Philip Yannella
Philip Yannella

Philip N. Yannella

Tel 215.864.8180
Fax 215.864.8999

Philip N. Yannella counsels clients on complex matters in a wide variety of areas, including privacy and data security, eDiscovery, and product liability and pharmaceutical litigation.

As Co-Practice Leader of the firm's Privacy and Data Security Group, Mr. Yannella provides clients with 360-degree advice on the transfer, storage, and use of digital information. He guides clients through data breaches, 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 regularly counsels clients on the Stored Communications Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, European data privacy law, EU-US Privacy Shield, Defense of Trade Secrets Act, PCI-DSS, and FTC enforcement activity.

Mr. Yannella specializes in matters involving complex digital evidence, particularly class actions and theft of trade secrets. He frequently works with experts to investigate the usage, availability, and reliability of structured datasets in the context of class certification, damages models, proportionality, and spoliation motions.

As Practice Leader of the E-Discovery and Data Management Group, Mr. Yannella manages litigation involving complex eDiscovery, leveraging his experience as National Discovery Counsel for more than a dozen companies in nationwide litigations. He advises clients in a wide range of industries on the creation of records retention policies and schedules, and the implementation of worldwide information governance programs.

In addition, Mr. Yannella 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.

Representative matters include:

Data Breach & Theft of Trade Secrets

  • Counsels 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.
  • Counseled an auto finance company in connection with data breach involving customer personal information, involving multi-state reporting.
  • Counseled a biotech in connection with theft of trade secrets by former contractor.
  • Counseled a university in connection with data breach stemming from inadvertent posting of student social security data in internet kiosk.
  • Counseled a major telecom company on potential legal exposure arising out of review of hacked Sony emails posted to WikiLeaks.
  • Conducted internal investigation for a major retailer arising out of suspected violations of access and identity management policies, resulting in developer access to production environments.
  • Represents a gaming company in connection with investigation into suspected exfiltration of customer social security information held on unencrypted webserver.
  • Counseled 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.
  • Counseled 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.

Complex Litigation

  • Successful representation of a 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.
  • Defense of a major bank in overdraft class action. Retention of expert to model damages from archival and legacy data.
  • Defense of a major bank in TCPA class action. Retained expert to assess ascertainability of class members based on structured dialer data.
  • Successful defense of a major bank in overdraft class action. Retained, developed, and elicited expert testimony concerning limitations of structured data and impact on plaintiff’s damages model.
  • Defense of a clinical laboratory in multi-state attorney general investigation alleging overpayment of Medicaid costs. Served as national discovery counsel, worked with expert to model damages from legacy datasets.

E-Discovery & Information Governance

  • Served as national discovery counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to a COX-2 inhibitor.
  • Served as national discovery counsel for a pharmaceutical joint venture in litigation relating to statin.
  • Served as national discovery counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an antipsychotic medication.
  • Serves as national discovery advisor to a major accounting firm.
  • Successful defense of a pharmaceutical company in spoliation motion arising out of loss of SAS program files. Led investigation, including forensic exam, developed and presented expert testimony.
  • Successful representation of a major stock exchange in regulatory investigation and class actions arising out of failure of IPO pricing engine. Managed and coordinated eDiscovery, including forensic examinations and ESI investigation for over 100 employees.
  • Successful representation of a pharmaceutical company in spoliation hearing stemming from loss of data held in wiki used for regulatory submissions.
  • Developed records retention and IG programs for two dozen companies in the following industries: auto finance, car rental, pharmaceutical, medical device, commercial paint products, banking, real estate lending, and insurance.

Product Liability

  • Represents a manufacturer in multi-state products liability litigation relating to property damage allegedly caused by an herbicide.
  • Served on national coordinating counsel team for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation relating to an anti-anemia medication.
  • Served on national coordinating counsel team for a medical device company in litigation relating to latex gloves.
  • Served on national coordinating counsel team for a biologics company in litigation relating to Factor IX products.
  • Served on national coordinating counsel team for a major cigarette manufacturer in multi-state litigation. Obtained multiple summary judgment awards in favor of a major cigarette manufacturer in Pennsylvania state court.
  • Served as a member of the team that created new Pennsylvania law by successfully arguing that the "heeding presumption" was inapplicable to consumer products voluntarily purchased and consumed.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a university in asbestos litigation venued in Philadelphia court.
  • Obtained a favorable result for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in trial relating to weight loss medication.
  • 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.
  • Successful representation of an oil refiner in litigation arising from alleged benzene exposure at a refining plant.

Professional Activities

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

Defense Research Institute



Co-author, "FTC Submits Comment To Aid NTIA In Developing Internet of Things Guidance," Ballard Spahr alert, June 21, 2017

Co-author, "Autonomous Cars One Step Closer to Reality in Colorado," Ballard Spahr alert, June 19, 2017  

Co-author, "Colorado Division of Securities Publishes Final Cybersecurity Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, May 23, 2017  

Co-author, "Is Your Organization Ready for a Systemwide Ransomware Attack?" Ballard Spahr alert, May 16, 2017  

Co-author, "To DPO or Not to DPO: Revised Guidance Issued on Data Protection Officers Under GDPR," Ballard Spahr alert, May 3, 2017

Co-author, "United Kingdom Privacy Office Issues Guidance on Consent Under GDPR," Ballard Spahr alert, March 15, 2017 

Co-author, "Eighth Circuit Remands Proposed Settlement in Target Data Breach Class Action," Ballard Spahr alert, February 2, 2017 

Co-author, "IRS and Others Renew Warnings About Fraudulent Emails Targeting Employee Tax Information," Ballard Spahr alert, January 30, 2017

Co-author, "Data Breach Class Action Reinstated Against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc.," Ballard Spahr alert, January 23, 2016 

Co-author, "EU e-Privacy Regulation Raises Stakes for Compliance," Ballard Spahr alert, January 12, 2017  

Co-author, "HHS Designates Cloud Service Providers as Business Associates Under HIPAA," Ballard Spahr alert, November 4, 2016

Co-author, "DOT Issues Proposed Cybersecurity Guidance to Automotive Industry," Ballard Spahr alert, October 27, 2016  

Co-author, "European Court Of Justice Rules That Dynamic IP Addresses Are Personal Data," Ballard Spahr alert, October 25, 2016

Co-author, "Federal Banking Agencies Propose New Requirements for Managing Cyber Risk," Ballard Spahr alert, October 20, 2016 

Co-author, "UK ICO Offers Guidance on Privacy Notices Under the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act," Ballard Spahr alert, October 18, 2016

Co-author, "Plaintiffs Cannot Bring Data Breach Lawsuits Without Evidence That Information Will Be Used To Harm," Ballard Spahr alert, August 17, 2016 

Co-author, "Important Lessons for Businesses from FTC's Opinion on LabMD's Data Security Practices," Ballard Spahr alert, August 12, 2016

Co-author, "OCR Announces First HIPAA Enforcement Action against a Business Associate," Ballard Spahr alert, July 25, 2016

Co-author, "Court: Stored Communications Act Warrant Cannot Be Used to Seize Data Held Overseas," Ballard Spahr alert, July 19, 2016

Co-author, "Ninth Circuit Vastly Expands Scope of Criminal, Civil Liability for Computer Fraud," Ballard Spahr alert, July 15, 2016

Co-author, "International Regulators Issue Cybersecurity Guidance to the Financial Industry," Ballard Spahr alert, July 6, 2016

Co-author, "Cybersecurity, Use of Internet of Things Technology Concern Manufacturers," Ballard Spahr alert, June 28, 2016

Co-author, "The Defend Trade Secrets Act Signed into Law," Ballard Spahr alert, May 5, 2016

Co-author, "Class Certification Improper in Data Breach Case, PA Appellate Court Finds," Ballard Spahr alert, May 4, 2016

Co-author, "European Parliament Adopts EU General Data Protection Regulation; 12 Steps Businesses Should Take Now," Ballard Spahr alert, April 21, 2016

Co-author, "TCPA Exemption for Collection of Federal Debts Applies Retroactively, CA Federal Court Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, April 18, 2016

Presenter, "Information Security and Human Resources," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 16, 2016

Co-author, "EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Text Published: Imposes New Obligations on U.S. Entities that Seek Data Transfers from the EU," Ballard Spahr alert, March 8, 2016

Co-author, "CFPB Initiates Its First Data Security Enforcement Action," Ballard Spahr alert, March 3, 2016

Co-author, "California Data Breach Report Defines “Reasonableness” Standard for Data Protection," Ballard Spahr alert, March 2, 2016

Co-author, "President Obama Gives EU Citizens Judicial Redress for Privacy Violations," Ballard Spahr alert, March 1, 2016

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

Co-author, "President Creates Cybersecurity National Action Plan and Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity," Ballard Spahr alert, February 24, 2016

Co-author, "DOJ/DHS Issue Interim Guidance on Implementation of Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act," Ballard Spahr alert, February 23, 2016

Co-author, "From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: New EU-U.S. Agreement for Transatlantic Data Flows," Ballard Spahr alert, February 9, 2016

Co-author, "FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices," Ballard Spahr alert, January 27, 2016 

Co-author, "Use of Big Data May Violate Federal Consumer Protection Laws, FTC Report Warns," Ballard Spahr alert, January 13, 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

"Game of Drones, Autonomous Vehicles, and Other Connected Devices," Delaware State Bar Association, Wilmington, April 12, 2017 

"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