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Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

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.

Parties Spar Over Court's Role in Insurance Liquidation Process

By Max Mitchell |

An attorney representing the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner argued before the state Supreme Court that when considering a rehabilitator's plan to liquidate an insurance carrier, the courts should defer to the experts.

Justices Eye Counsel Fees as Loss Under UTPCPL

By Max Mitchell |

Allowing the costs associated with retaining counsel to count as an ascertainable loss under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law would lead to a "cottage industry" of "private attorneys general," an attorney representing a car rental company argued before the state Supreme Court in Philadelphia last week.

On-Air Critic of Lehigh DA Told to Preserve Records

By Max Mitchell |

A critic of the Lehigh County district attorney has been asked by a lawyer for the DA not to destroy documents related to statements the critic made on a talk radio program.

Lawyer Argues Before Justices That MRI Use Should Be Tax-Free

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Counsel for a radiology practice argued before the state Supreme Court last week that medical equipment, including MRI and CT machines, software and the electricity used to power the equipment, qualify for the manufacturing exclusion under the Tax Reform Code.

Involuntary Plaintiffs Are Subject to Counterclaims

By Max Mitchell |

A party joined in a case as an involuntary plaintiff is not immune to counterclaims brought by a defendant, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Sept. 16, 2014 - Vertz Elected Secretary of PA Chapter of AAML

Divorce attorney Brian C. Vertz, partner of family law firm Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz, was elected secretary of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).

Sam Stretton

The Rules in Judicial Campaigns are Still Strict

By Samuel C. Stretton |

I am considering running for judicial office in Pennsylvania in 2015. Under the new Code of Judicial Conduct, what can I say or not say during the judicial campaign?

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The Case That Could Disrupt a Century of Settled Law

By Steven Chadwick, Michael Joy and Robert Jochen |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear the appeal of the Superior Court decision in Shedden v. Anadarko E&P, 88 A.3d 228 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014), and its decision will have far-reaching implications for the constantly evolving relationship between landowners and producers in the state.

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Hobby Lobby Demonstrates a Sharp Divide

By Clifford A. Rieders |

On a dreary Shabbat afternoon, I sat down and read the entirety of the much debated, applauded and excoriated Hobby Lobby Stores case. Since I support both freedom of religion and women's health issues, it occurred to me that I could read the brilliant opinions of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with complete objectivity.

verdicts and settlements

Worker Fired Over Nerve Stimulator, EEOC Claimed

On July 23, 2012, a laborer, whose suit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was hired by MPW Industrial Services Inc., a provider of industrial cleaning, facility management and labor support services, in Dravosburg, Pa.

verdicts and settlements

Painter Claimed Intersection Accident Caused Brain Injury

By Max Mitchell |

On March 11, 2010, plaintiff Bruce Roemer, 54, a contractor-painter, was driving a pickup truck westward along Oxford Valley Road in Falls Township, when the side of his vehicle was struck by an SUV being driven along Trenton Road by Patricia Cattani, according to court documents. Cattani's vehicle was owned by Cattani's Beverages Inc., doing business as Cattani's US 1 Beer. The plaintiffs' memo said Roemer sustained fractures, back and neck soft-tissue injuries and permanent traumatic brain injury.

Poll Shows No Gain for Corbett in Re-election Race

By John L. Kennedy |

The results of a new poll show Gov. Tom Corbett has made up little ground, if any, on Democratic challenger Tom Wolf in the gubernatorial race.

Study: Pa. Employee Pension Plan One of the Worst

By John L. Kennedy |

The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System is one of the three most inequitable in the country, according to a recent study by the Washington-based Urban Institute.

Executive, Legislative Action for Week of Sept. 8, 2014

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Sept. 8. Members of the General Assembly were scheduled to return to session Sept. 15.

Courtroom

Parties Spar Over Court's Role in Insurance Liquidation Process

By Max Mitchell |

An attorney representing the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner argued before the state Supreme Court that when considering a rehabilitator's plan to liquidate an insurance carrier, the courts should defer to the experts.

Superior Court Strikes Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in Drug Cases

By Matthew T. Mangino |

Last month, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Commonwealth v. Newman, No. 1980 EDA 2012, ruled that the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence by a judge, not a jury, relating to the use of a gun in a drug transaction is unconstitutional.

Pa. Law Weekly - People in the News - Sept. 9, 2014 - Reer Joins Babst Calland

Michael K. Reer joined Babst Calland as an associate in the firm's energy and natural resources and environmental services groups.

James M. Beck

Preserving Futile Arguments for Appeal

By James M. Beck |

Preservation of key issues and its flip side—waiver—are major items on all appellate counsel's checklist. In Pennsylvania, ever since Dilliplaine v. Lehigh Valley Trust, 457 Pa. 255, 322 A.2d 114 (1974), abolished the "plain error" doctrine in civil litigation, appellate courts have increased the importance of waiver as an appellate issue.

David G. Mandelbaum and Kerri L. Barsh

Climate Adaptation: The Concrete Example of Floating Homes

By David G. Mandelbaum & Kerri L. Barsh |

Just recently, the press has reported on two examples of floating home projects motivated, at least in part, by demonstrating adaptation to sea-level rise.

Sam Stretton

Pennsylvania Lawyers Should Be Cautious 
About Offering Legal Advice in Delaware

By Samuel C. Stretton |

Is it permissible for a Pennsylvania lawyer to represent people in Delaware if the lawyer has local counsel or an office with a Delaware lawyer in it?

Campaign's Legal Bills Top Justices' Argument Session

By Max Mitchell |

Whether or not Cozen O'Connor will be able to forgive the $450,000 in legal bills U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., racked up during a failed mayoral bid in 2007 is the highlight case on the docket for the state Supreme Court's oral argument session in Philadelphia this week.

Judge Uses Act 13 Ruling to Deny Drilling Project

By Max Mitchell |

Relying on the state Supreme Court's recent interpretation of Act 13, a Lycoming County judge has denied an energy company's bid to construct an oil and gas well pad in the county.

Registry Company Can Assign Mortgages, Superior Court Says

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has reaffirmed that the mortgage registry MERS has the authority to assign a mortgage.

Superior Court Says Application of UIM Rejection Is Unclear

By Max Mitchell |

Although the language of an insurance clause rejecting underinsured motorist coverage was legally sufficient, it failed to specify whether the cancellation applied to subsequent policies, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Superior Court Revives Malicious Prosecution Case

By P.J. D'annunzio |

The state Superior Court has revived a malicious prosecution suit brought by a couple that had been accused of stealing gasoline from a Schuylkill County minimart.