Jonathan W. Miller, Partner
Background and Experience
Jonathan Miller is a partner who specializes in appellate practice and complex litigation including medical negligence. He has written and argued appellate briefs in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey appellate courts as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits. He has participated in appeals that changed the law. A significant victory was as an amicus curiae on behalf of the New Jersey Association for Justice in Nicastro v. McIntyre Machinery America, Ltd., 201 N.J. 48, 987 A.2d 575 (2010), in which the New Jersey Supreme Court adopted his argument that the realities of globalization should be considered in applying the stream of commerce theory of personal jurisdiction. The Nicastro case subsequently went to the US Supreme Court, where Mr. Miller was the lead author of an amicus brief on behalf of the American Association for Justice.
Another case stopped the retroactive application of law that barred claims of increased risk and fear of asbestos-related cancer. See Cleveland v. Johns-Manville Corp., 547 Pa. 402, 690 A.2d 1146 (1997). Another addressed the novel issue in New Jersey of apportionment of damages for lung cancer between asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking. See Dafler v. Raymark Industries, Inc., 259 N.J. Super. 17, 611 A.2d 136 (App. Div. 1992), affirmed, 132 N.J. 96, 622 A.2d 1305 (1993) (per curiam). He submitted amicus curiae briefs on the issues of set-offs in strict liability verdicts, see Baker v. AC&S, Inc., 562 Pa. 290, 755 A.2d 664 (2000), and of costs on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice in the landmark Paoli Railroad Yard PCB Litigation cases. See In re: Paoli Railroad Yard PCB Litigation, 221 F.3d 449, 465-66 & n.8 (3rd Cir. 2000). He was in charge of appellate briefing and argument on the issue of forum non conveniens on behalf of all United Kingdom residents who filed suit in New Jersey state court for injuries caused by Vioxx. See In re Vioxx Litigation, 395 N.J. Super. 358, 928 A.2d 935 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 193 N.J. 221, 936 A.2d 968 (2007).
He was Chief of Appeals in the Defender Association of Philadelphia prior to joining Locks Law Firm. As an assistant public defender, one of his cases established Pennsylvania law on the withdrawal of guilty pleas. See Com. v. Forbes, 450 Pa. 185, 299 A.2d 268 (1973). Another won a complicated question of federal-state immunity, see Com. v. Fattizzo, 223 Pa. Super. 378, 299 A.2d 22 (1972).
Complex Litigation including Medical Negligence
Mr. Miller has extensive experience in complex litigation of all types, including medical negligence and class actions. He has litigated medical negligence cases in Wilkes-Barre and York, Pennsylvania. In Hazleton, PA, service stations leaked gasoline from their underground storage tanks, polluting a residential area, sickening or killing over a dozen of the neighbors and lowering the value of 400 homes. From 2000 to 2010, he was the partner in charge of day to day prosecution of the Hazleton environmental lawsuits involving 1100 neighbors as plaintiffs against four major oil companies and over a dozen additional defendants. He has previously litigated asbestos property damage and personal injury cases in Denver, Chicago, New York and Kentucky, in addition to medical device and breach of contract cases in Philadelphia. He litigated over a thousand criminal cases as an assistant public defender where, in addition to being Chief of Appeals, he was Chief of Motions and Juvenile and an assistant federal defender.
He has participated in major asbestos bankruptcies. In a rare honor, he was accepted in the Celotex bankruptcy as an expert witness on the subject of asbestos property damage. He has participated in ground-breaking asbestos class action and bankruptcy settlements, including Amchem, Diet Drugs, and Celotex.
Outside the Office
Jonathan served the poor as a Philadelphia public defender for 15 years. He likes to read, listen to classical music and serve his church.
Admitted to PracticePennsylvania (1970);
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1971);
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (1972);
U.S. Supreme Court (1986);
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (1986);
New Jersey (1987);
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (1986);
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit (1988);
New York Supreme Court, Third Department (1997);
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2011);
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (2013)
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (2013).
EducationYale University, cum laude, 1967
University of Pennsylvania, cum laude, Order of the Coif, and Law Review, 1970
Professional AffiliationsNew Jersey Association for Justice
Pennsylvania Association for Justice
American Association for Justice
3rd Circuit Bar Association