James J. McHugh, Jr. has been selected among the American Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers in PA and NJ from 2008 through 2013. He has also been selected by judges and other attorneys for numerous awards, including as a “Super Lawyer” in both Pennsylvania (2005 through 2016) and New Jersey (2006, 2014-2017), and among the top 100 lawyers in Philadelphia in 2015 as well as Pennsylvania in 2015, 2014, 2010, 2007 and 2005. In 2012, he received an AVVO rating of “Superb.” Mr. McHugh was selected for these honors because, among other reasons, he knows how to spot and win cases and zealously represents his clients. In 2013 he was admitted to the American Society of Legal Advocates. He has scored many triumphs throughout his years in a practice which focuses on mass tort and class action litigation, medical malpractice, construction litigation, products liability, defamation, and civil rights. In addition to these honors, Mr. McHugh has earned an A-V rating from Martindale-Hubbell (2008-2013), the highest rating available for both professional competence and ethical integrity.
Mr. McHugh’s legal experience has included a myriad of class action and mass tort matters including Baycol, Zyprexa, Benzene, Ephedra, Welding Rods, and Vioxx. Mr. McHugh was the former head of the Pharmaceutical Mass Tort and Class Action Department at The Beasley Firm, LLC. In addition to his mass tort practice, Mr. McHugh’s experience in medical malpractice matters ranges from failure to diagnose cancer to complex pediatric neurology litigation. When representing construction and factory workers, Mr. McHugh brings his extensive construction and engineering experience to bear and has demonstrated his ability to apply his firsthand experience in the litigation of large-scale explosions, construction site catastrophes, premises liability, contractual disputes, and products liability cases.
Mr. McHugh worked in the construction industry for over ten years, including the design and installation of technically complex heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, pumps, metering, and piping systems. During enrollment at Drexel University full time, and after graduation, Mr. McHugh supervised and operated his family’s plumbing and heating business. Subsequently, during his tenure as a Project Manager for a major mechanical contractor, Mr. McHugh supervised several high-cost, high-visibility projects such as renovations at the Philadelphia International Airport. These experiences equipped Mr. McHugh with the analytical and technical skills to fully assess product liability and construction cases with a keen eye for details.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University, he graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Mr. McHugh went on to train under the tutelage of James E. Beasley, Sr., who many considered to have been the best trial lawyer in America before his passing in 2004. Mr. McHugh has authored an article published in the Villanova Law Review and has assisted in editing numerous other publications. Lastly, he has served on the Advisory Committee for the Penn Public Service Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
In just one of his many successful legal endeavors, Mr. McHugh, along with James E. Beasley, Sr., obtained a $907 million verdict in 1999 against then-fugitive Ira Einhorn for his murder of Holly Maddux. Together with James Beasley, Mr. McHugh tried a number of cases ending in substantial verdicts or settlements for their clients. On his own, Mr. McHugh has secured seven- and eight-figure recoveries for his clients by way of both verdicts and settlements, including one of the highest confidential settlements in the history of Philadelphia. The streak of multi-million dollar successes has continued and now includes recoveries on behalf of hundreds of clients from pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and Bayer. Recently, Mr. McHugh was responsible for retaining and developing a vital expert who testified in a recent New Jersey Vioxx trial, McDarby, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc. The trial resulted in a verdict for a Vioxx victim of $4.5 million dollars in compensatory damages and $9 million dollars in punitive damages.
As a legal professional, Mr. McHugh has lectured around the country to groups that include lawyers, doctors and various unions. He has lectured at the American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), national and regional legal seminars and schools, and was a presenter during the first live national mass tort internet seminar. Mr. McHugh is a frequent commentator who has been consulted by international and national media leaders including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
When he is not practicing law, Mr. McHugh’s free time is devoted to his wife Colette and sons Albert, James, and Cole and his daughter, Sophia – even finding time to assist in coaching his sons’ football teams. Mr. McHugh also enjoys playing sports and relaxing with his brothers Walter and Edward, both attorneys, and Dennis, an orthopedic surgeon.
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At A Glance
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
State of New Jersey
US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
US District Court, District of New Jersey
US Supreme Court
magna cum laude
Villanova University School of Law
BS, Mechanical Engineering
Key Practice Areas
(past and present)
American Association for Justice
American Trial Lawyers Association
National Crime Victim Bar Association
Order of the Coif
Villanova Law Review
Advisory Committee, Penn Public Service Program
University of Pennsylvania School of Law