William M. Conwell

Partner / Pittsburgh, PA

WILLIAM M.CONWELL concentrates his practice exclusively in the representation of self-insured employers, their third party administrators and insurance carriers before Workers’ Compensation Judges of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Throughout his 25 years of practice, he has handled all varieties of compensation claims in the workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania, including fatalities, mental stress, hearing loss, and catastrophic injuries to individuals sustaining cognitive brain dysfunction. While defending employers for the more typical orthopedic claims, Mr. Conwell has represented industries as diverse as bottlers, waste haulers, construction companies, elevator manufacturers, and facilities for the physically/mentally challenged. He has handled claims for trucking & transportation providers, including the always-challenging independent contractor/employee battle, with emphasis on OCC-ACC policy matters. He served as designated counsel for the Pittsburgh Pirates on the construction of their home field, PNC Park, and for the Pittsburgh Penguins on the Consol Energy Center. He has handled extra-territorial issues for companies whose employees have been injured in China, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Beginning in 1995, Mr. Conwell served a three-year term as the Course Planning Chair for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section. He was responsible for the Continuing Legal Education Programs offered by the Section, updating its members on the evolution of workers’ compensation law in the wake of the 1996 amendments to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, commonly referred to as Act 57. Those changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act spurred the growth of the administrative function of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. As a result, the use of Bureau forms blossomed from less than a dozen to more than seventy. Mr. Conwell continues to train employers and insurance carriers on the proper use of these forms so as to reduce or eliminate their workers’ compensation exposure.

Mr. Conwell served as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2003 and 2004. Following this term, he was honored by the Section in recognition of his service to the Bar and to the public. For the last 10 years, Mr.Conwell has been named as one of the nation’s preeminent practitioners in the area of workers’ compensation law by the publishers of the The Best Lawyers in America. Since 2005, Mr. Conwell has been recognized by the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine in their Pennsylvania edition of “Super Lawyers” as among the top five percent of practitioners in his practice specialty. In 2009, the same publication named him one of the top 50 lawyers in Pittsburgh. Since the expiration of his term as chairman in 2004, Mr. Conwell has continued to lecture on workers’ compensation issues pertaining to proper claims handling, the evolution of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau forms, the relationship between HIPAA and the Workers’ Compensation Act, and the growth of Medicare Set Aside Programs.

Born in the Lehigh Valley, Mr. Conwell spent 6 years in Central Pennsylvania (4 at Dickinson College and 2 with United Telephone) before migrating west to law school at the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 20 years, he and his wife, Pauline, and their 3 children have resided in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. With family roots reaching back to the Wyoming Valley and the Northern tier of Pennsylvania, his practice of workers’ compensation law has taken him to every county to represent his clients before the Workers’ Compensation Judges hearing cases in the Commonwealth.

Areas of Practice

  • Federal Black Lung
  • Long Shore and Harbor Workers' Act Law
  • OCC-ACC policy issues- Contingent Liability Coverage

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Education

  • 1986 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA J.D.
  • 1981 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA B.A. in History and Medieval Studies

Professional Organizations/Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute Pennsylvania Defense Institute

Publications

  • Conwell, William M. (2001) "Workers' Compensation" ยง 29 in Merrick T. Rossein, J.D. (Ed.) Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resources Professionals, vol. 2, West Group.

Representative Clients

  • Alex Paris Contracting Company, Inc.
  • American Mining
  • Chartis
  • CHUBB Services
  • Dick Corporation
  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Eat n' Park
  • Frito Lay
  • Old Republic
  • Pepsi Bottling Group
  • Penn Line Corporation
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Rivers Casino
  • Schindler Elevator
  • Vector Security
  • Vision Quest
  • Vogel Disposal

Representative Matters

  • Barrett v. W.C.A.B. (Vision Quest Nat.), 989 A.2d 396 (Pa.Cmwlth 2009)
  • Coyne Textile v. WCAB (Voorhis), 840 A.2d 372 (Pa. Commw. 2003)
  • Associated Plumbing & Heating v. WCAB (Hartzog), 560 A.2d 865 (Pa.Commw.1998)

CONTACT William M. Conwell / (412) 560-3270 (phone) / (412) 471-1107 (fax)

LinkedIn