Heather Harmon Kennedy, Esq.
The Harmon Kennedy LLC law firm was founded to help you protect your biggest assets – your money and your land.
Companies, contracts, and the relationships they are based upon are usually ongoing, and always subject to failure. However, most organizations and property owners have little or no advance planning until after a problem arises, which can cost lots of avoidable money, time, and energy. What I do is the legal equivalent of buying a raincoat before the storm – Being prepared makes the threat of a storm much less scary, and what’s underneath (i.e. your business and family’s assets) will likely be in much better shape after the rain ends.
Who is Harmon Kennedy?
Hi, I’m Heather Harmon Kennedy. I help business and property owners protect their two biggest assets – money and land. Typically, this means planning ahead, identifying and solving problems (ideally, before they become big problems), and managing legal risk. I also help people deal with damage control once a problem has arisen.
Why does Harmon Kennedy LLC exist?
Before starting my own firm, I was a construction litigator for large commercial and residential projects. That means I first talked to clients only after they had a problem, and in most cases, only after they had been sued in court. This didn’t make much sense – many of those issues took years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to resolve, and each party still walked away upset and frustrated with the legal system. From the business owner’s perspective, relationships were irretrievably broken, time was wasted, and money was unnecessarily spent. Then another lawsuit would be filed and the cycle would start all over again.
You may have noticed that many corporate and real estate attorneys don’t litigate. This means that, if a client ever encounters a threatened lawsuit or transactions end up in dispute, the client needs to find another lawyer to advise regarding the “damage control” side of the business. This usually only happens only after a problem has been identified, which often means it’s too late to fix in a “quick and easy” manner.
Harmon Kennedy exists to bridge that gap. Most of my work isn’t litigation – but I know what to plan for and how your case will likely go if litigation is ever threatened. I’ve been on the other side and can help you plan for a more favorable outcome before the problem gets out of hand. I usually don’t believe that litigation is the best answer (though sometimes it may be), and am well-versed in settling disputes and threatened disputes before they ever reach the courthouse. If your dispute has already gone that far, I can still usually help arrange a more favorable settlement than you might get at trial. My experience in litigation, arbitration, mediation, and negotiations can help you save money in the long run and salvage relationships before it’s too late.
My Background and Experience
I’m licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Nevada, as well as federal courts in the Western District of Pennsylvania and throughout Nevada.
I have practiced law in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Unlike many attorneys, my background includes both litigation and transactional experience.
Much of my background is in complex construction litigation. I began my career in Las Vegas, Nevada, and worked at both a mid-sized and a large firm defending residential developers, general contractors and subcontractors against construction defect claims. These cases are usually referred to as “complex” based upon their involvement of protracted litigation, complex issues, multiple parties, difficult legal questions, or unusual proof problems. Construction cases often last for years and involve dozens of defendants. Working with these types of cases, I gained a strong understanding of the litigation process and the importance of a proactive discovery strategy.
Litigation strategy is one of my passions and forms the basis for my practice in transactional law. First-hand understanding of the “damage control” side of a transaction is critical to properly planning the transaction in the first place.
In addition to construction, my litigation experience also includes defense of personal injury, premises liability, products liability, fraud, misrepresentation, general negligence, indemnity, insurance, and contract litigation cases.
In 2010, I was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court as a Foreclosure Mediator following the 2008 recession, and I have served as an arbitrator tasked with resolving attorney-client fee disputes.
Law Class of 2008: Drake Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
- Concentration: Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Team
- Intellectual Property Law Society President
- American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Judge
- Study Abroad: University of Nantes, Nantes, France
Undergraduate Class of 2005: Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
- Major: Business Management & Administration
- Phi Chi Theta Business Fraternity, Vice President
- Student-Business Leadership Council
- Department of Business Management & Administration Advisory Council
- Tutor: Quantitative Methods I & II, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section: Legislative Committee
- Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee
- Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section: Legislative Committee
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Beaver County Bar Association
- Nevada State Bar Association
- Women-Owned Law, Founders’ Circle Member [Add Logo – I’ll email to you]
- Beaver County Chamber of Commerce
- Beaver County Partnership – Housing Council
- Aliquippa Franklin Avenue Development Committee
- Pennsylvania Housing Alliance
- Building Hope – Board of Directors
- Ramstein Welfare Bazaar, Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany (2013-2014)
- “So, You Want to Build a Dog Park? – Legal and Practical Considerations” – Pennsylvania Bar Institute 14th Annual Animal Law Conference, Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, August 2017
- “Construction Contracts in Pennsylvania” – Beaver Valley Contractors’ and Suppliers’ Association, Patterson Heights, Pennsylvania, November 2016
- “Quiet Enjoyment?: New HUD Regulations Outline Direct and Vicarious Liability for Fair Housing Violations, Quid Pro Quo, and Hostile Environment Harassment,”
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section Quarterly Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2017; Issue No. 80
- “’Burgh Law Invites ACBA Members to Lean-In” – Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyers’ Journal, December 9, 2016
Training publications for Iowa Civil Rights Commission
- “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: An Employer’s Guide to Iowa Law Compliance”
- “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: A Housing Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law Compliance”
- “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: A Public Accommodation Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law”
- “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Iowa’s Safe Schools Law: An Education Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law Compliance”
Intellectual Property Publications:
- “Trademark vs. Copyright”
- “Types of Trademark Infringement”
- “State vs. Federal Trademark Protection”
- “Identifying your Trademark: Overview of Trademark Formats”
- “Pros and Cons of Standard Character vs. Stylized Design”
- “Overview of the Principal and Supplemental Registers”
- “Constructive Use vs. Constructive Notice”
- “Avoiding Confusingly Similar Marks”
- “Use in Commerce vs. Intent to Use”
- “Registration with US Customs and Border Protection”
- “Identifying Potential Infringement”
- “Acquiring Secondary Meaning”
- “Avoiding 6-Year Cancellation”
- “Benefits and Limitations of the Supplemental Register”
- “Factors to Consider in Evaluating Confusing Similarity”
- “Declaration of Incontestability”
- “Non-Traditional Trademarks, Part 1 – Shape & Color”
- “Non-Traditional Trademarks, Part 2 – Fragrance & Sound”
- “Specialized Trademarks, Part 1 – Web Domains & Acronyms”
- “The 10-Year Trademark Renewal Process”
Personal: I live with my husband and son in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and enjoy exploring nearly everything “local” about the area!