Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

Sam Stretton

Lawyers Can Practice Temporarily in Other Jurisdictions

By Samuel C. Stretton |

Can I represent clients from other states?

Supreme Court Adopts New Rules for MDJ Conduct

By Max Mitchell |

New rules that the state Supreme Court adopted governing the conduct of magisterial district judges should bring greater clarity regarding their conduct on and off the bench, and will bring the regulations more in line with the newly enacted Code of Judicial Conduct.

Pa.'s Maturing Energy Industry Leads to New Legal Work

By Max Mitchell |

As the energy industry in Pennsylvania has begun to mature, so has the legal industry supporting it, with more of the activity now centered on "midstream" work and litigation.

Riparian Buffers Would Be Optional Under Legislation

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives approved a measure that would make optional riparian buffers and riparian forest buffers, which can minimize pollution from erosion.

Bill Would Provide Standing in Gun-Ordinance Challenges

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives amended legislation that would give any individual or group standing to challenge local gun-control ordinances.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 22, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 22. Members of the General Assembly were scheduled to return to session Sept. 29.

Mixed-Use Developers Need Not Spell Out Exact Plans for Project

By Gina Passarella |

A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week that a local municipality could tentatively approve a mixed-use development—known as planned residential developments—without requiring immediate disclosure of the exact nature of the buildings planned for the project.


Justices Decline Case on Liability Exception to Skylight Fall

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments over whether a roofer's suit against a building owner stemming from a fall through a rare, antique skylight should be allowed to proceed under exceptions to the premises liability law.

En Banc Superior Court Panel Extends Will Termination

By Max Mitchell |

References to a newly born grandchild that a decedent made in his 1930 will indicated that the proceeds from his trust must be distributed sometime in the future, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Sept. 30, 2014 - Malcolm L. MacGregor Elected PAJ President

Malcolm L. MacGregor, a trial attorney and founding partner of McDonald & MacGregor in Scranton, Pa., was elected the 46th president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.

Samuel H. Pond and Andrew F. Ruder

The Great Tradeoff in Workers' Compensation Benefits

By Samuel H. Pond and Andrew F. Ruder |

When Maryland introduced America's first workers' compensation statute in 1902, the rights of injured workers were on the verge of changing forever.

Jonathan W. Hugg

Independent Expenditures and Election Influence

By Jonathan W. Hugg |

It's election time, and our business clients should view this as an opportunity. Nowadays, any mundane business issue—from land development and taxation to product packaging and worker benefits—can mean dealing with local government, which usually means coping with predatory local politics.


Parameters of Showing Bias of Expert Witnesses

By Daniel E. Cummins |

A recent trend in personal injury matters has involved each litigant turning up the heat in their attempt to gather information to discredit the opposing party's medical expert and expose that witness as biased in favor of the offering party.

verdicts and settlements

Man Allegedly Injured in Cop Car Settles with City

At about midnight on June 23, 2011, plaintiff James McKenna was at a bar in Philadelphia with his girlfriend, the plaintiff's pretrial memorandum said. McKenna attempted to purchase a drink for an acquaintance who was at the bar with defendant Jesse O'Shea, a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department, the memo said. O'Shea told McKenna that "neither his company nor his offer to buy a drink was wanted," the memo said. O'Shea then identified himself as a police officer and demanded McKenna leave the bar.

verdicts and settlements

Judge Awards Shareholders in Suit Over Company Sale

A Philadelphia judge has ruled in a shareholder suit that an advertising company's corporate officers were liable for accepting for themselves $12 million in proceeds from the company's sale, rather than distributing it.

Time Clock

Wage-and-Hour Claims on the Rise in Pennsylvania

By Max Mitchell |

Employment wage-and-hour and FLSA litigation have been booming on all three coasts of the United States, and Pennsylvania has not been immune to the uptick.

High Court Adopts Training Standards for Juvenile Masters

By Max Mitchell |

New rules ramping up the training and education requirements of masters in juvenile courts should help to bring some much-needed uniformity to the juvenile justice system, members of the legal community told the Law Weekly.

Mall Had Duty to Invitee for Carjacking Injuries

By Max Mitchell |

Evidence that a dangerous crime occurred anywhere in the Steamtown Mall parking garage provided a sufficient basis to dismiss the mall's argument that it had no duty to ensure the safety of a business invitee who was injured during an alleged carjacking attempt, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Justices to Mull Nonprofits' Bylaws, Use of Public Funds

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on whether an endorsement of a union president candidate by the nonprofit corporation that administers benefits for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police was an improper use of public money and violated the group's articles of incorporation and bylaws.

Workers' Comp Coverage Denied for Holistic Massage Treatment

By Gina Passarella |

An injured worker cannot be compensated for the holistic Ayurvedic medical treatment she underwent in India because it was not done through the referral or under the supervision of a licensed Pennsylvania health care practitioner, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Sept. 23, 2014 - Mary H. Binker Joins Babst Calland

Mary H. Binker joined Babst Calland as an associate in the firm's business services and energy and natural resources groups.

Sam Stretton

Judges Should Avoid Reimbursement 
for Bar Association Activities

By Samuel C. Stretton |

Can a county bar association pay the membership fees for the judges of its court of common pleas and magistrate judges who are also attorneys and also pay their costs for the various bar association social functions?

Kenneth Racowski

Split of Authority on Strict Liability and Implied Warranty Claims Resolved

By Kenneth L. Racowski |

Two federal district court decisions issued this summer have brought clarity to the question of whether Pennsylvania law bars strict liability and implied warranty claims against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.


Making the Clery Act a More Effective Crime-Reporting Tool

By Scott A. Coffina |

Safety on college campuses, particularly how schools prevent and respond to sexual assaults, has been a dominant issue in 2014.

Matthew B. Weisberg

The Law of Lawyering: Do We Treat Ourselves Differently?

By Matthew Weisberg |

In this column principally revolving around attorney civil liability, it is clear that the law of lawyering is unique. That is, a successful defense or prosecution of an action in legal malpractice or other form of attorney liability requires more than just a sophisticated understanding of the necessary elements of that cause of action (including the case-within-the-case) and how general procedural and substantive issues are practically applied.

verdicts and settlements

Defective Airbag Caused Paralysis, Plaintiff Claimed

By Max Mitchell |

According to the plaintiffs' pretrial memorandum, on Aug. 20, 2010, John Cancelleri, 83, retired, was driving a Mercury Sable south along Route 307 in Spring Brook Township, Pa., when a Ford Mustang traveling north made a left turn. The Mustang struck Cancelleri's vehicle in a head-on collision, the memo said. Cancelleri's vehicle was equipped with a driver's-side airbag, but it did not deploy.

verdicts and settlements

Allegheny Co. Jury Awards Brain-Injured Woman

By Max Mitchell |

An Allegheny County jury has awarded nearly $16 million to a woman who sustained a severe brain injury in an auto accident while on her way to the rehearsal dinner for her daughter's wedding.

Democrats Critical of Pa.'s Line of Credit

By John L. Kennedy |

State Treasurer Rob McCord extended a $1.5 billion line of credit to Pennsylvania, though he and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale were critical of the need for it.

Debt-Reduction Bills Lined Up for Final House Passage

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives Finance Committee on Sept. 15 approved two bills that would cap and reduce the state's debt limit, one over objections of some Democrats on the committee who argued it would hamper the state's response to certain emergencies.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 15, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 15. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session Sept. 22.

Cross-Examining Hospital Expert Witnesses in Claims Regarding Employees

By Brandon Swartz |

Intuitively, one can appreciate that if an individual is otherwise inclined to harm another through bad behavior, having the cover of a job as a medical professional or medical support staff in a hospital seems like an opportunity to commit the perfect crime. By working in a hospital setting, the so-called bad actor would have two built-in advantages to execute his or her crimes.