In The Media
Much of our work as trial lawyers and litigators takes place in the context of commercial law. We derive great satisfaction from helping our business clients, both companies and individuals, understand, enforce, and protect their rights. As important as these matters are to us and our clients, they rarely capture the attention of the public or the media. We have had the good fortune to work on civil rights matters that have received a great deal of media attention. Highlighted below are some notable cases. They illustrate the energy and commitment we bring to all our cases and clients.
VITAL ORGAN ALLOCATION
Sarah Murnaghan and Javier Acosta v. Kathleen Sebelius
In June 2013, Steve Harvey served as lead counsel to the parents of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan and 11-year-old Javier Acosta, two children who suffered from cystic fibrosis and needed new lungs to live. Steve led a team of lawyers from Pepper Hamilton LLP that challenged the federal “Under 12 Rule” of the organ allocation system in federal court. On June 5 and 6, 2013, the team secured temporary restraining orders for both children. The TROs required the children to be treated as if they were 12 years old for purposes of lung allocation. On June 10, 2013, Steve spoke to the Executive Committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which then decided to change the Under 12 Rule to permit exceptions in special cases. Both children have since had lung transplants and, thankfully, are alive today.
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League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar
Steve Harvey Law in 2019-2020 represented an intervenor in an important case challenging the validity of a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution. The proposed amendment, commonly referred to as “Marsy’s Law,” would have enshrined in the Pennsylvania constitution various “rights” to be accorded to alleged victims of crime. The evidence of the intervenor, a prominent criminal defense attorney who testified how the proposed amendment would, if enacted, negatively impact the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and the overall functioning of the criminal justice system, proved crucial in the subsequent decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court invalidating the proposed amendment. See 247 A.3d 1183 (Pa Commonwealth Court Jan.1, 2021)
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
Steve Harvey, left, entered federal court with attorneys Eric Rothschild of Pepper Hamilton LLP, right, and Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg, Pa., on Friday, November 4, 2005, for the final day of landmark intelligent design trial.
In 2005, Steve Harvey served as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the landmark “intelligent design” case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005).
Steve and colleagues from Pepper Hamilton LLP, along with lawyers from the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, successfully represented in federal court eight families who challenged the Dover policy that included intelligent design in the curriculum as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Federal Judge John E. Jones III decided in favor of the plaintiffs that intelligent design is a religious concept that cannot be presented in public school science class as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution.
The case generated considerable media attention and became the subject of four books as well as a NOVA special in which Steve is prominently featured entitled “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.”
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