first round of proceedings in Geiser raised the issue whether the term “persecution” as used in the Refugee Relief Act was ambiguous for purposes of Chevron analysis. I argued this case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. United States v. Geiser, 527 F.3d 288 (3d Cir. 2008). The second round of proceedings raised the issue whether involuntariness is a defense to a charge of removability against a person who admittedly served as a Nazi concentration camp guard.

In a case handled initially through the Clinic, the Third Circuit held that the prosecution had violated the Bruton doctrine. Washington v. Secretary Pa. Dep’t of Corr., 726 F.3d 471 (3d Cir. 2013). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania subsequently filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition, vacated the decision, and remanded for further consideration in light of an intervening Supreme Court decision. On remand I was appointed by the Court to handle the case pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act. I filed a supplemental brief and argued the case before the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit subsequently reaffirmed its original decision granting habeas relief in a case involving a double homicide.

Washington v. Sec’y Pa. Dep’t of Corr., 801 F.3d 160 (3d Cir. 2015). This decision is of national importance as it is one of the few reported cases in which a federal appellate court has granted habeas relief after determining that a state court violated “clearly established” federal law within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1).

The Patterson class action has been pending for twelve (12) years and has generated a number of novel issues such as whether reliance can be proven on a class-wide basis in the case of a filed rate. See Grimes v. Enterprise Leasing Co., ___ Pa. ___, 105 A.3d 1188, 1192 n. 3 (Pa. 2014) (reserving related issue).

Neals was a nationwide class action under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and other federal statutes and alleged discrimination on the basis of pregnancy in connection with the issuance of private mortgage insurance or “PMI.” The defendant initially took the position that it was exempt from liability under the FHA. Once the Court rejected that argument, the United States Department of Justice filed a companion lawsuit against the mortgage insurer. The cases eventually both settled with substantial payments being made to approximately seventy (70) similarly situated women around the United States.