Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie

Thomas I. Vanaskie

Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie


Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie (Ret.) joins JAMS after a distinguished 24-year career on the federal bench. Judge Vanaskie was sworn in as a circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2010. He previously served more than 16 years as a district judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, including a seven-year term as chief judge. In his tenure on the bench, Judge Vanaskie oversaw hundreds of complex cases involving a wide range of practice areas, including appellate, business/commercial, class action/mass tort, employment, federal law, insurance, antitrust, intellectual property, civil rights and personal injury/torts.

Judge Vanaskie is particularly known for his expertise in technology and e-discovery. He is a contributing member of the Sedona Conference Working Group 1 on Electronic Document Retention and Production and Working Group 11 on Data Security and Privacy Liability. From 2001 to 2008, he served on the Information Technology Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policymaking body for U.S. courts. Judge Vanaskie was appointed chair of the Judicial Conference Information Technology Committee by the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist in 2005. He was a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council and presently co-chairs its Information Technology Committee. Since 2007, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at the Penn State and Dickinson School of Law, presenting a course on electronic evidence. In 2016, Judge Vanaskie was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Judicial Conference Space and Facilities Committee.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • On the district court, Judge Vanaskie regularly conducted settlement conferences resulting in the resolution of hundreds of cases. As the chief judge, Judge Vanaskie won approval from his colleagues for the development of a court-sponsored mediation program.
  • On the court of appeals, Judge Vanaskie was approached by his district judge colleagues to conduct mediations, and he successfully resolved several difficult and high-profile cases.

Representative Matters


  • In re Pressure Sensitive Labelstock Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1556 (Multi-district class action alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the self-adhesive labelstock industry): Published opinions reported at 226 F.R.D. 492 (M.D. Pa. 2005), 356 F. Supp. 2d 484 (M.D. Pa. 2005); 566 F. Supp. 2d 363 (M.D. Pa. 2008)
  • Santana Products, Inc. v. Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc., No. 3:CV–96–1794 (Action by toilet partition manufacturer asserting antitrust violations, false advertising and interference with contracts): Published opinions reported at 14 F.Supp.2d 710, 69 F.Supp.2d 678, 249 F.Supp.2d 463, aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 401 F.3d 123 (3d Cir. 2005)

Class Action/Mass Tort

  • Bauer v. Bayer A.G., M.D. Pa. No. 3:CV-03-1687 (Class action by beekeepers alleging defendant’s insecticide decimated honey bee population): Published opinion reported at 564 F.Supp.2d 365
  • In re Schering Plough Corp. Intron/Temodor Consumer Class Action, 3d Cir. Nos. 10–3046, 10–3047 (Putative class action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act concerning marketing campaigns to influence physicians to prescribe drugs for off-label uses): Published opinion reported at 678 F.3d 235

Federal Law

  • Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare v. Sebilius, 3d Cir. No. 10–4584 (Action concerning $5.6 million overpayment to state under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program): Published opinion reported at 674 F.3d 139
  • Santomenno ex rel. John Hancock Trust v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co., 3d Cir. No. 11–2520 (ERISA action claiming excessive fees on annuity insurance contracts offered to plan participants): Published opinion reported at 677 F.3d 178


  • Jeffrey v. Ashcroft, M.D. Pa. No. 3:CV–00–1442 (Disability discrimination claim based upon chronic obstructive pulmonary disease): Published opinion reported at 285 F.Supp.2d 583
  • Woodard v. Fedex Freight East, Inc., M.D. Pa. No. 3:CV–06–1968 (Action under the Fair Labor Standards Act alleging violations of overtime provisions): Published opinion reported at 250 F.R.D. 178

Civil Rights

  • Blackhawk v. Pennsylvania, M.D. Pa. No. 3:CV–99–2048 (Action by Native American asserting violations of First Amendment rights by state in refusing to grant exemption from fee requirements to possess black bears): Published opinions reported at 114 F.Supp.2d 327, 225 F.Supp.2d 465. Affirmed 381 F.3d 202
  • Padilla v. Miller, M.D. Pa. No. 3:97–CV–0873 (Civil rights action based upon alleged unlawful search and seizure during a roadside stop): Published opinions reported at 143 F.Supp.2d 453, 143 F.Supp.2d 479


  • T.H.E. Insurance Co. v. Charles Boyer Children’s Trust, M.D. Pa., No. 3:CV-04-1652 (Coverage dispute involving commercial lines insurance policy and mud and water damage to a bowling alley): Published opinion reported at 455 F.Supp.2d 284, aff’d, 269 Fed. Appx. 220
  • Fidelity and Guaranty Ins. Underwriters, Inc. v. American Buildings Co., M.D. Pa., No. 3:CV–95–129 (Application of the anti-subrogation rule in context of property insurer’s action against warehouse manufacturer): Published opinion reported at 14 F.Supp.2d 704

Personal Injury/Torts

  • Spence v. ESAB Group, Inc., 3d Cir., No. 09–4363 (Action for damages sustained when load being carried by tractor trailer shifted and tractor trailer overturned): Published opinion reported at 623 F.3d 212
  • McAndrew v. Garlock Equipment Co., M.D. Pa. No. 3:CV-03-0872 (Products liability action concerning exploding thin wall tubing used in roofing industry): Published opinion reported at 537 F.Supp.2d 731

Intellectual Property

  • Laminations, Inc. v. Roma Direct Marketing, LLC, M.D. Pa., No. 3:CV–06–2108 (Patent infringement action concerning self-watering planter): Published opinion reported at 516 F.Supp.2d 404
  • New Dana Perfumes Corp. v. The Disney Store, Inc., M.D. Pa., No. 3:CV–00–1345 (Trademark infringement action by owner of the Tinkerbell trademark): Published opinion reported at 131 F.Supp.2d 616

All sessions by Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie