You’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome at work. You’re underwater with unsecured debt and an upside-down mortgage. Your teen just wrecked the car while driving home from a party. These things can happen to anyone. Which lawyer do you call? Delaware’s own attorneys pick the very best.
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Collins “C.J.” Seitz Jr. | Civil Litigation
Collins J. Seitz Jr. has the law in his genes. His father was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. As Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, Seitz Sr. presided over Belton v. Gebhar, which was later combined with several other cases into the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Three of the judge’s children, including C.J. Seitz, followed in their father’s footsteps.
Seitz, who graduated from Villanova University Law School, has been lucky to have several impressive mentors. As a young attorney, he worked under Arthur Connolly Sr. and Arthur Connolly Jr. at Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz. “They taught me how to be a lawyer,” Seitz says.
Seitz is now managing partner of the 110-attorney firm. His practice—which focuses on intellectual property, corporate, commercial and trust litigation, and government law and litigation—is remarkably diverse. “I’ve been fortunate that I’ve done a little bit of everything,” he says. “I have a broad-based experience.”
As a result, he’s become the go-to attorney when the stakes are high. Government clients include the State of Delaware, New Castle County and other Delaware municipalities. He represented the state in the U.S. Supreme Court original jurisdiction case New Jersey v. Delaware, which upheld Delaware’s territorial claims to the Delaware River.
In the business arena, Seitz was co-counsel for Rohm and Haas Co. in its successful quest to have Dow Chemical Co. complete its agreement after Dow sought to walk away from the $15.3 billion merger. Seitz and other firm attorneys also represented Pfizer Inc. as lead counsel to successfully defend Pfizer’s patent for Lipitor, one of the world’s best-selling drugs.
In addition to corporate cases, Seitz has litigated high-profile family trust disputes in the Chancery Court, and he’s currently representing the Medical Society of Delaware in matters pertaining to the Dr. Earl B. Bradley case.
Seitz’s skill prompted the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to appoint him special master for pretrial proceedings in the DaimlerChrysler securities litigation, which sparked 20 pretrial decisions. Delaware District Court judges have also appointed Seitz to the panel of special masters to handle pretrial matters in intellectual property and complex business cases.
Despite his busy schedule, Seitz has represented clients from the Federal Civil Panel, through which indigent federal litigants receive volunteer counsel for meritorious cases. His pro bono work earned him the 2004 Caleb R. Layton Distinguished Service Award.
No matter the case, Seitz’s goal is to serve as a trusted adviser to clients. “When they have a particular question about Delaware corporate law or the Delaware court, they can come to me for a quick answer,” he says.
Page 4: Vivian A. Houghton | Personal Bankruptcy