Latest News

Vector illustration of an increasing graphic bar statistics.

First-Year Salaries Hit $160K Mark at More Pa. Firms

By Gina Passarella |

The average starting pay for first-year associates in Pennsylvania will be noticeably higher for this fall's class, with several firms increasing pay to $160,000 or just below, according to the National Association for Law Placement and data submitted by the firms.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane addresses the media Wednesday in Harrisburg regarding the charges that allege she released confidential grand-jury materials.

Kane to Continue Appeal on Request for Emails

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Office of Attorney General will continue its appeal to the Commonwealth Court over a public records request for pornographic and otherwise inappropriate emails between government officials, Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said, even though some of those messages were unsealed Wednesday by the state Supreme Court.

Traffic Court

Back Pay Denied to Exonerated Traffic Court Judge

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge is not entitled to recouping back wages from his suspension without pay after being indicted on ticket-fixing-related charges, despite his eventual acquittal in federal court over a year ago, a disciplinary body has ruled.

Evidence of Lawsuits Denied in Wax Explosion Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman who was severely burned when a jar of body wax exploded in her hand cannot introduce evidence of other wax-related lawsuits in her case against the manufacturer, a federal judge has ruled.

SRC, School District Can't Cap Charter School Enrollment

By Max Mitchell |

The School District of Philadelphia and the School Reform Commission do not have the power to enforce enrollment limits on charter schools, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Jeffrey Campolongo

Employees With Duty to Report Bias Protected From Retaliation

By Jeffrey Campolongo |

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reminded this writer that you could still learn something new about the law every day. Even in an area that you are a supposed expert. This time, it was a decision regarding the so-called "manager rule," a principle applied in some circuits in the context of retaliation claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule had been extended to retaliation claims under Title VII. For managers, human resources professionals and the like, in order to engage in protected activity and garner protection from retaliation, the rule required the employee to "step outside his or her role of representing the company."

People in the News - Aug. 28, 2015 - Thompson Presents Webinar

G. Mark Thompson, member of the executive committee and board of directors at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, was a featured presenter for the Business Insurance-sponsored webinar, "The Best Offense Is a Good Defense: Managing Liability Claims in Today's Litigious Environment."

Jamyra Gallmon, seen here in a hotel surveillance video the authorities provided to the media.

D.C. Lawyer's Killer Gets Sentence of 24 Years in Prison

By Zoe Tillman |

A judge on Aug. 21 sentenced the woman who fatally stabbed Washington lawyer David Messerschmitt in a hotel room to 24 years in prison.

Edward McManion

McManimon Scotland Tops NJ Bond-Counsel Rankings

By David Gialanella |

So far this year, government bond issues in New Jersey have increased in number but decreased in value when compared with the first half of 2014. Bond counsel rankings, meanwhile, have experienced some shake-up.

Avoiding Vicarious Liability for Accident Resulting From Delivery

By Craig R. Tractenberg |

The medical bills exceeded the available insurance by $1 million, and the pain and suffering claim would be a multiple of the bills. The defense lawyers were at a loss on how to prevent the excess claim. Insufficient funds exist to cover this loss, and the franchise lawyers needed to go to work.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Court Unseals Porn Emails, Other Kane-Related Filings

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unsealed a number of court documents related to the grand jury that recommended criminal charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, containing information about the pornographic emails exchanged between state officials, including members of the Office of Attorney General.

Kane Consultant's Testimony Changed, Documents Show

By Hank Grezlak and Gina Passarella |

The political consultant who delivered the leaked material at the heart of the indictment against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane changed his testimony over the course of two appearances before the grand jury investigating the leak, according to documents unsealed by the state Supreme Court.

Antique Map New England

Federal Court Upholds Pa. Bar Reciprocity Rule

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal appeals court has turned aside a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's rule allowing out-of-state lawyers to join the state’s bar without taking its bar exam as long they come from a state that allows the same admission to Pennsylvania lawyers.

Hedge Fund Appeal Denied in Tribune Media Bankruptcy Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has denied the appeal of a hedge fund vying for litigation that could leave it with more money than it is on track to receive in the Tribune Media Co. bankruptcy case.

Tips for Developing Self-Confidence So You Can Flourish

By Dena Lefkowitz |

Last month, I wrote about the rising recognition of emotional intelligence as a key factor in successful leadership using the new movie "Inside Out" to illustrate points about anger and self-management. Now, I turn to "The Sound of Music" for an assist in addressing another competency of emotional intelligence: self-confidence. In the movie, young novice Maria tentatively begins her journey to be governess to seven children. She has no experience and is forced to leave everything she knows. In the song "I Have Confidence," Maria sets her intention for how to handle the new situation, telling herself that she will stop self-doubting, be firm but kind, face her mistakes, and earn respect, adding that, "While I show them I'll show me." The "me" part is key. In this way, Maria employs positive self-talk to overcome her lack of courage, acknowledging that the most critical person in the self-assurance equation is herself. So when she later encounters obstacles—the heavy gates of the mansion she must physically push open, coldness of staff members, pranks played on her by the children and her seemingly cruel new boss—she need only look within for confidence.

People in the News - Aug. 27, 2015 - Styer Elected CCEDC Secretary

Craig A. Styer of Fox Rothschild, office managing partner of the firm's Exton office, was elected secretary of the Chester County Economic Development Council. Styer will serve a two-year term in this role.

Ex-Dallas Lawyer Sentenced to One Year in Prison

By John Council |

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas gave former Dallas lawyer Andrew Lee Siegel three months to scrape up restitution money before sentencing him for taking $410,000 from a client and investors and using it to support his expensive lifestyle.

$2.93M in Damages, Fees Against Wells Fargo Upended

By David Gialanella |

Awards of $2.73 million in damages and $201,000 in attorney fees against Wells Fargo in a real estate dispute have been vacated, and the suit tossed out, by a New Jersey appeals court.

Millennials and Traditional Approach to Financial Management

By James A.J. Revels |

Advisers of today are constantly comparing one generation of investor to another. These days, the group of individuals getting most of the attention is the millennial generation (18-to-35-year-olds). There are several reasons for an increase in contrasting the spending and investing habits of older generations to those of millennials.

Third Circuit Strikes Down NJ Sports Betting Again

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has once again struck down New Jersey's sports betting law, finding the state's attempt to legalize sports betting through simply repealing the ban on it still violated federal law.

Third Circuit Strikes Down NJ Sports Betting Again

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has once again struck down New Jersey's sports betting law, finding the state's attempt to legalize sports betting through simply repealing the ban on it still violated federal law.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, listens to testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder during the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2010.

Fattah Asks Judge to Allow Contact With Witnesses

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, has asked a judge to permit him contact with people on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses in the corruption case against him.

Jury Awards $2.8M for Improper Tracheostomy

By Max Mitchell |

A Delaware County jury has awarded a woman $2.78 million for having a tracheostomy placed too high, which allegedly caused her to no longer be able to breathe without the tubing.

insurance policy

Plaintiff Pulls Bad-Faith Case After It Survives Dismissal Motion

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After a federal judge denied an insurance company's request to toss a bad-faith suit stemming from a home burglary, the plaintiff discontinued the suit even though it survived.

Jury box

NJ Justices Detail How to Deal With No-Show Jurors

By Michael Booth |

Trial judges are allowed to substitute in an alternate juror if one of the original jurors goes AWOL during the early stages of deliberations, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Aug. 18.

Three Ways to Trim Self-Inflicted Harm in Internal Probes

By Frank E. Emory Jr. and Ryan G. Rich |

When not conducted carefully, internal investigations can cause more harm than good. Deciding to investigate a suspected problem is only the first of several key determinations. The responsible executive must plan and execute the investigation deliberately to avoid self-inflicted harm. An organization can protect itself—while still conducting an investigation that is confidential, full and fair—only by carefully thinking about how best to uncover the alleged wrongdoing or compliance issues. Here are three rules for a company to keep in mind to minimize self-inflicted injury from an internal investigation.

Initial Interest Confusion in Trademark Case Against Amazon

By Lawrence E. Ashery |

Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and John Belushi are working in a restaurant. Jane Curtin walks in and orders two cheeseburgers. Belushi yells at the cook, "Cheezborger, cheezborger." Curtin then orders a Coke. Belushi responds, "No Coke. Pepsi."

People in the News - Aug. 26, 2015 - Schwartzman Elected JCB Vice Chair

James C. Schwartzman of Stevens & Lee was elected vice chairman of the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera

MeetMe App Settles Lawsuit Over Child Privacy

By Marisa Kendall |

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Aug. 19 announced a $200,000 settlement with MeetMe Inc., resolving claims that the social media platform's lax privacy restrictions made it a haven for men soliciting sex with teenagers.

Boutique Law Firm Guide 2015

2015 Boutique Law Firm Guide

Looking for a Pennsylvania law firm that specializes in a niche practice area? Then consult The Legal Intelligencer's newly published Boutique Law Firm Guide for 2015.

Chester County Court Shuts Down in Wake of Fatal Incident

By Lizzy McLellan |

An incident at the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester on Tuesday left one police officer injured and his alleged attacker dead.

Warrantless Searches of Computers at the Border Should Be Challenged

By Linda Dale Hoffa |

In moving to dismiss an indictment last week involving the enforcement of export control laws and the trade embargo with Iran, the U.S. Department of Justice has tacitly acknowledged that the 2014 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Riley, which took cellphones out of the warrant exception for searches incident to arrest, now applies to border searches of laptop computers.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Aug. 12 at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

Kane Confidant Testifies for Prosecution at Hearing

By Lizzy McLellan |

At a preliminary hearing Monday, a Montgomery County judge ruled that all charges against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will be held over for trial.

No Out for Wyndham in Data Breach Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal appeals court has ruled the Wyndham hotel chain and its subsidiaries sued in a Federal Trade Commission action are still on the hook for three data breaches into the corporation's computer network that resulted in $10.6 million in fraudulent charges to customers' credit cards.

Court Revives Claims Against Firms Over 'Sham' Motion

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has revived an abuse of process suit against Fox Rothschild, Dillon McCandless King Coulter & Graham and two attorneys over claims that a coordination motion stemming from an underlying legal malpractice suit was a "sham" aimed at having the suit tried in a more favorable county.

Judge Sanctions NJ Attorney for Suit Against Fla. Attorney

By David Gialanella |

A trial judge has levied sanctions against a New Jersey attorney who the judge said filed a lawsuit "solely in bad faith, for the purpose of harassment of ... adversarial counsel."

Lawyers Weighing When Social Media Contact Violates PFA

By Ben Seal |

No contact means no contact in the case of a protection-from-abuse order, including contact made in the legally unsettled land of social media, lawyers say.

Sam Stretton

The Role of the Courts May Be Expanding Too Far

By Samuel C. Stretton |

What is the ethical role lawyers and courts should play in modern society?

The Treating Physician: A Misnomer in Workers' Comp Litigation

By Anthony Natale III |

The concept of competing medical experts is commonplace in the realm of personal-injury litigation. No matter on which side of the fence the client resides, it can take a high-caliber "hired gun" to get the job done. In the world of workers' compensation, a hackneyed dichotomy still worms its way into this battle of the experts in a manner not prevalent in other, less exuberant areas of law. This distinction has come to be known as the treating physician versus the independent medical examiner.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - August 25, 2015 - Vasquez Schmitt Joins Babst Calland as Associate in Firm's Litigation Services

Nicole Vasquez Schmitt joined Babst Calland as an associate in the firm's litigation services, employment and labor, and energy and natural resources groups.

verdicts and settlements

Judge Grants Default Judgment in Sexual Harassment Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a plaintiff alleging that she was sexually harassed at work, then pressured to resign or be fired.

James M. Beck

Handling a Large-Record Appeal

By James M. Beck |

The biggest case of a lawyer's career is now on appeal. Maybe it involves a month-long trial. Maybe it involves a certified class action. Maybe it involves summary judgment after multiple Grady/Frye motions. Whatever the reason, both parties are staring at a record well in excess of 10,000 pages. What to do?

New Defense Bar Presidents to Focus on Communication

By Max Mitchell |

For the two recently installed leaders of defense bar organizations—the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel—getting the message out about their groups will be the focus for the coming year.

verdicts and settlements

Del. Water Authority Agrees to Pay for Alleged Violations

By Max Mitchell |

The Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (DELCORA) has agreed to pay state and federal environmental protection agencies $1.38 million as part of a consent decree to settle allegations that it improperly discharged pollutants into the Delaware River and its tributaries.

Leonard Deutchman

Technology Gets Better, but Spoliation Issues Remain the Same

By Leonard Deutchman |

In NuVasive v. Madsen Medical, No. 3:13-cv-02077-BTM-RBB (S.D. Cal. July 22, 2015), the defendants moved for sanctions, claiming spoliation for destruction of a type of electronically stored information that has grown quite prominent in personal communications but not as much in business ones: text messages. The opinion illustrates how, even as the technology grows, the legal issues remain tangled.

Justices Set to Eye School Reform Commission Authority

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether the Philadelphia School Reform Commission has the authority to cancel expired collective bargaining agreements with the teachers' union as negotiations are ongoing.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 17

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 17. Members of the state House of Representatives were scheduled to return to session Aug. 24; Senate members are scheduled to return Sept. 20.

Work Details Unnecessary to Link Heart Attack to Job

By Ben Seal |

Precise details of a man's final working day are not required to prove a causal connection between his job and the heart attack that killed him, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Court Asks Open Records Office for Specificity

By Lizzy McLellan |

\Appellate courts can't review a final determination by the Office of Open Records without making specific reference to portions of the records requested and exemptions that may or may not apply, the Commonwealth Court has said in an en banc decision.

GOP Offer a Sign of Progress on Budget Impasse?

By John L. Kennedy |

Gov. Tom Wolf last week used the word "good" in a response to an education funding offer from Republican legislative leaders in what may be the first sign of real progress in the seven-week budget impasse.

Wolf Administration Releases Rail Safety Report

By John L. Kennedy |

The Wolf administration released a report on rail transportation of crude oil that included 27 new safety recommendations.

US Federal District Judge Dickenson Debevoise, Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ.

Longtime NJ Federal Judge Debevoise Dies at 91

By Zack Needles |

U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise, who sat on the federal bench in Newark, New Jersey, for more than 35 years, has died at age 91.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Gov't Can Prosecute Citizens for Illicit Sex in Foreign Countries

By Marcia Coyle |

A federal appellate panel on Aug. 19 upheld the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting citizens from engaging in non-commercial, illicit sexual conduct after traveling to a foreign country.

People in the News - Aug. 25, 2015 - Kleinbard LLC Adds Valane

Kate Campbell, a partner with Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, participated in a panel on "EPA Vapor Intrusion Guidance: Analysis and Application" on Aug. 19.

James W. Cushing

US Supreme Court Weighs in on Threats Over Social Media

By James W. Cushing |

The new reality of social interaction includes the popular, and seemingly always proliferating, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Considering the increasing ubiquity of social media, it was only a matter of time before the U.S. Supreme Court would weigh in on its use, which it had the opportunity to do in the matter of Elonis v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2001 (2015).

Thought Leadership: How to Become Known as a Go-To Source

By Meg Charendoff |

Thought leadership. This term gets thrown around a lot these days. Like "content marketing," "engagement" and "lead generation," thought leadership is an idea that's been around for a long time. Now we have marketing jargon for it.

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Insurance Law

The Insurance Law supplement includes articles on cyberinsurance litigation, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, the 25th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s insurance bad-faith statute and more.

Andrew Noble

Boards and Officers Need Cybersecurity Insurance

By Andrew Noble |

In the wake of a cyberattack on a company's data, it doesn't take long before shareholders and customers start pointing fingers at the company's leadership, accusing them of dropping the ball in protecting the company's data.

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After 25 Years, Bad-Faith Statute Still Challenging Attorneys

By Richard L. McMonigle and Lindsay B. Andreuzzi |

July 1 marked the quarter-century anniversary of the enactment of Pennsylvania's insurance bad-faith statute, 42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 8371. This landmark legislation permitted policyholders and insureds to directly sue their insurers for bad-faith conduct and, if successful, recover punitive damages, attorney fees, interest and costs.

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3 Key Insurance Provisions in a Commercial Lease

By Christina L. Olson |

Some of the most important, but often underappreciated, elements of a commercial real estate lease are the insurance provisions. Attorneys may spend hours negotiating and drafting expense clauses, use provisions and offset rights, but often ignore the insurance provisions as mere "boilerplate." However, although claims on insurance sections are rarely implemented, the reality is that a poorly drafted insurance section can have severe detrimental effects and significant cost implications for a client.

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When Insurer's Consent to Settle Isn't Required

By Sherilyn Pastor, Joann Lytle and Nicholas Insua |

When an insurer wrongfully denies insurance coverage to its policyholder on a liability claim, the policyholder is free to settle the claim against it and press its right to insurance. That the insurer's policy contains a provision requiring the insurer's consent to any settlement poses no impediment. Given that the insurer has breached its contract, it cannot demand compliance with that provision. But what happens when the insurer offers to defend the underlying claim, reserving its rights to later deny coverage depending on how matters develop?

Roberta Anderson

Takeaways From the First Cyberinsurance Lawsuit

By Roberta Anderson |

Cyberinsurance litigation is coming. This reality is underscored by CNA's recently filed lawsuit against its insured, Cottage Health Systems, styled Columbia Casualty v. Cottage Health System, No. 2:15-cv-03432 (C.D. Cal., filed May 7, 2015). Through its preemptive lawsuit, which is one of the first cyber/data privacy disputes under a cyberinsurance policy that has resulted in litigation, CNA seeks to avoid coverage for the defense and settlement of a data breach class action lawsuit against its insured and a related regulatory proceeding.

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Representations and Warranties Insurance in a Deal

By Maurice Pesso and Megan Quail |

Parties to corporate transactions are using representations and warranties insurance to help close deals. Sellers in a corporate deal are typically required to provide some contractual indemnity with respect to potential breaches of representations and warranties, often accompanied by an escrow of part of the purchase price.

vote sign

Crowded, Active State AG Race Taking Shape

By Max Mitchell and Lizzy McLellan |

With more than a year to go before the next state attorney general election takes place, candidates have started throwing their hats in the ring, and, according to political observers, many more will likely be entering the race soon.

Novartis Headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

J&J CEO Excused From Deposition in Qui Tam Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Alex Gorsky, the former CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals and present head of Johnson & Johnson, does not have to give a deposition in a false-claims whistleblower case against Novartis, a federal judge has ruled.

People in the News - Aug. 24, 2015 - Gedrich Speaks at Summit

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young partner Alan R. Gedrich participated in the panel discussion "Conflict or Accord: Coming to Grips With Conflicts of Interest" during the Financial Research Associates' Investment Advisor Compliance Summit in New York City.

Josh J.T. Byrne

What Lawyers Can Learn From the Saga of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem

By Josh J.T. Byrne |

As a quick search of the hashtag 
#floridaman reveals, people in Florida take bizarre and dumb criminal activity to new levels on a daily basis (see the tweet, "Florida Man Arrested for Graffiting Own Name on Cop Cars"). This activity is evident in Florida's attorney population as well. In March, a Lake Mary, Florida, attorney was arrested for smuggling a gold iPhone 6 to his client in prison. Another Florida attorney, who ran for a state congressional office as a conservative, took flak for his costumed roles in a live-action vampire role-playing game.

The Public Interest Calendar of Events

On Sept. 11, Philadelphia VIP is set to present a free pro bono CLE training on quiet title from noon to 2:15 p.m. at Fox Rothschild, 2000 Market St., 20th floor, Philadelphia. Training materials and a light lunch will be provided. Participants will receive two free substantive CLE credits in exchange for handling a VIP case within six months. Register online at goo.gl/5zkVOO.

Representation in Unemployment Compensation Cases

By Julia Simon-Mishel |

The unemployment compensation program, enacted in 1936, is one of the state's most vital social programs. Unemployment compensation provides a safety net for individuals who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The program was created to enhance economic security, as "involuntary unemployment and its resulting burden of indigency falls with crushing force upon the unemployed worker, and ultimately upon the commonwealth and its political subdivisions," according to the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 P.S. Section 752.

gavel

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Grants Former Rep. Veon's Appeal

By Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear an ex-lawmaker's appeal challenging the state's conflict-of-interest law as unconstitutional.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the cases involving same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges. April 28, 2015.

Right to Choose Spouse Applies to Prison Inmates, Too

By Marcia Coyle |

The right to marry includes the right to select one's spouse, the U.S. Supreme Court said in its landmark same-sex marriage decision. And the right to choose your spouse applies to prison inmates too, says a federal appellate panel.

<b>NEW OPTION:</b> The election of two former Supreme Court clerks—Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz—has inspired other ex-clerks to work in Congress.

Ex-Supreme Ct. Clerks Find Conservative Home on Hill

By Mike Sacks |

At the end of their clerkships, and well into their careers, former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks have had the pick of top law firms and law schools for jobs. Going to work on Capitol Hill was a path rarely chosen.

School Funding Case Before Justices May Have Wide Impact

By Maura McInerney |

Education is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. The promise of a public education system is that it opens doors to all students and provides them with the opportunity for success in life regardless of the circumstances of their birth. It is an essential feature of our democracy and the lodestar that guides and guards our right to the "pursuit of happiness" guaranteed as "inherent" in both our federal and state constitutions. But Pennsylvania's public school system is in crisis, leaving many of our poorest students without the means to pursue that happiness.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives to be processed and arraigned on charges she leaked secret grand jury material and then lied about it under oath on Aug. 8, 2015, at the Montgomery County detective bureau in Norristown, Pa.

Kane Questioning Said to Focus on Promotion, Haiti

By Hank Grezlak, Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

The FBI has asked questions about Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's promotion of a staffer accused of sexual harassment and her trip to Haiti in 2014, according to two sources familiar with the FBI's inquiries.

Superior Court OKs $4M Topamax Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has denied Janssen Pharmaceuticals' bid to overturn a $4 million verdict stemming from claims that its anti-seizure drug Topamax caused birth defects.

Whistleblower Withdraws Case Against Syringe Maker

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former employee of syringe maker Unilife Corp., who claimed he was the subject of a retaliatory firing for pointing out in 2011 that the company was in violation of FDA regulations, has withdrawn and apologized for his claims.

al-jazeera

Al-Jazeera's Indemnification Claims for $100M in Gore Suit Survive

By Gina Passarella |

An Al-Jazeera Media Network subsidiary has kept alive its indemnification claims against former Current TV owners, including former Vice President Al Gore, for more than $100 million.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Specific Guidance to Businesses Still Lacking in FTC Principles

By Carl W. Hittinger and M. Mitchell Oates |

In 1914, Congress passed the FTC Act, creating the Federal Trade Commission. Section 5 of the FTC Act declared "unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce" to be unlawful and gave the FTC enforcement power over such "unfair methods." Over 100 years later, that key language in Section 5 underlying the agency's competition-related powers had never been the subject of any formal FTC guidance. Clearly, "unfair methods of competition" include Sherman and Clayton Act violations, and some argue that Section 5 reaches beyond those statutes. But exactly what kind of additional conduct falls within the FTC's Section 5 powers has been a long-unsettled question.

People in the News - Aug. 21, 2015 - Pritchard to Speak at PERS Summit

Kleinbard LLC partner Eric Pritchard is slated to speak at the PERS Summit 2015, scheduled from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the Chateaux Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

Suit Alleges US Environmental Policy Harms Children

By Amanda Bronstad |

Prominent California plaintiffs firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy has filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. government has deprived "future generations" of their constitutional rights by allowing climate change to occur.

<b>SAYING YES:</b> U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero sustained most of an expert panel's proposed reforms of the LSAT disabilities accommodation process.

Ruling Eases Process for Accommodations on LSAT

By Karen Sloan |

Elizabeth Hennessey-Severson wasn't sure she wanted to be a named plaintiff in a class action against the organization that administers the Law School Admission Test. It might hurt her chances of getting into law school, she worried.

bankruptcy

Third Circuit Again Reviews Equitable Mootness Doctrine

By Andrew C. Kassner and Joseph N. Argentina Jr. |

Unlike most civil litigation that includes a limited number of parties and disputes regarding discrete claims or specific corporate assets, a Chapter 11 reorganization plan by definition involves all of the debtor's business, assets, capital structure and stakeholders. When a plan is approved over the objection of one or more interested parties and no stay pending appeal is obtained, the capital structure is usually completely altered, financing closed and assets conveyed. The question presented in these situations is whether an appeal should be allowed to proceed if no stay is obtained and implementation of the plan proceeds, or should the appeal be dismissed under the doctrine of "equitable mootness."

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Reputation Claim Against Kane to Proceed

By Lizzy McLellan |

While a Philadelphia judge has dismissed six counts of a defamation complaint against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, one count, relating to the state constitutional right to reputation, has been allowed to proceed.

Time Clock

Class of Unpaid Insurance Workers Certified

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has granted conditional class status to a group of insurance claims representatives who alleged they were unpaid by Farmers Insurance Exchange for work performed before they clocked in each day.

Ex-Judge Suspended From Practice of Law Over Cocaine Theft

By Max Mitchell |

A former judge who recently pleaded guilty to charges related to stealing cocaine out of evidence has been temporarily suspended by the state Disciplinary Board.

patent stamp

Judge Orders $6.5M in Attorney Fees in Patent Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In a patent infringement case that has traveled the appellate ladder up to the U.S. Supreme Court and back down again, a district judge has ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendants roughly $6.5 million in legal fees for bringing the lawsuit in bad faith.

Riker Danzig Adds Dilworth Paxson's Three NY-Based Partners

By David Gialanella |

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, intent on replenishing its numbers, has added three partners to its New York City shop from Dilworth Paxson, a contingent that accounts for all the full-time lawyers at the latter firm's two-and-a-half-year-old office in New York.

Transitioning From Being a Summer to an Associate

By Jamie R. Schumacher |

Transitioning from your position as a summer clerk, summer associate or intern into a position as an associate may seem daunting, exciting, seamless, overwhelming or a combination of all of the above. No matter your emotional state, take comfort in the fact that it is completely normal. Remember, you already have a leg up after spending a summer or two with a firm. Despite this comfort from familiarity, there are five key differences to consider.

The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals Calendar of Events

On Friday, the annual education conference is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

Granting Access to Digital Assets When Estate Planning

By Vivian Luckiewicz |

When a person died 20 years or so ago, the family typically divided the old letters, pictures, family videos and other memorabilia that had been stored in the back of a closet among the decedent's heirs. In today's highly technological world, most of us store tons of private and important information electronically. Some of your virtual property might include emails, digital photographs, texts, tweets, music and e-books. These digital assets can have significant sentimental and monetary value.

Birth-Defect Suits Against Zofran Maker Piling Up

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than 30 lawsuits have been filed by parents alleging that taking anti-nausea prescription Zofran for morning sickness during pregnancy caused birth defects in their children including congenital heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate.

Judiciary Considers Scrapping 'Ancient Documents' Rule

By Zoe Tillman |

If it's old, it's reliable. That was the thinking behind a decades-old rule in the federal courts that provided an exception to the hearsay rule—lawyers could introduce documents that might otherwise be inadmissible if those records were at least 20 years old and appeared authentic.

People in the News - Aug. 20, 2015 - Fogdall Named Pro Bono Chair

Stephen Fogdall of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis was named the new chair of the firm's pro bono committee.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane addresses the media Wednesday in Harrisburg regarding the charges that allege she released confidential grand-jury materials.

Supreme Court Unseals Orders in Kane Case

By Max Mitchell |

In response to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's call for the release of allegedly pornographic and racist emails she claims are at the heart of a political vendetta against her, the state Supreme Court has unsealed orders in the underlying cases, and signaled that more documents could be unsealed soon.

The Legal Names 2015 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. The nomination forms and any letters of recommendation accompanying them were sent to a six-member judging panel composed of evaluators from all corners of the legal profession and the state. After reviewing their results, the following 40 attorneys have been selected as the 2015 Lawyers on the Fast Track.

Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., pictured center, pleaded not guilty to corruption charges Aug. 18, 2015, in Philadelphia.

US Rep. Fattah Declares Innocence in Federal Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, who is facing corruption charges related to allegedly accepting an illegal $1 million campaign loan and taking bribes, repeatedly asserted his innocence at an arraignment held in federal court in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

More Risperdal Cases Headed to Trial

By Max Mitchell |

A second wave of trials in the Risperdal mass tort has been scheduled for October, and several more cases are gearing up for trials in the spring.

No Privilege for Statement That Led to School Hearing, Court Rules

By Lizzy McLellan |

Judicial privilege does not attach to statements that eventually led to a quasi-judicial hearing at a school district, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has said, answering a question from the Third Circuit.

Directly above photograph of an application for a visa.

EB-5 Regional Center Program: A Powerful Job Creator

By Karuna Chandani-Simbeck |

Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly known as EB-5, in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. At the time, the program granted U.S. permanent resident status only to immigrant investors who directly invested in and managed job-creating commercial enterprises. With the enactment of the regional center pilot program in 1992, foreign investors can also invest through EB-5 regional centers, which allow investors to create jobs both directly in the business they start, and also indirectly through the economic effect of their investments.

People in the News - Aug. 19, 2015 - Hurd Joins Anapol Schwartz

Martin Law partner Amit Shah was named a committee member of the newly formed Philadelphia Bar Association diversity and inclusion subcommittee of the workers' compensation section.