Alfred W. Putnam is a trial and appellate litigator who served as Chairman of the firm from 2005 to 2015. He has won two “million dollar” jury verdicts in federal commercial cases, and has tried cases not only in federal court but also in the Common Pleas Courts and/or Orphans Courts. 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.
Alfy 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. 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.
Several of Alfy’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 protections given certain minority shareholders under Pennsylvania’s Business Corporation Law.
Alfy 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. Representative matters include:
- Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Burlington County, _____ U.S. _____,132 S. Ct. 1510 (2012) (represented Burlington County in constitutional case involving imprisonment of pretrial detainees).
- United States ex rel. Richard F. Miller v. Bill Harbert International Construction, 608 F.3d 871 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (False Claims Act).
- Freethought Society v. Chester County, 334 F.3d 247 (3d Cir. 2003) (challenge to courthouse plaque displaying the Ten Commandments; argued the case for Chester County Historical Preservation Network in Court of Appeals; advanced same argument in Amicus Curiae brief in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005)).
- Applewhite v. Commonwealth, 54 A.3d 1 (Pa. 2012) (Pennsylvania’s Voter ID case).
- Urban Outfitters, Inc. v. BCBG Max Azria, 318 Fed. Appx. 146 (3d Cir. 2009) and 430 Fed. Appx. 131 (3d Cir. 2011) (Lanham Act).
- Warehime v. Warehime, 722 A.2d 1060 (Pa. Super. 1998), reversed, 761 A.2d 1138 (Pa. 2000), on remand, 777 A.2d 469 (Pa. Super. 2001), reversed, 860 A.2d 41 (Pa. 2004). Represented Michael Warehime and certain allied shareholders opposed to management of the Hanover Foods Corporation. The case – never finally resolved – is the leading case in Pennsylvania on the fiduciary duty of a voting trustee and shareholder voting rights.
Alfy’s experience with disputes among shareholders includes:
- Represented shareholders in Pennsylvania’s leading corporate democracy case, Warehime v. Warehime.
- Represented clients involved in intra-corporate disputes by keeping their cases out of court and resolving them through negotiation.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1978, Editor-in-Chief, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
- University of Oxford, B.A., 1975, first class honors
- Harvard University, A.B., 1973, summa cum laude
- University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court, President (2002-2004), Chairman (2005-2007)
- Lankenau Medical Center Foundation, Chairman (1996-Present)
- Jefferson Health System, Chairman of the Board (2004-2009)
- Main Line Health System, Board of Governors (1993-2005)