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John P. Krill, Jr.

Senior Of Counsel
Fax +1.717.231.4501
Mr. Krill has extensive experience in complex litigation in appellate, constitutional, and environmental law. He has been lead counsel in numerous cases in both state and federal courts.

Professional Background

Before joining K&L Gates, Mr. Krill was Acting Secretary of Environmental Resources for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Mr. Krill also served as Executive Deputy General Counsel for the Commonwealth, providing legal advice to the governor and cabinet and supervising agency chief counsel. Mr. Krill served for four years as Deputy General Counsel in charge of Commonwealth executive agency litigation and, earlier, as a Special Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth’s statewide investigative grand jury.


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of environmental law – 1998 - 2017
  • Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by
    Philadelphia Magazine – 2006 - 2014

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence.
  • Member, Endowment Committee, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Additional Information

  • "Case Law Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Legislative Process Seminar, September 2007
  • "Legislative Mens Rea in Constitutional Challenges to Statutes," presented at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Legislative Process Seminar, September 2006
  • "Dover ID Case: Judge Made Errors of Law and Science," York Sunday News, April 2006
  • Succeeded in challenging a line-item veto of appropriations by a state governor on grounds of failure to comply with constitutional proclamation requirements. Scarnatti v. Wolf (2017).
  • Argued successfully before a special panel of judges from the 2nd, 7th and 10th Circuits, for affirming dismissal of civil rights action alleging that members of all three branches of state government conspired to fix cases in exchange for legislation. Common Cause and League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth, 558 F.3d 249 (3d Cir 2009). 
  • Obtained a unanimous reversal from a state supreme court in a case of first impression challenging the governor's use of the line-item veto.  The decision of the supreme court overturned a unanimous decision of an intermediate appeals court. Jubelirer v. Rendell, 953 A.2d 514 (Pa. 2008).
  • Obtained reversal of an administrative hearing board order that mandated action by a state environmental agency against a permittee.  The appeals court held that the order “offends basic principles of equity and due process.” Delaware Valley Concrete Company v. Schneiderwind, 867A.2d724 (2005). 
  • Prevailed against a constitutional attack on legislation authorizing slot-machine gambling at racetracks and “racinos.”  Issues included challenges to legislative procedure under constitutional provisions found in many state constitutions. Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion v. Commonwealth, 583  Pa. 275 (2005).
  • Successfully defended a state congressional redistricting plan before the U.S Supreme Court, against allegations that it was an extreme partisan gerrymander that violated the U.S. Constitution: Vieth v. Jubelirer, 124 S. Ct. 1769 (2004).
  • Was also lead defense counsel in the trial of that redistricting case before a three-judge district court and in trial of a companion case before the state courts, Erfer v. Commonwealth, 794 A.2d 325 (2002), where both cases involved cross-examination of experts on complex statistical issues.
  • In a case involving federal environmental regulation, obtained a reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court of a fee award multiplier, setting a precedent for moderating lawyers’ fee awards in civil rights as well as environmental cases: Pennsylvania v. Delaware Valley Citizens’ Council for Clean Air, 107 S.Ct. 3078 (1987).
  • Challenged amendments to the Federal Aviation Act governing the siting of landfills, obtaining a federal court judgment that the amendments violated the right of a company to equal protection of the law: Khodara Environmental, Inc. v. Beckman, 91 F. Supp. 2d 827 (W.D. Pa. 1999), vacated for mootness after amendment of the statute, 237 F.3d 186 (CA 3, 2001).
  • Defended a state system of education funding against both state and federal lawsuits challenging disparity of resources and succeeded in preventing judicial supervision of the system, contrary to the trend in many states: Marrero v. Commonwealth, 757 A.2d 917 (2000) and Powell v. Ridge, 189 F3d 387 (CA 3 1999).
  • Has represented amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court and in the circuit courts in cases where an adverse decision would affect pending litigation below, e.g. in Alexander v. Sandoval, 121 S.Ct. 1511 (2001) (holding that agency regulations did not create a private right of action).
  • In a suit by the United States under CERCLA, he secured the right to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act of an administrative order and an agency remedy selection, overcoming the statutory bar to review asserted by the government:  United States v. Keystone Sanitation, 867 F. Supp. 275 (M.D. Pa. 1994).
  • In a civil rights case involving election fraud and constitutional violations, Mr. Krill’s representation of the prevailing party was recognized in a federal district court opinion for “exemplary” examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses at trial on statistical issues:  Marks v. Stinson, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9897 (E.D. Pa.), affirmed with enhanced fee award (CA 3, unpublished opinion).