Ms. Nancy Winkelman
Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
Three South Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone    (215) 686-5700

Type of Case: Civil
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 9th Circuit, Federal

Nancy has concentrated her practice in federal and state appellate litigation for over 25 years, and has handled cases in a wide variety of substantive areas before numerous appellate courts, including presenting argument before the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, Nancy regularly is engaged to serve as appellate counsel at pre-trial or trial stages of litigation, and also has an extensive appellate consulting practice.

Nancy is the co-founder and first President of the Third Circuit Bar Association. She has written and lectured widely on appellate practice, and taught appellate advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for nine years.


  • Western New England College School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude (first in class)-1987
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., magna cum laude-1980.

Practice Focus:

  • Over 25 years of experience devoted to appellate practice


  • Numerous articles on appellate practice in such journals as ABA Litigation and DRI For the Defense
  • Chapter Author, The Insider's Guide to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ABA Council for Appellate Lawyers, Judicial Division
  • Chapter Author, Appeals Across America: An Insider's Guide to Appellate Practice in Federal and State Courts, American Bar Association
  • Chapter Author, The Insider's Guide to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Appellate Practice Compendium, American Bar Association

Representative Cases:

  • Assisted, as amicus counsel and in appellate consulting capacity, in obtaining landmark victory in New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of railroads. Court held in case of first impression that railroads are vested with broad condemnation powers.
  • Engaged as appellate counsel, achieved victory before the en banc Pennsylvania Superior Court for Drexel University's Philadelphia Health and Education Corporation in case involving large amount proceeds to a trust fund.
  • Engaged as appellate counsel in product liability case involving a truck roll-over accident. Obtained trial court's vacatur of $10 million punitive damages award, the Pennsylvania Superior Court's grant of a new trial on both liability and damages, which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed.
  • Engaged as appellate counsel prior to trial in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by smoke detector manufacturer in case involving seven deaths in home fire. Plaintiffs sought significant compensatory and punitive damages. Assisted in substantial pre-trial motion practice and strategy. Case settled just prior to trial.
  • Obtained victory for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in employment discrimination matter.
  • Represented product liability consumer victims in the Chrysler Bankruptcy in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented railroad defendants in personal injury (child trespasser electrocution) case post-trial and on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Case settled for significantly less than the $25 million jury verdict after full briefing and oral argument in the Court of Appeals.
  • Represented (by appointment of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals) prisoner in both the Third Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court in a civil rights case involving prisoners' exhaustion of administrative remedies.
  • Appointed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to handle numerous prisoner civil rights and immigration cases, including appointment by the Third Circuit en banc as an amicus curiae to the en banc Court in an asylum case involving China's sterilization policies.
  • Served as counsel for Consolidated Rail Corporation in Conrail v. Gottshall, where the U.S. Supreme Court reversed two decisions of the Court of Appeals and limited job-related emotional distress claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act.
  • Obtained reversal in Third Circuit Court of Appeals of order granting federal habeas relief to husband who was incarcerated for more than eight years for civil contempt of an order requiring him to turn over marital assets.

Honors and Awards:

  • Nancy has been recognized annually in the Best Lawyers in America in Appellate Law since 2006, a “Local Litigation Star” in Appellate Law since 2011, and one of Benchmark’s top 250 Women in Litigation in the country since 2012. She has been named a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” in Appellate Law since 2004, and one of the top 50 female “Super Lawyers” in Pennsylvania since 2005.
  • The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, presented to 20 lawyers from the 500 largest law firms in the United States for Excellence in Legal Writing, 2004.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Leadership Class Award, National MS Society 2001.
  • John Minor Wisdom Public Interest and Professionalism Award, American Bar Association, 2000