John A. Bonya


Overview and Experience

John, an Indiana County native, is a founding partner of Bonya Gazza & DeGory, LLP, and has practiced here since 1973.  He has broad experience in all aspects of coal mining law, oil & gas law, real estate law, and commercial transactions.  John has the highest (AV) rating from Martindale Hubbell® and for more than twenty years has been listed in Best Lawyers in America®.  He is currently listed in the areas of Mining Law and Natural Resources Law. In 2016 John was named The Lawyer of the Year in Mining Law in Pennsylvania by that publication.

Areas of Practice

Indiana County has long been a leading area of coal and natural gas production.  John has represented many coal and natural gas producers in their efforts to acquire, develop and produce and sell coal and natural gas.  In the process of asset acquisitions he has successfully negotiated leases, rights of way and outright purchases with individual landowners, and large corporate owners.

In the development stage, John often resolves real estate, permitting, environmental compliance and governmental relations issues, allowing clients to move forward with their business plans.

John has also negotiated contracts on behalf of energy clients to sell their coal and natural gas, from simple sales agreements for a month’s production to long-term utility sales contracts. 

In the last decade John has represented clients in commercial real estate transactions totaling well over $250 million. His work included the formation of owner entities, real estate title work, the negotiation and drafting of financing and construction agreements, and the resolution of zoning and other permitting matters.

Admissions & Affiliations

John is admitted to practice in all Pennsylvania Courts and the following Federal Courts:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


John is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1973) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1970).

Community Involvement

John is the past president of the Indiana County Bar Association and the Indiana County Historical and Genealogical Society. He also served for 10 years as the Chairman of the Indiana County Republican Committee.

 John is a member of the Spruce Creek Rod & Gun Club, the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers and The Ruffed Grouse Society.

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For more than 40 years, BGD attorneys have been representing businesses and individuals in a wide variety of legal matters.
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