Philip J. Seaver-Hall
Philip is a full-time litigation attorney who focuses his practice on appellate, constitutional, commercial, and civil-rights litigation. He routinely advises school districts throughout Pennsylvania on complicated civil-rights issues including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, LGBTQ+ rights, and student privacy. Philip has argued before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and numerous trial courts throughout Pennsylvania.
Philip graduated with Woolsack Society honors from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law. During law school, he served as a federal judicial intern to Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner and Judge Yvette Kane at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Before law school, Philip was an accomplished classical musician who routinely worked with Grammy Award- and Juno Award-winning musicians. He has performed in hundreds of concerts throughout the United States—including at Carnegie Hall—as well as in Canada and Italy.
Philip’s mission is to advise and advocate for his clients expertly, efficiently, ethically, and empathetically in all stages of a case, from pretrial to appeal.
- Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, J.D.
Certificate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Woolsack Honor Society; The Order of Barristers; Associate Editor of Jus Gentium, The Journal of International Legal History; Moot Court Board; Class Representative for Women's Law Caucus; Research Assistant to Emeritus Dean Gary S. Gildin (specialization: qualified immunity from constitutional tort liability)
- Mercer University, B.A.
cum laude; McDuffie Center Presidential Scholar; National Political Science Honor Society; Vice President of Women's and Gender Studies Honor Society; Vice President of Pre-Law Society; Mock Trial Team; Principal Violist with Mercer University Orchestra
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Obtained compulsory nonsuit for municipal client in eminent-domain trial
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of two anti-mask lawsuits seeking judicial removal of Millcreek and North East School Boards
- Litigated complex federal appeal concerning alleged contempt of court in client’s environmental case
- Obtained judgment in favor of landlord client following over $20,000 worth of property damage to rental unit caused by tenant
- Obtained favorable settlement after resting case in federal civil-rights trial on behalf of prisoner
- Obtained discovery sanctions against government-affiliated defendants for the government’s destruction of relevant evidence
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of homeowner in lawsuit against construction contractor
- Obtained policy-limit indemnity from insurance company on behalf of allegedly negligent driver
- Briefed and argued dispositive motions in state and federal court
- Researched and located caselaw that, upon presentation to defense counsel, led to seven-figure settlement offer to client
- Briefed and argued constitutional and statutory issues of first impression before Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas
- Pro Bono Award, Erie County Bar Association, 2023
- Included in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, 2023
- CALI Excellence for the Future Awards (Federal Courts; First Amendment; Sales Law; Wills, Trusts & Estates; Conflict of Laws; Legal Argument & Factual Persuasion), Penn State University Dickinson School of Law
- "Best Brief" Award and Semifinalist - ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Brooklyn Regional
- #1 Best Defense Advocate Award - Intra-School Mock Trial Competition, Penn State University Dickinson School of Law
- Erie County Bar Association, Local Rules Subcommittee Member (2022-present); Judicial Evaluation Committee (2022-present)
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Legal Academics Committee Member (2021-present); Bar Admission Issues Subcommittee Member (2023-present)
Community and Professional Service
- Erie Philharmonic, Board of Governors (2022-present)
- Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF), Board Member (2022-present)
- Dickinson Law Moot Court Team, Coach (2022-present)
- Firm's Annual Municipal Law Symposium, 2023: (1) Legal Tips Panel, tips on multi-district litigation (MDL) and (2) Special Education topic: Navigating Manifestation Determinations and Reducing Liability Through Regulatory Compliance
Articles and Publications
- U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Transgender School Athlete, Upholds Preliminary Injunction Permitting Team Participation
- Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine contributing author: "Five Techniques to Strengthen Your Persuasive Legal Writing" (Sept./Oct. 2022)
- Appellate Advocacy Blog, Contributing Editor:
- GPT-4 Just Passed the Bar Exam. That Proves More About the Weakness of the Bar Exam Than the Strength of GPT-4.
- A Plea for Pro Bono Service
- Addition By Subtraction: Write Less, Say More
- Using Non-Precedential Opinions: A Practical, Cautionary Guide
- "This is Not Proper Appellate Advocacy": Third Circuit Slaps Sanctions on Attorney Who Copied and Pasted Trial Court Briefs