As one of the founding partners of Lopez McHugh, LLP, James J. McHugh, Jr. relentlessly uses his 25 years of legal experience help his clients seek compensation for their injuries. Whether pursuing a giant pharmaceutical company, trucking company, or hospital, Mr. McHugh is never intimidated by the size of those who have done his clients harm.
Mr. McHugh has been repeatedly recognized by judges and other attorneys and has been the recipient of numerous accolades presented throughout the legal community. These include being named one of the Best Lawyers in America for mass tort litigation and class actions for 2018 and 2019, a “Super Lawyer” in both Pennsylvania (2005 through 2019) and New Jersey (2006, 2014-2018), and sitting among the top 100 lawyers in Philadelphia in 2012-2019 as well as Pennsylvania in 2013-2019, 2010, 2007 and 2005. In 2012, he attained an AVVO rating of “Superb.” Mr. McHugh was selected for these recognitions by his peers because of the zeal he employs in the representation of his clients and other qualities which set him apart.
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 involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals, defamation, and civil rights. In addition to these honors, Mr. McHugh has earned an A-V rating from Martindale-Hubbell: the highest rating possible for both professional competence and ethical integrity.
Mr. McHugh’s legal experience has included a myriad of class action and mass tort matters including IVC filter litigation, Invokana, Baycol, Zyprexa, Benzene, Ephedra, gadolinium-based contrast agents, and Vioxx. Prior to founding Lopez McHugh, LLP, 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 experiences in medical malpractice matters range from failure to diagnose cancer and meningitis to complex pediatric neurology litigation. When representing construction and factory workers, Mr. McHugh brings his extensive construction and engineering experience to bear on these cases, and has demonstrated his ability to apply firsthand experience in the litigation of large-scale explosions, construction site catastrophes, premises liability, contractual disputes, and products liability cases. This is largely due to his own experience in the construction industry which spanned for over a decade.
His duties in this capacity included the design and installation of technically complex heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, pumps, metering, and piping systems. Throughout his enrollment at Drexel University as a full time student, as well as after his 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, including conducting renovations at the Philadelphia International Airport. These experiences equipped Mr. McHugh with the analytical and technical skills necessary to fully assess product liability and construction cases and gave him an eye for details only made possible by putting personal time into the industry.
After earning his 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.; a litigator widely believed to have been the best trial lawyer in America prior to 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.
That streak of multi-million dollar successes continues, and now includes recoveries on behalf of hundreds of clients from pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and Bayer. 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. Mr. McHugh served as plaintiff’s liaison counsel in the Philadelphia gadolinium-based contrast litigation and was recently appointed as co-liaison in the Argon IVC filter litigation.
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), spoken at national and regional legal seminars and schools, and was a presenter during the first live national mass tort internet seminar. Mr. McHugh is a 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; sons Albert, James, and Cole; and his daughter, Sophia – enjoying watching each of them compete in professional bodybuilding competitions and college and high school football and lacrosse programs. Mr. McHugh also enjoys talking politics 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 Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
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