- J.D., Penn State The Dickinson School of Law, 1976
- B.A., Harvard University, 1973
During his 33-year legal career, John Stoviak has focused his practice on handling and trying complex commercial litigation and environmental cases. He works hard to achieve sound business results for his clients in the often highly charged setting of commercial litigation and is enthusiastically prepared to try difficult disputes. In recent years, Mr. Stoviak led the Saul Ewing trial team which tried a major business valuation case for more than six weeks in federal court in Chicago in connection with the Conseco bankruptcy, the third largest bankruptcy in United States history. This lengthy business valuation trial directly led to a substantial settlement for Saul Ewing clients, which was entered the day before a decision was to be announced. In 2004, Mr. Stoviak was the lead trial lawyer in a six-month trial in New Jersey Superior Court involving various claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty relating to the formation and dissolution of a joint venture in the hazardous waste management business. Previously, Mr. Stoviak was the lead trial lawyer in another complex business valuation case involving the value of a special use property for purposes of real estate taxation in Pennsylvania. Mr. Stoviak also tried to verdict in a private arbitration a complex contract dispute that involved the valuation of a limestone quarry business.
In addition to these major business valuation cases, in the last few years, Mr. Stoviak won a defense verdict as the lead trial lawyer in a complex products liability claim asserted by a Tyco subsidiary in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Stoviak also led the trial team that successfully defeated a series of challenges to a major municipal services contract for the City of Allentown. The client had been awarded the bid and Mr. Stoviak got the first challenge dismissed from federal court, as well as a second challenge in the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas. Finally, Mr. Stoviak won the appeal in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Mr. Stoviak has also handled the defense of a variety of RICO and fraud claims, including a major case in New Jersey where plaintiff’s RICO claims have been dismissed. He also successfully defended a Chester County bank and got the RICO claims brought against the bank dismissed from federal court and then he was lead trial lawyer in successfully defending the follow-up preliminary injunction trial in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Stoviak has tried and won trade secret cases in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and York County, Pennsylvania. In addition, Mr. Stoviak has been actively involved and has tried antitrust and securities cases. He tried and won an antitrust case for Philadelphia Professional Golfers Association and tried and won a securities suit brought in federal court in Philadelphia against a national law firm. Mr. Stoviak also successfully tried and won at the district court a series of 16 preliminary injunction cases for a national restaurant franchisor in federal court in Philadelphia. He also was active in a variety of antitrust cases including the Anthracite Coal Antitrust Case, the Bus Tires Antitrust Litigation, the Folding Cartons Antitrust Litigation and an antitrust suit brought by chiropractors against the American Medical Association.
In addition to his commercial litigation experience, Mr. Stoviak has handled a variety of significant environmental matters and cases. In recent years, he has been the lead lawyer defending various public utilities in Superfund contribution claims arising out of the operation of former manufactured gas plants in federal courts in Delaware and New York. He was the lead lawyer and head of the Industrial Solvents & Chemical Group of companies that successfully worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to implement a timely and cost effective remediation of #1 Pennsylvania Superfund Site in York County. This case, which initially involved over 1000 potentially responsible parties, was managed by Mr. Stoviak and PaDEP to a cooperative clean up which minimized the cost exposure of the companies that agreed to cooperate and fund the emergency removal of over 4000 drums and over 100 silo tanks. Mr. Stoviak has also been actively involved, for various clients, in at least 20 Superfund Sites and he has negotiated de minimus buy out agreements and administrative orders on consent for remedial work. He also has litigated both as lead plaintiffs counsel and as lead defense counsel Superfund cost recovery/contribution cases in federal courts in New York (Southern District, Northern District and Western District), Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (Eastern District and Middle District). Mr. Stoviak successfully defended the first felony prosecution brought by the Pennsylvania Attorney General under the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act. Mr. Stoviak also was environmental counsel to Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. in connection with their acquisition of a former steel and coke operation property in Montgomery County for their state of the art printing plant. Mr. Stoviak represented Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in defending against claims related to alleged migration of landfill gas from the closed Montgomery County Landfill. Mr. Stoviak was the lead lawyer in a successful five year permitting process for a quarry operation which involved two townships and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Mining Division, Solid Waste Division, and the Water Protection Division among others.
During his career, Mr. Stoviak has argued appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Third Circuit. He has handled and/or tried cases as the lead lawyer in federal district courts in the following districts: Southern District of New York, Northern District of New York, Western District of New York, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Middle District of Pennsylvania, District of Delaware, District of New Jersey. He also has handled and/or tried cases as the lead lawyer in (a) state courts in the following Pennsylvania counties: Chester, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Philadelphia, Lehigh, York, Mercer, Allegheny, Centre, Huntingdon, Erie, Berks; (b) Delaware Chancery Court; and (c) state courts in New Jersey in Morris and Burlington Counties. Mr. Stoviak has argued three appeals in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and more than 15 cases in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.