The Princeton Region, NJ News

Eckert Seamans Announces Attorney Promotions for 2017
Date:  3/23/2017
ArticleType:  Member News

PITTSBURGH (March 23, 2017) – The members (partners) of the national law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC announced the election of five attorneys to the firm’s membership (partnership), effective April 1. The firm’s new members represent a diverse range of experience and have been promoted from within the ranks of the firm’s Pittsburgh; Princeton; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington offices. The newly elected members are: Jill R. Cohen; Drew M. Derco; Heather Stone Fletcher; Peter S. Murphy; and Nathaniel C. Wilks.

“Our ability to help develop the next generation of legal talent is a key component of our strategy and a cornerstone of our ongoing growth and service to clients. Each of our new partners play an integral role in the continued success of our clients, our firm, and our communities,” says co-CEO Dorothy A. Davis.

“This is an outstanding class of lawyers, who represent the future of Eckert Seamans,” says co-CEO Timothy Q. Hudak. “We proudly congratulate Jill, Drew, Heather, Peter, and Nate, and look forward to celebrating their continued achievements in the years to come.”



Jill R. Cohen (Princeton) divides her practice between complex commercial litigation and employment litigation. She is experienced in representing corporations, executives and publicly traded companies in intricate cases involving securities, class action defense, and contract issues, in both individual plaintiff and class action law suits. Cohen’s employment experience includes representing, counseling, and training employers regarding a variety of employment matters, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, employee disciplinary issues, individual and group termination, and wage and hour issues. She regularly speaks and publishes on current issues in human resource law. Cohen earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2005 and her B.A., cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2001.


Drew M. Derco (Washington, D.C.) counsels U.S. and foreign airlines on aviation regulatory and policy matters before a number of federal agencies. He handles all phases of the airline start-up process and assists foreign airlines with the launch of U.S. service. He also assists U.S. and foreign carrier clients in obtaining permit, exemption, and code-share authority from DOT’s Office of International Aviation and negotiates airport lease and use agreements. Notably, Derco was selected for inclusion in 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as an “Associate to Watch in Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory.” Derco earned his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in 2008 and his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005.


Heather Stone Fletcher (Pittsburgh) focuses her practice on compliance, regulatory, and legislative matters affecting employee benefit plans. She represents clients in matters before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. She is experienced in a wide-range of tax and benefit issues including day-to-day welfare and retirement plan compliance matters, health care reform, plan drafting and documentation, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 fiduciary duties, health care continuation coverage, prohibited transactions, executive compensation, and Heath Insurance Portability & Accountability Act issues. Fletcher earned her J.D. from George Washington University School of Law and her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University.



Peter S. Murphy
(Wilmington) represents individuals, nonprofits, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies in all aspects of civil litigation in Pennsylvania and Delaware state and federal courts. Much of his practice involves defending product and equipment manufacturers in personal injury suits filed in the Delaware and Philadelphia Asbestos Litigation. As a member of the firm’s Regulated Substances Group, he advises clients establishing and operating businesses involved in the financing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, marketing, and retail sale of marijuana for medical use where authorized by state law. Murphy earned his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2007 from Widener University Delaware Law School, where he served as research editor of The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law; he earned his B.S. from Indiana University in 2002.


Nathaniel C. Wilks (Pittsburgh) is a registered patent attorney whose practice covers all aspects of intellectual property law with a focus on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, primarily in the electronic arts, infringement and validity studies, patentability and right-to-use opinions, and litigation support. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications in various technologies including, power distribution equipment, anti-counterfeiting measures, printers and copiers, semiconductor devices, electronic displays, hard drives, audio and video signal processing, mobile phones, computer networking, telecommunications, digital rights management, medical imaging, and software. Wilks earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2008 and his B.S. in electrical engineering, with distinction, from The Pennsylvania State University in 2003.


About Eckert Seamans
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC has more than 375 attorneys located in 15 offices throughout the United States, including Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo and White Plains, New York; Providence, Rhode Island; Troy, Michigan; Charleston, West Virginia; and Hartford, Connecticut. The firm provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of litigation, including mass tort and products liability; corporate and business law; intellectual property; labor and employment relations; aviation; bankruptcy and creditors' rights; employee benefits; environmental law; construction; public finance; real estate; tax; estates; and transportation.

Eckert Seamans' practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines, and railroads. The firm also represents numerous federal, state, and local governmental and educational entities. In order to provide global reach and access to legal resources that enhance our ability to serve clients’ needs around the globe, Eckert Seamans has partnered with SCG Legal, a global network of over 145 independent law firms with more than 11,500 attorneys. For more information about the firm, please visit http://www.eckertseamans.com/ .

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