Thomas A. McDonnell

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA

Summers, McDonnell, Hudock, Guthrie & Rauch P.C.
 | 707 Grant Street, Suite 2400
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-261-3232
Fax: 412-261-3239
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1988
Practice Areas:
  • Civil Litigation: Defense (40%),
  • Insurance Coverage (20%),
  • Workers' Compensation: Employer/Insurance (20%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Defense (10%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    Thomas A. McDonnell is an attorney at Summers, McDonnell, Hudock, Guthrie & Rauch, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a partner and co-founder of the firm, Mr. McDonnell practices in various areas of law, including automobile insurance litigation, casualty and tort litigation, homeowners’ coverage, insurance law, premises liability, trucking accidents, and workers’ compensation.

    Mr. McDonnell has over 30 years of experience. He serves clients in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas in Allegheny County, as well as Harrisburg and the Dauphin County area. Over the course of his career, he has litigated numerous cases in Pennsylvania courts, building a record of many successful settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients.

    In addition to his practice, Mr. McDonnell lectures at seminars and contributes to Counterpoint, a publication of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute. Martindale-Hubbell awarded him with its AV Preeminent* peer review rating, the highest rating available. Best Lawyers publications have recognized him as a top attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the United States.

    Involved in his legal community, Mr. McDonnell is a member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and a board member and former regional vice president of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute. He is a previous council member of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section.

    After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from West Virginia University, Mr. McDonnell received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He holds a license to appear before all Pennsylvania state courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 40%Civil Litigation: Defense
    • 20%Insurance Coverage
    • 20%Workers' Compensation: Employer/Insurance
    • 10%Personal Injury - General: Defense
    • 10%Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff
    Focus Areas

    Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2020

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    About Thomas McDonnell

    Admitted: 1988, Pennsylvania

    Professional Webpage:


    • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
    • Pennsylvania Super Lawyer – 2010 to 2019
    • Best Lawyers in Pittsburgh – 2015 and 2016
    • Best Lawyers in Pennsylvania – 2015 and 2016
    • Best Lawyers in United States – 2016 and 2017

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
    • Past Council Member, Civil Litigation Section, Allegheny County Bar Association
    • Board Member, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    • Past Regional Vice President, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    • United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
    • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania
    • Appointed as a Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Defense Institute in 2010 and has served in one of on the Board since that time. Duties include preparing and presenting regional CLE programs, preparing Amicus Curiae appellate briefs and participating in oral argument on cases involving important issues to the insurance industry. Position also involves development of organization and promotion of industry interests in context of legislative affairs. Elected Regional Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute for 2010-2011, 2009
    • Appointed to Allegheny County Civil Litigation Council for a  three-year term--2002-2005. Involved planning and implementation of CLE programs, advising on and drafting local rules of civil procedure and serving as Liaison between civil litigation section and local judiciary

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Speaker, Civil Trials, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    • Contributor, Counterpoint, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    • Speaker, Civil Trials, Pennsylvania Association of Trial Lawyers
    • Speaker, Insurance Coverage, Pennsylvania Association of Trial Lawyers
    • Comprehensive manual outlining trial process of civil case from pleading stage through post-trial motions. Prepared for insurance claims professionals and young attorneys, Author, "Overview of Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation in Pennsylvania, including UM/UIM and Common Pleas Arbitration, Prepared For Insurers And Attorneys Practicing In That Area, 1998
    • Speaker, Insurance Coverage, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    • Section by section analysis of trial and appellate decisions involving first party benefits under the Pa. MVFRL, Author, Overview of First Party Benefit Caselaw in Pennsylvania Under Pa.MVFRL, First Party Benefit Claims Handlers, 1997
    • Comprehensive analysis of first party benefit statutes and caselaw of Pennsylvania and surrounding states, as well as Florida. Prepared for insurance company representatives to aid in analysis of conflicts regarding availability of first party benefits, Author, First Party Benefit Law in Pennsylvania and Surrounding States, Insurance Professionals And Attorneys Who Specialize In The Handling Of First Party Benefit Claims, 1997
    • Comprehensive analysis of subrogation liens in motor vehicle accident cases post-1990 Act 6 amendments to Pa. MVFRL, Includes analysis of worker's compensation liens, Medicare and Medicaid liens and issues of pre-emption created by federal law, Author, Subrogation Liens and Reimbursement Under the Pa. MVFRL, Claim Representatives For Liability Insurers And Third-party Administrators, 2001


    • Have tried numerous jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts and have arbitrated numerous UM/UIM cases in varios venues in Commonwealth

    Representative Clients:

    • Liability and casualty insurers and insureds, third-party administrators and clients and corporations, 1988

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Inducted into West Virginia University Hockey Hall of Fame, 2009


    • Editor and author of quarterly publication compiling and analyzing appellate and trial court opinions and decisions involving civil litigation issues, Caselaw Update, Liability And Casualty Insurers And Third-party Administrators

    Educational Background:

    • B.A. Psychology--West Virginia University, 1985
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    Office Location for Thomas A. McDonnell

    707 Grant Street
    Suite 2400
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    Phone: 412-261-3232

    Fax: 412-261-3239

    Thomas A. McDonnell:

    Last Updated: 10/14/2020

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