Walter (Pete) Swayze, III


Walter "Pete" Swayze is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Lewis Brisbois and co-chair of the Life Sciences Practice and vice-chair of the Products Liability Practice. Mr. Swayze primarily concentrates his practice on defending clients facing claims of catastrophic injuries from products liability and complex litigation matters.

Mr. Swayze has prepared complex construction, professional liability, transportation, and civil rights matters for trial and has significant jury trial experience in high exposure cases in both state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He has also served as designated trial counsel in various state and federal courts in his role as coordinating counsel. He has prepared and presented corporate designates, engineers, doctors, experts, and licensed professionals of all disciplines for deposition. Further, Mr. Swayze is experienced in complex trial motion practice and the preparation of case dispositive motions in courts throughout the United States, and he has handled numerous appellate matters including arguing cases in the Pennsylvania Superior Court, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Swayze previously served as lead defense counsel in the Philadelphia latex glove allergy litigation; he now serves as defense liaison counsel in two pharmaceutical products liability matters involving branded and generic prescription drugs and medical devices pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. At the national level, Mr. Swayze has served as National Coordinating Counsel for two OTC drug product companies, participating and managing the clients' cases on a national basis, and he represents clients as local counsel on numerous coordinated defense efforts. Prior to joining Lewis Brisbois, Mr. Swayze was a shareholder and Chair of the Drug and Medical Device Practice Group for a large Philadelphia based regional law firm.

Mr. Swayze is involved in numerous organizations including the Council on Litigation Management, Defense Research Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel. He has been asked to address both industry groups and insurers at distinguished forums including national conferences, speaking on topics such as issues presented in various types of litigation, substantive issues of the law, and effective claims handling under the purview of the relationship between the insurance company and its lawyers.

Mr. Swayze lives in Media, Pennsylvania with his wife, Joanne, two sons, Hunter and Jake, and a daughter, Katelyn.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Healthcare
  • Life Sciences
  • Products Liability
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
  • COVID-19 Response Resource Center
  • COVID-19: FDA Regulatory/Life Sciences
  • General Liability
  • Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
  • Labor & Employment


New Jersey


United States Court of Appeals for the First, Third, and Eighth Circuits

United States Supreme Court

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania


  • Defense Research Institute
  • Litigation Counsel of America, 2015 Fellow
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Recognized among "The Best Lawyers in America", 2015–2019, and 2021
  • Recognized among "The Best Lawyers in America" in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, 2021
  • Recognized among "The Best Lawyers in America" in Personal Injury Litigation–Defendants, 2015–2019, and 2021
  • Recognized among "The Best Lawyers in America" in Product Liability Litigation–Defendants, 2016–2019, and 2021
  • Selected as a Member of the Nation's Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2016–2019
  • Selected for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list (no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community, 2011– 2020

Professional Presentations

  • "You're Not Perfect Either," Magna Legal Services, March CLE Madness, Las Vegas, NV, March 15, 2018
  • Speaker, Drug & Device Defense Forum HB Litigation Conferences, Philadelphia, October 24, 2017
  • “Litigating the Traumatic Brain Injury Case” Forensic Medicine, Law & Science course, Temple University Law School, invited guest lecturer, October 2, 2017
  • Moderator, Micro panel on Communications and Jury Selection, Magna Legal Services, Mock Crisis Part 3 Conference, May 11-12, 2017
  • Speaker, Northeast Corporate Counsel Forum HB Litigation Conferences, Atlantic City, NJ, April 7, 2017
  • Speaker, "Litigating a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim: A Case Study," PBI CLE Webcast, June 30, 2016
  • DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar For the Defense: Litigation Across the Drug and Device Spectrum DRI, Chicago Marriott Downtown, May 19, 2016
  • Speaker, Northeast Corporate Counsel Forum 2016, Atlantic City New Jersey, April 21, 2016
  • "Does Your Corporate Counsel Relationship Need Counseling?" HB Drug & Device Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, October 20, 2015
  • "Traumatic Brain Injury: The Medical and Legal Aspects of Brain Injury Litigation," PBI CLE Webcast, August 21, 2015
  • "Product Liability Litigation Trends for 2015," Legal Intelligencer/ALM In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, March 24, 2015
  • "Discovery Best Practices post-Actos: Minimizing the Risk of Harsh Defense Sanctions in an MDL," ACI 19th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, New York, NY, December 8-10, 2014
  • "How to Handle the Difficult Judge," Magna Legal Services presents Streamlining Relationships with Outside Counsel, Atlantic City, NJ, November 12-13, 2014
  • "Top Legal Issues of 2014," HB Litigation Conferences presents Drug & Device Defense: Emerging Litigation and Regulatory Developments, Philadelphia, PA, October 22, 2014
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: The Medical and Legal Aspects of Brain Injury Litigation, “Mild TBI: Defending and Disproving the Brain Injury that is Beyond Objective Medical Evidence,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE seminar, November 6, 2013
  • The Dispute Resolution Institute's 15th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, “Joinder, Contribution, Cross-Claims and Indemnity,” Philadelphia, PA, April 16, 2013


Widener University School of Law

Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1990

University of Richmond

Bachelor of Science, 1986

New Jersey Police Academy, Cape May County


Lance v. Wyeth: Not the “Redux” the Pharmaceutical Industry was Seeking, January 29, 2014