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penn state

Trial Pushed Back a Month in $60M PSU Sanction Dispute

By Max Mitchell |

The trial over whether a $60 million sanction against Penn State University should go to the NCAA or into state coffers has been pushed back nearly a month.

Gina F. Rubel

Law Firm Diversity Action Plan: The Working Parent

By Gina F. Rubel |

Did you know that the United States is the only developed country not to offer paid maternity leave as part of a federal policy? I certainly didn't.

Vector illustration of an increasing graphic bar statistics.

Top Pa. Verdicts and Settlements Trending Higher

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania's largest verdicts and settlements from August 2013 to August 2014 were notably larger on average than the top verdicts in the prior year.

Shredded paper series - confidential

Counterclaims Against Whistleblower Can Proceed, Judge Says

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The target of a qui tam case can proceed with its counterclaims related to the use of confidential documents by the whistleblower, a federal judge has ruled

Federal Charges in Pittsburgh for Ugandan Counterfeiting Scheme

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Charges against an American citizen who has allegedly been making counterfeit money in Uganda have been filed in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia Energy Summit: We Have a Regional Energy Hub

By Michael L. Krancer, Margaret Anne Hill and Frank L. Tamulonis III |

The buzz has gone national about the Philadelphia region becoming the next energy and feedstock hub. On Dec. 5, a landmark event in the history of the Philadelphia region took place when Drexel University hosted the first top-level Energy Summit called "Greater Philadelphia: The Next Energy Hub." Top business, government and labor leaders, investors, and thought leaders from our area and all over the nation and the world were here to discuss the riches our region offers to become an energy and feedstock jobs juggernaut.

People in the News - Dec. 19, 2014 - Astor Weiss Celebrates 60 Years

Blank Rome partner Nicholas C. Harbist presented at the annual fraud conference of the Philadelphia area chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners on the topic, "Lyin', Cheatin', Stealin'?: The Perils of Dealing With Whistleblowers Under the False Claims Act."

Brian Tamanaha.

Enrollment in Law School Continues Historic Decline

By Karen Sloan |

Law school enrollment fell for the fourth straight year in 2014, according to figures released Tuesday by the American Bar Association.

Plaintiffs Attorneys Explain Legal Basis for Newtown Suit

By Jay Stapleton |

The decision to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that gunman Adam Lanza used to kill 26 children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School was made after a careful review of the legal issues by the plaintiffs' lawyers.

bankruptcy

Creditor's Claim for Attorney Fees Not Entitled to Secured Status

By Rudolph J. Di Massa Jr. and Jarret P. Hitchings |

The "American rule" is a well-defined legal principle applied by courts throughout the United States that holds each party to a dispute responsible for paying its own attorney fees. This principle is, however, subject to a number of exceptions that effectively allow a prevailing party to recover its own attorney fees from a losing party. For example, federal and state statutes increasingly authorize a prevailing party to recover costs from its adversary in certain types of actions. Likewise, contracting parties often incorporate "fee shifting" terms that provide for recovery of litigation costs by one party in the event of litigation on the contract. In other circumstances, a court exercising its own discretion may award a prevailing party its attorney fees as part of the judgment.

insurance policy

Exploring the Benefits of an Index Life Policy

By David Itkoff |

Getting your financial future in order is a complex task.

insurance policy

Bad-Faith Claims May Be Assigned to Third Party

By Max Mitchell |

Insureds should be able to assign bad-faith claims against their carriers to injured third parties, the state Supreme Court has ruled in a question posed to the justices by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Squire Patton Wants Ex-Client's ERISA, Fraud Claims Tossed

By Gina Passarella |

Squire Patton Boggs has said the bulk of the claims in a multimillion-dollar malpractice and fraud suit against the firm over its 17-year relationship with client Alliance Holdings should be dismissed because the firm was simply giving legal advice and was not in possession of any of the funds allegedly misappropriated by Alliance's founder.

Justice Ronald Castille

Castille Rebukes Judge as Killer's Death Sentence Is Reinstated

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After eluding execution on his fourth capital appeal, a convicted murderer has been put back on death row by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, prompting its chief justice to issue criticism of the Philadelphia judge who reversed the death sentence.

Wrestler's Lawyers Get More Fees, and Rebuke, From Federal Judge

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The lawyers who represented a junior-high girl when she challenged her school district for barring her from the boys' wrestling team have gotten an additional $30,000 in attorney fees and a reprimand from the judge.

stock exchange internet globe world

Are Volunteer Background Checks a Requirement for Nonprofits?

By Vivian Luckiewicz |

As most of you are aware, The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals (PAP) is a volunteer nonprofit organization. The officers, directors and committee chairs of PAP devote countless hours to the association each year because they strongly support its mission of promoting the paralegal profession and encouraging individual excellence in skills and abilities through networking and education. Like most nonprofit organizations, the association operates on a shoestring budget and would have to fold without the help of devoted volunteers.

picture of man hands signing contract

Issues Young Attorneys Should Consider When Drafting Contracts

By Matthew R. Lasek |

While it may take years to learn all the nuances and potential pitfalls involved in drafting a legal document, here are a few tips that may help new attorneys avoid an embarrassing conversation about their drafting:

People in the News - Dec. 18, 2014 - Jennings Joins Curtin & Heefner

Thomas J. Jennings joined Curtin & Heefner as a partner in the business and municipal finance and environmental and public sector departments.

A statue representing women's empowerment stands in front of a Planned Parenthood facility in Tucson, Ariz.

Injunction Against Medical Abortion Limits Left to Stand

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to step into the legal battle over Arizona's law regulating drug-induced abortions.

Is Rolling Stone's UVA Rape Story Actionable?

By Zoe Tillman |

As criticism of Rolling Stone mounts over the magazine's sensational story of sexual assault at the University of Virginia, a UVA associate dean, a student featured in the article and others associated with the controversy are lawyering up.

The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals Calendar of Events

Today, the technology committee meeting is scheduled from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. at Flaster Greenberg, Four Penn Center, 1600 JFK Blvd., second floor. Gregg Wolfe and Mindy Stasio from Kaplan Leaman & Wolfe Court Reporters & Litigation Support will be presenting on live depositions. Lunch and refreshments will be served. Contact the technology committee at technology@philaparalegals.com to confirm your attendance and to be included on the building security list.

Preparing Your Client for a Business Sale

By Terry Silver |

In your capacity as a corporate or transactional attorney, you have probably represented clients seeking your advice about the sale of their business. The first, and most important, question to ask: Is the business ready for sale? Business owners often decide to sell before they give thought about preparing for the sale.

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Sentenced Over Gift of Bracelet

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After pleading guilty to accepting a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet as a bribe, former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes has been sentenced to prison.

Five Steps to Make 2015 the Best Year Yet

By Kimberly Alford Rice |

The new year is about to ring in and Q1 will be well on its way. January is an optimum time to reflect on the previous year and plan for a strong 2015.

Justices Uphold $154M Award in Wal-Mart Class Action

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court will not overturn an approximately $154 million class-action damages award against Wal-Mart, under a per curiam decision issued Monday.

US passport and judges court gavel, from above

Federal Judge: Obama's Immigration Action Unconstitutional

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The executive action on immigration announced by President Obama following the midterm elections last month is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled Tuesday.

gavel

Cozen O'Connor Can Forgive Rep. Brady's Legal Fees

By Gina Passarella |

The legal expenses racked up in fighting a 2007 mayoral ballot challenge were not incurred to influence the outcome of an election, so forgiving that debt is not bound by campaign finance limits, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Phila. DA Charges Two More Officials in Revived Probe

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams announced charges against two state representatives from Philadelphia implicated in the corruption probe that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane had called "non-prosecutable."

Lancaster MDJ on Probation Allegedly Failed to File Tax Returns

By Max Mitchell |

The Judicial Conduct Board is seeking to revoke the probation of a Lancaster County magisterial district judge who was previously suspended for dismissing her own traffic tickets.

Facebook's campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA

The Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege

By Hayes Hunt and Michael P. Zabel |

The crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege: As an attorney, you may not anticipate it applying to your emails, your letters or your advice to your client. But even if you never see it coming, your client's intentions in obtaining legal advice may expose your communications to disclosure. A law firm is experiencing this problem firsthand in a series of high-profile cases involving Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and a former business partner. The cases present an interesting study in how the crime-fraud exception can operate.

People in the News - Dec. 17, 2014 - Renner Joins Post & Schell

William M. Krogh and Andrew M. Olen joined Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg as associates in the real estate and finance department.

Christopher Cotropia.

Study: Women Law Professors Cited More Frequently

By Karen Sloan |

For years, evidence that scholarly research produced by women is cited less frequently than that written by men has fed concern about bias and women's ability to advance within the academy.

Richard W. Story

Suit Over Courthouse Security Dispute Rejected Again

By Alyson M. Palmer |

A federal district court judge has once again rejected a lawsuit by an Atlanta lawyer who claims she was injured in a 2010 dispute with a sheriff's deputy at the Fulton County Courthouse's security screening area.

Executive Action a Small Step Toward Business Immigration Reforms

By Rohit Kapuria |

Polls agree that a majority of voters believe the U.S. immigration system is an increasingly broken set of rules that is failing American families, businesses and communities. Yet, it has been almost two decades since the last major reform to the country's immigration laws was enacted. There has also been little hope that Congress would ever pass a reformation bill anytime soon.

Law Firm Leaders Struggle With Setting Firmwide Rates

By Gina Passarella |

The collective weight of the season is upon law firm managing partners this month, with the season of course being that of collections, partner compensation and rate-setting. And the latter has proven a bit vexing for firm leaders this year as they grapple with setting rates in an era where firms span multiple markets and practice concentrations, clients aren't willing to pay the published rates and alternative fee deals are a growing part of firm revenue.

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Official Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The former director of records at the Philadelphia Traffic Court, William "Billy" Hird, has been sentenced to two years in prison for his part in the court's ticket-fixing scandal.

Federal Judge Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Follows Merger

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The attorney-client privilege covering communications made in anticipation of a business merger belong to the company that resulted from the merger, not the executives of the company that was swallowed, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled.

After Another Poor Performance, JCB Needs Serious Reform

By hank grezlak |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's civil war—and our immediate legal crisis—came to an end when former Justice Seamus McCaffery decided to retire, but the lingering questions about the competency of the Judicial Conduct Board remain.

Sam Stretton

Alternative Litigation Financing Is Becoming More Common

By Samuel C. Stretton |

My client wants to utilize an alternative litigation financing organization while his case is pending. Although I have recommended against it, the client insists. What ethical issues are involved?

verdicts and settlements

Employer, Lineman Settle Over Shoulder Injury

By Lizzy McLellan |

A lineman trainee who was injured on the job reached a settlement with his employer, Amtrak, just after trial began in a Federal Employers' Liability Act case.

Robert J. Burnett and Nathan A. Kostelnik

Good News for Landowners Means Bad News for Trespassers

By Robert J. Burnett and Nathan A. Kostelnik |

In a recent decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court gave diligent landowners powerful protection against unwanted subsurface activity.

Superior Court Waives Defective Complaint in Foreclosure Case

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has waived the appeal of a mortgage foreclosure action in which a bank's complaint was verified in possible violation of the rules of civil procedure.

Blaine A. Lucas

Established Ordinance Interpretation and Special Exception Standards

By Blaine A. Lucas and Alyssa E. Golfieri |

With the rise of unconventional shale development in many portions of Pennsylvania, there has been a corresponding increase in litigation stemming from local government actions approving and disapproving of a wide variety of oil and gas facilities.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Dec. 16, 2014 - Monyok Joins Meyer, Unkovic & Scott

Michael Monyok joined Pittsburgh-based Meyer, Unkovic & Scott.

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'Tincher' Should Simplify Products Liability Cases

By Clifford A. Rieders |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, with a commanding majority in Tincher v. Omega Flex, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 3031, split the proverbial products liability baby, and Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille may just be the new Solomon. Although Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote a concurring and dissenting opinion that Justice J. Michael Eakin joined, their protests were hardly a peep.

gavel

Pa. Justices to Revisit Long-Running Defamation Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a 12-year-old defamation case that has twice been remanded to trial court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to consider whether the latest Superior Court ruling granting a third trial complies with the First Amendment.

Public Pensions Behind Fiscal Crisis in State Government

By John L. Kennedy |

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf is almost certain to ask state lawmakers for the establishment of an extraction tax on Marcellus Shale drillers when he delivers his first budget address in February or March. He campaigned on it and has recently re-emphasized the need for it.

State Police Say Violent Crime Is Down 5.8 percent

By John L. Kennedy |

Crimes reported to the Pennsylvania State Police through the Uniform Crime Reporting system decreased 4.2 percent in 2013, with violent crimes declining 5.8 percent, according to a statement from the State Police.

Ex-Port Authority Chair Seeks to Block Ethics Probe

By Michael Booth |

David Samson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is asking a federal judge to block an investigation by the New Jersey State Ethics Commission into allegations that he used his position to benefit clients of his law firm, Wolff & Samson.

Kate Sweeny.

Study Gauges the Stress of Waiting for Bar Exam Results

By Karen Sloan |

Any lawyer can tell you that awaiting the results of the bar examination is stressful. Now there is a study to prove it.

People in the News - Dec. 17, 2014 - Stouffer Receives NFPA Award

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations Inc. selected Judy Stouffer as the recipient of the organization's 2014 William R. Robie Leadership Award.

Peter F. Vaira

When Defense Counsel Don't Defend: Notes From PACDL Meeting

By Peter F. Vaira |

The term white-collar criminal defense has become an oxymoron when describing outside counsel's representation of the corporation, and its officers in an investigation conducted by the government. There is seldom a serious defense effort; cooperation with the government has become the byword. These were the words of Robert Luskin, a nationally known criminal defense attorney, in an address to a meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Philadelphia last month. Luskin knows the role of defense counsel. He has represented presidential assistant Karl Rove, international champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, and a sitting federal judge, among others, in major investigations. He said he is troubled with what has become the role of defense counsel in internal corporate investigations.

Alan Nochumson

Additional Protections Under Amended Landlord and Tenant Act

By Alan Nochumson |

Last month, I discussed how a trial court judge in Allegheny County in Brown v. Premier Properties, 2014 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 64 (March 6, 2014), highlighted the obligations of a landlord under the common law and under the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 to allow a tenant to retrieve her personal belongings after the tenant loses possession of the leased premises by way of eviction proceedings. What I failed to mention last month is that, beginning Dec. 22, that portion of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 will treat abandoned personal property radically differently and will afford additional protections to a tenant when his or her landlord fails to adhere to these statutory mandates regarding the tenant's personal belongings.

Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Action for Week of Dec. 8

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive, legislative and judiciary action for the week of Dec. 8. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to Harrisburg for swearing in on Jan. 6, 2015.

Benefits Denied in Noose and 'N-Word' Case

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has found that expert reports were insufficient to warrant an award of workers' compensation benefits for the only black female worker at a Carlisle, Pa., foundry, despite reports of one co-worker using "the N-word," another making disparaging comments about women and a noose being hung in an office.

Union Violated Law by Discouraging Volunteer Firefighters

By Lizzy McLellan |

A firefighters' union was in violation of labor law provisions when it told volunteer firefighters to refrain from responding to fires in the Chambersburg Borough, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

pa map

Collateral Order Appeals on the Rise in Pennsylvania

By Lizzy McLellan |

Five years after the U.S. Supreme Court took a marked step away from narrowing the window for collateral order appeals, Pennsylvania has continued to clear a path for addressing the orders, appellate lawyers have noticed.

verdicts and settlements

Accord Reached In Apartment Fire Class Action

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The parties in a class action composed of tenants whose possessions were destroyed during an apartment building fire and subsequent demolition have reached a $4.75 million settlement, attorneys in the case have said, pending approval from the court.

Data Security

How are law firms dealing with the issue of data security? Explore the technology of staying cyber-safe in this collection of articles.

Upon Leaving AJ Post, Herron Discloses Calls From McCaffery

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge John W. Herron, the outgoing administrative judge widely known for revamping the court's mass tort system, said former state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery interfered with the operations of the court and even lobbied to have Herron fired.

pa map

Pa.'s Reciprocity Rule for Attorneys Is Constitutional

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's rule waiving the requirement that out-of-state lawyers take the bar exam in order to join the state's bar only for those who come from a state that allows the same admission to Pennsylvania lawyers is constitutional, although not necessarily prudent, a federal judge has ruled.

Family Doc Can't Testify to Need for Specialized Surgery

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia judge has ruled a plaintiff's primary care physician cannot be qualified to testify as an expert on laser spine surgery.

$50M Comcast Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The $50 million agreement proposed in October to settle a decade-old case brought by Comcast subscribers who alleged the company had monopolized the local cable market has gotten preliminary approval from the federal judge handling the case.

Former Pa. Attorney Resigns Over Stalking, Child Porn Convictions

By Max Mitchell |

A former Blue Bell, Pa., attorney, suspended since 2009 over criminal convictions stemming from incidents involving stalking and child pornography, has resigned from practicing law.

Three Tips for Senior Lawyers on Resumes, Tech and Networking

By Frank Michael D'Amore |

In some societies, more senior members are celebrated, if not revered, due to their age. Respect comes automatically, especially since wisdom, among other things, is rightfully ascribed to those who have spent longer periods on the earth. This had been the case in the legal profession, also. More seasoned lawyers were treated as senior statesmen, were sought out as mentors, and were well taken care of as their careers wound down.

Time Clock

Decision Shows Differences Between Federal, Pa. Wage Laws

By Frank P. Trapani and Peter J. Kreher |

In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, --- U.S. --- (Dec. 9, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court held that federal law does not require employers to compensate employees for time they spend waiting to undergo and undergoing antitheft security screenings in the workplace. This article describes the court's analysis and explains why the result likely would be different under Pennsylvania law.

People in the News - Dec. 15, 2014 - Rocco Named VIP Volunteer of the Month

James A. Rocco III, a civil litigation attorney and the founding member of Rocco Law Offices, was named December's Philadelphia VIP Volunteer of the Month.

Aetna Sanctioned for Outside Attorney 'Eyes-Only' Discovery

By Sheri Qualters |

A Colorado federal judge has sanctioned Aetna Inc. and two of its subsidiaries in a patent case because defense lawyers designated more than 90 percent of documents they produced as viewable only by the plaintiffs' outside lawyers.

Philip J. Hirschkop of Hirschkop & Associates in his office.

'Loving' Litigator Says He's 'Not Done Yet'

By Marcia Coyle |

In 1986, a newspaper profile called him "Hirschkop the Horrible" in testimony to his zealousness as a civil rights litigator. Nearly three decades later, time has not softened the zeal that animates Philip Hirschkop, who argued and won a landmark ruling at the root of today's same-sex marriage litigation.

Is Telecommuting a Trend in Reverse? on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

Over 3 million people telecommute for their jobs. But some big corporations, such as Yahoo and Best Buy, are bucking the trend. Is telecommuting a trend in reverse? Or has the train already left the station?

stock exchange internet globe world

Google Spars With Internet Users Over Privacy Before Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Cookies—the digital crumbs that mark the trail Internet users make as they wander through the Web—are either a benign method for furnishing Internet users with relevant advertising or they are the foundation of a pernicious invasion of privacy, lawyers argued in front of the Third Circuit on Thursday.

NCAA Fights for Broad Protection Order in Paterno Suit

By Max Mitchell |

The NCAA is citing its ongoing spat with state officials in a separate case as evidence that a protection order in Paterno v. NCAA should limit pretrial disclosure.

Wrongful-Death Suit Against SugarHouse Casino Clears Hurdle

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The son of a man who collapsed at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and died shortly thereafter can proceed with his wrongful-death suit but the judge in the case dismissed most of the plaintiff's negligence claims.

Unlikely Path to Big Law for Blind Melon Guitarist

By Ben Seal |

It's a Friday afternoon in November and Rogers Stevens is in the wrong city. A few hours ago he was in Ballard Spahr's Philadelphia office on Market Street and all was well, but now he's in a car at the airport, rushing to change out of his suit because he's got a plane to catch and a show to play and that show is in Calgary. He's not even in the right country.

Labor and Employment Directory

2014 Labor & Employment Directory

The annual Labor and Employment Supplement features attorneys from throughout Pennsylvania who specialize in this practice area.

Revisions on Regulated Medical and Chemotherapeutic Waste

By Kenneth J. Warren |

Management of medical waste captures public attention only intermittently. Media headlines abound when syringes or other medical wastes wash up on beaches, or when infectious diseases such as Ebola necessitate use of highly protective procedures to handle patient waste. In contrast, the daily generation, transportation, processing and disposal of medical waste raises scant public concern, perhaps due to the success to date of regulatory programs and industry efforts to avoid adverse public health impacts.

People in the News - Dec. 12, 2014 - Castille Awarded PBA Bar Medal

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille was awarded the Bar Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Voir Dire Lie by Juror No Basis to Challenge Verdict

By Marcia Coyle |

Evidence that a juror lied during questioning by lawyers before trial cannot be used to support a motion for a new trial, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In this Nov. 13, 2002 photo, an Amazon employee packages an order to be shipped from its Coffeyville, Kan., warehouse.

Court Backs Amazon on No Overtime for Security Screenings

By Tony Mauro |

Companies that require employees to go through security screenings at the end of their workday are not required to pay overtime, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

gavel

A Look at Past, Present and Future of Pelvic Mesh Litigation

By Shayna T. Slater |

The transvaginal mesh litigation has been ongoing for several years now but the end may be in sight (or at least visible with a telescope).

Third Circuit Decision Discusses Race in School District

By David J. Berney and Kevin A. Golembiewski |

Over the years, Lower Merion has ranked as one of the best school districts in Pennsylvania. Yet, at the same time, African-American parents and students have repeatedly asserted that the Lower Merion School District discriminates against its African-American students. Are the educational experiences of white and black students so different that it gives rise to a Dickens-like tale of two schools? That controversy recently came to the fore in Blunt v. Lower Merion School District.

Women Still Less Than One-Third Of Lawyers at Pa.'s Largest Firms

By Gina Passarella |

In the last 10 years, there has been no movement in the percentage of women lawyers practicing in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's 100 largest law firms.

gavel

Court Reopens Door to Class Action in Flash Drive Case

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has vacated a judge's decision not to grant class certification on claims under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to people whose information was stored on an insurance carrier's unencrypted flash drive that was lost in 2010.

$4.75M Accord Reached in Apartment Fire Class Action

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The parties in a class action composed of tenants whose possessions were destroyed during an apartment building fire and subsequent demolition have reached a $4.75 million settlement, attorneys in the case have said, pending approval from the court.

Phila. Judge Lerner Receives Bar's Brennan Award

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner of the court's Criminal Division is the newest recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award.

People in the News - Dec. 11, 2014 - PADC to Hold Luncheon CLE

Mitchell Kizner, a shareholder in the environmental law department and general counsel of Flaster Greenberg, is set to participate as a moderator and panelist at a New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminar today.

Christian Petrucci

Court Takes a Step Back on Proving Abnormal Working Conditions

By Christian Petrucci |

A little over a year ago, the state Supreme Court case of Payes v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Police), 79 A.3d 543 (Pa. 2013), finally eased the burden, even if ever so slightly, on the injured worker attempting to prove a "mental-mental" claim for a psychiatric work injury and disability. It was hoped by the claimants' bar that the case signaled a reverse in the longstanding trend of the courts finding new and inventive ways to deny mental-mental claims. The Supreme Court essentially found that the lower tribunals had overreached in many instances.

Michael J. Joyce

Be Thankful for the Good Things, Young Attorneys

By Michael J. Joyce |

The holiday season can be hectic for any person, but especially for young lawyers undertaking their year-end push to make their numbers, close deals for eager clients closing their annual books and clear litigation to ensure a fresh start for the following fiscal year. With the constant blare of drummers drumming, the distracting crackling of chestnuts roasting, and the consistent toiling over the next suitable location for a certain elf who often finds himself on shelves, the holiday season can throw serious curveballs into the already difficult work-life balance for young lawyers. November and December of each year often offer the perfect storm of increasing commitments at home with family and friends, and increased activity at the office. Being pulled in so many directions can leave young attorneys exhausted and jaded, and completely oblivious to the potential joys of the holidays.

<b>SPEECH:</b> The high court said Edward Lane’s sworn testimony was constitutionally protected.

Post-Justices' Ruling, Retaliation Suit Heading to Trial

By Marcia Coyle |

In the U.S. Supreme Court, sometimes you win the battle only to lose the war, and sometimes you survive to fight another day. Edward Lane has experienced it all.

Kevin Johnson.

Calif. Campuses to Help Students Who Are Undocumented

By Karen Sloan |

Undocumented students at six of the University of California's 10 campuses will soon have access to free legal help under a new program spearheaded by the University of California, Davis School of Law.

Former State Sen. Orie Disbarred

By Lizzy McLellan |

Jane C. Orie, former state senator and sister of former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, has been disbarred on consent in Pennsylvania.

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

The Accomplishments of New Phila. Family Court Building

By Judy Stouffer |

While it's now old news that Philadelphia has a new Family Court building, what I haven't seen reported as much is the good news about this remarkable accomplishment in our great city.

New Bar Chancellor Dandridge To Focus on Community Service

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Incoming Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Albert S. Dandridge III said getting lawyers more involved with helping the poor and veterans, as well as promoting diversity, will be top priorities during his tenure.

Court Holds All Police Checkpoints to Same Standard

By Gina Passarella |

A divided Pennsylvania Superior Court has declined to find different standards for determining the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints versus other types of police checkpoints, in this case, one for monitoring seat-belt law compliance.

 Philadelphia

Phila.'s Longtime Chief Public Defender Retiring

By Max Mitchell |

Ellen Greenlee, who has been the chief defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia for the past 25 years, has announced she will be stepping down this spring.

Porn Records Statutes Challenged in Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Modern sexual habits—such as sexting, for example—may cause a constitutional problem for broad federal statutes aimed at stopping child pornography, but the group of professional pornography producers who are challenging the laws might not be the right plaintiffs to prove that problem.

penn state

Consent Decree Still at Issue in $60M PSU Sanction Case

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that the validity of the consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State that included a $60 million sanction against the university will remain on the table in the dispute over where the money will eventually end up.

Requiring Employee Confidentiality in Internal Investigations

By Nina Markey |

Employers conducting internal investigations often seek to keep the information they obtain confidential for a variety of reasons. Employers may be concerned that they will lose control of the process, witness credibility may be affected by employee disclosures, witness intimidation may occur, someone may improperly use confidential information discovered during the investigation, or someone will report conduct externally before the employer can collect all of the relevant evidence and information. Employees may also fear retaliation when they participate in an investigation, and the promise of confidentiality encourages employees to come forward. Indeed, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforcement guidance instructs employers to protect the confidentiality of harassment allegations to the extent possible.

People in the News - Dec. 10, 2014 - ALJ Klinkner Receives PBA Award

Volpe and Koenig associate Aneesh A. Mehta was honored at the fifth annual Rutgers School of Law Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration.

Controversy Winds Down as Penn State's Legal Fees Rack Up

By Nell Gluckman |

As the University of Virginia grapples with criticism over its handling of sexual assault and abuse on campus, another public university is in the process of putting its own controversy behind it.