John R. WellschlagerPartner
John Wellschlager represents public and private companies across multiple sectors in connection with class action, securities, product liability, and commercial litigation.
His litigation experience ranges from handling "bet the company" storms – encompassing shareholder class action claims, shareholder derivative claims, multi-district product liability claims, consumer fraud class actions, and internal and external investigations – to traditional commercial disputes. John has led internal investigations and reviews for companies in the health insurance, life insurance, and pharmaceutical sectors on issues ranging from FDA compliance to FCPA and other anti-corruption considerations. His clients include major pharmaceutical companies, banks and other financial institutions, various other public companies, and individuals.
John is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, based on peer review. He is also in the "Legal 500;" he is an "Acritas Star — independently rated lawyer;" and he is a "2020 Maryland Super Lawyer."
In recent years John has led and/or served on multiple teams relating to nationwide or class action pharmaceutical litigation, including some of his clients' most significant securities litigation. Large public companies have trusted him with the preparation and defense of Directors, Officers, and senior management.
John also leads internal investigations and provides compliance advice to a number of the Firm's Life Sciences clients, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and clinical research organizations, on issues ranging from off-label promotion, anti-kickback considerations, FCPA concerns, medical governance, and Good Manufacturing Practices. He is currently assisting one client with an emerging dispute concerning Medicaid reimbursement, and in years past he represented a healthcare insurance client throughout a significant Medicare-related Monitorship.
Outside of the Life Sciences context, John has tried cases in the federal and state courts in Maryland and elsewhere as lead counsel and as second chair. His trial experience includes:
- First chair in a two-week, multi-million arbitration hearing for an international insurance company - his client won
- First chair in a four-day arbitration hearing in Dallas defending a multi-million claim brought by Ericsson, Inc. - his client won
- First chair in a three-week bench trial in Maryland state court concerning the accounting of more than $20 million in personal assets - his client partially won at trial and completely won on appeal
- First chair in a prisoner rights bench trial, representing a Maryland inmate on a pro bono basis - his client lost
- Co-first chair in a ten day arbitration in Malmö, Sweden for a global pharmaceutical company, concerning alleged milestone payments - his client won
- Second chair in a six-week jury trial in California concerning a multi-million dollar shareholder dispute, representing two venture capital firms and one of their portfolio companies - his clients partially won at trial and completely won on appeal
- Second chair in a one week jury trial in Maryland state court for a chemical manufacturer - his client won
- Second chair in a one week criminal jury trial defending a young woman charged with intentional homicide - his client was acquitted on all charges
John also has prevailed on numerous dispositive motions, he has authored appellate briefs in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the Maryland Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits, and he recently argued before the Second Circuit. In addition, he has extensive experience with fact and expert discovery, pre-trial work, pre-trial motions practice, and alternative dispute resolution.
- J.D., University of Maryland 1996
Moot Court Board
- B.A., Kenyon College 1993
- Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer, 2023
- The Legal 500 United States
2017-19 - Recommended, Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions: Toxic Tort - Defense
2015 - Recommended, Securities Litigation – Defense
John is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, based on peer review. He is also an "Acritas Star — independently rated lawyer;" and he is a "2020 Maryland Super Lawyer."