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Central PA

Football

Football Head-Injury Case Against High School Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Sheldon Mann took two major hits in one high school football practice and is now described in court papers as "incapacitated."

Girl Wrestles Attorney Fees From School District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The rural Pennsylvania school district that had to allow a girl to wrestle on a boys' team after she brought a suit in federal court now has to pay more than $70,000 in attorney fees to cover the cost of the girl's legal representation in the case.

Property Owner May Be Liable for Fatal Motorcycle Crash

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A man who briefly owned a property in between sheriff sales could be held liable for a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred on the property during that time, a Northampton County judge has ruled.

penn state

Freeh Seeks Federal Court's Help in Spanier Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Louis J. Freeh has filed an action for declaratory judgment in federal court, seeking an interpretation of the federal removal statute after a state court's ruling that it wouldn't force former Penn State President Graham B. Spanier to outline his claims against Freeh in a possible defamation lawsuit.

Steven F. Gadon

Spector Gadon Co-Founder Steven Gadon Dies at 82

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Steven F. Gadon, known not only for being the managing partner of Spector Gadon & Rosen, but also for his love of the Philadelphia Eagles, running marathons and his generous, warmhearted demeanor, died July 4 of pancreatic cancer at age 82.

Maker of Restasis Responds to Whistleblower Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The pharmaceutical company Allergan said that qui tam claims against it are "defective" and "baseless," and should be dismissed, according to a response filed in federal court.

Gay Wedding Exchanging Rings

Third Circuit Deals Final Blow to Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A Schuylkill County official, who tried to step in and appeal the historic decision issued in May allowing for same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, has had her lawsuit thrown out of court by the Third Circuit.

In Mortgage Case, County Officials' Claims Set for Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The recorders of deeds in Pennsylvania's 67 counties won declaratory judgment from a federal judge who ruled that Merscorp must create and record property transfers with the county offices.

penn state

Superior Court Won't Take Up Spanier's Defamation Suit

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has decided not to force Graham Spanier to file a complaint in the possible defamation action he has pending against Louis Freeh.

Justices Won't Hear Case Over Firm's Venue 'Ploy'

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not hear arguments in a case in which a Butler County law firm was harshly criticized by the state Superior Court for what the court said was nothing more than a "ploy" to have the former client's legal malpractice action tried in the firm's home county.

patent stamp

Company Awarded $1.5 Mil. in Attorney Fees in Patent Case

By Zack Needles |

A company that was previously found to be in contempt of a federal judge's order to stop selling patent-infringing electrical wire connectors has been ordered to pay the plaintiff patent holder about $1.5 million in attorney fees after the parties could not reach an agreement on an appropriate amount.

insurance policy

Insurer Hit With $18 Mil. Punitive Damages Award

By Zack Needles |

More than 16 years after the litigation began and two years after the Pennsylvania Superior Court granted a new trial to a couple pursuing a bad-faith claim against their insurance carrier, a Berks County trial judge has levied $18 million in punitive damages and $3 million in attorney fees against defendant Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

McCaffery's Lawyer Says Justice Cleared by FBI

By Gina Passarella |

An attorney for Justice Seamus P. McCaffery told a common pleas court judge Tuesday during arguments over whether the justice's defamation suit against The Philadelphia Inquirer should be kept alive that the FBI cleared his client two weeks ago in an investigation the attorney has said was spawned by the articles in question.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane: Moulton Report Finds Delays in Sandusky Probe

By Max Mitchell |

Senior leadership at the Office of Attorney General under Gov. Tom Corbett failed to promptly investigate and charge serial child molester Jerry Sandusky in 2010, a report issued Monday by Attorney General Kathleen Kane said.

Corbett Names 11 to Common Pleas Court Judgeships Statewide

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday announced 11 nominees for vacant seats on common pleas courts across Pennsylvania.

Court Awards Firm Bulk of Ex-Lawyer's Contingency Fee

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has tossed out an Allegheny County trial judge's award of nearly $15,000 in quantum meruit fees to Pittsburgh-based Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, but found that the firm may actually be entitled to quadruple that amount under its breach of contract claim.

Gay Wedding Exchanging Rings

Fed. Judge Throws Out Challenge to Pa. Same-Sex Marriage

By Hank Grezlak and P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pulling no punches, a federal judge has tossed out a register of wills's attempt to intervene in the case that saw Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriages ruled unconstitutional, calling it a "contrived legal argument."

penn state

NCAA's Federal Suit on $60 Mil. PSU Penalty Survives

By Max Mitchell |

A federal suit the NCAA filed against state officials involving the $60 million penalty the association levied against Penn State University for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has survived defendants' efforts to dismiss the case.

Hacker typing on a laptop with binary code in background

Pittsburgh Is Fertile Ground for Prosecution of Cybercrime Cases

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A pair of recent international cybercrime cases out of Pittsburgh—one against an organized conspiracy based in Russia and another against a hacking unit of the Chinese military—have been heralded as groundbreaking and likely forecast a focus on that kind of prosecution.

gavel, scale, and law book

Third Circuit Predicts Pa. Justices' View on Bankruptcy Issue

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Third Circuit has disagreed with a U.S. district judge on predicting which course the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is likely to follow when interpreting the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act with regard to bankruptcy.

medical malpractice

Suit Against County Over Shaken-Baby Misdiagnosis Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Claims against Lancaster County brought by the parents of an infant who was taken from them after a misdiagnosis of shaken baby syndrome have survived in federal court.

Kane's Top Deputy Leaving to Rejoin Ballard Spahr

By Gina Passarella |

A day after Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced First Deputy Attorney General Adrian R. King Jr. was leaving the office, Ballard Spahr confirmed he would be rejoining the firm as a partner in the business and finance and government relations practice.

Court Says President Judge Doesn't Control County Funds

By Zack Needles |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that the president judge of the Bedford County Court of Common Pleas has no authority to withhold from the county treasury money in certain court-controlled funds, some of which was earmarked to reimburse the county for probation office payroll expenses.

Court Says Adverse Possession of Gas Rights Requires Drilling

By Zack Needles |

A Lycoming County trial judge has ruled that the only way a party can acquire a property's oil and gas rights by adverse possession is by showing it has engaged in actual drilling and production on the land.

Software Discovery Master Appointed in Trade-Secret Dispute

By Max Mitchell |

A trial judge has appointed a forensic expert to help determine whether a defendant must produce information about software that a plaintiff alleges contains trade secrets.

Pennsylvania Justices Won't Hear Judge's Beef With Former Partners

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments over whether an Allegheny County trial judge who is suing his former law partners over the distribution of their now-defunct firm's assets is entitled to an accounting of contingent fee cases that were resolved following the firm's dissolution.

chocolate

Purchasers File Notice of Appeal in Chocolate Price-Fixing MDL

By Zack Needles |

The chocolate price-fixing multidistrict litigation hasn't wrapped just yet. Nearly 20 supermarkets, pharmacies and wholesalers—including Safeway, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens—have appealed a Middle District of Pennsylvania judge's ruling tossing 91 price-fixing cases filed against Hershey, Mars and Nestle, the makers of three-quarters of America's chocolate.

Attorneys Oppose Bill Proposing Tax on Legal Services

By Gina Passarella |

Once again, Pennsylvania lawyers are finding themselves caught in the crosshairs of legislation that would have a dramatic impact on the way they do business, and, according to many of those lawyers, would hurt their ability to compete with other jurisdictions.

Francis X. O'Connor

New PBA President Plans to Strengthen Bar, Expand Programs

By Max Mitchell |

The incoming Pennsylvania Bar Association president said that in the coming year he plans to make the state bar a more vital part of both the legal and general communities.

penn state

PSU, Paterno Family Set to Face Off Over Freeh Documents

By Max Mitchell |

Attorneys for the family of Joe Paterno and Penn State University are set to argue today whether Pepper Hamilton should be forced to turn over documents related to the creation of the Freeh report.

Court Upholds $10.5 Mil. Award to Woman in Car Accident Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has upheld a $10.5 million award to a woman who was injured in a car accident caused by an out-of-control dump truck.

Superior Court Strips Heirs of Gas Rights Under 'Arcane' Act

By Zack Needles |

Acknowledging that its decision is "at odds with modern legal concepts" and may be viewed as "unduly harsh," the Pennsylvania Superior Court nevertheless found that it was bound to strip the oil and gas rights to a Centre County property from the heirs of the land's former owners who had reserved the subsurface rights when they sold the land in 1899 but failed to inform the county commissioners of the horizontal severance under an "arcane" and now-outdated tax assessment law from the early 1800s.

gevel in a courtroom

Lawyer Mourning Son Suspended for Neglecting Clients

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bankruptcy attorney whose distress over the death of his 4-year-old son caused him to neglect his clients' cases has been suspended for a year and a day by the state Supreme Court.

Iranian Business Ties Allegations Are Political Speech

By Gina Passarella |

Pseudonymous letters sent to the U.S. government alleging a Kuwaiti-based government contractor was engaging in illegal business activity with Iran were political speech, a split Superior Court has ruled in ordering the trial court to apply a heightened standard in determining whether the letters' authors could be disclosed.

Pa. Supreme Court Hears Debate Over In-School Autism Coverage

By Max Mitchell |

The statute governing health insurance coverage for in-school treatment of autism spectrum disorders is unambiguous and bars appeal of a denial, an insurance carrier argued Wednesday before the state Supreme Court in Harrisburg, Pa.

Plaintiffs Urge Pa. Justices to Toss Out Statutory Damages Cap

By Max Mitchell |

An attorney for a plaintiff whose $14 million verdict was reduced to $500,000 urged the state Supreme Court to overturn two decisions that found statutory damages caps are constitutional.

penn state

Spanier Asks Court to Preserve His Bid to End Prosecution

By Zack Needles and Max Mitchell |

Ex-Penn State University President Graham Spanier argued in a brief filed Monday that his bid to enjoin prosecution against him should not be barred from federal courts because he has alleged bad faith on the part of the prosecutors.

scales of justice

Statutory Damages Cap Tops Supreme Court Arguments

By Max Mitchell |

Kicking off an oral argument session packed with first-impression issues, the state Supreme Court justices are set to hear arguments about the constitutionality of a statutory damages cap that slashed an injured student's $14 million verdict against the state to $500,000.

Justice Ronald Castille

Federal Judges Share Blame for Long Capital Cases, Castille Says

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of a federal judge's criticism of federal defenders for "gaming" death-penalty cases, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille—an outspoken critic of the defenders himself—said some of the blame in relation to prolonged death-penalty appeals had to be placed on federal jurists as well.

Justices Broaden Standard for Warrantless Auto Searches

By Zack Needles |

In a decision that found the justices more deeply divided than a 4-2 split might suggest on its face, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has adopted the federal automobile exception to the search warrant requirement.

insurance policy

Third Circuit Question Over Bad-Faith Claims to Be Heard by State Justices

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether an insured tortfeasor can assign bad-faith claims against his insurance carrier to the injured plaintiff.

Federal Judge Critical of Defenders in 20-Year Capital Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A death-penalty case that has been in the appeals process for nearly two decades has prompted a judge to deliver sharp criticism of federal defenders for prolonging capital cases.

Neck Injury

Judge Curbs Defense Seeking Multiple Exams of Plaintiff

By Max Mitchell |

Defendants may not require multiple physical examinations of plaintiffs in cases where different doctors treated separate orthopedic conditions, a Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas judge has ruled.

penn state

Dive Into PSU Sanctions Shows Breadth of Judicial Discretion

By Max Mitchell |

A Commonwealth Court decision questioning the consent decree between Penn State and the NCAA that imposed $60 million in monetary sanctions over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal exemplifies the broad discretion of judges in determining what issues should be considered, attorneys and court watchers told Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

Superior Court Sends Question of Biosolids Use to Jury

By Max Mitchell |

The question of whether or not spreading a fertilizer made from recycled sewage sludge, known as biosoilids, on a York County farm constitutes a "normal agricultural practice" should be left to a jury, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Lawyer/Jury

Court Rules Trust Can't Litigate Without Lawyer

By Max Mitchell |

A trust will follow the same rules as estates and corporations when it comes to determining whether an attorney is required to initiate or fight litigation, an Adams County Court of Common Pleas judge has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Finds Loose Lug Nuts and Near-Crash Caused Injuries

According to the plaintiffs' pretrial memorandum, on Dec. 14, 2011, Perseberanda Espinal Santos brought her 2002 Ford Explorer to an Aamco Transmission Center in Easton, Pa., that is owned by defendant Zrams Inc.

County Can't Cut Row Offices Without Government Study

By Max Mitchell |

A home rule charter county cannot seek to abolish elected offices and move them to appointed positions without first electing a government study commission to examine the proposed changes, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Recusal in Med Mal Case Denied as Attempt to 'Judge Shop'

By Max Mitchell |

A Columbia County Court of Common Pleas judge won't recuse himself from overseeing a medical malpractice suit that involves a man whom the judge had prosecuted in his former role as district attorney.

penn state

Court Slates Hearing on NCAA Sanctions on Penn State

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has called for a hearing on the validity of the $60 million fine that Penn State University agreed to pay to the NCAA under a consent decree.

Divorce decree, gavel and folder shot on warm wooden surface

Judge Seeks to Lessen Child Support That Exceeded Wages

By Max Mitchell |

A Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas judge has attempted to strike a balance between finding a delinquent father in contempt for willfully violating a child support order and being lenient because the payments exceeded the father's earnings.

Cases Transferred Between Firms Not Assets Under UFTA

By Zack Needles |

In a case of first impression, a Lehigh County trial judge has ruled that billable hour and contingency fee matters transferred from one firm to another are not "assets" under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.

Judge Outlines Expert Testimony in Zometa Cases

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has largely followed how other courts have ruled on Daubert motions in tailoring the testimony that will be allowed in three cases against Novartis Pharmaceuticals alleging the drug Zometa caused jawbone necrosis.

Senate Hearing Eyes State Role in Training of Pa. Defenders

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Five decades after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Gideon v. Wainwright decision, Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that fails to assist counties in fulfilling the ruling's mandate, state Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, told colleagues Tuesday at a state Capitol hearing on criminal defense for the indigent.

Med Mal Attorney Appeals Nearly $35K in Sanctions

By Max Mitchell |

A White and Williams attorney has filed an appeal of nearly $35,000 in sanctions leveled against him by a Northampton County Court of Common Pleas judge.

'Extreme Sanction' Against Pro Se Plaintiffs in Drilling Suit Denied

By Gina Passarella |

A federal magistrate judge declined to impose the "extreme sanction" of striking revised expert reports filed by plaintiffs who were at times litigating pro se in a case against oil and gas companies over allegations the drilling tainted the plaintiffs' water supply and devalued their land.

Close up of a Smartphone Camera

Trial Court OKs Warrants for iPhones, Facebook

By Zack Needles |

A Lackawanna County trial judge has ruled that search warrants seeking information contained on a homicide suspect's iPhone and Facebook account were not overbroad.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

GCs Want Firms to Be Extensions of In-House Departments

By Zack Needles |

The era in which clients viewed outside counsel as wise oracles whose advice was accepted without question is over. Today, in-house lawyers said, they expect outside counsel to act as de facto members of their legal departments, approaching matters in a way that's consistent with their company's business philosophy and strategic goals.

penn state

Spanier Sues Kane in Federal Court to Stop Prosecution

By Max Mitchell |

Ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier has taken to the federal courts to continue battling criminal charges of covering up sex abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky.

Panel Quashes Challenge to Judge's Administrative Duties

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court is the wrong court to hear a challenge regarding a judge's administrative duties, the intermediate court has ruled.

penn state

Spanier Arguments 'Inaccurate,' 'Disparaging,' Prosecutors Say

By Max Mitchell |

Prosecutors have taken strong issue with arguments made by ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier, which they characterized as "inaccurate" and "gratuitously disparaging."

Industrial plant at night

Experts Get Green Light in Federal Coal Plant Lawsuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Two expert witnesses, one for a coal-fired power plant and one for the people who allege that it polluted the surrounding area, will be allowed to testify about their air modeling reports, a federal judge has ruled.

Jury box..Photo by Jason Doiy.2-9-11.054-2011

Juror Bias Danger Results in New Medical Malpractice Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A prospective juror in a medical malpractice case may be removed for cause because his or her spouse is a patient of the defendant doctor, five of eight members of a state Superior Court en banc panel agreed.

City Not Liable for Handcuffed Man Crashing Police Cruiser

By Max Mitchell |

A woman will not be able to recover damages from the city of Philadelphia because the police cruiser that rear-ended her was not driven by a police officer, but instead by a handcuffed man in police custody.

Pa. Justices Deny County's Appeal of Injured-Inmate Case

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has decided not to consider whether an inmate can hold a county liable for injuries he suffered due to the alleged negligence of another inmate on a work detail.

Lawyers Say DUI Case Is Novel, Not a Game-Changer

By Zack Needles |

Pennsylvania defense lawyers said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's refusal to take up an appeal of the Superior Court's ruling that the accuracy of alcohol breath tests in highest-rate DUI cases must be determined at trial has taken much of the steam out of what once looked like it could be a game-changer for DUI law.

documents

No Privilege Protection for Defunct Corporations, Trial Judge Rules

By Zack Needles |

An Allegheny County trial judge has ruled that attorney-client privilege does not extend to corporations that are no longer in business.

Rental Company Not Covered by Lessee's Insurance in Accident Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A construction equipment rental company cannot be indemnified by its lessee's insurer in a case where a man was run over by a track loader that the company rented out, the state Superior Court has ruled in a decision related to a case that had originally resulted in a $20 million verdict.

Directly above photograph of an application for a visa.

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Final Blow to City's Immigration Law

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from the city of Hazleton, Pa., in its bid to save its laws restricting rental housing for illegal immigrants that were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

U.S. Supreme Court building

High Court Declines To Hear Ciavarella's Appeal of Sentence

By Zack Needles |

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.'s petition for appeal of his 28-year sentence for his involvement in the "kids-for-cash" scandal.

Nonprofit University Partner Denied Tax-Exempt Status

By Max Mitchell |

A nonprofit that partnered with a university to construct, lease and operate student housing is not tax-exempt because it does not qualify as a purely public charity, a Monroe County Court of Common Pleas judge has ruled.

chocolate

Chocolate Makers Unwrap Victory in Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The makers of three-quarters of America's chocolate—Hershey, Mars and Nestle—got a federal judge in Harrisburg, Pa., to toss 91 cases claiming that the companies fixed prices between 2002 and 2007.

settlement

Pa. Contribution Ban Challenged By Pro-Democratic 'Super PAC'

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A Pennsylvania state law that bars political committees from taking contributions from corporations or organizations, like labor unions, for political purposes is directly at odds with Citizens United, a Washington, D.C.-based "super PAC" argued in its challenge to the measure.

partnership

Owner of Closely Held Corporation Must Use Derivative Action to Sue Director

By Max Mitchell |

An individual owner of a closely held corporation may not directly sue a director over alleged breach of duty to the company, the state Superior Court has ruled, holding that under Pennsylvania law such an action should be pursued as a derivative action on behalf of the corporate entity.

Medical Costs

Delay Damages Apply to Future Medical Expense Awards

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled in a case of first impression that delay damages may be added to jury awards for future medical expenses.

Accident Reenactment Photos Protected From Discovery

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Photographs of an accident reenactment prepared by Predator Trucking LLC and an insurance adjuster's report were each prepared for litigation and are protected from discovery under the work-product exception, U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo of the Middle District of Pennsylvania has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Portable Toilet Products Liability Case Ends in Accord

A man who was rendered quadriplegic when two of his relatives accidentally tipped over the portable toilet he was using in an attempt to play a practical joke on him has settled with the toilet's manufacturer and installer, as well as the two relatives, for a total of $5 million.

operating room

Monroe County Jury Will Hear Emergency C-Section Claim

By Max Mitchell |

Can a cesarean section that was allegedly forced due to a car accident 12 days before it was scheduled be considered a serious bodily injury?

toilet

Toilet-Tipping Prank Results in $5 Mil. Settlement in Sullivan County Court

By Zack Needles |

A man who was rendered quadriplegic when two of his relatives accidentally tipped over the portable toilet he was using in an attempt to play a practical joke on him has settled with the toilet's manufacturer and installer, as well as the two relatives, for a total of $5 million in the Sullivan County Court of Common Pleas.

divorce decree

Installment Land Contract Not 'Sale' Under Separation Agreement

By Zack Needles |

In what it called "a hybrid action raised under a divorce caption, couched in declaratory judgment terms and requesting monetary damages," the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that a divorced couple's separation agreement did not require them to evenly split the down payment they received pursuant to an installment land contract for the sale of their home because the contract itself did not constitute a sale.

criminal defendant

Convicted Defendants Can Still Contest Liability in Civil Cases

By Max Mitchell |

In an issue of apparent first impression, a man convicted of killing his son will have the chance to present comparative negligence arguments in the subsequent wrongful death and survival civil proceedings.

gavel, scale, and law book

Third Circuit Tosses Senior Deputy AG's Retaliation Claim

By Max Mitchell |

A former senior deputy attorney general's case alleging retaliation for exposing alleged financial waste has been thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Harrisburg

Legal Malpractice, Bad-Faith Case Moved From Phila. to Dauphin

By Max Mitchell |

A firm's reference on its website to an office in Exton, Pa., accommodating "its clients in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley" does not show that the firm had enough business in the city to keep a legal malpractice case in Philadelphia courts, the Superior Court has ruled.

Cynthia Baldwin

Question Over Baldwin Testimony Persists in Wake of Ruling

By Max Mitchell |

Despite a ruling denying motions to preclude Cynthia Baldwin, the former Penn State general counsel, from testifying against three ex-university administrators in a criminal case stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, the question of whether she will ever take the stand is still very much up in the air.

Judge Awards Family Of Man Killed in Auto Accident

The family of a man who died in a fiery crash on Interstate 78 has been awarded a verdict of $2.2 million in a nonjury proceeding before a federal judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

School BUs

Students Entitled to Bus Service at Both Parents' Homes

By Zack Needles |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled in a case of first impression that a school district is required under Pennsylvania's Public School Code to provide a student whose parents are divorced or separated with bus transportation to and from separate stops near each parent's home, even if they're both located in the same district.

power line

Justices Will Not Hear Case Over Electricity Supply Sources

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declined to take up a case over whether electricity distribution companies may purchase default electricity generation service for their customers from a single source.

gavel

Federal Judge Puts Girl on Boys' Wrestling Team

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A junior high school girl who was barred from joining a scholastic boys' wrestling team has won a preliminary injunction against her Harrisburg, Pa.-area school district in federal court.

Fed. Judge Awards $161K in Attorney Fees in Drilling Case

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has awarded about $161,000 in attorney fees to an environmental conservation organization that refused to allow oil and gas drilling on a tract of land it sold to another environmental conservation organization.

Bucks Jury Clears Doctor in Heart Disease Death

James F. Ivers Jr., as administrator of the estate of his wife, Teresa D. Ivers, sued doctors Joseph Kipp, Lisa E. Miller and Vanita Treat, along with the Village of Newtown Medical Center, Richboro Family Care Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association and Holy Redeemer Health System after Teresa Ivers was found unresponsive in a parking lot.

Luzerne Jury Awards $540,000 in Botched- Circumcision Case

On May 5, 2009, plaintiff Shirlee Miller delivered her first child, Robert West, at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. On the third day of hospitalization, West underwent a circumcision procedure, which was performed by Dr. Govindbhai Kachhadiya, according to the plaintiffs' pretrial memorandum.

gavel

House Arrest Not 'Incarceration' Under Unemployment Law

By Max Mitchell |

A man under house arrest will be eligible for unemployment benefits after the Commonwealth Court ruled that house arrest does not qualify as "incarceration" under the Unemployment Compensation Law.

lynn

Lynn Decision May Complicate Prosecution of PSU Officials

By Max Mitchell |

A recent ruling in the state Superior Court could narrow the chances of conviction for three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up sexual abuse perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky, according to several attorneys who spoke with the Law Weekly.

Judge Bars, for Now, Testimony in Penn State Hearing

By Mark Scolforo |

A judge on Tuesday directed prosecutors and lawyers for three former Penn State administrators to make their cases in writing as he weighs claims that the defendants' legal rights were so badly violated that charges they covered up child sex-abuse allegations should be thrown out.

Police Must Meet Tow Threshold Before Inventory Search

By Max Mitchell |

Lawfully immobilizing a vehicle on a finding its driver is unlicensed does not provide reason to perform an inventory search, a divided state Supreme Court has ruled.

Ciavarella

Judge Finds Ciavarella Liable for Nonjudicial Conduct

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has ruled that former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. is liable for nonjudicial conduct that deprived juveniles of their right to an impartial tribunal.

$2.2 Mil. Verdict in Federal Case Stemming From Fatal Crash

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The family of a man who died in a fiery crash on Interstate 78 has been awarded a verdict of $2.2 million in a nonjury proceeding before a federal judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Justices Say Child's Videotaped Testimony Admissible

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that a young girl's videotaped statement that her father sexually abused her is admissible.

Shares Tax Excludes Out-of-State Banks' Pre-Merger Assets

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the First Union rule, which provides that when an entity is formed through the combination of a Pennsylvania bank and an out-of-state bank, the out-of-state bank's pre-merger value is not to be factored into the six-year average share value calculation under the shares tax provision of the Pennsylvania Tax Reform Code.

Could Baldwin's Role Doom Case Against PSU Officials?

By Max Mitchell |

If three ex-Penn State administrators facing charges stemming from failing to properly deal with reports of child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky are found to have appeared before a grand jury without proper advice of counsel, their testimony could be incurably affected and even tossed, several white-collar defense attorneys have said.