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  • Hon. Sean J. McLaughlin (ret.)

Honorable Sean J. McLaughlin served as a United States District Court Judge from 1994 through 2013, completing his tenure as chief judge. During that time, he presided over 5,399 civil cases and 186 jury trials. He also regularly held settlement conferences on a wide variety of complex civil matters. Judge McLaughlin served as Chair of the District Court’s Court Governance Committee, as Chair of the Court’s Long-Range Planning Committee, and as Chair of the Magistrate Judges Committee. In 2012, he was appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to serve on the United States Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management.

At Knox Law, he focuses his practice on alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation in both federal and state courts. The breadth and depth of his experience lends him a unique perspective on a variety of legal disputes, from all sides of the bench, and serves him well as a mediator, arbitrator and neutral.

Judge McLaughlin brings nearly 40 years of diverse experience to his practice, including 19 years as a Federal judge, five (5) years as general counsel of Erie Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company, and one (1) year as a Federal court law clerk. He also has 13 years of private litigation practice at Knox Law, during which time he specialized in civil litigation, including both insurance defense and plaintiff matters.

Representative Experience

  • Presided over 5,399 civil cases and 186 jury trials as a Federal judge
  • Conducted settlement conferences on complex civil matters regularly during tenure as Federal judge
  • Served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Erie Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company
  • Represented many clients in complex civil litigation matters, including both insurance defense and plaintiff matters
  • Served as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2013
  • Appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to serve on the United States Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Managemen
  • Clerked for three (3) Federal judges: Honorable William W. Knox, Honorable Gerald J. Weber, and Honorable Maurice B. Cohill

Community & Professional Service

  • Robert H. Jackson Center, Board of Directors
  • Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, Past Chair, Board of Directors

Speaking Engagements

  • While on the bench, Judge McLaughlin spoke frequently at seminars sponsored by the Erie County Bar Association, the Allegheny Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association on a wide variety of topics

Practice Areas

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
  • Georgetown University, B.A.

Admissions & Certifications

  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Professional Affiliations

  • Erie County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Court Governance Committee, Western District of Pennsylvania, Former Member & Chair
  • Magistrate Judges Committee, Western District of Pennsylvania, Former Member & Chair
  • Judicial Conference of the United States, Former Committee Member

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