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Justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pose for photographs Sept. 13, 2011, at Philadelphia's historic Old City Hall. Pictured, top row, from left, are Justices Seamus P. McCaffery, Max Baer, Debra McCloskey Todd and Joan Orie Melvin. Bottom row, from left, are Justice Thomas G. Saylor, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice J. Michael Eakin.

Pa. Supreme Court Suspends McCaffery

By P.J. D'Annunzio and Max Mitchell |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery has been suspended by his peers on the court based on the recent pornographic email scandal as well as other allegations of wrongdoing involving referral fees paid to his wife and attempts to "exert influence" over judicial assignments.

Medical MDL Consolidated in Eastern District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

More than 20 cases brought against health insurance company Aetna have been centralized in federal court in Philadelphia.

Abuse of Process Case Against Fox Rothschild Withdrawn

By Gina Passarella |

An abuse of process suit against Fox Rothschild and two of its partners settled on the eve of trial with no monetary damages being paid.

More Plaintiffs Attorneys Looking to Handle Whistleblower Cases

By Max Mitchell |

With new incentives for whistleblowers and high-profile awards making headlines, an increasing number of plaintiffs attorneys are looking to expand into the often-difficult qui tam arena.

verdicts and settlements

Nursing Home Chain Settles False Claims Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A nursing and rehabilitation facility chain is paying $38 million to settle claims that it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid programs by billing for substandard care in what the U.S. Department of Justice is calling the largest failure-of-care settlement with a chain of this type yet.

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Harrisburg and Lancaster Firms Looking Up, Heading South

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

Business for law firms in Harrisburg and Lancaster has been improving at a steady pace, but an additional opportunity has presented itself for those willing to venture south.

Justices Take Up Whether Juries Should Determine Biosolids Use

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on whether juries should be able to determine if spreading a fertilizer made from recycled sewage sludge, known as biosolids, constitutes a "normal agricultural practice."

Passenger Can Benefit From Driver's Full Tort Coverage

By Lizzy McLellan |

Thanks to a novel detail in state law, a passenger injured in a car accident is allowed to use the driver's full tort coverage, despite being an insured of her husband's limited tort policy.

Sam Stretton

The Judicial Discipline System Should Be Reconsidered

By Samuel C. Stretton |

After the Bruno decision, where does professional judicial discipline stand in Pennsylvania?

Federal-State Split Forming Over MERS's Authority

By Max Mitchell |

A split between state and federal courts has begun to emerge over the authority of the mortgage registry company MERS, according to several attorneys who work in the field.

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Courts Weigh in on the Protection of Software Code

By J. Alexander Hershey |

Two substantial decisions rendered in 2014 have provided additional context to the protection of computer software under existing intellectual property law. It is a common complaint that existing intellectual property principles apply poorly to new technologies like software. In fact, the degree of protection available for software code and the ideas underlying its nature or function remains somewhat unresolved.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Oct. 21, 2014 - Stacey Willits McConnell Appointed to Board of Directors of Main Line Animal Rescue

Stacey Willits McConnell, partner at Lamb McErlane and chair of its trusts and estates department, was appointed to the board of directors of Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR).

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Oct. 13

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Oct. 13. Members of the state House of Representatives were scheduled to return to session Oct. 20. Members of the state Senate are scheduled to return to session Nov. 12.

Corbett Eyes Bill to Close DUI Loophole

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation that would require a conviction for a first DUI offense before conviction and sentencing for a second offense is before Gov. Tom Corbett. The state House of Representatives attached the language to SB 1239.

Waterfront Buffer Changes Sent to Governor

By John L. Kennedy |

HB 1565, which would eliminate a mandatory 150-foot development buffer from streams and other waterways the Department of Environment Protection classifies as "high quality," is before Gov. Tom Corbett.

David McCallum, left, who spent 29 years in prison, answers questions from the media after his conviction was vacated in Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday. With him are his mother Ernestine and his attorney Oscar Michelen.

Man Walks Free After Brooklyn Conviction Vacated

By Andrew Keshner |

Nearly 30 years after David McCallum was convicted of murder at age 17 on the strength of a confession he said was beaten out of him—and no other evidence tied him to the crime—he walked out of a Brooklyn, N.Y., courthouse Oct. 15 as a free man.

James B. Comey.

FBI Director Assails Tech Companies Over Data Encryption

By Andrew Ramonas |

FBI Director James Comey Jr. on Oct. 16 pressed Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to rethink the default encryption they offer on mobile devices, saying that the security feature could lead the United States to a "very, very dark place."

People in the News - Oct. 21, 2014 - Archer & Greiner Promotes Six to Partner

Molly Campbell, a Reed Smith associate in Philadelphia, was named chair of the Young Professionals Council of Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

Peter F. Vaira

Where Were the Lawyers Who Could Fix the L&I Department?

By Peter F. Vaira |

On Sept. 25, a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter issued a report on the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections. The report was triggered by the collapse of a building during a demolition June 5, 2013, at 22nd and Market streets in Philadelphia. The building collapsed on an adjacent Salvation Army thrift store, killing six people and injuring 13. One of those killed was the daughter of the treasurer of Philadelphia who was in the thrift shop donating clothing. The demolition process on that building was licensed and overseen by L&I. I served as the executive director of the mayor's commission.

Alan Nochumson

Subsequent Purchasers of New Home Cannot Sue Builder

By Alan Nochumson |

This situation is all too common in my practice—individuals purchase a home and, afterward, they discover defects with the home that were not disclosed or discovered during the home-purchasing process. The new homeowners have many potential avenues to seek legal redress: their seller, their real estate agent and that of the seller, and their home inspector.

Blaine A. Lucas

Pa. Supreme Ct. Clarifies Unnecessary Hardship Standard for Use Variances

By By Blaine A. Lucas and Alyssa E. Golfieri |

On July 21, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered a decision in Marshall v. City of Philadelphia, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 1785 (Pa. 2014), that clarified the unnecessary hardship standard applicable to the granting of a use variance.

Steven Silver

States Could Soon Lean on Casinos for Overdue Child Support

By Steve Silver |

Since Pennsylvania's first casino opened its doors in 2006 at the Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre, the state has relied on casinos for property tax relief, job creation and subsidies for the horse-racing industry.

verdicts and settlements

Jail Failed to Treat Prisoner's Decaying Tooth

By Max Mitchell |

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Joseph W. Consonery Jr., he was incarcerated on Feb. 6, 2009, at the Washington County Correctional Facility. On that day, he told a nurse he had an infected tooth and he needed to see a dentist, the memo said. Days later, Consonery's tooth "snapped," which led to ongoing bleeding, the memo said.

National News

National News From The Legal Intelligencer

To view national news articles published in the print edition of The Legal Intelligencer, please click here.

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Partition Case Reinstated Due to Immunity Question

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has reinstated a personal injury suit against a school because the record lacked sufficient information about how an accordian-style partition was secured to school property to justify the application of governmental immunity.

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.

Justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pose for photographs Sept. 13, 2011, at Philadelphia's historic Old City Hall. Pictured, top row, from left, are Justices Seamus P. McCaffery, Max Baer, Debra McCloskey Todd and Joan Orie Melvin. Bottom row, from left, are Justice Thomas G. Saylor, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice J. Michael Eakin.

Eakin: McCaffery Threatened to Release Emails

By Max Mitchell and P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of a report that Justice J. Michael Eakin received allegedly sexually explicit emails, the justice released a statement Friday admitting he received such emails, and said fellow Justice Seamus P. McCaffery threatened to release information linking Eakin to the emails unless Eakin pressured Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille to retract his earlier statements about McCaffery sending sexually explicit emails.

Businessman team silhouette in front of world map eps 10

Pa. Firms Use Global Footprints to Get Fortune 500 Clients

By Gina Passarella |

While there are only a few Pennsylvania firms among those most frequently used by Fortune 500 companies, some of the largest corporations in the world call on Pennsylvania firms of all sizes for a variety of legal needs.

Third Circuit Revives Biotechnology Company Shareholder Lawsuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In a split opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has revived a suit over the sale of assets from a now-defunct biotechnology company.

Justices Refuse to Eye Medical-Provider Class in Insurance Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a case involving the decertification of a class of medical providers who have received overdue medical benefit payments from Progressive Insurance Co. excluding interest.

Close up of a Smartphone Camera

A Suggested App Toolkit to Help Mobile Lawyers Get Started

By Johan T. Widjaja |

We live in a mobile world and our smartphones and tablets are replacing the need for laptops and desktop computers. Even the most intensive and sophisticated applications such as graphics and video-editing software have been emulated by apps, available at a fraction of the traditional cost of these programs. These advanced graphics and video-editing apps might not have all of the bells and whistles some of the desktop versions have, but they are getting pretty close. Further, the interface and the mobility that the tablets and smartphones offer usually make up for the lack of some features. From a workflow perspective, many artists can use the apps to make quick edits, usually in collaboration with others. How can attorneys make use of currently available apps? This "Mobile Lawyer App Toolkit" suggests some basic apps to get started, surrounding the crux of practicing law—note-taking, legal research and drafting of documents.

People in the News - Oct. 20, 2014 - Braid Is Philadelphia VIP Volunteer of the Month

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young partner Mark Chopko presented at the XV International Congress of Canon Law on Sept. 18 at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Broadcaster in Philippines Wins Web Pirate Battle

By Sheri Qualters |

Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp. has secured a $10 million federal consent judgment against a copyright and trademark infringer as an early victory in a broader court campaign against Internet pirates.

Judge Bars Firm From Pursuing Breach of Contract Claim

By Christine Simmons |

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman cannot pursue a breach of contract claim for $2.3 million in legal fees against a former client's company, a judge has ruled.

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Sheriff's Sale Notices

The third publication of the Sheriff's Sale mortgage foreclosure notices for the Nov. 4, 2014, sale, which includes properties postponed from previous sales, are now available, along with the tax sales for October.

Reports Show Playing Team Sports Benefits Women's Careers

By Frank Michael D'Amore |

The benefits associated with playing sports have been extolled in this column over the years. For instance, a two-part series, "Ten Lessons From Athletes to Excel in the Boardroom," was published in the May 20, 2013, and June 17, 2013, editions of The Legal. The series discussed some of the most significant characteristics embodied by those who participated in sports—such as perseverance, goal-setting and the ability to operate in a team environment—and gave examples of how they were a boon to the careers of lawyers.

McCaffery Apologizes for Emails, Then Fires at Castille

By Max Mitchell and P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery has issued an apology for sending pornographic emails, but fired back at Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, calling him a liar over a statement the chief justice released Wednesday.

State Settles MCARE Row Over Hundreds of Millions in Funds

By Gina Passarella |

The state has settled five years of litigation with several health-care provider groups over a $100 million transfer of funds from MCARE to the general fund as well as the state's calculation of the annual assessments it charges doctors.

Court and city officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Philadelphia Family Court building. From Left: U.S. Rep Bob Brady, D-Pa.; former Gov. Edward G. Rendell; Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille; Family Court Supervising Judge Margaret T. Murphy; Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty; Justice J. Michael Eakin; Deputy Mayor Everett A. Gillison.

New Phila. Family Court Building Dedicated by FJD

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The dedication of the Philadelphia Family Court building Thursday afternoon marked the culmination of a years-long process—at times mired in controversy—to centralize the city's family court system into one location.

Eastern District Judge Tosses Thalidomide Case Against GSK

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The time for Edmund Andre to bring a suit against the maker of thalidomide has long since passed, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled, rejecting Andre's expert and the argument that the company's initial cover-up of the drug's effect on babies born to women who took it would extend the statute of limitations.

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Fifth Circuit Offers Guidance on Corrective Disclosures

By Peter J. Kreher and Frank P. Trapani |

In Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. Amedisys, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit offered important guidance on how to evaluate whether alleged corrective disclosures meet the standard for pleading loss causation established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dura Pharmaceuticals v. Broudo. This article describes the court's analysis and discusses the implications for plaintiffs and defendants in securities fraud cases.

People in the News - Oct. 17, 2014 - Dena B. Calo Joins Saul Ewing

Gary Ruckelshaus joined Blank Rome as a partner in the litigation department.

U.S. Supreme Court (Oct. 5, 2014)

Texas Abortion Law Blocked by U.S. Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday halted enforcement of several parts of a federal appeals court ruling that shuttered abortion clinics throughout Texas.

<b>DANGER:</b> Graffiti marks a neighborhood controlled by the Mara-18 gang in Ilopango, El Salvador. One of the pro bono program’s clients fled north after the gang menaced her and her 7-year-old son.

Pro Bono Program Advocates for Adult Asylum-Seekers

By Katelyn Polantz |

First-year associate Lauren Connell cried with her client. That's the way pro bono drains you, she said, recalling the work she's done this month with battered and afraid Latina women under detention in Texas.

Lawall/Welwarth

A New Trend in Reducing Pension Obligations in Chapter 9?

By Francis J. Lawall and Lesley S. Welwarth |

Many municipalities across the United States remain under severe fiscal distress as a result of financial promises made that no longer can be honored. One of the largest of those obligations often arises from unfunded or underfunded pension benefits accrued over decades of employee service.

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.

Chief Justice: Email Review Exonerates Six Supreme Court Justices

The following press release was issued by Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille on Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts letterhead on Oct. 15, 2014.

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Memo to File: Protecting Attorney-Expert Communications

By David H. Glusman and Michael J. Molder |

As litigators, you are experts in trying cases. Typically, you are not experts in mechanical engineering, corporate finance or neurology. But litigation today, like so much of life, involves highly technical issues. In many cases, a general knowledge of science or commerce or health care is not enough for an attorney to represent his or her client effectively.

Castille Says McCaffery Only Justice to Send Explicit Emails

By Max Mitchell and P.J. D'Annunzio |

Justice Seamus P. McCaffery was the only Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice to have sent or received any of the pornographic emails found as part of an internal review at the state Attorney General's Office, according to Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille.

Mushroom Antitrust Case Set for Review By Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The unsettled question of whether an agricultural collective's accidental inclusion of a non-agricultural member would cut through the collective's shield from certain antitrust laws has been certified to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

NTSB Seeks Dismissal of Wolk Firm Suit

By Gina Passarella |

The National Transportation Safety Board has argued an aviation law firm and several of its clients don't have standing to sue the board for failure to provide crash investigation materials.

'Extremist' Group Can Continue Sidewalk Demonstrations

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has ruled that an "extremist" group's racially-charged demonstrations on the sidewalk outside of a Philadelphia mall were protected by the First Amendment.

The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals Calendar of Events

On Oct. 20, the board of directors meeting is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Saul Ewing, 1500 Market St., Centre Square West, 38th floor.

Pro Bono Work Can Help You Personally and Professionally

By Desiree M. Purvenas-Hayes and Lisa M. Dean |

The American Bar Association has announced Oct. 19 through Oct. 25 as the National Pro Bono Celebration.

Redefining the Steps of the Law Firm Career Ladder

By Valerie Fontaine |

Until about 25 years ago, most lawyers joined a firm upon graduation from law school, worked hard as an associate for five to seven years and then, in most cases, became an equity partner, staying until retirement or death.

People in the News - Oct. 16, 2014 - Villanova Law's Giannella Memorial Lecture

Matthew H. Haverstick, a partner at Conrad O'Brien, was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, and Scalia joined in dissent Tuesday over the court's denial to review a sentencing dispute from the D.C. Circuit.

Scalia, Thomas and Ginsburg Align in Sentencing Dispute

By Tony Mauro |

An unusual lineup of three U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday scolded the majority for declining to resolve a long-running dispute over judicial discretion in sentencing.

A nurse delivers a whooping cough vaccination to a student.

Vaccine Injury Cases Fill Special Court's Docket

By Jenna Greene |

Until he was 4 months old, Braden Lerwick was a normal, healthy baby. But in the days and weeks after he got a routine vaccination, he began crying inconsolably, grew unresponsive and suffered seizures. Now age 10, he is profoundly handicapped, unable to speak or feed himself.

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The Affordable Care Act and Personal Injury Damages: Part II

By Brett A. Margolin |

In Part I, we put medical expense damages on the examination table. In this article, we roll out some new, crinkly table paper and give the ACA lost health insurance damages a thorough physical.

Longtime Client Sues Squire Patton for Malpractice, Fraud

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania company has filed a nine-count complaint against its longtime outside general counsel, Squire Patton Boggs, over allegations the firm was conflicted in representing the company and its sole founder and allegedly helped that founder inappropriately benefit from the company's stock plan to the tune of millions of dollars.

Offender Must Register Web IDs Under Megan's Law

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled in an apparent issue of first impression that reporting a convicted sex offender's Internet aliases under Megan's Law IV would not violate his First Amendment rights.

Close up of human hands pushing keys of laptop

Internet Chat Transcripts Allowed at Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Yahoo Messenger chat transcripts, screen captures and videos can be shown at the trial of a man accused of lying in his application for naturalization, a federal judge in Pittsburgh has ruled.

Young Conaway, Attorney Hit With Fraud Lawsuit in Florida

By Jeff Mordock |

A New York investor group that unknowingly financed a phony treasure hunt for emeralds dating back to the 1600s filed a lawsuit last week in a Florida federal court alleging Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor and firm attorney Bruce L. Silverstein attempted to profit from the scheme.

business man with pen drawing graphics on world map

Recognition Comes Before Enforcement With Foreign Judgments

By Paige H. Forster |

General counsel know what it's like to be on the receiving end of a complaint and to guide litigation through the trial court and the appeal. Perhaps less familiar is being on the receiving end of an opponent's efforts to enforce a judgment rendered outside the United States.

People in the News - Oct. 15, 2014 - HBAPA to Honor Rodriguez of USCIS

The Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania is scheduled to honor Leon Rodriguez, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, at its Legal Education Fund Scholarship Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Ballroom at the Ben, 834 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.

When It Comes to Pay, Definition of Big Firms Changing

By Katelyn Polantz |

First-year associates in the ­largest U.S. law firms in major cities have come to expect base salaries of $160,000, but many find themselves falling short of that benchmark.

<b>ABORTION:</b>  The Supreme Court was asked to intervene in a dispute over restrictions on abortion clinics in Texas.

High Court's Term Off to a Rollicking Start

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court's opening week was like no other, a roller coaster of buried big news, mishaps and oral arguments that touched on the length of beards and the meaning of work.

Obama's Immigration Executive Order Would Follow Predecessors' Lead

By William A. Stock |

A comprehensive immigration reform bill was passed through the Senate in 2013, but by the end of June of this year, House Speaker John Boehner had announced there would not be a House vote on the Senate's bill, or on any other immigration-related legislation.

The Affordable Care Act and Personal Injury Damages: Part I

By Brett A. Margolin |

Requests for diagnosis began shortly after the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: "How does the ACA affect the health of personal injury damages?" Having taken a culture and allowed it to grow in the petri dish of regulatory evolution and implementation, the lab results are now in. Prognosis: The ACA, even excluding its subsidies, likely results in a leaner body of damages.

Some Conflict Waivers Are Rubbing GCs the Wrong Way

By Gina Passarella |

As law firms grow, so too do the potential conflict issues, but making that their clients' problem could be a turnoff.

Accounting Firm Must Pay Insurer Over Analyst's Fraud

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An accounting firm has to reimburse its insurer for trial expenses after one of its senior analysts skimmed millions of dollars from a major class-action settlement he was in charge of administering, the Third Circuit has ruled.

picture of man hands signing contract

Berks Judge Rejects Nursing-Home Arbitration Agreement

By Hank Grezlak |

A trial judge has ruled an arbitration agreement a Reading, Pa., nursing home made a resident's family sign was unconscionable because it was so one-sided and violated public policy.

Drunk Driving

Judge Rules Insurers Can't Keep Plaintiffs' Records in Crash Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Insurers of defendants in a drunken-driving accident case must destroy or return the plaintiffs' confidential records at the conclusion of the litigation, a Pittsburgh judge has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Intersection Collision Leads to Shoulder Injury

On April 20, 2012, plaintiff Harriet Greenberg, 66, was driving a 2003 BMW sedan through an intersection at a shopping center at 1657 The Fairway, in Jenkintown, Pa. As she proceeded through the intersection, the front driver's side of her car was struck by the front of a Nissan Maxima driven by Katherine Stoever. Greenberg claimed that she suffered an injury to her left shoulder.

verdicts and settlements

Family Dispute Leads to Attack With Broken Glass

On March 8, 2012, plaintiff Daniel Contreras IV, 20, was contacted by his sister, Veronica DeJesus, regarding a family dispute outside their grandmother's beauty salon, located in the 3300 block of north Front Street in North Philadelphia.

Drug Database Wouldn't Have Search Warrant Provision

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives is poised to approve SB 1180—which would establish a pharmaceutical database to prevent "doctor shopping"—without language supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, and some members on both sides of the aisle, that would require a search warrant to gain access to the database.

Senate Wants Economic Development Projects in Panel's Control

By John L. Kennedy |

The state Senate Appropriations Committee amended HB 2420, a debt ceiling reduction bill covering capital projects, to place final say over what projects are chosen with the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Tommy the chimpanzee inside his cage in Gloversville, N.Y. on Oct. 10, 2013.

Group Asks N.Y. Court to Free 'Caged' Chimpanzee

By Joel Stashenko |

An animal-rights attorney argued Oct. 8 before a skeptical New York state appeals court that a chimpanzee is an "autonomous, self-determining" being as deserving of habeas corpus protection as any human.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

'Upskirt' Photos Case Dropped by D.C. Prosecutors

By Zoe Tillman |

Prosecutors in the District of Columbia have abandoned their criminal case against a man accused of taking photos of women, including their exposed private areas, at the Lincoln Memorial.

People in the News - Oct. 14, 2014 - Scott of Bodell Bove Elected PADC President

Maureen M. McBride of Lamb McErlane was reappointed as a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Rules of Evidence Committee for another three-year term.

Charles F. Forer

Blocking the Use of Mediation Documents in Litigation

By Charles F. Forer |

Bob prepares intensely for mediation. He spends a lot of time preparing his client so the client's "extemporaneous" remarks in joint session send a strong message to the other side and suggest creative ways to settle the dispute.

Howard J. Bashman

When Courts May Grant Postponement of Appellate Oral Argument

By Howard J. Bashman |

Postponing an appellate oral argument can be difficult or easy, depending on the circumstances. Because few resources exist on this subject, perhaps several experiences in this regard from my own appellate practice may prove useful and informative to others.

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Communication Key in Relationships With Outside Counsel

By Anthony Paonita |

The session started out as a typical discussion panel of in-house and outside counsel. The venue was the offices of Stinson Leonard Street, a Minneapolis-based law firm. The subject: the survey that our parent company's research arm had done with the firm, entitled "What Keeps General Counsel Up at Night?" After a summary of the survey results, the panel tried to work through what it meant.

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Will SEC Guidance on Proxy Advisers Affect Compensation?

By Katayun I. Jaffari and Jill M. Stadelman |

In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission required investment advisers exercising voting authority over clients' shares to adopt procedures to ensure that proxies were voted in the best interests of their clients.

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The Disappearing Bonus Brings Down Pa. Cash Compensation

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania public corporations paid their general counsel significantly less in 2013 than they had the year before, in large part due to a significant dropoff in bonuses paid out, according to The Legal's analysis of the top-earning general counsel in the state.

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In-House Counsel Events

The following are events of interest to in-house counsel.

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Gains in Compensation From Last Year Holding Nationally

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Legal affiliate Corporate Counsel's list of the nation's best-paid general counsel features a lot of perennial names.

$80M Indemnification Case Argued Before Pa. Justices

By Max Mitchell |

Two insurance companies' failure to consider negotiating a settlement in the face of a potential billion-dollar loss on behalf of an insured should be sufficient justification for the insured to settle its claims for $80 million without the consent of the carriers, an attorney representing Babcock & Wilcox argued last week before the state Supreme Court.

David G. Mandelbaum

Can Natural Resource Damages Make Sense?

By David G. Mandelbaum |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's fractured decision in Robinson Township v. Public Utility Commission, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013), has refocused attention on the Environmental Rights Amendment, Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Using Documents to Prepare a Rule 30(b)(6) Witness

By Shannon McClure and Regina Nelson |

When representing a corporation or other organizational entity in federal court, it is not uncommon to be presented with a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) deposition request. There are many issues to consider when presented with this type of deposition notice.

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$80M Indemnification Case Argued Before Pa. Justices

By Max Mitchell |

Two insurance companies' failure to consider negotiating a settlement in the face of a potential billion-dollar loss on behalf of an insured should be sufficient justification for the insured to settle its claims for $80 million without the consent of the carriers, an attorney representing Babcock & Wilcox argued last week before the state Supreme Court.

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Asbestos Lawsuit Tossed for Lack of Causation Evidence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Although evidence suggested that a woman's husband may have been exposed to asbestos, it did not prove that the possible exposure was the cause of her mesothelioma, the state Superior Court has ruled.

insurance policy

Parties Argue Over Court's Discretion to Interpret Policy Terms

By Max Mitchell |

Counsel for two restaurant owners told the state Supreme Court in Pittsburgh last week that a nearly 50-year-old case dealing with the definition of an insured in anomnibusinsurance policy's employer liability exemption is being applied too broadly, and the courts should have the discretion to interpret the precise language of the insurance policy at issue.

Insurance Carrier Argues for Broad Leeway to Subrogate

By Max Mitchell |

An insurance carrier should not be left unable to pursue litigation against a third-party tortfeasor if an injured party does not want to file suit, an attorney argued last Wednesday before the state Supreme Court in Pittsburgh.

Craig Robinson

Repairing Our Imperfect Tort System

By Craig Robinson |

In the summer of 2004, while studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain, I received a puzzled look from my host padre, Joaquin, when I inquired about the tort system in Spain. After having interned at a personal injury law firm in Philadelphia the previous summer, I was curious about how the Spanish tort system operated.

Court OKs Horizontal Drilling for Oil, Gas Under Game Land

By Max Mitchell |

A 1920s land deed reserving oil and gas rights on state game lands by using "ordinary means now in use" will not bar an energy company from accessing those resources by horizontal drilling from an adjacent property, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Sam Stretton

Sting Operations to Catch Judicial Misconduct Raise Concerns

By Samuel C. Stretton |

As a lawyer who practices in Philadelphia, I am concerned about the recent resignation of a Municipal Court judge and transfer of assignment of others. Was this done ethically?

Letter: Practicing in Multiple Jurisdictions

In his Sept. 30 column, "Lawyers Can Practice Temporarily in Other Jurisdictions," Samuel Stretton has regretfully misinformed readers about multijurisdictional practice, i.e., when a lawyer provides legal service or guidance to clients in a state where the lawyer is not licensed.