Erin Lucas Hamilton focuses her practice on general commercial litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in the full range of disputes affecting business, such as those involving commercial contracts, shareholder disputes, corporate governance, employment matters, insurance coverage and various tort-based claims. Erin has significant experience in the specific fields of aviation disaster litigation, lender liability defense and construction litigation. She represents regional, national and international clients in both state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Erin was selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list in the field of business litigation. Erin is also the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year award from the Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Additionally, she was one of 38 Pennsylvania attorneys selected as a 2013 "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by The Legal Intelligencer.
Representative matters include:
- In one of the first non-compete cases concerning the Marcellus Shale, prevailed in the defense of a former employee who established a competitive drilling-related services business in federal district court against claims for preliminary injunction and substantial money damages. Gray Holdco, Inc. v. Randy Cassady and RWLS, LLC 2010 WL 235106 (W.D.Pa. 2010). Thereafter, prevailed in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals against former employer's subsequent effort to abandon in progress the lawsuit it had commenced in favor of pursuing its claims instead in a more favorable arbitration forum. Gray Holdco, Inc. v. Randy Cassady and RWLS, LLC 654 F.3d 444 (3d Cir. 2011).
- Assisted in the defense and negotiation of dismissals or settlements on behalf of aircraft parts manufacturers in wrongful death and survival actions arising out of aviation accidents. Also, assisted in the defense of commercial airlines in personal injury actions and the defense of aviation insurers in insurance coverage actions.
- Assisted in obtaining and defending on appeal a summary judgment in favor of a director/shareholder of a Delaware corporation in a direct action (seeking a multi-million dollar damage award) brought by a corporate shareholder alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with a down-round equity financing transaction that diluted the plaintiff's equity. Rock v. Rangos and Meakem, G.D. 08-027634 (C.P. Allegheny). aff'd, 2013 Pa. Super.13 (January 24, 2013).
- In litigation proceeding in two states (Pennsylvania and New York), assisted in the prosecution to favorable settlement client's multimillion dollar claim for additional compensation in connection with an energy-based venture after obtaining on appeal a stay of opponent's earlier filed lawsuit in its jurisdiction and defeating opponent's efforts in both jurisdictions to dismiss client's claim prior to trial. AIG Financial Products Corp. v. Penncara Energy LLC, 83 A.D.3d 495, 922 N.Y.S.2d 288 (2011).
- Participated in an appeal to the Superior and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania that challenged a trial court's enjoining, at disgruntled opponent's request, of a client's favorable ongoing commercial arbitration in a real estate partnership dissolution and valuation dispute, and obtained a reversal and the reinstatement of the arbitration proceeding for damages hearing and final award. This case provided reaffirmance and guidance by the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts of the Commonwealth policy favoring consensual arbitration of business disputes and the limited power of the courts to interfere with any ongoing arbitration. Fastuca v. L.W. Molnar and Associates 950 A.2d 980 (Pa. Super. 2008); and Fastuca v. L.W. Molnar and Associates, 10 A.3d 1230 (Pa. 2011)
- Assisted in obtaining a defense verdict after a three-week jury trial in Federal District Court on behalf of the founder and shareholder of a special metals processing business against claims by minority shareholder of breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breaches of Pennsylvania securities laws with asserted damages of $40 million.
Erin is a former chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) Young Lawyers Division. Among other activities, she has served as assistant Secretary-Treasurer of the ACBA Board of Governors, is a member of the ACBA Civil Litigation Council and chaired the award winning 2012-2013 Bar Leadership Initiative. Erin also currently serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Executive Council as the Zone 12 (i.e. Allegheny County) Co-chair.
Erin is actively involved in the community, volunteering as a pro bono attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services Association and serving as coordinator of the firm's Protection From Abuse Program. Additionally, Erin is the chair of the Young Professional Advisory Board for the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, an organization that provides permanent homes, respite care and advocacy for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. She is appointed as a Young Lawyer Fellow in the Allegheny County Bar Foundation as well as the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.