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Appeals & Civil Litigation

HMS Legal practices before most of Pennsylvania’s administrative agencies, including:

Gaming Board
Professional Boards
Milk Marketing Board
Independent Regulatory Review Commission
Department of Public Welfare
Department of Agriculture
Department of Community & Economic Development/ Commonwealth Financing Authority
Bureau of Minority & Women Business Opportunities
Public Utility Commission
Department of Environmental Protection


HMS Legal’ s appellate practice features partners Kevin McKeon and Dennis Whitaker who collaborate on Pennsylvania Appellate Advocate, a blog that provides timely coverage and analysis of notable appellate decisions, allocatur grants, upcoming arguments, proposed and adopted rule changes, and other information of interest to lawyers, litigants, and others involved in or affected by issues presented in appeals in Pennsylvania’s appellate courts. Kevin also co-authors the standard appellate procedure text in Pennsylvania, West’s Pennsylvania Appellate Practice.

The HMS Legal appeals team has represented clients before all of Pennsylvania’s appellate courts, primarily in matters involving the interaction between state government and regulated businesses and professions, but also in other areas of the law. Aware of developing legal issues that impact the interests of trade groups, businesses, and not-for profit entities and associations, HMS Legal’s appellate lawyers are well positioned to assist in the drafting of amicus curiae briefs to provide the courts with a broader perspective on issues of public importance that often have implications that go beyond the narrow interests of the appellant and appellee.  In addition, HMS Legal’s appellate lawyers frequently partner with trial counsel from other law firms to provide assistance in navigating the appeal process or to manage every aspect of an appeal, from filing to briefing and argument.

HMS Legal appellate lawyers also are experienced in representing clients in original jurisdiction cases before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania involving government action affecting health care providers, insurers, the gaming industry, and businesses and municipalities subject to environmental regulation.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

HMS Legal advises clients on the regulation of gaming in Pennsylvania and represents both applicant and intervener clients before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and, if necessary, Pennsylvania’s appellate courts.

Professional Boards

HMS Legal assists clients in proceedings before Pennsylvania’s Medical, Nursing, Accounting, and other Professional Boards organized under the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.


HMS Legal attorneys are experienced insurance regulatory practitioners and former government attorneys, providing representation to insurance companies and producers, as well as other insurance entities such as risk retention groups, third-party administrators, premium finance companies and self-insurance arrangements in regulatory compliance and licensing matters. We counsel insurance clients in obtaining and preserving licensure, provide advice related to understanding and maintaining regulatory compliance and in responding to regulator inquiries such as market conduct and financial examinations, enforcement investigations, and consumer complaints. We provide representation involving agency terminations, policy cancellations, coverage disputes, Mcare issues, USTIF, surplus lines compliance, life settlements, and rate and form filings. We also represent businesses and consumers in evaluating and resolving insurance-related concerns and disputes.

Milk Marketing Board

HMS Legal helps clients navigate the complexities of price and other regulation overseen by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board.

Independent Regulatory Review Commission

HMS Legal lawyers understand the intricacies of the administrative regulation promulgation process and we assist our clients to effectively advocate positions on the promulgation of new rules that affect them.

Department of Public Welfare

HMS Legal assists clients with regulatory and appellate proceedings arising from actions of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Department of Agriculture

HMS Legal represents clients on issues related to the regulation of agricultural activities in Pennsylvania.

Department of Community and Economic Development / Commonwealth Financing Authority

HMS Legal helps clients achieve their business goals through an understanding of the availability and qualifications needed to access public funding, including grants and loans.

Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities

HMS Legal helps eligible clients to maximize the opportunities available to them, including obtaining and using proper credentialing.

Utilities, Energy & Communication

HMS Legal practices the following areas of law related to utilities, energy & communication:

Marcellus Shale
Mergers & Acquisitions
Waste & Wastewater


HMS Legal has represented a diverse group of clients in many areas of environmental law practice before Pennsylvania and federal environmental regulatory agencies and trial and appellate courts.  Our environmental clients include utilities such as water/wastewater service providers and electric generators, as well as other business clients, large and small, when their operations are affected by environmental regulation.  We have represented clients in permit and appeal proceedings before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Pa. DEP), the Environmental Hearing Board, and in proceedings before the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin Commissions.  We work with engineers, developers and transactional counsel on siting, interconnection, construction and operation permits and work closely with regulatory agencies to find practical solutions to environmental permitting and enforcement challenges.

The lawyers of HMS Legal advise clients on a variety of environmental issues:

  • Property acquisition and environmental due diligence
  • Interpretation of Phase I environmental site assessments and remediation plans
  • Investigation, characterization, and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination
  • Negotiating the allocation of environmental responsibility in real estate and business transactions
  • Permitting for large and small energy generation projects
  • Water/waste water permitting and enforcement
  • Soil remediation under Pennsylvania’s Brownfields statute (the Land Recycling Program)
  • Compliance with federal and state initiatives related to the Chesapeake Bay
  • Superfund actions
  • Storm water and MS4 issues
  • Industrial waste water pretreatment issues
  • Water well permitting and enforcement matters
  • Environmental Hearing Board trials and appeals
  • Enforcement actions and appeals