Mr. Barton Z. Cowan

Barton Z. Cowan is Visiting Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law and Of Counsel to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC.

Mr. Cowan received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1958 and his A.B. with Honors and Distinction in Economics from the University of Michigan in 1955. He is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Cowan served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps for three years. He then joined Eckert Seamans in 1961 and practiced law with that firm until he retired at the end of 1999. While practicing law, Mr. Cowan taught for 12 years as an adjunct professor at several law schools, including Duquesne University.  Since 2001, he has been Visiting Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Mr. Cowan has been extensively involved in legal matters relating to the licensing and regulation of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities, both in the United States and abroad. For more than 30 years, as a member of Eckert Seamans, he was principle outside counsel to Westinghouse Electric Company – one of the principle nuclear reactor vendors - in the area of nuclear licensing and regulation. Since his retirement from Eckert Seamans, in addition to teaching at WVU, he has continued to do consulting work with Westinghouse in the area of nuclear licensing and regulation. 

From 1981 to 1987, Mr. Cowan was Chairman of the Lawyers Committee and a member of the Policy Committee of the Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (“AIF”), the trade association of the nuclear industry. He also was a member of the Ad Hoc Group on Radiation Tort Litigation of the AIF from 1983 to 1987. From 1987 to 1994, Mr. Cowan was a member of the Strategic Planning Group, and from 1987 to 1989 Chairman of the Lawyers Committee, of the Nuclear Management and Resources Council, Inc. (“NUMARC”), a successor organization to the AIF. He also has been a member of the Lawyers Committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute. In 1987-1988, Mr. Cowan was Chairman of the Energy Resources Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.  

Mr. Cowan is a member of the International Nuclear Law Association (“INLA”) - an organization of more than 650 lawyers and academic from over 35 countries who are involved in legal matters relating to nuclear energy. From 2002 to October 2011, Mr. Cowan was the United States member of the Board of Management of INLA.

In 1985, Mr. Cowan received the Clyde A. Lilly, Jr. award from the Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc., for outstanding leadership in and contributions to the development of nuclear energy. Mr. Cowan is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World.