As the world now eyes the newest case of Ebola in the United States with a New York doctor contracting the illness, Reed Smith has been advising a range of clients on a host of legal questions stemming from Ebola.
As the world now eyes the newest case of Ebola in the United States with a New York doctor contracting the illness, Reed Smith has been advising a range of clients on a host of legal questions stemming from Ebola.
It is hardly news that electronic communications—emails, text messages, instant messages and the like—have overtaken traditional writings as the prevalent means of conveying information. But while these messages move at the speed of light, courts have been somewhat slower in adapting the rules of evidence governing old-fashioned documents to these newer forms of communication. One issue that has given many courts pause is the applicability to text messages of the so-called best-evidence rule.
Retired Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes turned herself in Thursday on corruption charges stemming from a bribery investigation that Attorney General Kathleen Kane had previously said was dead.
Whether Dodd-Frank's ban on agreements to arbitrate whistleblower actions can be applied retroactively was before the Third Circuit on Thursday.
The remains of Olympic athlete and football legend Jim Thorpe should stay in the Pennsylvania town that bears his name, the Third Circuit has ruled, holding it would be an "absurd result" to uphold a district court judge's determination to move them to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma.
A partial title search was not enough for an energy company to meet its due diligence burden to overcome a bad-faith trespass claim, the state Superior Court has ruled.
When it comes to proffering into evidence material taken from websites, the authentication requirement is often the least understood and most overlooked hurdle to admissibility. Ultimately, electronic evidence is subject to the same rules of evidence as paper documents, but although a party seeking to admit an exhibit "need only make a prima facie showing that [the exhibit] is what he or she claims it to be," practitioners often fail to meet "even this minimal showing" when attempting to introduce electronically stored information (ESI), as in Lorraine v. Markel American Insurance, 241 F.R.D. 534, 542 (D. Md. 2007).
Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads partner Timothy J. Bergere, chair of the firm's environmental and energy transaction practice, was selected as the chair of the environmental committee of the United States Law Firm Group.
Skyrocketing spending on television advertising in state supreme court elections has rendered justices less likely to vote in favor of criminal defendants, a new study found.
Forget to be or not to be. For lawyers defending companies under scrutiny by federal agencies, the real question is whether to self-report wrongdoing.
The advent of social media changed the world as we knew it. The number of social media sites and engaged users continues to grow exponentially. Hundreds of social media sites now exist that cover a wide variety of uses, from general social media (Facebook), to microblogs (Twitter), to photo or video sharing (Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube), to special interest (TripAdvisor, LinkedIn) and social news sites (Reddit). And, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, approximately 74 percent of adult Internet users use social media sites. Facebook alone has over 1 billion registered users.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is not often in the business of confirming or denying the existence of, let alone commenting on, pending or closed investigations. But the office issued a public statement Tuesday to say no criminal charges would be filed against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery or his wife, Lise Rapaport, in relation to an investigation into Rapaport's acceptance of referral fees.
A private hospital and a public university could face millions of dollars in damages since a nursing student won summary judgment on her civil rights claim after she was tossed out of her graduate program for refusing to take a drug test.
The state Superior Court has reversed a $210,000 award a Philadelphia trial judge ordered attorney Donald E. Haviland Jr. to pay his former firm, Kline & Specter, over failure to pay referral fees from cases he took with him when he left the firm in 2006.
Prompted by a misread lab report that led to the end of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office's prosecution of a rape case against a county Republican Party leader, the district attorney has announced the addition of new checks and balances to her office.
After broaching the issue in a nonprecedential opinion released last summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit suggested during arguments Tuesday morning that it might soon answer definitively whether the catalyst theory for recovering attorney fees applies in ERISA cases.
On Feb. 15, the National Football League found itself in a familiar position. Not only was it the lead story on every sports and news station, it was due to another NFL player in trouble with the law. This time it was the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice, who was arrested for assaulting his now-wife, Janay Rice. A few days later, a video was released showing Ray Rice dragging Janay Rice's unconscious body off of an elevator. With no video of what happened inside the elevator, the country was left to speculate, and the NFL was left with a huge problem. How would Commissioner Roger Goodell discipline Ray Rice with the country watching closely?
Steven J. Engelmyer, a partner in Kleinbard Bell & Brecker, was appointed to serve on the board of directors of the Arden Theatre Co.
Whether it's a coincidence or a product of an overheated political environment, the U.S. Supreme Court has been a magnet for a remarkable string of highly charged emergency requests during the past two weeks.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney on Monday was hit with a multimillion-dollar malpractice suit by the U.S. Virgin Islands, which alleged the law firm gave wrong advice about whether a bond issue would be tax-exempt.
In Pennsylvania, children can be charged as adults as young as age 10, and Pennsylvania imprisons more children for the rest of their lives without the possibility of parole than any other state in the country, which imprisons more children than any other country in the world. A new Philadelphia-based organization—the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)—was created to support these children prosecuted in the adult criminal system and the lawyers who represent them by providing technical assistance for defense attorneys at sentencing and by supporting youth and their loved ones through the time the young people are released from prison.
As we approach the final months of 2014, individuals begin to evaluate income earned for the year and deductions incurred. This is being done with the goal of minimizing their tax liability. Many individuals will concentrate on the amount of income they earned through their investments, which inevitably leads to a review of their capital gains and losses.
While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expects the state's Judicial Conduct Board to investigate and determine whether to charge Justice Seamus P. McCaffery within 30 days, lawyers said meeting the deadline might be an unrealistic goal for the modestly-staffed disciplinary body.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial assistant, Lise Rapaport, have dropped their defamation lawsuit against The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News over articles about referral fees Rapaport was paid, the parties confirmed.
Where the burden falls for investigating the fitness of arbitrators could determine the outcome of a multimillion-dollar suit against investment bank Goldman Sachs.
In the wake of a Third Circuit ruling as to whether the court or the arbitrator determines if a case is suitable for class arbitration, two district judges in the Middle District of Pennsylvania split on how to apply the ruling to separate putative class cases involving the same energy company.
To Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane: We strongly recommend that you act like the attorney general. Please stop this silly game you have been playing with the emails between state employees and members of the judiciary. You are the chief law enforcement officer of Pennsylvania and, by means of the common-law doctrine of parens patriae, you are guardian of the vital interests of the citizens of the commonwealth.
Companies in every industry—private and public—struggle with the difficult task of promptly identifying employee wrongdoing and responding appropriately. The National Football League continues to be embroiled in a controversy arising from its reaction to the off-the-field conduct of its players. Penn State University continues to make attempts to repair its reputation after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Lloyds Banking Group recently dismissed eight employees and sought to recoup millions in bonuses after it was revealed that they, along with employees of at least two other British banks, had attempted to manipulate benchmark interest rates from 2006 to 2009. Even government organizations struggle with this issue: Last month, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. resigned amid an investigation by the FBI that has lasted more than a year.
Jonathan H. Spergel became managing partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
A rare Saturday morning order from the U.S. Supreme Court allowing a strict voter ID law to take effect in Texas "risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters," three justices warned in dissent.
As public health authorities moved to calm fears about the risk from Ebola, lawyers last week urged health care and other clients to take precautions against spreading the potentially fatal disease—and to mitigate attendant lawsuits.
We applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for taking swift, but measured, action with regard to Justice Seamus P. McCaffery—suspension with pay, and a direction to the Judicial Conduct Board to accelerate its investigation. We are sympathetic to the due process concerns raised by Justice Debra Todd in her dissent to the Supreme Court's action, but we are of the view that the due process rights of an individual justice must be balanced against, and ultimately give way to, the greater interests of the public in a judiciary that is free from taint, and the interest of the institution of the Supreme Court, which must now work diligently to restore its reputation for integrity and professionalism. That reputation—the most valuable capital of any high court—is in serious need of repair.
Diversity was a big topic at this year's Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar Annual Conference in Atlantic City, N.J. As the chair of the law practice management committee, I had the privilege to host "Creating and Maintaining a Diverse and Inclusive Law Practice for All."
The Litigation Departments of the Year Awards were given out at a recent dinner hosted by The Legal Intelligencer at the Franklin Institute. View the slideshow to see highlights from the evening.
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.
More than 20 cases brought against health insurance company Aetna have been centralized in federal court in Philadelphia.
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.
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.
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.
After the Bruno decision, where does professional judicial discipline stand in Pennsylvania?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Molly Campbell, a Reed Smith associate in Philadelphia, was named chair of the Young Professionals Council of Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gary Ruckelshaus joined Blank Rome as a partner in the litigation department.
The U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday halted enforcement of several parts of a federal appeals court ruling that shuttered abortion clinics throughout Texas.
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.
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 Sen. Robert J. Mellow, who is a defendant in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission corruption case, has been nolle prossed.
Dilworth Paxson has added Thomas S. Wyatt as a partner in the firm’s corporate and business department.
The following press release was issued by Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille on Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts letterhead on Oct. 15, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The American Bar Association has announced Oct. 19 through Oct. 25 as the National Pro Bono Celebration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.