Stephen A. Sheller is the founding partner of Sheller, P.C., one of the leading plaintiff’s law firms in the United States since 1977. Mr. Sheller and his firm represent clients across the country in matters including pharmaceutical and medical device products injury, whistleblower/qui tam litigation, consumer protection, class actions, complex catastrophic personal injury, consumer products liability, and mass tort litigation.
Mr. Sheller has been at the forefront of celebrated national lawsuits, representing pharmaceutical whistleblowers and recovering over $6.4 billion for the U.S. government, most recently in September 2014 with a $58.9 million settlement with Shire Pharmaceuticals and this past April, $7.3 million with Astellas Pharma. Other historic whistleblower settlements include $2.2 billion against Johnson & Johnson in 2013, $520 million against AstraZeneca in April 2010, $2.3 billion against Pfizer Inc. in September 2009 and $1.4 billion against Eli Lilly & Company in January 2009. Serving as the lead attorney in these landmark pharmaceutical whistleblower cases, Mr. Sheller has achieved four of the top eight civil and criminal whistleblower settlements in U.S. History. Mr. Sheller continues to work with whistleblowers and is recognized as one the country’s premier experts on qui tam whistleblower and False Claims Act cases.
Mr. Sheller also has an ongoing dedication to representing clients injured by defective drugs. His representation of children injured by antipsychotic drugs was profiled on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. He has filed cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey on behalf of hundreds of clients nationwide harmed by the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal® and Invega®.
In 2003 Mr. Sheller was named a finalist for the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award given by Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for initiating the light cigarette fraud and litigation strategy to remedy the deception. This innovative legal strategy resulted in a $10.1 billion verdict against Phillip Morris. As a result of Mr. Sheller’s unique approach, his strategies have been adopted as a model in states across the U.S. and his work in this area earned him the first annual “Pioneer Award” by the Tobacco Control Resource Center at the winter 2011 American Association for Justice conference.
In November 2000, Mr. Sheller instituted litigation in Palm Beach County, Florida involving butterfly ballots and the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. As a result, he was featured in national, regional and local media for his role as a lead attorney challenging the poll results in Bush v. Gore. Mr. Sheller argued that the Broward and Palm Beach County ballots were unconstitutional, denying citizens their rights to vote.
Attorney Sheller was the invited presenter for the Edward J. Ross Memorial Annual Lecture in Litigation at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. His address, “Lawyering in Times of Saints and Evil-Doers,” reminded future lawyers to always lead with their conscience and to seek fairness and justice over personal gain. His talk, highlighted by newsreels and video, illustrated significant mileposts in his career: Representing the housekeeping and maintenance labor unions at Temple University, the SEIU and United Electrical Workers unions, the Black Panthers in the 1967-71 time period during the “Rizzo” era, families of the disabled in the Pennhurst case, the Consumers Education and Protection Association, and the ACLU. For the first time in history as a result of Mr. Sheller’s investigation and legal actions, the Ford Automobile Company “Superfund” contaminated site, which had been claimed to be cleaned up, was put back on the National Priorities List of the Superfund cleanup sites in Northern New Jersey.
Selected as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer,” Mr. Sheller has been honored each year since the award’s inception in 2003, and in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 garnered recognition as both a Top 100 Philadelphia and Top 100 Pennsylvania SuperLawyer.
Mr. Sheller is in his third term appointed as a member of the Drexel University Board of Trustees, past member of the Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania State University and past and present member of the boards of several other organizations and entities, including the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware where he and his wife Sandra received the “Others” award for their dedication to service.
Stephen Sheller and his wife Sandra are active philanthropically in Philadelphia and beyond. Their most recent endeavors through the Sheller Foundation include the new Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple University and the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center at Drexel University. Mr. Sheller and his wife Sandy also sponsor a permanent exhibit honoring the Pennsylvania National Guard at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. Entitled “Civilian in Peace/Soldier in War” the exhibit is in the museum’s “Awards of Valor” gallery.