Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

Retiring or Moving on Isn't Always Easy Under the Rules

By Daniel J. Siegel |

Do you want to retire and sell your firm? Do you want to slow down and let another attorney take over all the headaches associated with running your firm? Are you a partner in a megafirm who has decided that it's time to spend more time with the grandkids?

State Agencies Grapple With E-Discovery Process

By Max Mitchell |

When the state Supreme Court ordered the attorney general to produce discoverable documents in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission corruption cases earlier this month, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille said that office still needs to review approximately 30 million subpoenaed electronic documents for privilege purposes before turning them over to the defendants.

Health Insurer's 'Quality of Care' Review Discoverable

By Max Mitchell |

A quality-of-care review conducted by a plaintiff's health insurance carrier to evaluate an orthopedic surgeon in a medical malpractice action will not be barred from discovery under the Peer Review Protection Act, a trial court judge has ruled.


Withheld Emails Lead to Dismissal of Case Against PNC Bank

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Years of discovery delays and dodges have led to the dismissal of a case against PNC Bank as a sanction.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Aug. 19, 2014 - Family Law Section Appointment

Lawrence (Skip) Persick of Lamb McErlane was elected to the council of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's (PBA) family law section and to the section's rules committee.

Recoupment of Benefits Doesn't Imply Financial Hardship

By Max Mitchell |

The city of Pittsburgh's failure to show that reducing a fire captain's workers' compensation benefits would not cause financial hardship does not mean the city cannot reduce the benefits to recoup prior payments, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Samuel Stretton

A Lawyer’s Firm Can Sometimes Represent an Opposing Party of a Potential Client

By Samuel C. Stretton |

A client came to my office on a domestic case and we met for an hour. The client then chose to hire someone else. Can my firm represent the spouse of that client?

Attorney to Lose Driver's License Despite Breath-Test Consent

By Max Mitchell |

An attorney who declined to undergo a chemical test following his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence will still lose his driver's license for a year, even though he offered to alternatively take breathalyzer and urinalysis tests, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Larry E. Coben

Pennsylvania's Approach to Joint and Several Liability

By Larry E. Coben |

In an article published in the Law Weekly on July 21 titled "Deep Pockets Gone With Joint and Several Liability Repeal," Max Mitchell reviewed changes made in 2011 to the comparative negligence statute, 42 Pa. C. S. Section 7102 (2011), and interviewed several practicing attorneys who provided their views that these amendments may have dire consequences for economic recovery by consumer victims against multiple tortfeasors.

House Measure Would Get Rid of Common Core Standards

By John L. Kennedy |

State Rep. Gordon Denlinger, R-Lancaster, introduced HB 2439, which would roll back Pennsylvania's version of Common Core educational standards adopted by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission last November.

Bill Would Give DAs Power to Eye Contractor Wage Practices

By John L. Kennedy |

Legislation introduced in the state Senate would give the state's district attorneys the authority to investigate construction employers' wage-and-hour practices, specifically complaints that some are misclassifying workers in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 11, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 11. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Robert J. Burnett and Nathan A. Kostelnik

Pipeline Operators: Public Utility or Pipeline Futility?

By Robert J. Burnett and Nathan A. Kostelnik |

The meteoric development of the Marcellus Shale is staggering. Since 2004, nearly 7,800 unconventional gas wells have been drilled throughout Pennsylvania. One of the stark realities of this unprecedented growth is that pipeline capacity has not kept pace. There are more active wells than active pipelines.

verdicts and settlements

Man Claimed Brain Injury After Armored-Truck Collision

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Frank Jazlovietcki, he was driving northbound along Brookwood Drive near the intersection with Street Road in Bensalem on April 21, 2012, when the passenger-side door was struck by a vehicle owned by defendant Garda CL Atlantic Inc. and operated by defendant Kevin Moss. Moss was traveling west along Street Road. The memo said Moss entered under a red light, and that the Garda vehicle weighed approximately seven tons.

verdicts and settlements

Parties Settle After Inmate Gets Pepper-Sprayed

According to the plaintiff's amended complaint, on Jan. 7, 2011, plaintiff Ernest Soreth, 57, turned himself in at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, at the direction of his parole officer. After sitting in his cell for about 13 minutes, he felt severe chest pain and fell to the floor, the complaint said

Ana C. Montalban and Jillian C. Bunyan

Incentives and Legal Risks for Green Building in Pennsylvania

By Ana C. Montalban and Jillian C. Bunyan |

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposal to reduce greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions by regulating, on a state-by-state basis, how and where electricity is generated. Under its Clean Power Plan, the EPA has proposed new emissions standards and guidelines for states to accomplish targeted reductions in GHG emissions.

Limited-Tort Filings Down in Pennsylvania, Attorneys Say

By Max Mitchell |

The tough economic decisions associated with taking limited-tort cases have led to a drop in the number of limited-tort filings, attorneys from around the state have told the Law Weekly.

Parties Argue Over Post-Accident Rollover Evidence

By Max Mitchell |

Plaintiffs in a rollover case should have been able to introduce evidence contesting a theory of injury that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration disavowed in 2009, the plaintiffs' attorney argued before an en banc Superior Court panel in Philadelphia last week.


Limited-Tort Filings Down in Pennsylvania, Attorneys Say

By Max Mitchell |

The tough economic decisions associated with taking limited-tort cases have led to a drop in the number of limited-tort filings, attorneys from around the state have told the Law Weekly.

Employer Not Liable for Assault on Restrained Scofflaw

By Max Mitchell |

A cab company will not be liable for a driver punching and kicking a passenger who was being restrained after trying to skip out on paying the fare, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Defense Bar Leaders to Focus on Involving Young Lawyers

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Two recently installed presidents of defense bar organizations—the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel—said they will devote their terms to mentoring and recruiting younger members to their ranks.

Sam Stretton

Attorneys Shouldn't Speak to Witnesses 
During Cross-Examination.

By Samuel C. Stretton |

If a party is on the witness stand, can the attorney who presents the witness speak to the witness when he or she begins cross-examination?

Foreign Judgments Invalid Until Parties Invoke Recognition Act

By Max Mitchell |

Following federal case law interpreting two statutes on the enforcement of foreign and out-of-state judgments, the state Superior Court has ruled that a foreign judgment cannot be valid without first being recognized by state courts.

Craig Robinson

Learning the Art of Concession

By Craig Robinson |

In the mostly uncertain world of personal injury law, one thing is for sure: There is no such thing as having seen it all. The seemingly straightforward rear-end motor vehicle accident will inevitably lead us on twists and turns we never expected. Our clients and other witnesses will never testify as expected. We will often be caught off-guard by the unknown crimen falsi conviction, the undisclosed prior injury or the neutral witness who contradicts our client's testimony.

People in the News - Pa. Law Weekly - Aug. 12, 2014 - President's Advisory Council Appointment Made at College

Thomas J. Jennings, a partner in Hill Wallack's Yardley, Pa., office, was appointed to the President's Advisory Council at Delaware Valley College, an independent, interdisciplinary college in Doylestown, Pa.

Jay Evans

Despite New Ruling, New Rule, Discovery of Expert Communication Remains Unclear

By Jay Evans |

We are essentially sitting in the waiting room regarding some important issues pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Anyone who reads my material with any regularity knows, for example, that I (and more than a few products liability colleagues) await a ruling on the application of the Restatement (Third) of Torts. And that's just one example of the issues on which we eagerly await resolution.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Executive and Legislative Action for Week of Aug. 4, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Aug. 4. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

State Police to Fight U.S. Justice Department Sex Bias Suit

By John L. Kennedy |

A recent federal court ruling that the FBI engaged in gender discrimination in its physical fitness requirements should help the Pennsylvania State Police defend its standards against a July 31 complaint by the Department of Justice, legal experts said.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Funding Vote for Philadelphia School District Called Off

By John L. Kennedy |

State House of Representatives leadership decided not to call members back to Harrisburg for a scheduled Aug. 4 session day to vote on legislation allowing Philadelphia to impose a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes to raise money for the school district.

verdicts and settlements

Woman's Collision With Verizon Truck Leads to Accord

A woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury after being rear-ended by a Verizon bucket truck driver—who was on a cellphone while driving—settled her suit against the company for $3 million.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Defense in Case Over Eye Injury

On April 30, 2012, plaintiff Patricia Frantz, an event specialist in her 70s, underwent a cataract phacoemulsification with insertion of an intraocular lens to her right eye, which was performed by ophthalmologist Dr. Ramakumar Gounder at The Waterfront Surgery Center in Homestead, Pa.