Featured Columns

U.S. Supreme Court Examines Peremptory Challenges in Capital Case

Matthew T. Mangino | December 1, 2015

Since 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court has preferred to limit its review of death penalty cases to mainly questions of procedure. The high court has preferred to nibble around the edges when it comes to the death penalty—as in cases involving rape, juveniles, intellectual disabilities and lethal injection.

In-House Counsel

  • Judicial Internet Research, Fact-Finding: Posner Reignites Debate

    By Colin E. Wrabley and M. Patrick Yingling

    Facts are crucial—indeed, typically decisive—in litigation. In our civil justice system, determining the facts depends on the litigants, who discover, present and rebut evidence to prove their version of the relevant facts, all in an adversarial system designed to reveal the truth.

  • Can Employee Defend Employer's Castle Without Fear of Termination?

    By Robert W. Small

    You are a Pennsylvania employer operating a retail establishment. Your employees are hired "at-will." One of your employees observes a customer shoplifting. The employee confronts the shoplifter and escorts him to a private room where that employee and another begin to question him. While awaiting arrival of the police the shoplifter pulls a weapon. The two employees disarm and subdue the shoplifter until the police arrive. The shoplifter is arrested for various criminal law violations and removed from your premises. Although admiring the employees for safeguarding your property, you have a policy that provides that if a shoplifter is believed to have a weapon he should not be approached and that if, during a confrontation, it is discovered that the shoplifter has a weapon, employees must break off the confrontation and withdraw to a safe place. Based on what occurred, you terminate the employment of the two employees who confronted the shoplifter for violating your policy. Do the employees have a claim for wrongful termination of their employment?

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Young Lawyer

  • Making an Impact During Document Review and Due Diligence

    By Christopher M. Varano and Michelle S. Rosenberg

    Being an attorney is often considered a glamorous profession. Indeed, lawyers are frequently dramatized in popular culture and media. Famous actors such as Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Tom Cruise have all romanticized the role of an attorney. We all have our favorite legal drama, whether it is a favorite novel, play, TV show, or movie (and if not, we highly recommend "My Cousin Vinny"). More practically, "attorney" is routinely ranked as one of the most prestigious occupations in the world. Yet, surely many of you by now have realized there are many aspects of this job that are not even slightly glamorous, but are rather grueling, tedious and quite frankly unexciting. And those tasks, for better or worse, often fall on young lawyers.

  • Identifying Core Values Aids in Making Career Decisions

    By Dena Lefkowitz

    "It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are," Roy Disney said.

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Business of Law

  • How to Determine If You Are Working for the Right Person

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    Even though most lawyers will work for quite a few people throughout their careers, just one can have a major impact on their future. Quite a few lawyers have cited the influence that a single partner, general counsel, or other more senior lawyer had on them. In some cases, this could have been someone who was only in their professional life for a short period of time. In most situations, though, it was a lawyer for whom they did a lot of work, especially at a key time in their career.

  • The Effects of Natural Disasters on Business Operations

    By Colleen Vallen

    In early October, the threat of Hurricane Joaquin making landfall on the East Coast was on the minds of many. For most of the East Coast, Joaquin had little impact. The devastation in the Carolinas, however, is a reminder of how powerful natural disasters can be and how overwhelming these events are to individuals, businesses and communities at large. The effects of these types of events are often multi-faceted, time-consuming and wide-ranging. As a result, recovery is expensive.

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  • Superior Court Relaxes Rules for Requests for Admissions

    By James W. Cushing

    The discovery process is one of the most critical parts of litigation. As any practitioner knows, the discovery process has very specific and procedurally established deadlines. While these deadlines are frequently missed, and subsequently compelled through court order, one form of discovery carries with it, in theory at least, much stricter deadlines: requests for admissions.

  • Rebuttal, Reply, Riposte: A Detailed Discussion

    By Jay Evans

    As a break from my usual format, as well as a break from the sometimes unfortunate tendency of the headstrong (including lawyers) to talk over prior mistakes, I want to start with a "correction" related to my last appellate practice column.

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