Jessica Priselac is a trial lawyer who litigates complex disputes in state and federal courts as well as arbitral forums. She has tried numerous commercial disputes to verdict and has extensive experience litigating cases arising out of mergers, product acquisitions, and licensing agreements.
Ms. Priselac has also successfully defended clients in a variety of class, collective, and consolidated actions. Recently, she served as Defense Liaison Counsel in one of the country’s largest MDLs brought against a group of international pharmaceutical companies. In addition, she has represented commercial entities as plaintiffs in consolidated actions. These include serving as lead trial counsel for a publicly-traded outdoor media company in a landmark consolidated action against the City of Philadelphia. In that case, the city was found to have engaged in an unconstitutional commercial property tax scheme, and the trial verdict was subsequently affirmed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2022.
As part of her trial practice, Ms. Priselac regularly advises a wide range of clients on all aspects of discovery strategy, including how to optimize internal and external resources to efficiently respond to discovery requests related to the production of electronically stored information (ESI). She has more than a decade of experience overseeing large-scale discovery projects in the United States, the European Union, and East Asia, including working with clients to develop specialized procedures for the cross-border review and transfer of data that may be subject to privacy and blocking statutes.
Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Priselac was a judicial clerk to the Honorable Nora Barry Fischer of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Emory University School of Law, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), and Dickinson College (B.A., magna cum laude), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She attended Renmin University of China during her undergraduate studies and the China University of Political Science and Law during her graduate studies and is conversant in Mandarin.
Ms. Priselac is active in civic and charitable organizations throughout Pennsylvania, and currently serves as a Trustee of Carlow University in Pittsburgh. In addition, she regularly represents women and children, pro bono, in dependency proceedings and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases. Ms. Priselac has also successfully represented a number of individuals who were wrongfully convicted or unlawfully sentenced. In 2017, she secured the release of her client who had been sentenced to life in prison without parole for a non-violent drug offense via a commutation of sentence issued by then-president Barack Obama.
Co-chaired books and records trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery on behalf of growth-stage food technology company against claims of waste and mismanagement brought by minority stockholder. Obtained judgment in favor of client.
Second-chaired defense in jury trial involving claims brought by distributor against publicly traded medical device manufacturer for fraud and breach of contract. Obtained jury verdict for defense on two claims for breach of distributor contract and defeated fraud claims before trial.
Acted as lead associate for plaintiff in bench trial in involving merger-related fraud claims brought by publicly traded gaming technology company against sellers of company that it acquired. Case resolved mid-trial.
Counsel to one of the world's largest private equity firms and a venture capital firm in jury trial seeking $225 million in damages arising out of the breach of a merger agreement relating to the acquisition of a medical device company and regulatory approval of a medical device.
Currently representing investors of acquired pharmaceutical company seeking in excess of $200 million in damages related to acquiring company’s failure to pay milestone payments in violation of the parties’ merger agreement in case pending before the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Currently representing global chemical manufacturer and supplier against competitor and three former employees in connection with claims for unfair competition (raiding), misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and tortious interference.
- Second-chaired three-day evidentiary hearing and successfully defeated motion for preliminary injunction brought by a client’s competitor based on allegations of violations of the Lanham Act (trade dress infringement) and the Copyright Act. Amid, Inc. v. Medic Alert Found. United States, Inc., 241 F. Supp. 3d 788 (S.D. Tex. 2017).
Represented private equity and venture capital firm sellers of start-up medical device company seeking $48 million in an action against publicly-traded international medical device manufacturer buyer, alleging breach of contract in connection with acquiring company’s failure to make merger-related milestone payments. Obtained settlement client found favorable.
- Obtained judgment on the pleadings, on both affirmative breach of contract claim and defense of breach of contract counterclaim, on behalf of client in breach of contract dispute. IMAX Corp. v. Capital Ctr., 156 F. Supp. 3d 569 (M.D. Pa. 2016).
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of health system against competitor in federal antitrust litigation in which the court held that competitor failed to show any adverse effect on competition in the market. Affirmed on appeal. Deborah Heart & Lung Ctr. v. Virtua Health, Inc., 833 F.3d 399 (3d Cir. 2016).
Obtained temporary restraining order to prevent senior executive of publicly-traded hospitality and facilities management company from working for competitor.
Obtained dismissal after successfully arguing the opposition of the certification of a proposed 180,000 person consumer class action, which accused client health system and its document processor of illegally overcharging patients millions of dollars for access to medical records.
Currently serve, with Alan C. Kessler, as Pennsylvania Counsel to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA)
Represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Treasury, in defeating a putative class action brought by property owners seeking more than $50 million from the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office related to excess proceeds from property auctions. Denial of class certification affirmed on appeal.
Defended telecommunications company, as co-defendant with Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in bid protest initiated by unsuccessful bidder.
Currently representing outdoor advertising company in action alleging that the City of Philadelphia’s property tax assessment scheme for tax year 2018 violated the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Currently representing client sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile in resentencing proceedings.
Currently representing children in dependency proceedings before the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, through the Support Center for Child Advocates.
- Obtained commutation of sentence from President Barack Obama and subsequent release from prison for client who had been sentenced to life without parole for a non-violent drug offense. Prior to his release, client had served 22 years in prison.
Obtained reduction of sentence and grant of parole for client who had been sentenced to life without parole as juvenile and served 36 years prior to his release.
Obtained lawful permanent residency for a domestic violence survivors, originally from Haiti and Jamaica, respectively, under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Complex Commercial Litigation - Trial Experience
Complex Commercial Litigation Matters
State and Local Government Matters
Pro Bono Representation
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Emory University School of Law, J.D., 2008
- Notes and Comments Editor, Emory International Law Review
- Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, M.A., 2005
- Dickinson College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1999
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Duane Morris LLP
- Associate, 2012-present
- Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC
- Associate, 2010-2012
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- Law Clerk to the Hon. Nora Barry Fischer, 2008-2009
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Board of Trustees, Pittsburgh Public Theater
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "The Digital Great Wall: Data Protection in Today’s China," Lexology CLE, January 18, 2023
- Speaker, "Discovery of Data in China for US Litigation and Government Investigations," Georgetown Law Advanced eDiscovery Institute, November 18, 2022
Honors and Awards
Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2018