Alfred W. Putnam was elected chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath in March of 2005. He has handled a variety of civil litigation matters for both plaintiffs and defendants. He has won two different “million dollar” jury verdicts in federal commercial cases, and has tried cases not only in federal court but in the Common Pleas Courts and/or Orphans Courts of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton and York counties. He is also experienced in commercial arbitration proceedings. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute.
Appellate Litigation. Alfred is perhaps best known for his experience in the appellate process. A former law clerk to the Honorable Arlin M. Adams on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, he taught a course in appellate advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for five years. He either handles or is consulted on many of the firm’s appellate matters and is often retained on appeals where the underlying case was tried by other counsel. His appellate briefs have resulted in the reversal of a number of multimillion dollar verdicts and have produced advantageous settlements in other cases even before the cases were argued and decided.
Intra-Corporate Disputes. Several of Alfred’s matters have involved disputes among shareholders of closely held companies. He has both trial and appellate experience in cases involving “dissenters’ rights” statutes and has both brought and defended suits based on the enhanced protections given certain minority shareholders under the latest amendments to Pennsylvania’s Business Corporation Law. He has also represented clients involved in intra-corporate disputes by keeping their cases out of court and resolving them through negotiation.
In General. Alfred graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1973. He attended University College, Oxford, and won “first class honours” when he received his Oxford degree in 1975. His law degree is from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was editor-in-chief of the law review. He has served as both president and chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court. He has also been active in nonprofit health care in Southeastern Pennsylvania, serving as chairman of the Lankenau Hospital Foundation, a member of the board of governors of the Main Line Health System and chairman of the board of the Jefferson Health System. His political activities have included service as secretary and general counsel to People for John Heinz and service as southeastern finance chairman for Rick Santorum. He is married, has one child, and lives in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.