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Daniel C. Conlon

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Co-chair, Hospitality Group

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Awards & Achievements

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Daniel's practice is centered at the intersection of business, law, and government.

As a professional problem solver, Daniel brings more than a law degree to any matter he takes on. For his corporate clients, it is a drive to understand core business objectives (something he cannot shake from years in sales). For his municipal clients, a multicultural background to see competing viewpoints from all positions. For hospitality clients, the same comfort behind a desk as in the kitchen. For international clients, the understanding needed to bridge cultural and language gaps.

Municipal

Daniel advises municipalities and school districts on a broad array of legal issues. Daniel serves as Solicitor for the Boroughs of Avalon, Ben Avon, Leetsdale, and the Ross Township Civil Service Commission. He also serves as Special Counsel to the Township of Cranberry (Venango County) on zoning and property maintenance code matters. From providing advice at public meetings to drafting complex ordinances that are defensible in court to prosecuting code violations, Daniel believes his role as Solicitor is to help elected and appointed government officials fulfill their official duties and protect their communities.

Corporate and Investment Management

Daniel advises owners of early-stage companies with entity selection and registration, preparing operating agreements for LLCs, LPs, contract drafting and review, raising capital, buy-sell agreements, and other commercial transactions. Daniel’s practice also includes counseling registered investment advisers, national banks, and federal savings institutions on a broad range of regulatory, compliance, and transactional matters.

Liquor Licensing

Daniel represents breweries, clubs, hotels, and restaurants with liquor license acquisitions and transfers and understands the local dynamics of inter-municipal transfers. He also advises hospitality clients on complying with liquor regulations and laws and defending protests before the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and citations by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE).

Prior to entering private practice, Daniel worked as a Judicial Intern for the Hon. David S. Cercone of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Judicial Intern for the Supreme Court of Costa Rica, and as a Law Clerk for the City of Pittsburgh, Law Department.

Daniel was born in Chicago, IL but raised in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and cannot remember whether he spoke English or Spanish first as a child.

Representative Experience

  • Provide on-going counsel to municipalities and school districts on issues that arise under the PA Sunshine Act, Ethics Act, Borough Code, Second Class Township Code, Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Uniform Construction Code (UCC), Right to Know Law, and Public School Code of 1949.
  • Representation of a Pennsylvania Township in a high-stakes zoning enforcement case against a resident that was accumulating junk motor vehicles on his property. This case started at a Magisterial District Court and was appealed to the Court of Common Pleas where the Township secured fines exceeding $277,500. On appeal, the Commonwealth Court upheld the zoning code violations and six-figure fines. Township of Cranberry v. Spencer, 568 C.D. 2022, (Pa. Cmmw. Ct. Aug. 30, 2023).
  • Representation of a municipality in a case involving citations for property maintenance code violations. The trial court found the resident guilty of criminal violations and sentenced the resident to pay fines. Effectively defended against an appeal to the Commonwealth Court challenging the five convictions. Commonwealth v. Spencer, No. 1005 CD 2021 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Dec. 22, 2022).
  • Representation of a municipality in four eminent domain cases, securing fair property acquisitions for public projects, including two walking trails and one utility installation, benefiting over 10,000 residents, with estimated project costs of $3 million.
  • On-going representation of school districts and individuals in tax assessment appeals for residential and commercial properties before the Board of Property Assessments Appeals and Review (BPAAR) and Court of Common Pleas, Board of Viewers (BOV).
  • Representation of a municipality in a successful labor arbitration involving a police officer’s allegation that the municipality was contractually obligated to provide hospitalization coverage for the spouses of police retirees. This successful arbitration award saved the client more than $300,000.
  • Orchestrated over 100+ successful liquor license applications, acquisitions, and transfers for a diverse group of hospitality clients, including restaurants, clubs, breweries, wineries, and limited distilleries, amounting to transactions totaling in excess of $10 million, navigating Pennsylvania's intricate liquor laws, and ensuring seamless compliance with regulations.
  • Representation of a high-profile hospitality venue in a PLCB non-renewal hearing for its liquor license that resulted in a favorable outcome securing the renewal of the restaurant’s license. The victory preserved the client's operations, safeguarding a local family-owned business with annual revenues of $6 million and maintaining jobs, crucial to the local economy.
  • Representation of a new Pennsylvania mezcal and agave-based liquors importation company. Successfully secured essential licenses, including an importer liquor license from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), along with obtaining the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) importer license. These efforts streamlined the company's operations, marking a major milestone in Pennsylvania's liquor importation industry.
  • Provided legal representation to a restaurant owner in a contentious breach of contract case within the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, involving the purchase of a liquor license. Filed and obtained a successful claim for an injunction preventing the breaching seller from selling the license to another party, safeguarding the client's interests and contractual rights. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision, upholding the injunction in favor of the client. Kickerz Bar & Grill, LLC v. Racce, LLC, 246 WDA 2021, 10 (Pa. Super. Ct. Oct. 12, 2021).
  • Representation of hundreds of hospitality entrepreneurs on business entity selection, negotiating franchise agreements, and complex lease negotiations that resulted in cost savings of millions for clients.
  • Representation of restaurant and grocery store on innovative strategies to introduce retail liquor licenses into "dry" boroughs, including preparing a ballot referendum that empowered residents to decide the allowance of such licenses. This effort resulted in multiple successful transfers, opening up previously restricted areas to an estimated economic impact of $5 million, significantly expanding sales of alcohol in this municipality.
  • Representation of a real estate developer in a successful application for a zoning dimensional variance to build a 9,000 square foot grocery store for a national retailer. This representation included negotiating a settlement agreement with neighboring objectors.
  • Successfully defended a national specialty hospital in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, securing a favorable settlement for the client in a case involving a nearly $2 million local business privilege tax assessment. The municipality sought to impose this local tax after a lapse of over a decade without advising the hospital annually of its assessment. Select Specialty Hosp. v. City of McKeesport, No. GD-17-001931, (Ct. of Comm. Pl. of Allegheny Co., 2017).

  • Representation of a franchisee in the selection of a business entity, review of franchise agreement, loan documents, and commercial lease.
  • Representation of a non-profit entity in filing formation documents, preparing bylaws, licensing agreements, and state nonprofit tax eligibility filings.
  • Representation of a federal stock savings institution with half a billion dollars in assets with the formation of a service corporation and related applications to the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
  • Advised banking technology firm that provides cash sweep solutions to insured national banks and state-chartered banks on compliance with Regulation 9 of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
  • Provide on-going advice to a bank holding company and affiliate investment management entity on Compliance with Bank Holding Company Act, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the broker-dealer provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) regulations.

Presentations & Publications

  • Daniel Conlon, "Toxic For Britney; Promising for Boroughs: How Conservatorships Fight Blight," Pennsylvania's Borough News, Mar. 2023, on page 32.
  • Daniel Conlon, "Keep Calm and Call the Lawyer: Understanding the Role of a Municipal Solicitor," Pennsylvania’s Borough News, Dec. 2017.
  • Daniel Conlon, "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: First Responders Get a Break on Local Taxes," Pennsylvania’s Borough News, Apr. 2016.
  • Daniel Conlon, "Right to Privacy for Public Employees," Pennsylvania's Borough News, Dec. 2016.
  • Daniel Conlon, "How to Draft an Ordinance," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Dec. 1, 2015.
  • Daniel Conlon-Gutierrez, Case Note, “Superior Court Holds Act 91 Notice Published by the Pennsylvania Finance Housing Authority is Defective”, 15 DUQ. BUS. L.J. 87 (2013).
  • Daniel Conlon-Gutierrez, “Pura Vida: A 3L’s Experience at the Supreme Court of Costa Rica”, The Duquesne Lawyer, Fall/Winter 2013, on page 43.

Education

Duquesne University School of Law (JD),
  • Senior Staff Editor, Duquesne Business Law Journal
  • Merit Scholarship Recipient and Pro Bono Program Certificate of Recognition
North Park University (BA)
Harvard Business School (Certificate, Financial Analysis and Valuation for Lawyers)

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

All state courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Office Location

  • Pittsburgh

Languages

  • Spanish

Services

  • Alcoholic Beverages/Liquor Licensing
  • Business & Finance
  • Fiduciary Services & Risk Management
  • Real Estate

Industries

  • Hospitality
  • Municipal & School

Departments

  • Business & Finance

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch, Municipal and Real Estate Law
  • Pennsylvania Rising Star by Super Lawyers®, State/Local/Municipal Law (2019-2023)
  • Selected by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP 40 Under 40 for 2019. Honorees are selected for their creativity and passion to enrich the Pittsburgh region.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Latino Community Center, Former Board Director
  • Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Board Director
  • Duquesne Law Alumni Association, Board of Governors
  • Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA), Board of Directors
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Member
  • Pittsburgh Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Member
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Member 

Education

Duquesne University School of Law (JD)
  • Senior Staff Editor, Duquesne Business Law Journal
  • Merit Scholarship Recipient and Pro Bono Program Certificate of Recognition
North Park University (BA, magna cum laude)
Harvard Business School (Certificate, Financial Analysis and Valuation for Lawyers)

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

All state courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Office Location

  • Pittsburgh

Languages

  • Spanish

Services

  • Alcoholic Beverages/Liquor Licensing
  • Business & Finance
  • Fiduciary Services & Risk Management
  • Real Estate

Industries

  • Hospitality
  • Municipal & School

Departments

  • Business & Finance

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch, Municipal and Real Estate Law
  • Pennsylvania Rising Star by Super Lawyers®, State/Local/Municipal Law (2019-2023)
  • Selected by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP 40 Under 40 for 2019. Honorees are selected for their creativity and passion to enrich the Pittsburgh region.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Latino Community Center, Former Board Director
  • Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Board Director
  • Duquesne Law Alumni Association, Board of Governors
  • Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA), Board of Directors
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Member
  • Pittsburgh Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Member
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Member 

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