HARRISBURG (May 3, 2016) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Administrative Law Section will present its James S. Bowman Award to former Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner James H. Cawley during the state association's Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon on May 12 in Hershey.
The James S. Bowman Award honors a lawyer who is making a significant impact on the practice of administrative law and who is demonstrating leadership in mentoring administrative law practitioners.
Cawley began his legal career in 1970 as one of the seven original law clerks serving judges of the newly-created Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
He was later appointed majority counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Affairs Committee and drafted several major amendments to public utility laws and assisted with codification of those laws.
In 1977, Cawley was appointed chief counsel to the Senate Majority Floor Leader. He coauthored the Public Utility Code and later coauthored the Public Utility Rate Case Handbook: A Guide to Utility Ratemaking Before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
From 1979 through 1985, Cawley was a member of the Pennsylvania PUC.
He then returned to private practice, concentrating on administrative law and appellate practice. His clients included a wide array of public utilities and competitive telephone, electric and natural gas providers.
In 2005, Governor Ed Rendell nominated Cawley to return to the PUC. He was elected vice chair by his colleagues shortly after taking office. During 2008 to 2011, Cawley was chair of the commission. He left the PUC in March of 2015.
In 2010, Cawley was appointed by the Federal Communications Commission to serve on the Federal-State Joint Board for Universal Service, which was created by Congress to ensure the availability of telecommunications services throughout the country.
Cawley served as an adjunct professor of administrative law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School. With the help of PUC staff, the PUC's administrative law judges, lawyers from the Office of Consumer Advocate in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and Widener faculty members, Cawley instituted a program within the law school's Civil Law Clinic to assist indigent persons with their complaints in on-the-record PUC hearings. In 2009, Cawley received the law school's Adjunct Faculty Distinguished Service Award.
Cawley is one of the three co-founders and a past president of the James S. Bowman American Inn of Court. He is a past president and board member of the St. Thomas More Society of Central Pennsylvania.
Cawley was a frequent course planner and presenter of Pennsylvania Bar Institute courses on appellate advocacy, public utility law and ethics.
He is a former member of the PBA Appellate Court Judicial Retention Committee, PBA Special Sustaining Membership Committee and PBA Young Lawyers Section Executive Board.
Cawley serves on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Historical Society, which educates the public about the history of the Commonwealth Court and preserves the court's heritage and contribution to Pennsylvania jurisprudence.
Cawley is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Notre Dame Law School.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 27,000 lawyers who are members of the association.