Cathleen M. Devlin

Cathleen Devlin litigates a broad array of business disputes, ranging from complex commercial contract issues and business tort and fraud cases to environmental cost recovery and contribution matters.  She has over 20 years of experience pursuing and defending cases in the federal and state courts, as well as in both private and court-annexed arbitration and mediation proceedings.  She also counsels clients in navigating large-scale investigations and audits arising from federal government inquiries.

Cathleen represents clients across a variety of industries, from Fortune 500 companies in the energy technology and infrastructure, mining and minerals, and waste industries to institutions of higher education, food and consumer products suppliers, gaming and entertainment providers, and golf course operators.  Favorable outcomes that she has achieved for her clients have come by way of successful motions, trial judgments, arbitration awards and negotiated settlements.

Business Litigation

Cathleen enjoys the exhilaration of trying and arguing cases in the courtroom, and has substantial front-line trial and appellate argument experience.  She also has extensive experience handling pre-trial phases of litigation, including managing e-discovery; pursuing and opposing pre-trial motions; collaborating on expert witness strategies, analyses and reports; readying witnesses for depositions and trial testimony; and taking and defending fact and expert depositions.

Select representations include:

  • A prominent gaming and entertainment client’s breach of contract and defamation case in New Jersey federal court arising from an agreement to develop and implement an online gaming and gambling system for a casino.
  • A Fortune 500 waste industry client and two former corporate officers’ six-month bench trial in New Jersey state court, defending against claims of fraud and breach of contract arising from the formation, operation and dissolution of a joint venture.
  • The same waste industry client’s defense of a complex employee stock option contract dispute, including a bench trial and an appellate argument in Pittsburgh state court.
  • A food and agribusiness client’s intellectual property dispute relating to an innovative manufacturing technology.
  • A prison commissary supplier’s multiple federal court civil rights lawsuits brought by inmates concerning product quality and pricing.

Environmental Litigation

Cathleen has extensive experience litigating environmental disputes and representing corporate clients identified as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at former industrial facilities, landfill sites and smelter sites.  She coordinates regularly with federal and state environmental agencies and environmental experts and consultants on matters, and actively participates on PRP committees at various stages of threatened and pending enforcement, cost recovery and contribution actions.  Cathleen also has substantial experience specific to negotiating and litigating corporate successor liability and alter ego liability issues, contractual indemnification claims and equitable allocation of cleanup costs.

Select representations include:

  • A mining and minerals industry client’s pursuit of CERCLA contribution claims for costs of cleanup of lead, arsenic and cadmium in soil on residential properties alleged to have been caused by historical zinc smelting operations in Oklahoma.
  • A landfill operator client facing a proposed class action initiated by area residents in New Jersey alleging negligence and public and private nuisance claims arising from alleged landfill odors.
  • An international industrial manufacturing client defending against CERCLA contribution claims for costs of remediating soil and groundwater contamination alleged to arise from historical operation of a steel fabrication facility in western Pennsylvania.
  • An energy industry client defending against CERCLA cost recovery and contribution claims stemming from cleanup of coal tar contamination at multiple former manufactured gas plant sites, including a two-week bench trial in federal court in New York. 
  • A Fortune 500 waste industry client negotiating with federal and state agencies and PRP groups to address costs of remediating closed municipal landfill sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.

Government Investigations and Audits

Cathleen is a seasoned team leader in representing institutions of higher education, media companies and other clients in conjunction with large-scale investigations and audits undertaken to address both actual and anticipated government inquiries.  These matters have involved extensive interview sessions, strategy development and preparation of comprehensive investigative reports for submission to government agencies and courts.

Select representations include:

  • Two major public university systems undertaking internal investigations and audits concerning alleged non-compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the anti-harassment provisions of Title IX.
  • A bankruptcy court-appointed independent examiner investigating creditors’ allegations of wrongdoing in the $3.6 billion leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company.
  • An SEC-appointed independent examiner investigating Time Warner/AOL’s historical accounting for online advertising revenues, which led to a revenue restatement of over $500 million by the company.

Cathleen is an avid golfer, and has developed a niche practice counseling golf industry clients and teaching PGA club professionals about developments in the law as to golf course design safety issues, disputes with neighboring property owners and other contract, tort, real estate and environmental issues affecting golf course owners and operators.  Beyond golf, Cathleen is passionate about supporting mixed-breed canine rescue and adoption organizations.  She is also committed to serving the legal profession through active participation in the leadership of the ABA Section of Litigation, and will serve as a Managing Director of the Section for the 2017-2018 bar year.

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