Ronald L. Hicks, Jr. is a Pennsylvania business and oil and gas rights trial lawyer who handles emergency, complex and appellate litigation and other business matters for a variety of clients, including LGBT business owners.
Since 1987, Ron has handled a variety of business and civil disputes, including claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and intellectual property, breach of restrictive covenants, unfair competition, fraud, estate and fiduciary liability, breach of contract, insurance coverage, fraudulent transfers, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, real estate and oil and gas title disputes, telemarketing and on-line marketing, and election and political campaign law. He also counsels clients on various business matters including entity formation and operation, contract review and drafting (including purchase/sales agreements and employment/independent contractor agreements), creation and implementation of web site and social media policies and practices, and intellectual property matters including trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and warranty/privacy issues.
Ron’s notable engagements include:
*Obtaining orders striking a 24-year old default judgment and dismissing a quiet title action claiming adverse possession of severed oil and gas rights based on such judgment, which orders were affirmed on appeal.
*Receiving after 30 days of trial in New Jersey state court a $12.8 million verdict against a client’s legacy insurance companies for environmental cleanup damages.
*Protecting a manufacturer’s customer information and other trade secrets by obtaining after a 3-day evidentiary hearing in federal court 1-year and 10-year injunctions to prevent their misuse by a former salesman and a terminated dealer.
*Winning and collecting multi-million dollar federal court judgments for siblings against their brother/uncle for breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, unjust enrichment and punitive damages, and against his wife for fraudulent transfers, unjust enrichment and punitive damages, and protecting those judgments by freeze orders, a declaratory judgment in Florida state court that a condominium was not protected from execution as homestead property, and a ruling in federal bankruptcy court that the judgments against the wife were not dischargeable.
*Receiving a defense jury verdict in favor of a real estate developer who had been sued in an Indiana state court for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud.
*Obtaining summary judgment in favor of funeral directors who had been sued by a memorial park for purported federal anti-trust violations.
Ron serves as the Solicitor of Republican Committee of Allegheny County. Also, he actively represents local, state and federal Republican candidates and committees on various election law issues, including election contests, ballot recounts, objections to nomination petitions, and challenges to absentee and provisional ballots. Since 2004, Ron has participated and planned several Election Day operations, and he has trained candidates and lawyers on Pennsylvania election processes and procedures.
Ron was lead counsel in In re: Canvass of Absentee Ballots of November 2003 General Election, 843 A.2d 1223 (Pa. 2004), in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the “in-person” absentee ballot delivery requirement under Pennsylvania’s Election Code was mandatory and that fifty-six absentee ballots delivered in violation of that provision were invalid and could not be counted. As a result of this decision, Susan Gantman, a Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Superior Court, won her election by defeating her Democratic opponent by twenty-eight votes out of more than two million two hundred fifty-thousand cast.
Ron is currently on the RNLA Board of Governors, serving as the Vice President of Communications, and is a founding board member and previous chair of the Pittsburgh RNLA chapter. He is also an elected member of the Republican Committees of Allegheny County and Pittsburgh.
Ron is Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group and Chair of the Energy, Utilities & Mineral Rights Group. Additionally, he serves as the Co-Chair of the U.S./Canada Litigation Group of Meritas, a global association of select independent law firms. Previously, he has served as a member of the firm’s management and compensation committees, as well as other administrative positions.
Ron is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and before the United States Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal district courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania. Ron is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, American and National LGBT Bar Associations, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. Also, he is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Board of Governors, and a life member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Ron’s peers have rated him with an AV Preeminent rating, an achievement of Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. Additionally, Ron has been named by his peers to The Best Lawyers® for Commercial, Bankruptcy, Construction, Intellectual Property and Real Estate Litigation, and has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers®. In 2012, he was included in The Best Lawyers® Annual Guide to Commercial Litigation and in the 2012 Top Rated Lawyers® in Insurance.
In 1984, Ron graduated with distinction from Pennsylvania State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-law. In 1987, he graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he participated with honors in several Moot Court competitions and was elected to the Order of Barristers.