In Memorium – Donald J. P. Sweeney – 1938-2021Please Click Here

Barbara A. O’Connell

Phone: (215)-963-2428
Facsimile: (215)-557-0999


Barbara A. O’Connell is a partner in the Philadelphia and New Jersey offices defending Fortune 500 self-insured clients and national and regional insured clients in civil cases. She was co-lead defense counsel in John Doe v. Kohn, Nast & Graf, a highly publicized Americans With Disabilities Act case brought by an HIV positive lawyer (similar to the claim depicted in the movie, Philadelphia).This required management of national media and briefing and arguing legal issues of first impression. She was a member of a national defense team in silicone-gel breast implant cases for a major chemical manufacturer and prevailed on Motions to Dismiss all Pennsylvania cases. She has served as monitoring counsel on excess exposure cases for a major Boston-based insurance carrier.

Ms. O’Connell’s employment law practice has focused on defending employers in all types of litigation. Ms. O’Connell is a past Chair of the DRI Employment Law Committee. She has published and lectured on employment law topics for DRI and other professional organizations and clients throughout the country.

Ms. O’Connell also represents lawyers, medical professionals, brokers, and accountants, among others, in professional liability cases. She has defended lawyers accused of negligence in handling general liability, products liability, employment, domestic relations and many other types of cases. She resolved 150 malpractice claims filed against a single dentist.

Ms. O’Connell has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for over 15 years and was honored as a Top Woman Lawyer in the Northeast by Arrive Magazine.

Ms. O’Connell graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut and received her J.D. from Villanova University where she won the Theodore Reimel Moot Court Competition.


University of Bridgeport — B.S., Education, summa cum laude.
Villanova University School of Law — J.D.

Bar Admission

  • Pennsylvania — 1986
  • New Jersey — 1987
  • United States Supreme Court — 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit — 1991
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey — 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania — 2003

Donald J. P. Sweeney, Esquire


Sweeney & Sheehan mourns the loss of its founder, Donald J.P. Sweeney, Esquire, on June 8, 2021. He was a proud graduate of St. Athanasius Catholic School, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Villanova University and Temple Law School. He practiced law for nearly 40 years, and founded Sweeney & Sheehan in 1971. He was active litigator and he specialized in catastrophic product liability cases. Don supported his children's activities, serving as soccer coach at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church and President of the CYO. He was a lector for nearly 48 years and a member of the choir. He was an active supporter of St. Joseph's Prep and was awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1999 and the Rev. Charles Schnorr, SJ '37 Service Award in 2005. He retired from the practice of law in 2004.

Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann, his children, Shannon, Patrick, Daniel, Gerard and Suzanne, and ten grandchildren.

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