Keith A. Teel

Keith A. Teel

Covington & Burling LLP

Recognized since 2007

Washington, District of Columbia

Practice Areas

Product Liability Litigation - Defendants

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Keith A. Teel is a litigator and legislative advisor of unusual breadth. He handles major patent and product liability cases, disputes, and legislation. He has litigated at every level, including arguing before the United States Supreme Court. He serves as lead counsel for defendants involved in an ongoing Multi-District Litigation proceeding, and oversees cases that are among his firm’s largest and most complex. He represents clients, including at trial, in Hatch-Waxman and other pharmaceutical patent litigation, and in patent infringement litigation involving various types of technology. In the product liability area, Mr. Teel represents major auto parts, pharmaceutical, alcohol, tobacco, and other manufacturers and trade associations in product liability litigation and legislation. In the legislative area, Mr. Teel works with companies and state and national groups as they seek improvements in liability standards and court procedures. He has a deep understanding of the political process and the forces that influence it, and he has drafted legislative proposals for every state and testified in support of legislation in nearly every state.

Mr. Teel also regularly provides pro bono assistance to individuals. Among other matters, he represented a veteran in a case in which the United States Supreme Court made clear that benefits determinations of the Veterans Administration may be appealed, and he succeeded in persuading the Alabama courts to overturn the conviction and death sentence of a client, who was ultimately released from prison after seventeen years after pleading guilty to a charge not involving homicide. Mr. Teel co-chairs Covington’s patent litigation practice group.


  • One CityCenter
    850 Tenth Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001-4956


  • Washington and Lee University , BS, magna cum laude, graduated 1978

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, District of Columbia Bar

Covington & Burling LLP
Headquarters: Washington, District of Columbia

135 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

86 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Product Liability Litigation - Defendants


  • Legal 500 US, Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action
  • Washington D.C. SuperLawyers, Product Liability Defense
  • Various Who's Who
  • American Tort Reform Association, Legal Reform Champion

Representative Matters

  • Representation of one of the world’s leading automobile airbag manufacturers in ongoing product liability and consumer protection litigation, including serving as lead counsel in ongoing MDL proceedings and national coordinating counsel for all civil litigation.
  • Counsel for name-brand pharmaceutical manufacturers in Hatch-Waxman litigation and trials, and for other product manufacturers in patent litigation involving various kinds of technology.
  • Representation of major pharmaceutical manufacturers in product liability litigation and related insurance coverage disputes.
  • Represented all of the major U.S. tobacco manufacturers in their disputes with state attorneys general that culminated in the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, taking the lead in discussions with elected officials throughout the United States.
  • Developed and oversaw the enactment in over forty states of state legislation relating to liability standards and litigation procedure, involving issues such as product liability reform, consumer protection reform, appeal bond limits, and punitive damages legislation, and class action procedures.
  • National coordinating counsel for product liability litigation involving the Tobacco Institute.
  • Coverage counsel for policyholders in disputes with insurers over product liability claims, environmental disputes, and other liabilities.
  • Briefed and argued in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of petitioners in Traynor v. Turnage, 485 U.S. 535 (1988), which determined that administrative decisions of the Veterans Administration could be appealed in the federal courts and led to the creation of the Court of Veterans Appeals, and which also considered the applicability of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to the Veterans Administration.
  • Representation of death row inmates, including serving as lead counsel in a case that resulted in the release in February 2012 of an Alabama prisoner who had spent the preceding seventeen years on death row.

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