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Christopher J. O’Connell

Shareholder
chris.oconnell@sweeneyfirm.com
Phone: (856) 671-6402
Facsimile:856-869-5605


Biography

Christopher J. O’Connell serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee. A veteran litigator with more than 25 years of experience, Chris has dedicated his career in the areas of complex civil litigation; governmental and charitable immunity matters; trial consulting; premises liability; insurance coverage; and defense of contractors in commercial and residential construction defect cases.

Successfully navigating the court room and the negotiating table for his clients, in 2011, Chris had exceeded the trials to verdict requirement, exam-qualified, and was awarded the distinction of Certified Civil Trial Attorney, a professional certification held by less than three percent of New Jersey lawyers. In January of 2020, Chris was honored to become an elected member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation only society of the nation’s very best trial attorneys.  In January of 2024, Chris was inducted as a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) an association of vetted and premier defense and corporate counsel and industry executives.  In addition, Chris is a past executive committee member of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, an organization which is dedicated to protecting the right to fair trial for both plaintiffs and defendants through legislative committee and amicus curiae presentation. From 2013 through 2020, Chris was the ‘Voice of the Defense” in the terrifically popular New Jersey Bar Association’s Civil Case Update presentation. This program is a once yearly forum of civil trial judges from every jurisdiction, reviewing the most critical decisions of the previous year, with comments thereafter by the state’s premiere trial attorneys.

After many years of executive management, Chris enjoys his membership of the Southern New Jersey Insurance Claims Association. He is a faculty member of the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education specializing in civil trial practice and the Charitable Immunity Act. A New Jersey native, Chris was born in Bloomfield, attended Seton Hall Prep, Fairfield University, and then Seton Hall School of Law. Chris is a proud member of both Fairfield University and Seton Hall Preparatory School’s Athletic Halls of Fame for excellence in swimming. While in law school, Chris was the assistant coach to Seton Hall University’s Division I Men’s and Women’s swimming teams.

Education

Seton Hall Preparatory School – 1983
Fairfield University – B.A., English, 1987
Seton Hall University — J.D., 1994

Bar Admission

  • Pennsylvania — 1994
  • New Jersey — 1995
  • U.S. District Court for the Third Circuit – 2004
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey — 1994