Benjamin C. Dunlap, Jr.

Benjamin C. Dunlap, Jr. brings considerable experience to his practice, concentrating in business and employment law for companies ranging in size from startups to major national corporations and public utility and related work for railroad clients.  He has received an AV Preeminent® Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating in his primary practice areas of administrative and employment/labor law and litigation, making him part of a select group of lawyers ranked by their peers at the highest level of professional excellence. 

Business and Employment Law

Ben represents a major insurance holding company in contractual matters, including marketing and partnership agreements, as well as employment and benefits issues. Ben is a member of the company’s labor negotiating team and provides counsel on labor issues. He represents the company on provider terminations, as well as on coverage issues for groups.

Ben’s work with smaller companies encompasses contract drafting and litigation, including franchise agreements.   He regularly drafts employment, termination and independent contractor agreements for clients and handles litigation involving such contracts.  He assists small to mid-size companies in the areas of intellectual property rights, disputes with the Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection, and employment disputes before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as in state and federal courts.

Practice Highlights:

  • General Counsel for a member benefit organization with operations throughout North America.
  • Successfully represented Harrisburg City Controller in litigation with the Mayor, affirming the Controller’s authority to stop unbudgeted management payroll payments.
  • Represented a local company in a contract dispute, the arbitration award from which resulted in nearly $1 million in additional revenues.
  • Successfully represented two large nonprofit organizations in employment disputes, both involving negotiated resolutions, one with a former executive director and the other with a corporate officer.
  • Conducted legal review of a company’s Fair Labor Standards Act audit involving more than a hundred employee positions.
  • Regularly advises companies on employee benefit, information technology and other vendor service agreements.

Railroad

Ben’s clients consist of Class I and short line railroads facing public crossing and other matters before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Such cases frequently involve large amounts of money with the opportunity for significant cost savings by the railroad. Such cases often entail related contractual and property matters that are litigated in state and federal courts.

Practice Highlights:

  • Successfully represented a railroad in a case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirming that contract rights are preserved between the parties even when the PUC orders payment in the first instance for rail-highway crossing work contrary to the contract. Consolidated Rail Corporation v. City of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Authority, 842 A.2d 369 (Pa. Supreme Ct.).
  • Prevented the establishment of a new at-grade crossing in York County on the basis that creation of a new at-grade crossing in close proximity to two separated-grade crossings would not promote public safety.  Application of Springettsbury Township, 2009 WL 3159625 (Pa. PUC).
  • Represented Class I Railroads and the Keystone State Railroad Association in rulemaking and streamlining proceedings in the Public Utility Commission.
  • Represented a Class I railroad against the City of Philadelphia in a contract dispute in federal court over park access rights that led to a favorable negotiated settlement for the railroad.
  • Represented a Class II Railroad in rail line abandonment and discontinuance proceedings before the federal Surface Transportation Board.
  • Successfully represented railroads in numerous rail crossing abolition and reconstruction cases, minimizing client work and cost responsibilities.

Publications:

Seminars:

  • Public Utility Law and effects on the railroad industry as part of legal panel at the 2011 PA Rail Freight Seminar, jointly sponsored by the PA Rail Freight Advisory Committee, PennDOT and the Keystone State Railroad Association.
  • How to avoid discrimination lawsuits for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and York City.
  • Employment law issues for the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association.
  • How to successfully handle an unemployment compensation hearing for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.
  • Copyright issues for artists for the Harrisburg Art Association and the Whitaker Center.