Joshua D. Bonn

For more than eight years, Josh Bonn has practiced as a trial attorney in a wide range of legal matters. Josh represents clients in railroad, automotive, media, insurance and financial industries. He is also the Solicitor for the Capital Area Tax Collection Bureau.

Josh has extensive experience representing municipalities, individuals and media entities in public records litigation under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). He routinely briefs and argues open records appeals in the Office of Open Records (OOR) and in trial and appellate courts. Josh regularly contributes to the practice group’s RTKL blog. Recently, Josh obtained a favorable ruling from Commonwealth Court that allowed his client to obtain more than 400 pages of emails from the Department of Education related to Louis Freeh’s investigation of the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University.

In March, 2014, Josh earned a BV Distinguished Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is based on an extensive and confidential peer review by members of the Pennsylvania Bar and Judiciary.

Josh is admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Josh is a member of the Dauphin County Bar Association, the Cumberland County Bar Association, and the James S. Bowman American Inns of Court.  He participates in pro bono programs sponsored by the Dauphin County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Prior to his employment with Nauman Smith, Josh worked as an assistant district attorney in York County.

Josh resides with his wife and son in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the Carlisle Young Professionals (CYP) and serves on the organization’s outreach committee.

Rail and Transportation Law

Josh defends Class I, regional and shortline railroads in cases involving personal injury arising from crossing accidents, workplace accidents arising under the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA), and in condemnation proceedings instituted by natural gas utilities.  Josh drafts pleadings and briefs; argues dispositive motions; handles discovery and depositions; and assists in all other areas of the practice group’s general representation of the railroad industry.  Josh is also familiar with administrative proceedings before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) involving the maintenance of rail-highway crossings and before the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB) involving the abandonment and discontinuance of rail lines.  Josh is knowledgeable of preemption issues under the Federal Rail Safety Act, the Interstate Commerce Clause Termination Act of 1995 (the “ICCTA”) and of procedures used in eminent domain proceedings in federal and Pennsylvania courts.

Media and Right to Know Law

Josh represents individuals and media entities in litigation instituted to obtain access to public records.  He routinely briefs and argues open records appeals in the Office of Open Records (OOR), courts of Common Pleas and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.   Josh has extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) and regularly contributes to the practice group’s Right-to-Know Blog.  He has also lectured to various groups on provisions of the RTKL.

 Criminal Law

Josh represents individuals who have been charged with criminal and traffic offenses.  As a former prosecutor, Josh handled a variety of criminal matters ranging from simple traffic offenses to complex child abuse cases.  Since entering private practice, he has helped clients negotiate favorable plea agreements and apply for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).  For most criminal matters, Josh offers free initial consultations and bills on a flat-fee basis.

Litigation and Appeals

In addition to the litigation services described above, Josh handles a variety of other civil litigation matters.  He represents a national bank in replevin actions to recover motor vehicles from individuals who are in default of vehicle financing agreements.  Josh also has experience in mortgage foreclosure, ejectment, enforcement of judgments and bankruptcy matters.

Josh handles appeals in Pennsylvania’s appellate courts and in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  He has argued before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Municipal Law

As a member of the firm’s Municipal Law practice group, Josh serves as the Solicitor for the Capital Area Tax Collection Bureau, and counsels local governments in governance, zoning, land use and subdivision, codes enforcement, and public records matters.

Josh’s experience with Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know law is especially beneficial to Nauman Smith’s municipal clients, as Josh provides advice on whether records are subject to public disclosure and the procedures which must be followed in response to right-to-know requests.  He also drafts responses to open records requests and represents municipalities in the event of the appeal of a denial of a right-to-know request.  In addition, he attends municipal meetings and provides advice on drafting and enacting ordinances.

Practice Highlights

  • Successfully represented landowners in a declaratory judgment action regarding the constitutionality of a local ordinance.  After the trial court found that the ordinance was constitutional as applied to the landowners, Josh pursued an appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.  The Commonwealth Court reversed and directed the trial court to enter a summary judgment in the landowners’ favor.  See Borough of New Bloomfield v. Wagner, 35 A.3d 839 (Pa.Cmwlth.2012).
  • Assisted in open records appeals where Commonwealth Court held home addresses of public employees are public records.  Office of Governor v. Raffle, 65 A.3d 1105 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013); Office of Lieutenant Governor v. Mohn, 67 A.3d 123 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013).
  • Obtained favorable ruling from Commonwealth Court for client seeking to obtain information from the Department of Education related to Louis Freeh’s investigation of the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University.  Bagwell v. Pennsylvania Dep’t of Educ., —A.3d—, 2013 WL 3778927 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013).