Three Gateway Center
401 Liberty Ave.
 22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Fax: 412-281-4499
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Ralston, Robert H.C.

Phone: 412-281-5060

Robert H.C. Ralston


Robert’s practice cuts across several of Houston Harbaugh’s practice groups. A focused writer, Robert specializes in the drafting of complex legal documents for appellate practice, commercial and business litigation, business law, and health law. Robert authors motions, briefs, and other pleadings for Houston Harbaugh’s clients in state and federal court and has argued and served as the principal author of briefs for numerous appeals before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court. He has successfully petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant discretionary review. Robert’s experience includes litigation related to:

  • Construction and design defects
  • Design-professional liability
  • Public bidding and contracting
  • Estates and estate disputes
  • Civil rights
  • Employment, restrictive covenants, and trade secrets
  • Breach of contracts
  • Planning and zoning
  • Payment and surety bonds
  • Corporate and shareholder disputes
  • Collections and creditors’ rights

In addition to litigation, Robert employs his writing skills to author contracts, leases, employment agreements, and other commercial and corporate documents. Robert is experienced in health law and holds a Certificate in Health Law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He has drafted compliance manuals and written articles on HIPAA and Medicare compliance and served as a presenter for seminars and CLE programs on medical-records law and the HIPAA privacy and security rules.

  • Kiski Area School Dist. v. Mid-State Surety Corporation et al. (Pa. Supreme Court) – In appeal to Supreme Court, obtained order reversing the Superior Court’s decision and reinstating the trial court’s order discharging claims against surety company due to the underlying settlement and release of the bonded contractor.
  • Truserv Corporation v. Morgan’s Tool and Supply Co. et al. (Pa. Supreme Court) – In appeal to Supreme Court, obtained order reversing the decision of Superior Court, which had upheld trial court’s finding of discretionary authority to deny payment of contractual interest to prevailing party in breach-of-contract suit.
  • Vic’s Markets, Inc. v. E&G Gabriel (Pa. Superior Court) – Obtained affirmance of trial court’s order that directed the appellants to comply with a settlement agreement.
  • In re: Estate of Carol D. Silliman (Pa. Superior Court) – Obtained affirmance of the dismissal of objections filed to the distribution of an estate.
  • Bank of America v. the Estate of Robert L. Hood et al. (Pa. Superior Court) – Obtained order from Superior Court reversing the trial court’s decision to set aside the winning bid in a Sheriff’s sale.
  • Newman Properties, LLC v. Huy et al. (Pa. Superior Court) – Obtained affirmance of trial court’s order of possession in ejectment action. directed the appellants to comply with a settlement agreement.
  • Alajaji v. Dubois Radiologists et al. (Pa. Superior Court) – Obtained affirmance of trial court’s adoption of special-master report in shareholder dispute of radiology practice.
  • Bethany Hospice Services. v. Department of Public Welfare (Pa. Commonwealth Court) (two cases) – Obtained reversal of two decisions of an Administrative Law Judge of the Department of Public Welfare, each of which had imposed retroactive denials of Medical Assistance payments for hospice services.
  • Greenstar Pittsburgh, LLC v. Allegheny County et al. (Pa. Commonwealth Court) – Successfully obtained summary judgment on taxpayer challenge to public contract let by the City of Pittsburgh, which the Commonwealth Court affirmed.
  • Widmer Engineering, Inc. v. Five-R Excavating, Inc. et al. (Pa. Commonwealth Court) – Obtained affirmance of entry of summary judgment in construction dispute on plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract as well as defendant’s counterclaims for breach of contract and design-professional negligence.
  • Armenti v. Tomalis et al. (Middle District of Pennsylvania and Third Circuit) – Through multiple motions successfully obtained partial dismissal, partial judgment on the pleadings, and summary judgment in favor of all parties on all claims raised in contract, civil-rights, and whistleblower suit brought against the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and individual defendants.