W. Scott Hardy – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Over the past two decades, W. Scott Hardy has built up a practice representing Western Pennsylvania entities in labor and employment disputes.  Now, with the support of Pennsylvania’s bipartisan team of senators, Hardy has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Background

William Scott Hardy was born in Pittsburgh PA in 1971.[1]  Hardy graduated magna cum laude from Alleghany College in 1993 and from Notre Dame University Law School in 1996.[2]  He spent a year at the Pittsburgh office of Meyer Unkovic & Scott LLP and then joined Cohen & Grigsby P.C., practicing Labor & Employment law.  In 2010, Hardy joined Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., where he currently serves on the Board of Directors.[3]

History of the Seat

The seat Hardy has been nominated for opened on June 13, 2019, with Judge Nora Barry Fischer’s move to senior status.  

Hardy applied to the bipartisan judicial selection committee set up by Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey in April 2019.[4]  Hardy interviewed with Toomey and Casey shortly after and was recommended to the White House in August 2019.  He was nominated in December 2019.

Legal Experience

Hardy has focused his career on labor and employment law, primarily representing businesses, non-profits, and governmental employers.  Overall, Hardy has litigated three jury trials to verdict.[5]  Notably, Hardy represented J.C. Penney in a civil jury trial in West Virginia.[6] 

Among Hardy’s most significant cases, he has represented a number of Western Pennsylvania corporations, universities, and hospitals in defending against labor, employment, and contract actions.  For example, he represented Waynesburg University in successfully defending against a racial discrimination claim filed by a former wrestling coach.[7]  He also represented Pennsylvania State University in defending against Title VII, ADA, and FMLA claims raised by administrators.[8]

Political Activity

Hardy is a Republican and has frequently donated to Pennsylvania Republicans, including Toomey and former Rep. Keith Rothfus.[9]

Overall Assessment

At a time of fierce partisanship over judicial nominations, Toomey and Casey have generally proven cooperative, plugging through the long list of Pennsylvania vacancies. Hardy is, thus, the product of a process that works.  As such, given his relatively noncontroversial career, Hardy will likely be confirmed in due course, without attracting much flash.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., Scott Hardy: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 46.

[5] Id. at 30.

[6] Moyer v. J.C. Penney, Civil Action No. 09-C-368 (Circuit Ct. of Wood Cnty., WV) (Bean, J.).

[7] Heard v. Waynesburg University, No. 2:09-cv-01315-RCM (W.D. Pa.).

[8] Onesi et al. v. The Pennsylvania State University, No. 2:11-cv-00928-LPL (W.D. Pa.).