Renardo (Rick)  L. Hicks harrisburg

Renardo (Rick) L. Hicks

Member

Overview

Rick Hicks comes to Eckert Seamans from the position of Chief Counsel at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. As the Commission’s senior legal official, Rick served as advisory and enforcement legal counsel in all appellate and original jurisdiction matters involving gas, electric, telephone and water utilities before state courts and federal courts and agencies.  As Chief Counsel, he managed the Commission’s Law Bureau, with additional responsibility for drafting policies, procedures and regulations from concept to implementation, developing Commission responses to Right-to-Know and Confidential Security Information requests, and supervision of contracted legal counsel in a variety of matters.

Rick is a former Member of Stevens & Lee, where he served as the Chair of the Energy, Regulatory and Public Utilities Group and as a member of the Corporate Transactions and Financial Markets Practice Group.  Rick is the founder of the law firm of R. L. Hicks & Associates, where he provided legal and consulting services to governmental entities, public utilities, corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, and cultural and religious organizations. He has substantial experience in public and private management, budget development and administration, legal counsel and instruction, client representation, litigation, and enforcement of state and federal laws. 

Rick also previously served as Regional Vice President and Regulatory Counsel for XO Communications, Inc. and as Executive Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Public Protection Division within the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.  He has served as a member of the Capital Area Regional Economic Development Commission, providing low interest loans to new and expanding businesses and as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Consumer Advisory Council. 

Rick has a BA in Government from Hamilton College; a JD degree from Northeastern University; an LLM from Temple University; and honorary Doctorate degrees from Allen University, Central Pennsylvania College, Morris Brown College and Turner Theological Seminary.

Representative Matters

  • Represented clients in unfair and deceptive trade practices cases, with one case resulting in 42 million Dollars in refunds to consumers.
  • Represented competitive local exchange telephone companies in interconnection, pole attachment, tariff and reciprocal compensation disputes before the PA Public Utility Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Represented utilities in rate proceedings, distribution infrastructure surcharge proceedings and customer complaints.
  • Represented the PA PUC in hundreds of appellate proceedings involving gas pipelines, transportation companies, gas generation and distribution companies, water and wastewater companies, telecommunications providers, and electric generation and distribution companies.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Bi-Partisan Advisory Panel for the Selection of U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of PA, 2018, 2021 and 2024.
  • Instructor, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2000 – Present
  • American Bar Association, Deputy Chair Pro Bon Committee, 2000
  • Member, Board of Directors, Pennsylvania Information Highway Consortium, 1999.

Community Involvement

  • Pennsylvania United Way, Member, Board of Director, 2004 – 2008.
  • Member, Pennsylvania Commission on Judicial Independence, (PACJI)
  • Chairman and Member, Consumer Advisory Council, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. 2003 – 2009.
  • Host, WHBG TV 20’s public television program, “The Smart Consumer.”
  • Member & Former President, Keystone Bar Association.

Awards and Recognition:

  • “RECOMMENDED” by the Pennsylvania Judicial Evaluation Commission of Pennsylvania Bar Association for Judge on Superior Court, March 1997.
  • Diversity Action Award, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Central Pennsylvania Chapter, October 1996.
  • Exemplary Father’s Award, The Links Inc., Central PA Chapter, June 1993.

News and Insights

Publications

  • “The Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,” Keystone Bar Association, February 2015.

Media Coverage

News Releases

Speaking Engagements

  • “The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA),” PA Public Utility Commission, November 2021.
  • “Appellate Litigation Update,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2019; June 2020.
  • “Bankruptcy Basics and Utility Service Requirements,” PA Public Utility Commission, June 2020.
  • “PA Office of Attorney General and the Utility Service Tenants Rights Act,” PA Public Utility Commission, June 2020.
  • “Core Principles of the Commonwealth Telework Agreement, ” PA Public Utility Commission, July 2020
  • “Confidential Security Information (CSI),” PA Public Utility Commission, November 2019.
  • “Navigating the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,” Keystone Bar Association, February 2015.
  • “Pennsylvania’s Need for a Gas Distribution System Infrastructure Surcharge,” PBI Public Utility Law Conference, May 2009.
  • “Presenting Excellence: Effective Power Point Presentations,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute: May 2009.
  • “Identity Theft: A Review of the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2008 breach report, breach stats and sample high profile breaches,” “FTC consumer alert: seeing through stimulus scams,” and “Identity Theft: a summary of federal statutes,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2009.

Interests

If asked, “Who are you?” My answer would be: “I am a husband, a father, a teacher, an advisor, a counselor, a mediator, a litigator and a manager.”  I enjoy wearing each of these hats in different circumstances, and occasionally, I wear more than one of those hats at the same time.

I grew up in Philadelphia and attended Philadelphia public schools, until attending high school in New York.  After living in several states, my favorite region of the country is the northeast United States, because all four seasons are available every year.  I am a big fan of the Eagles, the Seventy-Sixers, and the Philly Cheesesteak.  My wife Phyllis and I have four children: Felicia, Stephanie, Georgi and Gabriel.