Teresa N. Cavenagh

Of Counsel

  • Teresa N. Cavenagh
  • Phone: +1 215 979 1808

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  • Duane Morris LLP
    30 South 17th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103-4196

Teresa N. Cavenagh practices in the areas of commercial, class action, fraud, RICO and qui tam litigation. She has often represented entities in the health care, hospitality, and government contracting industries in civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings. She has substantial appellate experience in both federal and state courts. A member of the Litigation and Antitrust sections of the American Bar Association, the Civil Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia and Federal bar associations, Ms. Cavenagh has been an instructor of legal writing and research at Temple University School of Law.

She is a 1985 summa cum laude graduate of Temple University School of Law, a graduate of Drexel University (M.S., library science) and a summa cum laude graduate of Villanova University.

Areas of Practice

  • Complex Commercial Litigation
    - RICO
    - Fraud
    - Healthcare
    - Class Actions
  • Qui Tam Litigation

Representative Matters

  • Represented a former employee in a whistleblower suit alleging a former employer encouraged doctors to order unnecessary tests and then bill federal health care programs for them. Case settled for $19.75 million.
  • Successfully handled the defense of a major Rocky Mountain area hospital system in federal qui tam action.
  • Achieved dismissal of RICO causes of action alleging fraudulent health care claims brought against physicians and chiropractors.
  • Brought claims for securities fraud and RICO on behalf of a nationwide class of investors in a government securities trading program against the promoter of the trading program and attorneys who issued opinion letters concerning investment in the program. Defeated the attorneys' motion for summary judgment and successfully defended the appeal of the issue which led to new and often cited law in the Third Circuit. Succeeded in having the class certified which ultimately led to a $8,250,000 settlement on behalf of the class.
  • Summary judgment granted and affirmed dismissing claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against owners of Christmas tree farms. Successfully defended the appeal, which resulted in a frequently cited Third Circuit RICO opinion on the parameters of RICO predicate acts.
  • Achieved summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer on a claim for RICO violations arising from alleged fraud in sale and repair of complex machinery.
  • Achieved summary judgment in favor of a large defense contractor employer in claims brought by a former employee for wrongful discharge, fraud and breach of contract.
  • Represented hotel owner in a matter brought against major hotel management company asserting claims for breach of management agreement and breach of fiduciary duty, with a result that the client found favorable.
  • Represented a hotel chain in a nationwide employment discrimination class action lawsuit. Succeeded in having class certification denied and summary judgment granted in favor of the hotel chain on three individual employees' claims.
  • Achieved defense jury verdict in favor of a health care management company for claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by partners in the company.
  • Successfully represented major health maintenance organization in having claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) dismissed which alleged fraud in the solicitation of HMO plan members.
  • Achieved summary judgment in favor an employer in claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by employee/union members.
  • Conducted a number of internal investigations for publicly held corporations and health care providers.
  • Represented various health care providers in federal and state investigations.


  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania


  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1985


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 1995-present
    - Associate, 1985-1994
    - Law Librarian, 1976-1984

Professional Activities

  • Participant, Leadership Program sponsored by the Committee on Women in the Profession of the Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Instructor, Legal Writing and Research, Temple University School of Law
  • American Bar Association
    - Antitrust Section
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    - Civil Litigation Section
    - Criminal Law Section
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association
    - President, 1980-1981

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011-2020

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Received the National Diversity Council's Powerful and Influential Women Award, 2010

Board Memberships

  • SeniorLAW Center Board of Directors
  • Temple Law Alumni Association, Executive Committee, President

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Women's Way Lucretia Mott Society Committee Chairperson
  • Fairmount Civil Association

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Expert Liability Reports & Depositions: Setting the Stage for Trial Testimony" and "Direct and Cross of Witness 1," American Bar Association False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute, Washington, DC, June 5, 2013
  • Panelist, "Qui Tam Practice Tips, Part I," New Jersey Association for Justice Boardwalk Seminar 2013, April 2013
  • Panelist, "Strategies for Professional Success," Pennsylvania Diversity and Leadership Conference, September 10, 2010
  • Panelist, Pennsylvania Diversity Council Women in Leadership Symposium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 4, 2010
  • "Civil RICO Basics - Views from the Bench and Bar," Panel Presentation at Philadelphia Bar Association's Business Litigation Committee Meeting, March 2, 2004
  • Participant, panel discussion, "Assessment of Applicants' Lawyering Skills," American Bar Association annual meeting, Atlanta Georgia, August 8, 1999