Eric Rothschild is a partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. He is a member of the firm’s Health Effects Litigation and Commercial Litigation practice groups.
Mr. Rothschild’s practice focuses on product liability litigation brought in federal and state courts by State Attorneys General, and private payers, alleging improper promotion, Medicaid fraud, consumer protection violations and overpricing against prescription drug manufacturers.
Other engagements representative of Mr. Rothschild’s practice include representing:
- Eli Lilly in state and federal court lawsuits brought by State Attorneys General and private payers
- vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers in personal injury lawsuits and appellate proceedings
- American Nuclear Insurers in trial and appellate proceedings in the Three Mile Island litigation, contributing to the successful challenges to plaintiffs’ experts, which led to summary judgment, and ultimately, dismissal
- a major computer vendor in defense of a fraud suit by a bank in the Czech Republic related to a major computer system sale
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its prosecution of a RICO and fraud action against former owners of a Pennsylvania medical malpractice insurer, for causing an insolvency estimated at several hundred million dollars
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as liquidator for Legion Insurance Company in an arbitration resulting in an award of $22.5 million in consequential damages against a major reinsurer
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the collection of billions of dollars of reinsurance owed to Reliance Insurance Company, a major property and casualty insurance company now in liquidation a major financial institution in arbitration of a breach of contract dispute arising out of the client’s sale of a large credit card portfolio
- a land developer in a jury trial alleging tortious interference by a competing development company.
Mr. Rothschild has argued several appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and he also has argued before federal district courts and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. He has tried several major arbitrations.
Mr. Rothschild has a varied pro bono practice. Mr. Rothschild served as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case in the nation to test whether “intelligent design” can be introduced into the curriculum of public high school science classes. In a sweeping victory for the plaintiffs, Judge John E. Jones, III ruled on December 20, 2005 that the Dover policy violated the First Amendment, holding that intelligent design is clearly religious in nature, and is not science. Pepper handled the case as part of its pro bono program.
The case received extensive media coverage, including a feature article in The New Yorker (December 5, 2005), which reported that Mr. Rothschild cross-examined intelligent design proponent Michael Behe with “cheerful mercilessness.” In another article, Judge Jones called Mr. Rothschild’s cross examination of Professor Behe, “as good a cross-examination of an expert witness as I have ever seen. It was textbook.” (The Pennsylvania Lawyer, July/August 2006.)
Mr. Rothschild also represented the plaintiffs in Selman v. Cobb County School District, in a challenge to an anti-evolution policy adopted in Cobb County, Georgia. That case was resolved on December 19, 2006, by a consent decree requiring the School District to stop their antievolution policy.
In addition to his role in Kitzmiller and Selman he:
- successfully represented an applicant for legal immigration in resisting the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) blood test requirement on the grounds of free exercise of religion
- successfully represented a client in a custody trial in Philadelphia Family Court
- assisted in Pepper’s court-appointed representation of inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System in a class action challenging overcrowding and other conditions in the prison system.
Mr. Rothschild is chair of the board of directors of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP). He also is a member of the Legal Advisory Board of the National Center for Science Education, an organization advocating the teaching of evolution and resisting the teaching of religious explanations of creation in public schools.
Mr. Rothschild and his Pepper colleagues received the 2006 Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the ACLU of Pennsylvania for their work on the Kitzmiller case. He also received the Clarence Darrow Award from the National Center for Science Education for his efforts in the Kitzmiller case. In addition, Mr. Rothschild was selected as one of Pennsylvania’s 2006 “Lawyers on a Fast Track” by the Legal Intelligencer and was selected for inclusion on the 2012 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.
Mr. Rothschild is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.