Derek R. Layser

Derek R. Layser

Derek R. Layser


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Derek R. Layser is a Shareholder of the firm and chairman of the medical malpractice department at Friedman Schuman. With more than 100 cases tried to a jury’s verdict, Mr. Layser maintains an active civil trial practice throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Early in his career, Mr. Layser worked and tried cases as a medical malpractice defense lawyer. Since then, he has brought his understanding and perspective to the handling of cases exclusively for plaintiffs, concentrating his practice in medical malpractice, product liability and other complex personal injury matters.

Mr. Layser has numerous six- and seven-figure jury verdicts, arbitration verdicts and settlements to his credit. His 8.25 million dollar verdict on behalf of the widow of a young man whose family physician failed to diagnose colon cancer in time still stands as one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts ever in conservative Delaware County, Pa. The case was also extraordinary because the physician who failed to make a timely diagnosis, leading to the patient’s death, happened also to be his brother. Mr. Layser has handled a variety of complex medical cases involving birth injuries, nursing home neglect, surgical mishaps and catastrophic brain injuries.

Mr. Layser also has extensive experience handling cases involving product defects, surgical and pharmacy errors, premises liability, such as apartment fires, and auto and trucking accidents.

Mr. Layser is frequently invited to lecture to attorneys at continuing education seminars in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has planned and delivered courses on pharmacy liability, legal issues involving settlements and releases, trial practice and trial evidence. He has also been asked to serve several times as an expert witness.

Areas of Practice

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1989
  • New Jersey, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1989
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1990
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey


  • Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware
    • J.D. cum laude – 1988
  • Shippensburg University
    • B.S. – 1983


Course Planner and Lecturer for numerous continuing legal education seminars, PA and NJ Fellow, Academy of Advocacy (Temple)

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Listed in the Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers (Medical Malpractice)
  • The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Named to Outstanding Lawyers of America
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2004 – 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013 – 2022

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)
  • New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ)
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ)
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
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