From The Blogs

Reed Smith Forms Ebola Task Force

By Gina Passarella |

As the world now eyes the newest case of Ebola in the United States with a New York doctor contracting the illness, Reed Smith has been advising a range of clients on a host of legal questions stemming from Ebola.

Law Firm Diversity: Identification and Implementation

By Gina F. Rubel |

Diversity was a big topic at this year's Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar Annual Conference in Atlantic City, N.J. As the chair of the law practice management committee, I had the privilege to host "Creating and Maintaining a Diverse and Inclusive Law Practice for All."

NASA, Air Force Get $965K FCA Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A Lancaster, Pa.-based thermal technology company is settling False Claims Act allegations for $965,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia.

Former State Senator Granted Nolle Pros

By Max Mitchell |

Former state Sen. Robert J. Mellow, who is a defendant in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission corruption case, has been nolle prossed.

Dilworth Paxson Hires American Water Works Ethics Officer

By Gina Passarella |

Dilworth Paxson has added Thomas S. Wyatt as a partner in the firm’s corporate and business department.

Workforce Wage Compliance: Pay Now or Pay More Later

By Brian J. Hoffman |

The uptick in wage-and-hour litigation has been well documented over the years. The reasons for the prevalence of such litigation vary, with some blaming politicians looking to score points with unions and others pointing fingers at overzealous plaintiffs attorneys. The economic downturn and stalled recovery for many in this country is also a likely contributing factor in the rising volume of such legal actions. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that this nation has federal and state laws in place that govern employee pay.

Strine: Judicial Restraint Vital to Achieving Equity

By Jeff Mordock |

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr. said in a speech this afternoon at Temple University's Beasley School of Law that judges must avoid political pressures to dispense justice equitably.

FTC Scrutiny Keeps Coming With Focus on Mobile Apps

By Ashley Kenney Shea |

According to a recent article by the Washington Post, as of August, the Federal Trade Commission has brought 57 cases against companies over data security. This year, there has been a particularly heavy focus on privacy and security with respect to mobile apps.

Former FJD Court Administrator Charged With Theft

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia court administrator who according to officials stole $78,000 from the system, has been formally charged by the city District Attorney's Office.

When Does Serving Food Trigger Allergy-Related Duty?

By Gina F. Rubel |

In business and in life, we often are tasked with planning menus and serving food for events. That could include anything from events for our children’s sports teams to office lunches, holiday gatherings or special occasions. At Furia Rubel, we’ve noticed that event planners often fail to ask one of the most important questions: Are there any food allergies of which we should be aware?

NFL Players Ask Court to Push Back Settlement Opt-Out Date

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Former football players who have questioned the terms of the settlement reached this summer with the NFL over head injuries asked the federal judge handling the case to push back the deadline for opting out of the settlement.

The Future of Your Health Care Clients

By Terry Silver |

With the regulatory changes created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many physician practices are considering whether this is the time to rethink the business of health care by either bringing in strategic or financial partners or aligning with health care institutions.

Paterno Suit Pared but Survives Objections

By Max Mitchell |

A Centre County judge said he will allow to proceed the lawsuit by the estate of Joe Paterno against the NCAA, but with 16 former plaintiffs stripped from the case.

Montco Policeman's Widow Sues Gun Shop

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The widow of a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty has sued the gun shop purportedly responsible for selling to a straw purchaser the firearm that killed the officer.

Acknowledging a Debt to Toll the Statute of Limitations

By James W. Cushing |

As every lawyer knows, the statute of limitations is the death knell for any case if the deadline it sets to bring a lawsuit is missed.

DLA Piper Names Buchholz as Phila. Office Head

By Gina Passarella |

DLA Piper has named Carl M. Buchholz as the new office managing partner in Philadelphia.

State Finds Representation in $50 Mil. Foxwoods Suit

By Gina Passarella |

The Office of General Counsel has hired Ballard Spahr to represent it in defending a lawsuit by the owners of proposed Foxwoods Casino, who are trying to recover the $50 million application fee paid to open a casino in Philadelphia.

Former Traffic Court Defendant Bruno's Suspension Lifted

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

More than a month after his exoneration on fraud charges related to the Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket-fixing case, Chester County Magisterial District Judge Mark Bruno's judicial suspension has been lifted.

DLA Piper Putting Emphasis on Philadelphia

By Gina Passarella |

DLA Piper's Philadelphia office has fluctuated over the years when it comes to attorney head count, with about 40 lawyers of the firm's 4,000 attorneys currently working in the city.

Duane Morris Gains Government OK, Opens China Office

By Max Mitchell |

Eight months after Duane Morris announced plans to create a Shanghai office, the office has formally opened for business, the firm has announced.

Pa.'s Ban on Political Contributions Struck Down

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's law barring corporations and associations from making political contributions, which had been in direct conflict with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, has now been permanently enjoined.

Spanier Asks to Look into Freeh's Pa. Citizenship

By Max Mitchell |

Graham Spanier would like to be able to look into the state citizenship of Louis B. Freeh and his former firm to see if attempts to remove Spanier's possible defamation case to federal court pass the diversity test.

Bonnie Mangold

Teeing Up Relaxation Amid First-Year Demands

By Bonnie Mangold |

Growing up in Scottsdale, Ariz., where there are countless beautifully manicured golf courses and endless sunshine, one would assume that I would know even a little bit about the game of golf. To the contrary, I did not have the slightest idea how to hold a golf club, much less how to execute a successful swing. I convinced myself that, as a young associate, I was too busy to take on a hobby as challenging, complex and detail-focused as golf. To the contrary, golf is exactly what I have been searching for to serve as a relaxing counterbalance to the demands of my professional life.

The Legal's 2014 Lawyers on the Fast Track

Earlier this summer, The Legal asked the Pennsylvania legal community to submit nominations for our annual Lawyers on the Fast Track. The nominations came pouring in, dozens upon dozens of them, all demonstrating the impressive work being done by young lawyers across the state. These are the 2014 Lawyers on the Fast Track.

NCAA, Corbett Seek to Postpone $60 Mil. Penalty Dispute

By Max Mitchell |

Signaling that the National Collegiate Athletic Association and state officials are hashing out a settlement regarding the $60 million penalty the NCAA levied against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, both sides are seeking to postpone proceedings in federal court.

Startup Savvy: Knowing When to Ask for an NDA

By Dina Leytes, Kathryn Goldstein Legge and Ashley Kenney Shea |

The entrepreneurs we counsel frequently ask what they can do to protect their ideas from being poached. They want to know whether they have contractual rights to their ideas and whether there is any paperwork they should use to protect their rights, particularly in conversations with investors. A nondisclosure agreement, or NDA, while necessary in some instances, may not be effective or appropriate in the early or even middle stages of a business relationship between an entrepreneur and an investor.

Greene's Suit Against Newspapers Thrown Out

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has dismissed former Philadelphia Housing Authority executive director Carl R. Greene's defamation suit against two newspapers.

Ballard Spahr Hires Real Estate Firm GC in New York

By Gina Passarella |

Ballard Spahr has added a real estate practice to its year-old New York City office with the addition of the former general counsel of real estate investment firm The Ashforth Co.

NAACP Beats Airport on Advertising Speech

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The NAACP has defeated the city of Philadelphia's policies—both written and unwritten—for advertising in the airport.

More Players Want NFL Settlement's Underlying Info

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Another law firm representing former NFL players in the litigation over head injuries has asked the federal judge handling the case to make the data underpinning the recently reached settlement available to all of the dozens of lawyers in the case.

Indicted Ironworkers Lose Motion to Dismiss Racketeering Case

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge in Philadelphia has denied the motion to dismiss racketeering charges filed by five of the 10 Ironworkers union members who were indicted in February for allegedly intimidating people into using union labor.

Gina F. Rubel

Nine Ways to Focus on Client Retention

By Gina F. Rubel |

As a legal marketer, I am constantly reading articles for lawyers about business development. Common titles are "Biz Dev for Lawyers," "How to Be a Law Firm Rainmaker," "How to Bring Business to Your Law Firm," "Using Social Media to Grow Your Book of Business," and so on. While everyone is pushing the acquisition of new business, how about focusing on the low-hanging fruit–the clients who already trust you with their business.

RICO Suit Stemming From 'Kids-for-Cash' Scandal Filed

By Gina Passarella |

The co-owner of two juvenile detention facilities at the heart of the "kids-for-cash" judicial corruption scandal in Luzerne County has sued the other co-owner, that person's former law firm and several others in a RICO action alleging he has suffered millions in damages because of the defendants' alleged wrongdoing.

Former Mifflin County Judge Joins Tucker Arensberg

By Ben Seal |

Tucker Arensberg has added a former Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas president judge, causing the firm to revive its inactive outpost in Lewistown, Pa.

Krause Sails to Seat on the Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Cheryl Krause has been confirmed to the Third Circuit by a unanimous vote of the Senate on Monday night.

Group of Ex-Players Objects to NFL Concussion Settlement

By Gina Passarella |

The first group of objectors has emerged to the revised proposed settlement in the NFL concussion litigation.

Paterno, NCAA Dispute Protective Order

By Max Mitchell |

A dispute has erupted in Paterno v. National Collegiate Athletic Association over which documents can be disclosed to the public.

Data Privacy Considerations for Reorganizing Businesses

By Dina Leytes, Kathryn Goldstein Legge and Ashley Kenney Shea |

Data privacy is an undeniably hot-button issue. Be it unfettered government access, data breaches by mass-market retailers or sneaky advertising practices on social media, the public is concerned about what is happening to their private information and rightly so. With this increasing scrutiny, it is vital that a business takes great care to comply with the practices described in its own privacy policy. Even a business that is undergoing a merger, acquisition or dissolution must consider the privacy representations it has made to its users and ensure its continued compliance.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Changes Story on Additional Victims

By Max Mitchell |

After questions arose from former state prosecutors and the Pennsylvania State Police commissioner regarding two victims of Jerry Sandusky being abused in late 2009, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane has indicated she misspoke.

James W. Cushing

Statute of Limitations When a Defendant Dies

By James W. Cushing |

One of the most basic legal principles is that statutes of limitations establish the timeframes in which a civil suit can be brought in a given case and any attempt to bring suit outside of that timeframe will inevitably result in the case being dismissed. For example, the statute of limitations for a personal injury matter is two years from the date the injury is, or should be, discovered, and, for the most part, bringing a personal injury matter beyond that two-year deadline will be cause to dismiss the claim.

SugarHouse Minority Owners Can't Stop Second Philly Casino

By Gina Passarella |

RPRS Gaming, a minority owner in Philadelphia's SugarHouse Casino that includes among its investors attorneys Richard A. Sprague, Thomas Sprague, William Lamb and Stephen A. Cozen, has lost a battle to stop a second casino from being licensed in the city.

Red Flags in Employee Theft in Retail

By Colleen Vallen |

The weather has broken, and with warmer weather comes the summer business season. In past blogs, I have discussed employee theft and general red flags related to this problem. In this blog, let’s focus on red flags of employee theft, specifically in retail environments.

Modification of Trial Court Orders

By Mandi L. Scott |

Procedural questions continue to arise regarding a trial court's ability to modify its orders. In general, a trial court, upon notice to the parties, may modify or rescind any order within 30 days after its entry, as long as no appeal from such order has been taken or allowed. This 30-day limitation is jurisdictional and cannot be waived by the parties, as in Borough of Media v. County of Delaware, 82 A.3d 509, 512 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2013), citing Maurice A. Nernberg & Associates v. Coyne, 920 A.2d 967, 970 n.7 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2007).

The Importance of Board Governance

By Kevin Ryan |

It is an honor when your talents are respected enough that you are asked to serve on the board of directors for an organization. Your ego gets a little larger when you reflect on the fact that someone is asking you to be a steward for their organization. It is truly one of the highest compliments you can receive–as they are, in so many words, saying, "Please help me run my business."

Trial Set Over Penalty Levied by NCAA Against Penn State

By Max Mitchell |

Trial has been set to begin early next year in the case involving the $60 million penalty the National Collegiate Athletic Association levied against Penn State University for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Reed Smith Advises National Penn in $138 Mil. Acquisition

By Gina Passarella |

National Penn Bancshares was advised by Reed Smith attorneys in its deal announced Wednesday to purchase TF Financial Corp. for $138 million.

The Legal Names 2014 Litigation Departments of the Year

Earlier this year, we asked law firms across the state to tell us what makes their litigation departments the best. We first conducted the Litigation Departments of the Year contest two years ago, in an effort to highlight the outstanding litigation work being done by Pennsylvania attorneys. In our first time going through the process, we were impressed by the submissions and faced a difficult task in selecting the finalists and winners. This time around, it was only more challenging to narrow down the firms to honor.

Gina F. Rubel

Who Controls Your Website Domain Name?

By Gina F. Rubel |

I cannot begin to tell you how often we start to work with clients on a website project, only to find out that their URLs were registered by the website development company, paid for by the website development company and are even controlled by the website development company. This is bad business.

Unemployment Compensation Isn't Very Charitable

By James W. Cushing |

A typical unemployment compensation matter is rather straightforward. The employer pays the unemployment compensation tax for each employee and the employee, if separated from employment through no fault of his or her own and if he or she has worked sufficient benefit weeks, applies for and receives benefits. This fairly typical scenario is significantly different when the employer is a not-for-profit entity.

The Challenge of a Fraud Investigation

By Colleen Vallen |

It seems on almost a daily basis new allegations of fraud surface in the media. No surprise, given that all businesses are vulnerable to fraud. A fraud allegation is a serious issue and fraudulent behavior can create a multitude of problems for the company. These allegations should be probed and scrutinized, with the focus of the investigation being to identify information that supports or disproves the fraud allegations.

Law Grad Tossed Off Ballot for Saying He's a Lawyer

By Gina Passarella |

Can you say you are a lawyer if you haven't passed the bar?

Justices Uphold Decision on Unheard Threat as Parole Violation

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed that a person who, according to an appeals court opinion, threatened to "kill" a man and "feed him to the pigs" had engaged in assaultive behavior, even when the threats were not communicated to the intended target and no actions were taken to implement the threats.

Jocelyn Cinquino

Strength Through Diversity in Trial Teams

By Jocelyn Cinquino |

Who among us in litigation doesn't welcome a good challenge? A way to think differently and a way to be strategic about how jurors will perceive a case from start to finish? Diversity in your trial teams offers just that. Being mindful about who your trial partners will be as you prepare the case and as you ultimately present it can bring that welcome—and valuable—challenge. Bringing our differences together forces us to process information more completely and consider perspectives we couldn't see so clearly without someone unlike us to point them out. Those are the challenges that can make trial teams stronger.

'Kids-for-Cash' Builder Mericle Sentenced to Year in Prison

By Zack Needles |

Robert K. Mericle, the builder of the two private juvenile detention facilities at the center of the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal, was sentenced Friday to one year in prison.

Ex-Sen. Fumo Disbarred on Consent

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order Friday accepting former state Sen. Vincent Fumo's resignation from the state bar.

Productivity and Cellphone Use in the Workplace

By Mary Brislin |

How do you maximize productivity of staff that utilizes text messaging or instant messaging as the "normal" means of communication? Do you try to eliminate texting from the workplace? Or do you accept it as the reality of a younger generation and instead try to manage the impact to productivity and to the culture of the firm?

What Legal Marketers Are Saying That Lawyers Should Hear

By Gina F. Rubel |

More than 1,100 professionals recently attended the Legal Marketing Association's annual conference (Twitter hashtag #LMA14) to collaborate, contemplate and commiserate about the opportunities and challenges inherent in legal marketing.

Former Lackawanna GAL Sentenced to One Year in Prison

By Zack Needles |

Danielle Ross, once Lackawanna County's sole guardian ad litem, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of attempted tax evasion, according to her attorney and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Ashley Kenney Shea

The Controversial Google Copyright Case: Who Has It Right?

By Ashley Kenney Shea |

In Garcia v. Google, a recently decided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case that has divided copyright scholars, plaintiff Cindy Garcia agreed to play a small part in what she was told would be an adventure film called "Desert Warriors." She was given four pages of the script, which pertained to her performance, but did not see the rest of the script. Sometime later, "The Innocence of Muslims," an anti-Islamic film, was released, featuring Garcia's performance with a voiceover in which she appeared to grossly denigrate the name of the prophet Muhammad. The video received substantial play on YouTube, inciting violent protests worldwide. Garcia began to receive death threats so serious she was forced to move.

Kane Says Spanier's Federal Suit Is Barred

By Max Mitchell |

The federal suit ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier filed earlier this week seeking to have the prosecution against him dropped is barred by the abstention doctrine, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in court papers yesterday.

NCAA Has Strong Words for Commonwealth Court's Ruling

By Max Mitchell |

Yesterday's ruling from the Commonwealth Court calling into question the $60 million fine that Penn State University agreed to pay the NCAA under a consent decree was "entirely without basis," an official with the NCAA said.

Fox Rothschild Makes Leadership Changes

By Gina Passarella |

With the start of its new fiscal year Tuesday, Fox Rothschild has new leadership across several key practice areas and two of the firm's offices. The attorneys taking on these roles are spread throughout Fox Rothschild's offices across the country.

The Legal's Women of the Year

By Ben Seal |

The Legal's editorial staff recently set out to select our Women of the Year, in which we highlight the achievements of top women lawyers across the state. Our staff examined our archives and asked for insight from respected legal professionals in coming up with our list of honorees. The scope of our search was broad, looking at women working at law firms, public interest organizations, government agencies and anywhere else that lawyers are able to make an impact.

James W. Cushing

Dying to Get Divorced

By James W. Cushing |

Divorce is always a trying time for those going through it, but, in some cases, that time can be exacerbated by the death of one of the parties in the process of divorce. When someone dies in the midst of divorce, the property owned by that person slips into a sort of limbo between being subject to the divorce litigation and also to the law surrounding estates, inheritances and probate.

Justices End Oversight of Phila.'s Capital-Defense Funding

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has dismissed the case of three defendants challenging the constitutionality of flat fees paid to Philadelphia capital-case defense lawyers.

Justices Won't Review Arbitration Agreement in Wrongful-Death Case

By Mandi L. Scott |

On Feb. 25, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to accept an appeal from a Pennsylvania Superior Court holding that survival and wrongful-death claims must be tried before the court of common pleas despite the existence of a valid arbitration agreement.

The Legal Names Pa.'s Best In-House Legal Departments

The Legal Intelligencer will be honoring Pennsylvania's best in-house legal departments in a magazine to be published April 8. To select the winners, we asked members of the legal community—at law firms, corporations and otherwise—to tell us what made a certain department stand out over the past couple of years. Did they face and deal with difficult litigation? Were they involved in major transactions? Did the department innovate to overcome a challenge? Is the department using technology in new and interesting ways?

Immediacy: A Client Expectation

By Barbara S. Kaplan |

Expectations are changing. Clients want information and services available to them immediately. We are in a frenetic world where technology is the medium and faster is the credential.

The Time to Engage Your Expert

By Terry Silver |

As a case is headed for litigation or settlement, you, as the attorney, usually are responsible for procuring or recommending the appropriate financial expert, whether for lost profits, damages or business valuation.

Smooth Sailing for Krause in Judiciary Committee Hearing

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Cheryl Ann Krause, the nominee for one of the two open seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, sat for her hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning.

Fed. Judge Tosses Former Luzerne Public Defender's Suit

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has tossed out former Luzerne County Chief Public Defender Albert J. Flora Jr.'s suit alleging wrongful termination by the county.

The Legal's Young Lawyer Editorial Board Symposium

The Legal's Young Lawyer Editorial Board will host a symposium April 8 at Fox Rothschild to discuss topics and provide advice for young lawyers related to working with the media. Panelists will include Hank Grezlak, Gina Passarella and Ben Seal of The Legal, Gina Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications and Beth Weisser of Fox Rothschild.

Judge Bars Pa. From Enforcing Its Political Contribution Ban

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge has preliminarily enjoined the state of Pennsylvania from enforcing its law against political committees taking contributions from organizations, like labor unions.

The Legal Names Finalists for 2014 Attorney of the Year Award

By Gina Passarella |

As part of The Legal's upcoming Professional Excellence Awards supplement, the three finalists for the Attorney of the Year have been named.

Rethinking Pa. Class Actions Challenging Public M&A

By Steven A. Reed and Jason H. Wilson |

In what has been a familiar trend in courts around the country, shareholders of public companies have increasingly brought putative class actions challenging publicly announced mergers and acquisitions. These class actions, in which the named plaintiffs purport to represent the interests of all shareholders of the acquired company, typically allege that the agreed upon deal price is too low, that the process used to reach the deal was unfair, and that the disclosures in the proxy or tender offer materials are inadequate.

Ex-Sen. Jane Orie Fails in Bid to Upend Conviction

By Max Mitchell |

The sentence of former state Sen. Jane C. Orie has been upheld by the state Superior Court.

Jocelyn Cinquino

Jurors Pay Attention to Counsel Table, Too

By Jocelyn Cinquino |

Jury research tells us time and again how intensely jurors focus on witnesses, from their appearance and demeanor to their behavior both on and off the stand. So much of the efforts preparing for trial then are rightly dedicated toward making sure those witnesses communicate the way we need them to, sometimes at the expense of losing focus on how attuned jurors are to your behavior as well. Those presenting the case don't escape that same level of scrutiny from jurors, and some of the advice we give witnesses works for you, too. It's time to practice what we preach.

A Primary Custodian Support Obligor

By James W. Cushing |

It is practically axiomatic among family law practitioners that a parent who has primary child custody is entitled to receive child support. There can be exceptions to this practice, such as the case decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court captioned as Colonna v. Colonna, 581 Pa. 1.

Supreme Court's Raban Opinion More Than Just Dog Law

By Max Mitchell |

Although the state Supreme Court was evenly split earlier this month in its decision on whether repeated violations of a statute requiring dog owners to keep their pets secured should require mens rea evidence, the nonprecedential opinions issued by three of the justices are well worth the read.

Pa. Courts Distributed $455 Mil. in 2013

By Max Mitchell |

Pennsylvania courts distributed more than $455 million in fees, fines, costs and restitution in 2013, with a record amount of funds being collected electronically.

Supreme Court Denies Reargument on Act 13 Ruling

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has denied the state's bid to reargue the landmark ruling that struck down amendments to Pennsylvania's Oil and Gas Act as unconstitutional.

Developers Named to Turn Family Court Building Into Hotel

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced the selection of the developers who are set to transform 1801 Vine St., the current location of the Family Court Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, into a luxury hotel.

Gina F. Rubel

Questions When Considering a Blog for Legal Marketing

By Gina F. Rubel |

Just about every week, I get a query from a lawyer, paralegal or legal expert asking if he or she should start a blog. And as an avid blogger for this platform as well as for AVVO Lawyernomics and, I can tell you firsthand that blogging takes strategy, time and effort to make even a modicum of difference.

When Addiction Is Material to a Disability Claim

By Paul Young |

When counsel meets with a person who has a claim for disability benefits based primarily on a psychiatric condition, it is essential that it be determined whether the claimant has a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Understand, this is not a moral judgment made on counsel's part, but rather an essential practical determination used in evaluating whether a claimant is potentially eligible for benefits.

Lynn Files Answer to DA's Appeal

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Monsignor William J. Lynn has filed an answer today in opposition to a request for allocatur submitted by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office seeking state Supreme Court review of the overturning of Lynn's conviction.

The Legal's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

The Legal will be presenting another group of Pennsylvania luminaries with Lifetime Achievement Awards this year. Our focus in selecting this group of noteworthy individuals was to represent the figures who have helped to shape the law in Pennsylvania, whether through their work on the bench, assisting those in need of legal services, building a firm or any other means. We had only a select few requirements: the attorney must have had a distinct impact on the legal profession in the state and must still be practicing law.

Justice Ronald Castille

Castille to Help DOJ Develop Videoconferencing Protocols

By Max Mitchell |

The U.S. Department of Justice has tapped state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille to help develop best practices and guidelines for videoconferencing technology.

Condo Roccia Changes Name to Condo Roccia Koptiw

By Zack Needles |

Philadelphia-based intellectual property firm Condo Roccia has become Condo Roccia Koptiw after adding patent attorney Michael A. Koptiw to its nameplate.

Discovery Issues Delay Kane's Review of Sandusky Case

Roughly one year since the state Office of Attorney General began its review of Gov. Tom Corbett's handling of the investigation into the child-abuse accusations against Jerry Sandusky, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said the report has been delayed, due in part to discovery issues.

The Legal's First Attorney of the Year Award

The Legal will be presenting its first Attorney of the Year Award to an attorney or judge whose work since the beginning of 2013 has had a distinct impact on the law and the legal profession in Pennsylvania. We're modeling the award after our Arlen Specter Award, which honors a particular lawyer for his or achievements over the previous decade.

Feds Seek Hearing on Whether Mericle Violated Plea Deal

By Zack Needles |

Federal prosecutors have requested a hearing to determine whether Robert K. Mericle, the builder of the two private juvenile detention facilities at the center of the Luzerne County "kids for cash" scandal, has violated his plea agreement.

Judgment Makes Strides for Freelance Photographers Online

By Ashley Kenney Shea |

Media giants Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Getty Images have been fierce protectors of their own copyrights, so it was noteworthy when this past November both agencies were found by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to have willfully violated the Copyright Act by distributing photographs obtained via social media without owner Daniel Morel's permission.

The Legal's Pittsburgh Managing Partners Breakfast

The Legal Intelligencer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette invite law firm managing partners to the complimentary Managing Partners Breakfast in Pittsburgh on Feb. 12. The breakfast is an opportunity for the region's law firm leaders to gather for a networking and information session.

Post & Schell Starts Environmental Group With Greenberg Traurig Duo

By Zack Needles |

Philadelphia-based Post & Schell has hired Greenberg Traurig shareholders Stephen C. Jones and Paul R. McIntyre as principals and co-chairs of the firm's new environmental practice group.

PAJ Request for Reargument Denied in Restatement Case

By Max Mitchell |

The unprecedented request made by an amicus curiae in Tincher v. Omega Flex, which asked the state Supreme Court to grant reargument in the high-profile products liability case, has been denied.

Accepting Voluntary Layoff Is Now Involuntary Termination

By James W. Cushing |

Decades of Pennsylvania law concerning eligibility for unemployment compensation after accepting an early retirement package have been overturned in the recent landmark Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Diehl v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 57 A.3d 1209.

Civil Suit Filed in Phila. Fire Escape Collapse

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A lawsuit has been filed against a Philadelphia property owner in response to a fire escape collapse that, according to the complaint, resulted in the death of one person and serious injury to another.

Top Laterals of 2013

Each year, we at The Legal take a look back at all the lateral moves in Pennsylvania in an effort to determine the 10 most important lateral hires of the previous year. Profiles of the top laterals and details about each move will be included in our Top Lateral Hires of 2013 supplement. Here is our list of top laterals and this year's runners-up.

Plaintiffs Respond to State's Request for Act 13 Reargument

By Zack Needles |

About two weeks after the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and Department of Environmental Protection asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling striking down as unconstitutional key provisions of the state's Oil and Gas Act amendments, the plaintiffs have filed an answer arguing that the agencies presented "no compelling reason for reargument."

Marketing Lessons from Riviera Maya

By Gina F. Rubel |

I just returned from the Yucatan Peninsula after a week of traveling with family. While there and since I returned, I have been pondering a number of things that struck me as brilliant marketing, missed opportunities and misleading marketing. What it comes down to is messaging and meeting expectations. When combined correctly, both are ingredients of excellent marketing. On the other hand, when the reality is not in line with the message, there will be disappointed clients and customers.