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handshake over coffee

Life on the Inside: Advice on How to Succeed In-House

By Lisa Goldstein |

Many lawyers who have spent their careers with law firms are enthralled by the prospect of switching to an in-house lawyer role. The advantages of the demise of the billable hour, focusing on only one client, and the prospect of a better work-life balance all sound appealing. But what does it really take for a lawyer to succeed in-house? Several general counsel have provided a glimpse into their world, including success factors for in-house counsel, challenges of the role, team selection process, and work-life balance.

People in the News - Oct. 7, 2015 - Weintraub Speaks at ABA Tax Program

Stewart M. Weintraub of Chamberlain Hrdlicka spoke as part of state tax-related programs for the American Bar Association tax section's 2015 joint fall CLE meeting.

How Diamonds Can Help You Master the Facets of Law Firm Marketing

By Sharon Berman |

What can diamond grading teach one about law firm marketing? Well, it may not be immediately obvious, but a weeklong lab class that I attended made some of the lessons as clear as you want your diamond to be.

'E-Cigarettes Are Safer' Argument Nixed by Judge

By Sheri Qualters |

A Boston federal judge has blocked plaintiffs suing Philip Morris USA Inc. from arguing the company should have provided electronic cigarettes to consumers as a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

<b>REPRESENT:</b> The California Teachers Association is at the center of a fees dispute.

US Supreme Court Justices Get Back to Business

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

With the future of affirmative action, union's agency shop fees, and the counting of one person, one vote in redistricting in the balance, the Roberts court's conservative majority may return to dominate major rulings in the new term. But will it be conservative with a small or a big "C"?

Nonpartner Status at Issue in Contingency Fee Dispute

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Pennsylvania firm argued before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lawyer who brought a case from his former employer was not a partner at his old firm, so no breach of contract occurred between the old and new firm.

Diagnosis of PTSD Doesn't Toll Statute in Sex-Abuse Cases

By Gina Passarella |

Failure to realize the full extent of the psychological harm from sexual abuse is not enough to toll the statute of limitations, the Superior Court has ruled in determining a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder years after the abuse stopped does not extend the time to sue.

Pa. Justices Hear UPMC-Highmark Dispute

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a case that could affect the health care of thousands of Pennsylvanians at the end of this year, parties argued Tuesday over the meaning of four sentences in consent decrees between themselves and the state.

Defense Experts OK'd in Cephalon Reverse-Payment Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Defense experts' testimony not covering the defendants' state of mind when entering into reverse-payment settlement agreements can be admitted in the antitrust litigation against Cephalon and associated pharmaceutical companies involving the alleged delay of introducing a generic version of the drug Provigil, a federal judge has ruled.

Rekindled Email Scandal Tests State Supreme Court, Again

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

Allegations of involvement in offensive emails against Justice J. Michael Eakin have rekindled controversy surrounding the state Supreme Court, but court watchers say it may not affect the actual work of the justices.

The Benefits of Game Theory in Negotiations and Mediations

By Dana Trexler Smith and Gary H. Levin |

Game theory is the study of strategic decision-making between two or more parties where the decisions of one party are driven by the other party's expected actions. In situations of conflict, such as negotiations or adversarial procedures, game theory analyzes the strategic behavior of rational actors.

Law Guiding Impairment Evaluation Found Unconstitutional

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Commonwealth Court has struck down a section of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act as unconstitutional because it relies on standards set by a private entity.


Justices Take Up Arbitration Bifurcation Question

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue of whether wrongful-death and survival actions need to be bifurcated so one claim can be arbitrated while the other goes to a jury trial.

Hospital Found Liable For Bedsore Injury

A Delaware County jury found negligence on the part of Main Line Hospitals Inc. in the amount of $650,000 in a medical malpractice case related to a bedsore the plaintiff developed while an inpatient at Lankenau Hospital.

UPMC-Highmark Dispute Highlights Busy Argument Session

By Ben Seal |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear two expedited appeals from the Commonwealth Court in an argument session beginning today in Pittsburgh, one of which will impact the health care options of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians and the business relationship between two of the state's health care powers.

Elevator Company Ordered to Return Maintenance Device

By Ben Seal |

A federal judge has ordered an elevator company to return a maintenance tool to Berks County so it can service and repair dysfunctional elevators in two of its government buildings.

Clinton, Brady and the High Threshhold for Spoliation

By J. Alexander Hershey |

As every litigator knows, the explosion of communications has come with an explosive increase in the volume of available evidence. Everyday communications are now recorded in emails, texts, posts and tweets, rather than being lost into the phone wires of the 20th century. In discovery, lawyers wrestle to demand, retrieve, examine and use these communications in the ever-broadening scope of cases of all sizes. And, when the communications are withheld, lost or destroyed, lawyers cry foul, raise claims of spoliation, and seek sanctions, evidentiary presumptions or other remedies. This is modern day-to-day commercial litigation. But what does it really take to substantiate accusations of wrongdoing?

Justices to Consider Sentencing in Drug-and-Gun Cases

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over mandatory minimum sentencing for a defendant convicted of a drug offense involving a firearm.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 28, 2015

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 28. Members of the state House of Representatives are scheduled to return to session Oct. 5; Senators are set to return Oct. 13.

insurance policy

The Tripartite Relationship in the Wake of 'Babcock'

By Will Sylianteng |

Representing two clients at once, insurance defense attorneys walk a very fine line. Called the "tripartite relationship," an insurance defense attorney is called upon to represent an insurance company's insured for the mutual benefit of the insurer and the insured. As with most cases, when the goals of the two "clients" are aligned, the relationship works seamlessly and efficiently. The insured gets a defense and the insurance company gets to control said defense, including the right to settle or not to settle a claim.

Home Developer Hit With Verdict in Chester County

A Chester County jury has returned a $20 million verdict for a country-club operations company that alleged a developer breached an agreement to build a residential community.

Samuel Stretton

Lawyers Typically Bear the Burden of Copying Costs for Clients

By Samuel C. Stretton |

What happens after a lawyer is discharged is always somewhat messy. It is further complicated because usually there are bad feelings on both sides. The lawyer feels wronged and the client feels that the lawyer didn't do his or her job. Previous articles have been written on this subject, but the question continues to be asked regularly.

Express Energy Hit With Class Action Over Wage Claims

By Angela Neville |

Express Energy Services, a Houston-based oil field services company, recently got hammered with a federal class-action suit in Pennsylvania brought by former employees who allege that the company carried out illegal pay practices.

People in the News - Oct. 6, 2015 - Hyser-Staub Joins McNees Wallace

Sarah Hyser-Staub joined McNees Wallace & Nurick as an associate in the firm's litigation practice group.

Budget Maneuvering Set to Continue with Tax Vote

By John L. Kennedy |

Republican leaders of the state House of Representatives say they are planning to bring proposed tax increases in Gov. Tom Wolf's budget plan up for a floor vote.

School Borrowing, Forced by Stalemate, Nears $350M

By John L. Kennedy |

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that through September, the three-month budget stalemate has forced at least 17 school districts and two intermediate units to borrow more than $346 million to meet expenses and keep classrooms open. Interest and fees on those borrowed education dollars could reach $11.2 million.

Vasilios J. Kalogredis

Physician Group Properly Compensated for On-Call Coverage

By Vasilios J. Kalogredis |

The Appellate Court of Connecticut recently ruled against a plaintiff hospital in a lawsuit to recover payments that the hospital had made to a neurosurgeon group for on-call coverage. While the fact pattern is unusual, the case demonstrates the importance for both hospitals and physician practices of maintaining current written agreements that identify the parties' respective obligations, as well as the importance of the parties' actions in determining the meaning of such agreements. The case is titled Hospital of Central Connecticut v. Neurological Associates P.C. (159 Conn. App. 87 (Conn. App. Ct. 2015)), and the decision was published Aug. 4.

Signing a contract

The Tension Between Real Estate Contracts and Ensuing Disputes

By Harper J. Dimmerman and James M. Lammendola |

A recent state Superior Court decision underscores the sanctity of contracts and interprets the Pennsylvania Code escrow provisions as they relate to real estate brokers. This case, Ramalingam v. Keller Williams Realty Group (No. 2185 EDA 2014, filed July 20, 2015), is labeled as nonprecedential. Nevertheless, the court's application of the law, especially in the context of an appeal from a bench trial, is highly instructive.

Senator Robert Menendez outside the Federal Courthouse in Newark, NJ.

Judge Denies Bulk of Menendez Motions to Dismiss

By Charles Toutant |

A federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, has denied several motions by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, to dismiss his indictment on corruption charges under the speech or debate clause of the U.S. Constitution, setting the stage for an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Donald Coburn

Judge Who Grilled Attorney for Absenteeism Reversed

By David Gialanella |

A lawyer's absence from arbitration proceedings, apparently because of some personal emergency the night before, should not have been fatal to the client's defense, a state appeals court said—reversing a trial judge who went so far as to question the 74-year-old attorney's fitness in a letter to ethics authorities.


Montco Clearing Backlog, Expediting Trials

By Max Mitchell |

The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas is ramping up efforts to clear out a backlog of cases dating as far back as 1980, and in the coming months the court will put more than 100 languishing cases on an expedited case-management schedule that will entail putting attorneys on 48-hour trial notice.

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

Former OAG Appellate Chief Sues Kane for Defamation

By Gina Passarella and Lizzy McLellan |

James P. Barker, the former deputy attorney general fired by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane shortly after he testified against her in grand jury proceedings, has sued Kane, alleging she defamed him and retaliated against him.

Insider-Trading Trial Date Set for Ex-Fox Rothschild Partner

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A trial has been scheduled for the former Fox Rothschild lawyer hit with insider-trading charges stemming from the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide insurance merger.

Wolf Block

Wolf Block Loses Coverage Suit Over Partner Severance Payments

By Gina Passarella |

The insurance company for defunct law firm Wolf Block does not have to indemnify the firm over its failure to pay a former partner severance payments, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.


Zoloft MDL Cases Dismissed by the Hundreds

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Zoloft birth-defect multidistrict litigation based in Philadelphia, which once had as many as 600 cases, has been reduced to roughly half its original size. The drop is the result of hundreds of cases involving non-cardiac injuries being dismissed.

Credit: photogl/

Drexel Law Student's ADA Claims Against Firms Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has tossed three complaints filed against Pepper Hamilton, Blank Rome and Dechert filed by a law student who claimed the firms' decision not to hire him for a summer position violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Justices Hire Firm That Represented Kane to Review Eakin Emails

By Max Mitchell and Lizzy McLellan |

The state Supreme Court has retained Pittsburgh firm Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd—the same firm that represented Attorney General Kathleen Kane when she challenged the grand jury investigating her—to review the contents of numerous allegedly offensive emails linked to Justice J. Michael Eakin.

Beluga Whales at the Georgia Aquarium

Judge Denies Ga. Aquarium’s Bid for Beluga Whales

By R. Robin McDonald |

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg of the Northern District of Georgia introduced her order closing down the Georgia Aquarium's bid to secure 18 beluga whales from Russia with a quotation inscribed on the entry wall of the aquarium's Ocean Voyager exhibit: "The oceans deserve our respect and care, but you have to know something before you can care about it."

U.S. Supreme Court.

Employee Speech, Racketeering Cases on Justices' Docket

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 added 13 new cases to its argument docket for the term that begins today, including a new employee-speech case and a test of the application of U.S. anti-racketeering law overseas.

People in the News - Oct. 5, 2015 - Reger Rizzo Adds Two Lawyers

Craig A. Doll joined Reger Rizzo & Darnall's Philadelphia office as of counsel and Bradley P. Lehman joined the Wilmington, Delaware, office as an associate.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

FTC May Expand Use of Disgorgement Remedy to Closed Mergers

By Carl W. Hittinger and M. Mitchell Oates |

The Federal Trade Commission will consider seeking disgorgement of "ill-gotten gains" even in cases involving closed mergers, said Deborah Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, during a recent speech in New York regarding the agency's approach toward merger review. Given the FTC's more frequent use of the disgorgement remedies in recent years, this is a potentially important acknowledgement and one that the business community should watch closely.

Volkswagen diesels are shown on a storage lot near a VW dealership Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Salt Lake City.

VW Hit With Onslaught of Class Actions Across 32 States

By Amanda Bronstad |

Volkswagen A.G.'s legal problems jumped into overdrive this week. More than 175 class actions in 32 states have been filed over the emissions scandal that erupted last month.

David M. Laigaie

Limited Expectation of Privacy Over Commercial Property

By David M. Laigaie |

In the United States, the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures is both fundamental and sacrosanct. Or is it? For business owners that right can be illusive. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in United States v. Nagle, No. 14-3184 and 14-3422 (filed Sept. 30, 2015), limited the circumstances under which a business owner can challenge the legality of a search executed at the business.

Firing of Teacher Found With Heroin Upheld

By Andrew Keshner |

A Manhattan appellate court threw out a teacher's challenge to an arbitrator's termination decision after he was found with heroin when reporting for jury duty.

Thomas B. Rutter, Founding Shareholder of ADR Options, Dies

Thomas B. Rutter, a founding shareholder of ADR Options, died Sept. 27.

People in the News - Oct. 2, 2015 - De Palma Joins Hangley Aronchick

Claudia De Palma joined Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller as an associate.


Bankruptcy Plans Go Up in Smoke: Marijuana Grower Denied Relief

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

The ability to obtain a discharge of a person's debts in bankruptcy—either through a reorganization of his or her affairs or liquidation proceeding administered by a court-appointed trustee—is a fundamental benefit of filing for bankruptcy. When a debtor's prepetition actions involve fraud, concealment, or other examples of a lack of good faith, bankruptcy courts dismiss such "bad faith" filings, thereby denying debtors the protections and benefits of the federal bankruptcy law. Usually bad faith involves fraud, concealment, or other types of white-collar criminal activity. Debts arising from other types of tortious conduct are also excepted from being discharged.

Strategies to Implement for a Successful Co-Branding Partnership

By Christine Redfield |

Co-branding partnerships have been used by companies for years to leverage their brands. When successful, these alliances can increase visibility, solidify consumer loyalty, grow profits and help companies expand into new markets. When they fail, however, the consequences can be devastating; brand equity can be lost forever.

Reggie Walton.

Judge Won't Recuse Over Law Clerk's 'Regrettable' Texts

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal judge in Washington has denied a request to step down from a case amid a dispute over "ill-advised" text messages his law clerk sent to a lawyer involved.

Union Station, Washington, D.C.  May 13, 2015.  Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Panel Hears Amtrak Derailment MDL Argument in NYC

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard arguments in New York City on Thursday on the largely undisputed bid to consolidate cases stemming from the May 12 train derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

Justice Ronald Castille

US Justices to Hear Capital Appeal Over Castille Recusal

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether a former Pennsylvania chief justice should have recused himself from a capital case he was involved with while a prosecutor.

Data-Breach Class Action Against Coca-Cola Survives

By Gina Passarella |

The Coca-Cola Co. and several bottling companies have lost a bid to dismiss a putative class action filed against them by a former employee who said his identity was stolen after 55 laptops with employee data went missing from the bottling company's possession.

Children's Motrin Cases Garner Disparate Results in Courts

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury Tuesday in a Children's Motrin case returned a verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, sued by the parents of a child who they claim was blinded from taking the drug at age 3.

business man with pen drawing graphics on world map

Most Pa. IP Boutiques Unlikely to Expand Overseas

By Lizzy McLellan |

In response to Valley Forge-based RatnerPrestia announcing a new office in Munich, leaders of other intellectual-property boutique firms in Pennsylvania said the move is unique and unlikely to start a trend.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Faces New Charges

By Lizzy McLellan |

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has been charged with additional counts of perjury, false swearing and obstruction of the administration of law.

gevel in a courtroom

Third Circuit Defines 'Loss' in Government Contract Fraud

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has struck out on its own in defining "loss" when it comes to the fraudulent obtainment of government contracts geared toward disadvantaged business enterprises, splitting with the Fourth, Seventh and Eleventh circuits.

Overbooked Defender Won't Get Unemployment Comp

By Max Mitchell |

A former public defender fired for repeated case-scheduling problems will not be able to receive unemployment compensation because he was likely not the only one in the office who was often overbooked, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Christian Petrucci

Amendment to Workers' Comp Act Unlawfully Delegated Power

By Christian Petrucci |

Beginning in 2003, there have been a number of significant appellate decisions dealing with Section 306(a.2) of the Workers' Compensation Act. The section, added as part of the 1996 Act 57 reforms to the act, created the impairment rating evaluation (IRE), which can be used by the employer to convert the status of a claimant's benefits from total to partial disability in nature should the IRE find an injured worker's "whole body impairment" to be less than 50 percent, according to the most recent edition of the American Medical Association "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment." Everything from the automatic conversion element of the section to the proper definition of "maximum medical improvement" to the competency of the IRE physician has been addressed. The various, novel attacks to the section have been necessary since in almost every instance an IRE results in a whole-body impairment of less than 50 percent and therefore places a 500-week cap on the employer's exposure for indemnity benefits. Invalidating IREs on grounds other than the percentage of whole-body impairment has been the only real successful avenue for injured workers.

People in the News - Oct. 1, 2015 - Dilworth Paxson Adds 3 Associates

Dilworth Paxson added three associates—Claire Blewitt, Elizabeth Roggio and Larissa Woskob—to the firm.

U.S. Supreme Court.  June 29, 2015.

High Ct. Protesters Take 1st Amendment Challenge to Court

By Zoe Tillman |

Can a whisper be disruptive? When does speech become loud? A federal district judge in Washington considered those questions on Tuesday in a constitutional challenge to a ban on protest activity at the U.S. Supreme Court.

George Washington Bridge

NJ Senate Continues Debate on Port Authority Reform

By Michael Booth |

A committee of the New Jersey Legislature continued Sept. 24 to debate legislation aimed at reforming the scandal-plagued Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Michael J. Joyce

Learning to Live in the Moment as a Young Associate

By Michael J. Joyce |

The practice of law can be a grueling physical, emotional and mental journey for any individual, especially younger lawyers relatively new to the legal workforce and trying to find their way in an ever-changing legal landscape. Young attorneys often find themselves admiring the status and life standing of some of their more seasoned peers who have enjoyed years of success in practice—imagining the luxury cars, the suburban houses, the exotic vacations and the completely satisfied student loans. Granted, through the eyes of a strained young associate coupled with a strong dose of rose-colored glass, an aging Honda sedan, small fixer-upper on a quiet end street, weekend in Lake Erie free from the urge to open a laptop, and only a few years left on loans can look like this exaggerated and complete life of luxury—reality is always dependent on frame of reference. Younger lawyers might forget the years of work, dedication and focus that add into some of the benefits of practice, while wishing away the very years that are so important to a legal career and fulfilling life outside of the office.

Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor

Saylor's Comments Raise More Questions Over AG Kane's Fate

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

Pennsylvania Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor's recent public comments about Attorney General Kathleen Kane have made clear that he does not intend for the judicial branch to remove her from office, but court watchers were split on whether that's the proper course to take.


Jury Awards $20M in Chesco Dispute Over Development

By Max Mitchell |

A Chester County jury has returned a $20 million verdict for a country-club operations company that alleged a developer breached an agreement to build a residential community.

Third Circuit Upholds Arbitration Ruling for Goldman Sachs

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An investment dispute arbitration ruling in favor of Goldman Sachs has been reinstated by a federal appeals court after being vacated because an arbitrator did not disclose his full disciplinary history to the parties.

Chartwell Law Offices to Acquire Florida Boutique

By Gina Passarella |

Chartwell Law Offices is set to acquire the 22-lawyer Florida law firm Wadsworth Huott, bringing Valley Forge-based Chartwell to more than 110 attorneys, including 40 in the Sunshine State. The merger is expected to go into effect Oct. 5.


Judge Declines to Rule on Insurer's Coverage of PNC

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has decided it's too soon to declare an insurance company need not cover PNC Financial Services Group for $13 million in one case and potentially more in another because the underlying litigation has not been resolved.

RatnerPrestia to Open Munich Office

By Gina Passarella |

In a rare move for a firm of its size, intellectual property boutique RatnerPrestia is set to expand abroad with the Jan. 1 opening of an office in Munich.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

Uber and the Heightened Scrutiny of Independent Contractor Status

By James B. Shrimp |

You might have read that in early September a federal court in San Francisco granted class action status in a labor lawsuit involving the question of whether Uber drivers are independent contractors or employees. This legal inquiry may jeopardize the viability of sharing-economy businesses that are built with the purpose of matching individuals who provide services with those who need that service via the Internet.

People in the News - Sept. 30, 2015 - Six Lawyers Join Hill Wallack

Paul M. Fires, managing partner of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, joined the board of trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Joe Cotchett, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy

Cotchett Pitre Adds to Volkswagen Pile of Lawsuits

By Marisa Kendall |

Two Stanford University professors are the latest Volkswagen drivers to sue the company over its recent emissions scandal.

Deals Lawyers Saw No Summer Doldrums, Expect Strong Finish

By David Gialanella |

The summer proved to be steadily active in a rejuvenated mergers-and-acquisitions market, according to middle-market dealmaking lawyers in New Jersey.

Craig R. Tractenberg

State, Federal Law Differ on Franchisors as Joint Employers

By Craig R. Tractenberg |

The National Labor Relations Board has targeted major franchise brands as joint employers. This effort is designed to assist employees deemed at the bottom of the pay scale, deemed "vulnerable." Targeting McDonald's Corp. as a joint employer with its franchisees is motivated by an articulated policy to facilitate effective bargaining over wages and working conditions. (See "NLRB Office of the General Counsel Issues Consolidated Complaints Against McDonald's Franchisees and Their Franchisor McDonald's USA LLC as Joint Employers," published by the NLRB on Dec. 19, 2014.)

J&J Prevails in Children's Motrin Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury today in a Children's Motrin case returned a verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary, McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

A view of Center City Philadelphia during Pope Francis’ visit. (Sept. 26, 2015)

Slideshow: Images from the Visit of Pope Francis

The photographs in this slideshow provide images from the historic visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia, and the impact the visit had on Center City.

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

Could Suspension, Porn Affect Kane's Criminal Case?

By Max Mitchell and Lizzy McLellan |

The temporary suspension of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's law license is unlikely to play a major role in the criminal case against her, observers have said, but her response to it might.

Gov't Mistakes Rare in Espionage Cases, Former Feds Say

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The U.S. attorney's decision to drop charges against a Temple University physics professor accused of relaying U.S. defense technology information to China is not a typical move, according to former federal prosecutors.

Cleanup was underway and traffic was light along Market Street Monday morning.

Day After Pope's Visit a 'Nonevent' for Many Firms

By Gina Passarella |

Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this past weekend meant law firm closures and, for some, more hype than proved necessary.


Patent Litigation Against Insurers Tossed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has tossed intellectual property claims made by a patent purchasing company against Highmark Inc. and other insurers for infringing on multiple software patents.

Court Reinstates Flammable Lawnmower Lawsuit

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has revived a man's products liability suit against Lowe's and the makers of a lawnmower, which he alleges caught fire after the first use and burned down his barn.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - September 29, 2015 - Aronson Joins Lawyers' Trust Accounts Board

Willig, Williams & Davidson partner Irwin W. Aronson, of the firm's Harrisburg office, was appointed to chair the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts board.

verdicts and settlements

Judge Awards Victim of Abortion Doctor Gosnell

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia judge awarded nearly $4 million to the daughter of a woman who died while under the care of Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor convicted of murder in 2013.

Board Can't Keep Claimant From Using Suspended Lawyer

By Ben Seal |

The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review cannot prohibit suspended attorneys from representing claimants before unemployment referees, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Kenneth Racowski

Circuits Split on Ascertainability in Rule 23(b)(3) Class Actions

By Kenneth L. Racowski |

Class actions are hot right now. Since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its seminal decision in In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation, 552 F.3d 305, 309 (3d Cir. 2008), and the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinions in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and Comcast v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), there has been a deluge of case law addressing the level of scrutiny and analysis required when considering the certification of a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

Constables Demand Millions in Unpaid Server Fees

By Max Mitchell |

Judges and constables often rely on each other to facilitate court business, but their relationship might be starting to fray—with more than $5 million in unpaid server fees hanging in the balance.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff Wins Verdict After Sidewalk Fall

In August 2013, during daylight hours, plaintiff Lucia Polasik, in her 50s, was walking with her children at 2535 E. Westmoreland St., in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Polasik claimed that she tripped on a raised portion of the sidewalk and fell on her right hand, fracturing her fifth finger.

Philadelphia Pension Fund Worsening

By John L. Kennedy |

The fiscal state of the Philadelphia pension system has worsened despite recent efforts to improve the plan, according to the results of an audit performed by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale's office.

Inspector General Investigation Summaries Now Online

By John L. Kennedy |

The Wolf administration announced that the Office of Inspector General will begin publishing summaries of its investigations into government waste and fraud.

John Cordani

Conn. Court Upholds Warrantless Recording of Phone Calls

By Christian Nolan |

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a woman who swindled thousands of dollars from an elderly woman and later argued that her constitutional rights were violated when police recorded several of her telephone conversations with the elderly victim.

Governor Asks Court System to Cut Budget by $3M

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo |

The Connecticut Judicial Branch has been asked to reduce spending in the current fiscal year budget by $3.1 million, though court officials say they don't yet know what cuts they will be making. Gov. Dannel Malloy's office announced cuts across state government in an effort to avoid a projected budget shortfall.

People in the News - Sept. 29, 2015 - Manko Lawyer Speaks on Panel

Christopher D. Ball, a partner with Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, participated in a panel discussion on "The Future of Environmental Due Diligence and Risk Management."

Review of Recent Changes Relating to Handling of Client Funds

By Ellen C. Brotman and Christine E. Weller |

With September comes the new season, the new school year and an opportunity to look back as summer moves into fall. During this year, important changes were made to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement relating to the way attorneys handle client money, either in Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts or trusts. These rules were amended because the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania felt that, while the Office of Disciplinary Counsel could adequately investigate and litigate cases of embezzlement and theft, the board's ability to identify and prevent these crimes needed to be strengthened.

Seven Must-Dos to Ace Your Investigation for a Health Care Client

By Eric S. Westenberger and Edward M. Yennock |

You receive a call from the general counsel of your valued health-care client. He or she informs you that there have been allegations of misconduct within the organization. You are asked to conduct an investigation, perhaps in anticipation of civil litigation or a regulatory inquiry, or both. Your potential stumbling blocks are myriad. Here, we present must-dos applicable to virtually any investigation of a health care entity, large or small. Adhere to these seven principles, and be on your way to a successful and productive engagement.

Christiane Schuman Campbell

George A. Bibikos

Melanie S. Carter

Bryan G. Baumann

Amy Joseph Coles

Antoinette C. Oliver

Lesley M. Grossberg