Jeannette Brian Conrad O'Brien Bio Header

Jeannette M. Brian

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Jeannette Brian focuses on complex litigation and appellate work in diverse practice areas, including contract disputes involving commercial and nonprofit enterprises, legal malpractice defense, and consumer class actions.  In all of her cases, Jeannette works with a leanly-staffed team of Conrad O’Brien attorneys.  She partners with the client to identify the client’s problems and goals and develops and implements a comprehensive case strategy, communicating with the client every step of the way.   

Jeannette Brian focuses on complex litigation and appellate work in diverse practice areas, including contract disputes involving commercial and nonprofit enterprises, legal malpractice defense, and consumer class actions.  In all of her cases, Jeannette works with a leanly-staffed team of Conrad O’Brien attorneys.  She partners with the client to identify the client’s problems and goals and develops and implements a comprehensive case strategy, communicating with the client every step of the way.   

Prior to joining the firm in 2001, Jeannette practiced commercial litigation law with the Philadelphia firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis.  Before becoming a lawyer, she worked in the publishing and public relations fields.  She served as editor for the Pittsburgh Opera Program Magazine, publicist and program editor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and editor of the employee newsletter and special advertising newspaper supplements for The Buffalo News. 

representative matters

  • Jeannette is an integral part of the team of lawyers at the firm who represents students throughout the country who have been subject to or are facing disciplinary proceedings by their colleges or universities for alleged sexual or other misconduct. Representative matters include the following:
    • Brought litigation against Brandeis University on behalf of a male student who was disciplined on sexual misconduct charges, after the student was accused by the university of sexual assault in the period leading up to and during a 21-month relationship with his former boyfriend. The litigation was filed in federal court, asserting common law claims for breach of contract, negligence, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and equitable relief. The Court issued a decision denying the university’s motion to dismiss, stating the student plausibly alleged “that Brandeis denied [the student] the ‘basic fairness’ to which he was entitled.”  Our client voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit in a Stipulated Dismissal, joined by Brandeis, as he felt vindicated by the Court’s 80+ page decision denying Brandeis’s motion to dismiss the case.  The investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights continues into his complaint against Brandeis for violations of Title IX in the University’s handling of his disciplinary matter.  
    • Brought action against Swarthmore College on behalf of a student expelled in the wake of a disciplinary proceeding following allegations of sexual misconduct made against our client by a fellow student. Instituted civil litigation in federal district court, asserting claims under Title IX as well as common law claims for breach of contract, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and equitable relief. Following the filing of the complaint, additional information became available, which both parties believed raised questions about the impartiality of the college judiciary panel that heard our client’s case. The college agreed that the new information raised sufficient questions about the fairness of the hearing to warrant vacating the panel’s finding and sanctions.
  • With her Conrad O’Brien colleague, Nancy Gellman, Jeannette drafted summary judgment motions and supporting briefs on behalf of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, seeking dismissal of two cases alleging that priests had sexually abused the plaintiffs many decades ago.  The Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of the Archdiocese, dismissing both cases with prejudice as untimely under the applicable statutes of limitations.  See Orders dated September 24, 2014 in Finnegan v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia, et al, March Term 2001, No. 01377; Gaughan v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia, et al., March Term 2011, No. 00052.

  • Jeannette represented a law firm in Houston, Texas, and the Philadelphia law firm of WolfBlock LLP (in dissolution) in separate legal malpractice cases brought by disgruntled former clients in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, respectively.  Both cases were resolved to the clients’ complete satisfaction.

  • With her colleague, Robert Feltoon, Jeannette represents Progressive Northern Insurance Company and Mountain Laurel Insurance Co., d/b/a/ Progressive Insurance Company, in a case brought by two plaintiffs on behalf of a state-wide class of medical providers in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  The plaintiffs argued (and the trial court agreed) that they and class members are entitled to 12% statutory interest on all medical bills not paid by the insurers within 30 days of receipt of the bill, even in cases where the insurer has not yet concluded its coverage investigation.  In this case of first impression in the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Jeannette and Bob achieved a reversal of the trial court’s grant of class certification and summary judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor.  The case is currently pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the plaintiffs’ Petition for Allowance of Appeal.  See Glick v. Progressive Northern Insurance Company, No. 2073 and 2145 EDA 2012, Non-Precedential Decision, dated Jan. 24, 2014.

  • Jeannette and her team of Conrad O’Brien colleagues helped resolve a series of contract disputes between our client, a large regional hospital, and the region’s largest health insurer, without the need for litigation.

  • Jeannette and the Conrad O’Brien class action specialists with whom she often works achieved a series of wins for our insurance company clients in a nationwide putative consumer class action lawsuit brought in New Mexico state court alleging breach of contract and failure to disclose modal premium charges.  In one of the suits (out of three handled by the firm), Jeannette vigorously defended against class certification of a nationwide class in the New Mexico trial and appellate courts.  The named plaintiff settled with our client after agreeing to narrow the nationwide putative class to a New Mexico-only class. 

publications

Co-Author, "What Steps to Take if You're a Title IX Respondent", The Legal Intelligencer (March 29, 2016) (http://www.conradobrien.com/news/what-steps-to-take-if-youre-a-title-ix-respondent)