Edward C. Sweeney
Biography: Born in Philadelphia, PA on November 3, 1964, Mr. Sweeney is a St. Joseph's Prep graduate (1982) where he was a three-time all-Catholic runner in track and cross-country. In 1982, he received the Christian Brother's Scholarship, a four-year full-tuition scholarship to La Salle University, which is awarded to selected candidates with superior grades and SAT scores, as well as potential for extracurricular contribution to the La Salle community.
In 1986, Mr. Sweeney graduated maxima cum laude from La Salle University with a B.A. After working at Prudential drafting contracts and booklets for group health insurance plans, he went to law school at the University of Chicago Law School. In 1991, he received his J.D. from the University of Chicago. Also in 1991, a law journal article he wrote while a law student received second prize in a national labor law competition sponsored by the University of California Boalt School of Law and was published in the Industrial Relations Law Journal.
Mr. Sweeney served as law clerk to the Honorable James R. Cavanaugh of the Pennsylvania Superior Court from 1991 to 1993. In 1992, he served as the appellate clerk to Judge Cavanaugh.
Mr. Sweeney was hired as an associate at Wusinich & Brogan in 1993. He has practiced at the firm since that time. He also served as the part-time Solicitor to several judicial row offices in the County of Chester:
- Solicitor to the Prothonotary of Chester County, 1998-2005
- Solicitor to the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County, 2000-present
- Solicitor to the Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court of Chester County, 2006-present
He attended the University of Virginia Law School Trial Advocacy Institute in 1999.
In 2001, he and co-author James O'Donnell, Ph.D., were co-recipients of the first prize of the American Society of Pharmacy Law's Legal Writing Competition. The prize was for an article pertaining to pharmacy technician practice and training standards. The prize involved a partially-subsidized trip to San Francisco, California to accept the award and to present the paper to the Society at their national meeting.
In July 11, 2005, Mr. Sweeney lectured on Prothonotary practice and procedure based on his two-part article published in The Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania State Association of Prothonotaries and Clerks of Court, State College, Pennsylvania. This lecture was delivered to the representatives of each Prothonotary's Office throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Sweeney was polled as one of the Top Labor (Employment) Lawyers by fellow lawyers in Philadelphia's western suburbs by Main Line Today (April, 2007 issue).
In January 2008, Mr. Sweeney was selected to join the partnership of Wusinich & Brogan.
Mr. Sweeney has been an active leader in the Chester County Red Mass for a decade and a half, which in Chester County has an ecumenical service and mass dedicated to asking for divine inspiration and guidance for members of the legal community at the start of each judicial year.
Mr. Sweeney is active in his church, his community and the Chester County Bar Association.
Mr. Sweeney has been an active member of St. Isaac Jogues Church in Valley Forge. He has served as head of and/or participant on various parish committees. He has been a lector and usher. He is one of the founding members of the Knights of Columbus Chapter at St. Isaac Jogues Church and has been a past Solicitor for that Chapter. He has been a member of the St. Isaac Jogues' Parish Council since 2004, having twice been elected to serve. He is active in church fundraising and charitable events, including as a lead organizer for the Catholic Charities Appeal at St. Isaac's in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Mr. Sweeney has served on the Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board from 1998 to 2004 as an alternate member. In 2004, he was appointed to the Tredyffrin Township Planning Commission and was re-appointed in 2008. He was one of a number of people chosen to be a panelist on boards during reassessment under the auspices of the Chester County Board of Assessment.
Mr. Sweeney has been active politically, having served in several positions. He has been an Assistant Solicitor in the Republican Committee of Chester County for over a decade. He has been a committee person for more than a decade, is currently an area leader in Tredyffrin Township, and is one of twenty-eight area leaders in Chester County.
Mr. Sweeney served for a number of years on the Continuing Education Committee and the Law Related Education Committee for the Chester County Bar Association.
Practice Areas: Employment-related litigation and counseling, including matters involving Family and Medical Leave, Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, retaliation cases, public policy torts, workers' compensation, the Employment Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA), and long-term/short-term disability, wage and overtime (Wage Payment and Collection Law and Fair Labor Standards Act), appeals in the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission, internal Federal Administrative Employment law, separation packages, restrictive covenants and covenants not to compete, union member Duty of Fair Representation and Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") issues, and unemployment compensation.
Practice areas also include serious civil litigation cases, including matters involving construction cases, auto collisions, pharmacy law and practice (prescription errors), Section 1983 cases, Planned Community Association litigation (for unit owners), Qui Tam (False Claims Act) and whistleblower cases, and appellate law.
Admissions: 1992, Pennsylvania Bar; 1993, New Jersey Bar (inactive); 1996, United States Eastern District of Pennsylvania; 2007, United States Middle District of Pennsylvania.
I. Employment litigation and counsel. Mr. Sweeney focuses on helping employees with all aspects of their work place issues across the spectrum, including issues involving the FMLA, ADA accommodation issues, work injuries, disability coverages, whistleblowing, discrimination, unemployment and internal disputes. He views his role (and those of his WB co-practitioner) in this area as serving as a regional resource for employees in the western suburbs, including Chester, Berks, Delaware, Montgomery and Lancaster Counties.
Mr. Sweeney's approach to an employment case is to analyze the variety of potential options placed before his clients. Mr. Sweeney's focus frequently requires him to litigate on behalf of his client's employment matters in Federal and State Court. However, he has often been successful in guiding clients who wish to maintain and improve the employment relationship.
He views the practice of employment law as a seamless thread. Litigation is not the only option in employment law, and many times an employee needs to understand the boundaries of what the law affords him/her as to his/her rights. Employees often have issues that need counseling and legal advice before the employment relations become so strained they are broken.
II. Civil Litigation. Mr. Sweeney has pursued and continues to undertake a number of serious civil litigation cases outside the employment law area. His educational background and experience as a former Superior Court Clerk has lent itself to being able to litigate in a wide variety of matters. His position as a former pharmacy aide technician has assisted him in pursuing cases involving pharmacy error, and he has written several commentaries on pharmacist and technician liability. His appellate background has been instrumental in his involvement in serious third-party injury cases such as construction cases, where he has successfully avoided the exclusivity provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. Cases have included:
- An ERISA disability case where he obtained a favorable verdict as well as attorney's fees against a major insurance company for a disabled individual with fibromyalgia.
- A civil action on behalf of a resident of a Planned Community Association where his client received a favorable verdict and attorney's fees were awarded as part of the verdict.
- A wrongful death action involving a prescription error, pharmacy/technician alleged errors, and a punitive damage claim.
- Several serious construction site work injuries, including a case where falling material caused a serious head injury to a client, a client who lost fingers on an unguarded industrial machine, and one where a forklift collided with a trucker at a work site causing serious injury.
- Substance Abuse Detection in the Workplace, Brandywine Occupational Health, January 26, 1995, Exton, Pennsylvania (co-presenter)
- The Interrelation of Social Security with Workers' Compensation, Chester County Bar Association, 1997, West Chester, Pennsylvania (co-presenter)
- The NABP Produces Mixed Results: A Legal and Clinical Analysis Concerning the Recent NABP Model Act and Rules Initiative Towards Pharmacy Technicians, San Francisco, California, March 18, 2001
- The Basics of Pharmacy Law, Chester County Bar Association, February 7, 2001, West Chester, Pennsylvania
- Essential Practice Rules and Concepts in Offices of the Prothonotary, July 11, 2005, at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania State Association of Prothonotaries and Clerks of Court, State College, Pennsylvania
- Human Factor in Product Liability Cases, Chester County Bar Association, April 6, 2006, West Chester, Pennsylvania (co-presenter)
- Author: Dodging the Supremacy Clause Bullet: Do State Successor Statutes Survive Federal Labor Law Preemption, University of California Boalt Hall School of Law, Industrial Relations Law Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 183 (1991)
- Co-author: Pharmacy Liability for Punitive Damages – Pennsylvania Practice Pointers, The PBA Bar Quarterly, Vol. LXXI, No. 1, January, 2000
- Pharmacy Liability for Punitive Damages May Have Numerous Triggers, Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Law Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 2, February, 2001
- Co-author: The NABP Produces Mixed Results: A Legal and Clinical Analysis Concerning the Recent NABP Model Act and Rules Initiative Towards Pharmacy Technicians, San Francisco, California, March 18, 2001 (also published in co- author James T. O'Donnell's Chapter 47 of his hornbook Drug Injury: Liability, Prevention and Analysis)
- Author: The Workers' Compensation World Turned Upside Down: Testimony of Vocational Experts Declared Invalid, The PBA Quarterly, Vol. LXXIII, No. 4, October, 2002
- Author: Essential Practice Rules and Concepts in Offices of the Prothonotary – Part I, The PBA Quarterly, Vol. LXXI, No. 3, July, 2004
- Author: Essential Practice Rules and Concepts in Offices of the Prothonotary – Part II, The PBA Quarterly, Vol. LXXI, No. 4, October, 2004