Our Team

John W. Zotter


Confident.  Prepared.  Fearless.  Words used by both clients and opposing counsel to describe seasoned trial lawyer, John Zotter.  While many litigators dedicate their careers to pushing cases toward settlement, John is not afraid to tell a client that a case needs to be tried.  John Zotter has been trying jury trials for over 30 years and, with countless victories, his advice to try a case has proven to be sound advice.  At the same time, John’s known willingness to try and ability to win jury trials has resulted in favorable settlements prior to trial.

John Zotter’s practice is devoted entirely to personal injury, wrongful death and commercial litigation including cases involving commercial disputes, products, utilities, premises liability, construction, trucking, professional negligence, nursing homes, insurance, bad faith, dram shop, and Marcellus Shale.

John Zotter is a Member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, a select invitation-only organization that promotes the highest standards of integrity, civility, and competence in the legal profession, and is limited to 250 lawyers who are actively engaged in a civil trial practice.

A Pittsburgh native, John Zotter resides in the Pittsburgh suburb of Upper St. Clair with his two sons, daughter, and wife, Amy, a pediatrician in private practice. John’s charitable efforts include co-founding the Autism Speaks Golf Classic in Pittsburgh.


  • Undergraduate:
     Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.S. in Accounting, 1985
    Honors: Magna Cum Laude Graduate
  • Law School:
    University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1988
    Honors: Executive Editor, The Journal of Law & Commerce, (Business Law Review for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law)


  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Significant Matters

  1. Product Liability
    – U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania. Defended product manufacturer in this case garnering national attention in legal publications. At trial, the 46 year old Plaintiff alleged that he was permanently disabled as a result of sustaining an electric shock from a ceramic kiln manufactured by the Defendant. Plaintiff claimed a traumatic brain injury from the electric shock and alleged that he had cervical fusion surgery as a result of hitting his head following the electric shock. The Plaintiff had not worked since the incident and claimed special damages in excess of $1,000,000. After a five day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant finding that the product was not defective.
  2. Marcellus Shale
    – Defended a company involved in the construction of a Marcellus Shale drill site in a complex lawsuit wherein eight Plaintiffs who reside near the drill site alleged that seventeen Defendants were liable for personal injuries and property damages resulting from Marcellus Shale drilling activities.  More than fifty people were deposed over one hundred twenty days with some depositions lasting five days.  Hundreds of thousands of documents were produced.  Approximately twenty five expert witnesses were retained for a trial that was estimated to last two months.  Prior to trial, and after five years of litigation, the parties entered into a confidential settlement.
  3. Commercial Dispute
    – Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, Pennsylvania. Co-counsel for a church in this lawsuit arising out of a dispute over payment for restoration services following a massive fire. The restoration company had been paid $500,000 for its work but claimed that it was still owed in excess of $1,500,000. Following a seven day trial, the court ruled that the restoration company was not entitled to any additional payment.
  4. Construction
    – Quadriplegic Physician – Confidential Settlement – Defended the general contractor in a lawsuit filed against the general contractor, architect and owner of a renovated commercial facility that was open to the public. Lawsuit arose out of an incident wherein a physician sustained severe injuries as a result of tripping and striking his head at the facility. After four days of trial before a jury, the parties entered into a confidential settlement.
  5. Trucking
    – Traumatic brain injury in 12 year old child – Confidential Settlement – Defended the trucking company and driver in a lawsuit arising out of an accident wherein a tractor-trailer struck the vehicle in which the minor-Plaintiff was a passenger. Minor-Plaintiff sustained multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury. Claimed special damages were in excess of $12,000,000. Case settled prior to trial.
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