Philip Yannella
Philip Yannella

Philip N. Yannella

Tel 215.864.8180
Fax 215.864.8999

Philip N. Yannella devotes his practice to privacy and data security, products liability and pharmaceutical litigation. As Co-Practice Leader of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security Group, as well as the Practice Leader of the firm’s E-Discovery and Data Management Group, Mr. Yannella provides clients with 360-degree legal analysis relating to storage and transfer of electronic data, in both litigation and regulatory matters.

As a leader of the firm’s Data Security Emergency Response Team, Mr. Yannella helps clients navigate the data incident response process, including identifying exposure, facilitating state and federal notice requirements, coordinating technical audits, negotiating report resolution, identifying proper vendor cost centers, and negotiating litigation resolution. He also assists clients with various regulatory filings and comments related to changes in privacy laws.

Mr. Yannella regularly speaks and counsels clients on a wide range of privacy and security issues including data breach and network intrusion, data breach class actions, the Stored Communications Act (SCA), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), European data privacy law, U.S. Safe Harbor Regime, FTC enforcement activity, cloud storage, and the Internet of Things.

Recent representative matters include:
  • Successful representation of pharmaceutical client in civil action seeking publication of anonymized clinical data valued at $1 billion. Using a re-identification analysis, successfully persuaded court that publication would reveal private health information of 95 percent of clinical trial patients.
  • Counseling a pharmaceutical client in response to a series of spear phishing attacks. Guided client through initial investigation, assisted in delisting of domain, advised on WHOIS search, and prepared filings to FBI cybercrime unit.
  • Counseling a nonprofit hacked by Chinese nationals and coordinating response with FBI. Guided client through initial investigation of criminal attack on staging server, including engagement of forensic team, collaboration with governmental entities to pursue attackers, and review of forensic analysis.
  • Counseling a gaming company in response to suspected credit card skimming operation. Guided client through initial investigation, engagement with credit card fraud units and government entities, and advice on data breach notification procedures.

In addition to his privacy and data security work, Mr. Yannella is also a member of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Tort Group. He has more than 15 years' experience representing pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, and other companies in a wide range of products liability, negligence, and consumer fraud litigation, from case filing through trial. Mr. Yannella has served in a national coordinating role in mass tort litigation relating to a COX-2 inhibitor, a statin, a tobacco product, an anti-anemia drug, antipsychotic medication, and latex gloves. He has also represented manufacturers and refineries in litigation involving a diabetes drug, weight loss medication, motor oil, forklifts, popcorn products, an herbicide, and refining operations.

  • Served as national discovery counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to a COX-2 inhibitor
  • Served as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an antipsychotic medication
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an anti-anemia medication
  • Obtained a favorable result for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in trial relating to weight -loss medication
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a university in asbestos-related litigation
  • Served as lead counsel for a pharmaceutical device company in a toxic tort class action arising from the alleged release of chemicals from the company's North Carolina facility
  • Represents a manufacturer in products liability litigation relating to property damage allegedly caused by an herbicide
  • Successful representation of an oil refiner in litigation arising from alleged benzene exposure at a refining plant
  • Represented a leading clinical laboratory in false claims actions initiated by attorneys general in several states
  • Obtained multiple summary judgment awards in favor of a major cigarette manufacturer in Pennsylvania state court

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Marjorie O. Rendell, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1996-1997

Professional Activities 

The Sedona Conference Institute
Member, International Data Privacy, eDiscovery, and Cross-Border Data Transfer Issues Working Groups

Defense Research Institute



"Views on Cybersecurity Risk Management in Postmarket Medical Devices," a Q&A with Bloomberg BNA Privacy Law Watch, February 25, 2016 

Co-author, "UPenn Fracking Study Can't Give Plaintiffs Causation," Law360, July 30, 2015

Co-author, "Penn Study Unlikely to Result in Flood of Fracking Lawsuits," Ballard Spahr alert, July 16, 2015

Co-author, "NJ Data Encryption Law: Will It Become National Standard?" New Jersey Law Journal, March 24, 2015

Author, Pennsylvania eDiscovery, published by The Legal Intelligencer, August 2014

Co-author, "Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords," Ballard Spahr alert, August 11, 2014

Co-author, "Proposed Changes to Civil Rules Could Limit Scope of eDiscovery," Ballard Spahr alert, May 1, 2014

Co-author, "Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Ballard Spahr alert, March 25, 2014

Co-author, "Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent-Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds," Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical, March 2014

Co-author, "Pa. Supreme Court Opens Door to Latent-Disease Lawsuits," The Legal Intelligencer, February 11, 2014

Co-author, "Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, January 23, 2014

"Bits and Bytes: What Forensic Analysis Can Reveal," The Legal Intelligencer, January 29, 2013

Co-author, "The Interplay Between FDA Approval and Discovery Rule," Law360, March 8, 2012

"Potential Taxation of E-Discovery Costs Could Alter Discovery Paradigm," The Legal Intelligencer, October 25, 2011

Co-author, "Eastern District of Pennsylvania Decision Permits Taxation of eDiscovery Costs," Ballard Spahr alert, August 4, 2011

Co-author, "The Dawn of Internet Privacy?" Law360, April 22, 2011

Co-author, "E-Discovery: 'Pension Committee,' One Year Later," New York Law Journal, March 21, 2011

Co-author, "The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Review of the Act and Its Potential Impact on Private Litigation," BNA's Product Safety & Liability Reporter, January 31, 2011 

Co-author, "FDA's Draft Public Disclosure Proposals and Their Potential Impact on Product Liability Litigation," BNA's Toxics Law Reporter, July 29, 2010 

Co-author, "Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom Adopt U.S.-Style Electronic Discovery," Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, June 2009 

Co-author, "Decisions Up Stakes for Managing E-Discovery Cases," The Legal Intelligencer, July 30, 2008 

"Who Pays for eDiscovery?—Cost-Shifting Strategies," eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel, Chapter 24, Thomson-Reuters, July 2008 

"Backup Tapes in Mass Tort Litigation," National Law Journal, June 19, 2007 

"Trial Issues," Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Deskbook, Chapter 11, Law Journal Press, 2004 

"Stuck in the Web of Formalism: Why Reversing the Ninth Circuit's Ruling on The Pledge of Allegiance Won't Be So Easy," Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Volume 12, Fall 2002

Speaking Engagements

"Advanced Identity & Access Management Techniques," CISO Executive Network: Philadelphia Breakfast Roundtable 2 of 6, April 6, 2016 

"How the Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Will Affect Discovery," Ballard Spahr CLE program, live in Philadelphia and via webinar, June 25, 2014

"E-Discovery Breakfast Briefing: Taking Control in Litigation and Regulatory Matters," The Huron Legal Institute, Philadelphia, May 20, 2014

"Ethics for Discovery 2013," Practising Law Institute, New York, July 22, 2013

"Avoiding the Pitfalls of 'Bring Your Own Device' Policies," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 12, 2013

"New Amendments to Pa. Rules of Civil Procedure On eDiscovery," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 8, 2012

"Ethics for Discovery 2012," Practising Law Institute, July 27, 2012

"eDiscovery & Social Media in Litigation: Practical, Legal & Ethical Issues," Camden County Bar Association, May 9, 2012

"Leveraging Predictive Coding To Focus on Litigation Strategy," Navigant Expert Insights webinar, February 8, 2012

"Data Security in the Cloud and its Implications on eDiscovery," IQPC's The 6th eDiscovery for Pharma, Biotech, and Medical Devices Industries Conference, Philadelphia, October 25, 2011

"Taxation of E-Discovery Costs Not Limited to High-Profile Cases, Says Big Firm Partner," Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists Podcast Interview, August 17, 2011

"Ethics for E-Discovery 2010," Practising Law Institute, July 28, 2010

"Federal Rule of Evidence 502: The Changing Landscape of Discovery in the Electronic Age," Webcast by DRI's Product Liability Committee, June 3, 2010

"Data Security, Corporate Compliance and E-Discovery: Navigating the Data Morass," NJCCA's 7th Annual All-Day Conference, September 24, 2009

"Rule 502 and Its Impact on E-Discovery: Using the New Provisions to Reduce the Costs of Privilege Review Without Increasing the Risks of Waiver," ACI's E-Discovery and Document Management Conference, September 22, 2009

"Designing, Implementing, and Maintaining Document Management Policies that Survive Multi-Jurisdictional and International Discovery of Scientific E-Data," ACI's Document Management, E-Discovery, and Litigation Readiness Conference, April 1, 2008

"Responding to Electronic Discovery Requests and Preparing for Rule 26(f) Conferences," Association of Corporate Counsel's E-Discovery: Bridging the Gap between Legal and IT Seminar, July 9, 2007

"Document Retention and Disposal Management in an E-Discovery World," Ethisphere, October 15, 2006

Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D. 1997)
Member, Political and Civil Rights Law Review; Member, Temple Moot Court; Recipient, Trial Advocacy Program's Outstanding Advocate award

Temple University (B.A. 1991, summa cum laude)

New Jersey


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit