Successfully represented a regional national bank in a highly publicized bank board dispute involving issues of control; obtained a quick and successful resolution in the matter.

Successfully represented developers in a real estate litigation over the construction of a large grocery store in Bucks County, Pa.

Representing the Philadelphia DA in a court case over impeachment proceedings brought by members of the state legislature.

Supreme Court Project,

John Summers litigates complex commercial disputes for clients in the financial services, technology, life science, real estate, nonprofit and manufacturing sectors.

Chair of the firm’s litigation department, John is nationally recognized in handling difficult cases involving complicated financial disputes as well as legal ethics issues. He litigates a wide range of matters, including complex contract, joint venture, corporate, partnership and non-compete disputes, as well as ERISA and class actions. His clients describe him as “knowledgeable and responsive” (Chambers USA). John’s insights and experience make him a valuable counselor as well a skilled, hands-on and tenacious trial and appellate lawyer, experienced before state and federal courts, as well as arbitration panels. Regionally, he has been recognized as the Philadelphia Litigator of the Year in ERISA (2017, 2022) and Real Estate Litigation (2024).

For more than 30 years, John has been involved legal ethics issues, representing lawyers in a range of transactional, malpractice and professional matters.  He has complemented experience with counseling and representing Pennsylvania state trial judges for more than a dozen years as a Solicitor to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. Over the years, John has also served as a member and chair for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board, chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and on the PBA’s a former member of the Association’s Professional Guidance Committee.

John is also a leader of the pro bono and not for profit community.  He was a First Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and served as Board President of Children First (formerly PCCY), a children’s advocacy organization. John also guided Reinvestment Fund (RF), a nationally recognized community development finance institution, serving as Board Chair for six years and member of the Board for twenty years. He and team of HASPS lawyers have filed a series of amicus briefs, on behalf of a leading anti-torture advocacy organization and law professors, arguing that torture derived evidence is inadmissible under United States and international law at all stages of the proceedings against a defendant. [A1]

Within the firm John is a mentor for associates and younger partners, frequently joining with them to write articles and thought pieces. He is a big believer in the virtues of actually meeting in person — around the round table in his office — to absorb his colleagues’ insights and guide the litigation or counseling matter.

John has an intellectual, empirical and statistical orientation that informs much of his work. Whether it is in picking apart an expert report in litigation, helping a not for profit better advance its mission or simply as part as an academic effort. For example, for many years, he directed the firm’s Supreme Court Project, a research project that employed econometric techniques to analyze and predict United States Supreme Court decisions.

Honors & Awards


Finalist, The Legal Intelligencer‘s “Power Players,” 2024

Ranked in by Chambers USA for Pennsylvania: Philadelphia & Surrounds – Litigation: General Commercial, 2006 -2023

Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star, 2009 – 2024

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation, 2008 – 2024; named the 2024 Philadelpha Lawyer of the Year for Real Estate Litigation and  the 2017 and 2022 Philadelphia ERISA Litigation Lawyer of the Year

Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for Business Litigation, 2004-2023

Honoree, Pennsylvania Innocence Project Edward Ohlbaum Volunteer Award, 2018



Named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2017 Best of the Bar list

University of Pennsylvania Law School Mark G. Lefevre Prize for Law and Economics, 1984

University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Editor

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Teaching, Lecturing, & News

Co-author, “Torture’s Damage in Guantanamo Cases Goes Far Beyond Evidence,” Bloomberg Law, January 29, 2024

Quoted in “Pennsylvania Powerhouse: Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller,” Law360, August 22, 2023

Panelist, “Ethical Management of the Court,” President Judges of Courts of Common Pleas, June 5, 2023

Presenter, “Business Divorce Litigation,” PBI’s Business Divorce 2021: A Practical Guide From Inception to Litigation to Resolution, December 1, 2021

“Marshall Hale’s Long Road to Freedom: Ten Insights Into the Causes of Wrongful Convictions,” BNA United States Law Week, August 3, 2017 (with Maureen Lawrence and Dina Grove)

Lecturer on a variety of topics, including presentations on professional responsibility, legal ethics, and trial practice

“An Econometric Investigation of the Determinants of US Supreme Court Decisions,Tennessee Law Review, Volume 83.4, December 2016 (with Michael J. Newman and Michael Cliff, PhD)

“Pennsylvania Needs A Law to Compensate the Wrongfully Convicted,” Editorial,, September 27, 2016 (with Dina L. Grove and Elise Singer)

“Judges and Online Social Networking,” BNA’s United States Law Week, May 21, 2013 (with Maureen P. Smith)

“Promotional Enforcement: A Potential Current Inflection Point,The Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, February 6, 2013 (with Dylan J. Steinberg)

“The Court of Judicial Discipline: A Review of the First Twenty Years,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, January 2013 (with Rebecca S. Melley)

“Caronia: A Serious First Amendment Rebuke to Federal Off-Label Marketing Prosecutions,” The Legal Intelligencer, January 13, 2013 (with Dylan J. Steinberg)

“The ‘Full’ Method of Measuring the Court’s Review of Decisions by the Courts of Appeals,” SCOTUSblog, October 23, 2012 (with Michael J. Newman)

“First Circuit Reversal Rate Not What It Seemed,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 30, 2012 (with Michael J. Newman)

“The Third Circuit’s Reversal Rate: A Success Story,” The Legal Intelligencer, November 10, 2011 (with Michael J. Newman)

“Towards a Better Measure and Understanding of US Supreme Court Review of Courts of Appeals Decisions,” BNA’s The United States Law Week, September 27, 2011 (with Michael J. Newman)

“Justices Weigh In on Pharma Marketing, Corporate Speech, Data Privacy,” The Legal Intelligencer, August 8, 2011 (with Dylan J. Steinberg)

“‘Matrixx,’ Materiality, and Statistical Significance,” The Legal Intelligencer, April 28, 2011 (with Michael J. Newman)

“Imagine the Plausibilities: Life After Twombly and Iqbal,” Litigation, Winter 2011

Lecturer-in-Law, University of Pennsylvania, 2003 – 2010

“Supreme Court Revisits and Reaffirms Twombly in Ashcroft v. Iqbal,” The Legal Intelligencer, June 1, 2009

“Rule 502’s Attempt to Clarify Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege Waivers,” The Legal Intelligencer, January 1, 2009

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Memberships & Community

American Law Institute, Member, 2005 – Present
Member, Consultative Group for Principles of Aggregate Litigation
Member, Consultative Group for Principles of Government Ethics

Education Law Center, Board Member

Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, Eastern Pennsylvania Solicitor, 2009 – Present

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, 1999 – 2004
Member and Chair, Hearing Board

Philadelphia Bar Association
Board of Governors , 1998 – 2000
Nominating Committee, 1995
Co-Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee, 1992
Special Committee to Investigate District Attorney’s Review of Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson, 1992
Professional Guidance Committee

Philadelphia Bar Education Center
President, 1996 – 1997
Vice President, 1995

Pilot Legis, Board of Directors, 2010 – Present

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