Nicolai "Nick" Schurko focuses his practice on defense of high-stakes product liability actions in a wide range of industries, including matters involving fire protection and alarms, automotive, aviation, trucking, and heavy machinery claims. His practice also encompasses defense of toxic tort and exposure cases on behalf of various clients operating within the pharmaceutical and agribusiness spaces. Additionally, a portion of Nick’s practice is dedicated to business litigation, ranging from counseling clients regarding indemnification and insurance disputes to defense and prosecution of complex commercial claims.
Nick is familiar with all phases of a case from inception through trial. He has extensive experience analyzing and preparing pleadings, curating written discovery, conducting and defending depositions, developing expert discovery, drafting dispositive and other motions, arguing before state and federal courts and mediating matters. Though his practice is national in scope, clients are quick to seek Nick’s advice regarding the nuance of state and federal courts located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the jurisdictions where he is licensed and has spent nearly a decade learning the ins and outs of local practice and procedure.
In addition to his pretrial experience, Nick has served as lead counsel in numerous arbitrations (both binding and non-binding), second-chaired multiple jury trials and briefed several high profile appellate matters. This wealth of experience in all phases of litigation informs Nick’s legal strategies and tactics throughout the course of any particular case. He is not just “going through the motions” with his cases; rather, he strives to develop a unique initial strategy for his clients in each case and to ensure that his decisions and tactics during the course of that case complement the overall plan for the litigation.
Before joining Shook, Nick was an associate with the Philadelphia office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin.
Obtained dismissal of all client entities and persons via a motion to dismiss asserting immunity and service defenses in a wrongful death action with an eight-figure opening demand involving a fatal accident that occurred in a client’s manufacturing plant.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of sprinkler maintenance company as to an insurer’s subrogation claims in an action involving accidental discharge of sprinkler system in a commercial building; then developed expert testimony in a manner that forced voluntary dismissal of all remaining cross-claims of the client’s co-defendants.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of client in a premises liability matter, where discovery was developed to demonstrate that client lacked “possession or control” over the large multi-tenant commercial building at issue.
Obtained dismissal of multiple clients in several, separate catastrophic aviation cases on the basis of lack of personal jurisdiction, where Nicolai drafted and briefed dispositive motions based on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daimler v. AG Bauman and the narrowed standard for general personal jurisdiction.
Obtained award in favor of a helicopter repair station at an arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce in a dispute with a foreign helicopter operator. He also helped the client collect the arbitration award by pursuing the foreign operator in its home country.
Second-chaired a jury trial involving a commercial trucking accident in which the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the client, a subcontractor that hung temporary traffic signals at the intersection where the accident occurred.
Won arbitration for a government-owned airport in a premises liability claim involving alleged traumatic brain injuries.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all legal malpractice claims against a client alleged to have misappropriated estate assets.
Successfully reversed a multimillion-dollar jury verdict against a client in a legal malpractice case on appeal by successfully briefing issues in a complex suit limitations clause defense.
Obtained dismissal of all claims against a client with an attenuated ownership interest in an apartment building in a matter involving a contractor who fell to his death during installation of communications equipment on the roof.
Successfully confessed judgment against an entity that defaulted on settlement obligations to his client, a charter flight services provider and Part 135 operator under federal aviation regulations in a matter involving breach of contract claims.
The Other Shoe Drops, Defense Digest, March 2018.
A Game Changer for Personal Jurisdiction, Defense Digest, June 2016.
Data Breach 101, Defense Digest, December 2010.