Fighting for What’s Right
From Philadelphia to the Pacific, the attorneys of Sheller P.C. fight aggressively yet compassionately for clients whose rights have been violated in whistleblower matters and other areas of the law
by Bill Donahue

Stephen A. Sheller decided more than three decades ago to be a champion for people who have been hurt, victimized or otherwise had their rights trampled upon. His dedication to this cause has only intensified over time, recruiting others to join him in the fight. 

Sheller and his fellow attorneys at Philadelphia-based Sheller P.C. represent clients throughout the region and across the country in cases involving defective products, unfair business practices and corporate wrongdoing, among other areas. The firm is committed to the aggressive and compassionate representation of clients who have suffered a diverse range of injuries—physical, financial, emotional, etc.—caused by the negligence, recklessness or unfairness of others.

“I’ve always felt that I needed to handle matters that are important to social justice and to our country’s conscience,” says Sheller. “From law school forward, I knew that I wanted to create a firm dedicated to causes surrounding social justice and doing what’s right.”

Founded by Sheller in 1977, Sheller P.C. has since grown into one of the region’s largest personal-injury and class-action law firms for plaintiffs in the eastern United States, often opposing some of the world’s biggest corporations in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, among others. Its national practice concentrates in areas of consumer fraud, drug-product and medical-device liability, mass tort, personal injury litigation, labor-union representation and workplace safety, equality and compensation.

“Success starts from the moment an inquiry comes in your door,” says partner Jamie L. Sheller, who focuses her practice in mass tort, product liability, class-action litigation and general personal injury cases. “We’re very careful to take on only the cases that are appropriate under the law; I would say we turn away nine out of 10 cases. We’re gritty, and we don’t give up. If we believe something has been done wrong, we apply perseverance and grit to fight on behalf of our clients.”

Taking a Stand
Sheller P.C.’s attorneys are routinely recognized as some of the region’s best. In 2012, Stephen Sheller, Jamie Sheller, Albert J. Brooks and Brian J. McCormick Jr. were named “Pennsylvania Super Lawyers,” while Claudine Q. Homolash and Matthew C. Monroe were named “Pennsylvania Rising Stars.” Also, both Shellers won additional “Super Lawyer” honors, with Stephen being ranked among the Top 100 in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, and Jamie being named one of the Top 50 Women. McCormick was identified as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia in 2011. Both McCormick and Homolash have been identified as two of Pennsylvania’s leading lawyers under the age of 40 in recent years.

Such recognition has been well earned, considering the firm’s attorneys have stood at the forefront of many successful hard-won, high-profile cases in recent years. For his part, Stephen Sheller has been instrumental in recovering more than $4.2 billion for the U.S. government and taxpayers, including two of the largest qui tam or “whistleblower” cases in history, with settlements of $2.3 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively. These settlements, with more on the way, have helped ensure that pharmaceutical companies do not market drugs illegally or fail to disclose critical safety information to consumers.

“With whistleblower cases, these people are risking their careers to report this information to the government,” says partner Brian J. McCormick Jr., whose practice includes both commercial litigation matters and whistleblower/qui tam actions, as well as personal injury and products liability matters. He has also assisted the U.S. government with the successful prosecution of several qui tam actions throughout his career. “Some of these people are high-level management, and they are taking a chance that they may not work in that industry again, but they are taking a stand against fraud and waste.”

Like Stephen Sheller and Brian McCormick, Claudine Q. Homolash specializes in qui tam matters. A partner in the firm since January 2011, she also represents plaintiffs pursuing cases under the Federal False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to act as “private attorneys general” in the effort to prosecute government procurement and program fraud.

“Whistleblower cases are a core part of what we do, and with our past experiences, the client doesn’t have to teach us as much,” says Homolash, who also represents individuals and class actions for pharmaceutical injuries, products liability and mass torts. “For me, I’m interested in the science and medicine, and you need to be well versed in those areas for these kinds of cases.”

The Sheller name may be familiar to some. After the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election he filed litigation in Palm Beach, Fla., involving the now-infamous butterfly ballots. He argued that the ballots in Broward and Palm Beach counties were unconstitutional because they denied citizens the right to vote. Although George W. Bush was ultimately declared the victor, Bush v. Gore is emblematic of the types of cases he has had no fear of undertaking since he first began practicing law in the 1970s.

“When I went in college at the University of Pennsylvania and at Penn Law School I was very active in matters of civil rights,” Sheller says. “I started out representing students and getting them the right to vote on campus. … I’ve always believed that lawyers should do much more than handle cases.”

True to form, Sheller P.C. has a history of helping people in need, both in and out of the courtroom. Its attorneys are heavily involved in causes to improve the well-being of local communities by supporting organizations rooted in the betterment of its health, culture and education.

Stephen Sheller, for example, is a longtime supporter of the nation’s military. In 2010, because of his continued support of the Pennsylvania National Guard and the troops of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he had the American flag flown over the U.S. Embassy in Iraq in his honor. Also, with his wife, Sandy, he sponsored a permanent exhibit at the National Liberty Museum—“Civilian at Peace, Soldier at War”—honoring the state’s National Guard. In addition, he sits on the advisory board for the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia and the board of trustees for Drexel University, and provides financial support to the Drexel University 11th Street Health Services, a comprehensive health center run by the university’s College of Nursing and Health Professionals.

“To be successful at what we do here, you need to like what you do, you need to do it with thoroughness, and you need to think out of the box,” says Stephen Sheller. “I change directions constantly, from False Claims Act cases, to getting students the right to vote on campus, to representing unions. It’s important to be a specialist, but you have to be a specialist in using your brain and be willing to take risk.

“For us, if I can borrow the Salvation Army’s motto, it’s about doing the most good. You have to be able to take a case and think there is a good result possible. You also have to be willing to think clearly about what the other party did wrong, understand what the options are for correcting the deficiencies, and then find a solution that will do the most good.”  

Sheller P.C.
1528 Walnut Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 800-883-2299 | 215-790-7300