Philadelphia / Eastern PA

multi-ethnic team

Lawyers Brace for Diversity Mandates in Dodd-Frank Act

By Gina Passarella |

When the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010, the sweeping financial industry regulations got a lot of attention from the scores of entities under its reach and the law firms that represented those institutions. But five years later, a sometimes-overlooked section of the law now has employment lawyers busy and some clients behind the compliance 8-ball.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Trial for Gay Lawyer Postponed

By Max Mitchell |

Federal, State Trials for Gay Attorney Suing Two Firms Postponed

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Seeks Prison Release

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Michael Lowry, a former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge convicted of perjury, is seeking to remain free while his appeal is under way.

Missing Housekeeping Record Creates Issue of Fact

By Lizzy McLellan |

The absence of some monitoring records and potential for spoliation of evidence by defendants should have precluded summary judgment in a slip-and-fall case against the Lehigh Valley Mall, the Superior Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff Awarded in First Philadelphia Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia jury awarded $2.5 million to the plaintiff in the first of roughly 1,250 Risperdal mass-tort cases in the city's courts.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Verdict To Plaintiff in Trip-and-Fall Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Philadelphia jury has found a property owner entirely negligent in a trip-and-fall case, awarding $66,000 to the plaintiff for medical expenses related to an ankle injury.

Jury box..Photo by Jason Doiy.2-9-11.054-2011

Jury Awards $8M for Victims of Fatal Factory Shooting

By Max Mitchell |

The family members of two Kraft factory workers who were fatally gunned down by a disgruntled employee have received an award of more than $8 million from a Philadelphia jury.

Despite Plaintiffs Verdict, Long Road Seen in Risperdal Cases

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The $2.5 million verdict awarded to the plaintiff in the first Risperdal case to go to trial in Philadelphia built momentum for the plaintiffs in the litigation, attorneys said, but it is not a nail in the coffin for Janssen Pharmaceuticals' defense.

ADA Suit Against Marshall Dennehey Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin's motion to dismiss a suit filed by a lawyer who had worked at the firm failed to persuade a federal judge to toss the case.

$2.5M Verdict Awarded in First Phila. Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded $2.5 million to the plaintiff in the first of roughly 1,250 Risperdal mass-tort cases in the city's courts.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Activity Picks Up in Clergy Sex-Abuse Suits

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The plaintiff in a priest sex-abuse case is appealing a Philadelphia judge's ruling that the statute of limitations barred his claims. Meanwhile, the case that will be the second priest sex-abuse lawsuit to go to trial in Philadelphia is set to head to the courtroom in early March.

Supreme Court to Continue With Five

By Lizzy McLellan |

Following the withdrawal of one Pennsylvania Supreme Court nominee, the two vacancies on the court will go unfilled until after November's election.

Walgreens Allowed to Fire Pharmacist Over Vaccine Stance

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Walgreens was within its rights to fire a pharmacist who had moral objections to administering flu vaccines, a federal judge has ruled.

Closings in Risperdal Focus on Experts

By Max Mitchell |

Closing arguments in the first trial of Philadelphia's Risperdal mass-tort actions focused largely on attacking the testimony and backgrounds of the experts.

Privilege for Consultant Keeps Documents From Whistleblower

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Another federal judge in Philadelphia has extended a company's attorney-client privilege to independent consultants who communicated with its general counsel.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Latest Phila. Conflict Counsel Oversight Bill Becomes Law

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia City Council can now review conflict-counsel-related contracts awarded to the Defender Association of Philadelphia and other organizations that represent the indigent.

Phila. DA Petitions Supreme Court on Death-Penalty Reprieve

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Philadelphia district attorney has asked the state Supreme Court to review Gov. Tom Wolf's reprieve of a death-row inmate.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Decides Both Drivers Negligent in UM Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Susquehanna County jury has entered a defense verdict in an uninsured motorist case where it found both drivers negligent.

Third Circuit Rejects Dougherty's Bid to Reseal FBI Affidavit

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has denied the appeal of labor-union leader John Dougherty, who sought to reseal a years-old FBI affidavit of probable cause to search his home that has been made public in state litigation and the press.

Former Duquesne President and Law Scholar Murray Dies at 82

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

John E. Murray Jr., described by those who knew him as a passionate educator and a nationally recognized authority in legal thought, died of a heart attack Wednesday at age 82.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Pelvic Mesh Maker Wants Phila. Cases Sent to MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Boston Scientific Corp., a defendant in the Philadelphia pelvic-mesh mass tort, is seeking to remove cases from the city's Complex Litigation Center to federal court in West Virginia.

Company's Privilege Claim Rejected in Sex Discrimination Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A company's broad claim to attorney-client privilege as a complete defense to a sex discrimination suit brought by a lawyer has been rejected by a federal judge.

Firm Disputes Discrimination Exhibits in Gay Lawyer's Suit

By Max Mitchell |

A dispute has arisen over whether the gay lawyer suing Anapol Schwartz for allegedly scuttling his lateral move should be able to introduce evidence regarding discrimination he allegedly experienced while at the firm.

Villanova University School of Law

Girard-diCarlos Fund Ethics Center at Villanova Law

By Gina Passarella |

David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo, both Villanova University School of Law graduates, have given the school $5 million for the establishment of the Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance.

 Philadelphia

Baylsons Win Venue Fight in Dragonetti Action

By Gina Passarella |

The state Superior Court has granted a request by Dr. Frances Batzer Baylson and her husband, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson, to transfer back to Philadelphia their Dragonetti suit over litigation involving Batzer Baylson's business contracts to store frozen sperm.

Walter M. Phillips, Of Counsel With Obermayer Rebmann, Dies at 76

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell &; Hippel partner Walter M. Phillips died Feb. 7 at age 76.

Ex-Anchor's Case Against CBS, Former Co-Anchor Revived

By Gina Passarella |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has reinstated former CBS news anchor Alycia Lane's lawsuit against CBS and former co-anchor Larry Mendte over his hacking of Lane's emails and CBS's failure to stop him.

Federal Judge Rules for Defendant in Porn Copyright Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An anonymous pro se defendant has beaten copyright infringement claims brought against him in federal court by a maker of pornographic videos. The defendant's victory runs counter to the result in a similar case in front of a different Eastern District judge.

verdicts and settlements

Second Trial Yields Verdict for Deceased Patient's Daughter

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded a verdict of more than $1.5 million to the administratrix of Dorothy Johnson's estate, finding that St. Joseph's Hospital's breach of corporate duties led to Johnson's death.

Sarbanes-Oxley Claim Sticks to Merck

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Merck & Co. couldn't shake a suit brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by a former employee with a motion to dismiss in federal court.

gavel, scale, and law book

Phila. Judge Stands by $1M Fine Against Attorney

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia judge who sanctioned attorney Nancy Raynor for close to $1 million for evoking a banned reference to smoking in a lung-cancer-related medical malpractice case—which resulted in a mistrial—said Raynor's punishment was "reasonable."

New Legislation Over Conflict Counsel Contracts Passed by Phila. City Council

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bill that would enable Philadelphia City Council to review conflict counsel contracts awarded to the Defender Association of Philadelphia and other organizations that represent the indigent was unanimously passed by the council Thursday.

Firm Employee's Leak of Deal Info Leads to Insider Trading Case

By Gina Passarella |

When the administrative assistant to the lead law firm partner handling the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide merger began working longer hours in preparation for the deal, she explained to her boyfriend why.

insurance policy

Reed Smith Sued Over Client's $20.5M Insurance Dispute

By Gina Passarella |

The owner of a Villanova, Pa., mansion that burned to the ground has sued Reed Smith for legal malpractice regarding the firm's negotiation of a $20.5 million insurance settlement that was disputed by the tenants of the home.

Big Brothers Must Remain in Child Sexual-Abuse Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The national Big Brothers Big Sisters organization could not escape a Pennsylvania lawsuit from an alleged victim who claimed one of its affiliate's mentors molested him.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Woman For Post-Collision Soft-Tissue Injuries

On June 7, 2012, plaintiff Nichele Morgan, 23, a pharmacy technician, was driving on Calumet Street near Ridge Avenue, in Northwest Philadelphia, when the front driver's side of her Honda Accord was struck by the front of a 1998 Ford Econoline van.

Defense Digs Into Ex-FDA Commissioner at Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In a contentious cross-examination of former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler by Janssen Pharmaceuticals' counsel, defense lawyer Diane Sullivan grilled Kessler over his fees and testimony in other drug cases.

Third-Party Claims and Workers' Comp on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

It's not malpractice, per se. But claimants' attorneys sometimes miss a third-party claim opportunity. How's that possible? And what's the remedy, if any?

merger

Post & Schell Departures Spur Christie Pabarue Name Change

By Gina Passarella |

Post & Schell's reevaluation of its place in the larger insurance-defense market over the last few years has resulted in partner defections, shifts in internal leadership and changes to other firms that have grabbed Post & Schell attorneys.

Former FDA Commissioner Says J&J Knew About Risperdal Dangers

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler testified Thursday in Philadelphia's first Risperdal trial that Johnson & Johnson knew about the drug's ability to raise levels of the hormone that causes male breast growth.

Expert Allowed at Class Certification Stage in Egg MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The grocery stores and restaurants that have alleged price-fixing among the country's major egg producers can present an economist as an expert witness while they seek to get class certification, the federal judge handling the case has ruled.

New Conflict-Counsel Oversight Bill Introduced in Phila.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bill that would enable Philadelphia City Council to review conflict-counsel contracts awarded to the Public Defender's Office and similar organizations was introduced Wednesday before the council's Law and Government Committee.

Federal Judge: No New Burden in Reverse-Payment Challenges

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Challenges to reverse-payment settlements—the deals made by major pharmaceutical companies with generic drugmakers in order to keep the cheaper drugs off the market—don't have a new threshold to meet, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled in an opinion defining the contours left open in a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

3rd Circuit Revives $137K Sanction Awarded to Fox Rothschild

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has reinstated more than $137,000 in fees owed to Fox Rothschild, as counsel to the trustee of a bankrupt media enterprise, over what the court found were vexatious allegations by the debtor's counsel that the firm and the trustee orchestrated a bribery scheme.

US Study Faults Phila. Indigent Defense

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

According to a new study, Philadelphia's appointed defense counsel system has key deficiencies affecting the quality of representation that can't be fixed without state intervention.

Punitives Against Nursing Home Board Members Tossed

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Five board members who oversaw the downfall of a century-old care home for elderly African-Americans in Pittsburgh had the punitive damages that a jury imposed on them lifted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Medical Records

Medical Records Don't Count as Expert Reports, Panel Says

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman claiming a doctor's prescription of steroids caused her to vomit blood cannot use her medical records as expert reports, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Zoloft Plaintiffs Fail on Second Try to Keep Expert

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The first expert offered by plaintiffs to show the antidepressant Zoloft caused birth defects in babies born to mothers who took it is still unacceptable, the federal judge handling the case has ruled.

Wal-Mart Loses Bid to Keep Slip-and-Fall Case in Federal Court

By Gina Passarella |

Wal-Mart's internal investigation of injuries sustained by a patron of one of its Pennsylvania stores is not enough to prove the patron's damages claim exceeded the $75,000 threshold required to get the case into federal court.

First Risperdal Trial in Philadelphia Begins

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Opening arguments in the first trial of Philadelphia's Risperdal mass-tort actions began Jan. 23 with attorneys squaring off over whether the drug's maker failed to warn patients about the risk of male breast growth associated with taking the medication.

verdicts and settlements

Girl Scout Settles With Susquehanna Camp

By Max Mitchell |

A Girl Scout who allegedly sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling off a rock formation during an outing has settled for nearly $3 million with the Susquehanna County camp where the fall occurred.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Ex-Phila. Judge Waters Gets Two Years for Case-Fixing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for corruption charges stemming from fixing cases for campaign donors.

PPA Ordered to Pay Attorney Fees in Disabled Access Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will have to pay over $100,000 to cover the cost of the legal representation for persons who sued a division of the PPA over the number of taxicabs that are inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, under a federal magistrate judge's order.

Transgender Woman Challenges Constitutionality of ADA Exclusion

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In the summer of 1989, U.S. senators debating the Americans with Disabilities Act excluded behavior they deemed immoral from the ADA's protections, including "transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders," according to the text of the law.

Judge Approves $35.5M Babies R Us Antitrust Accord, Again

By Gina Passarella |

A $35.5 million class-action settlement in an antitrust case against Babies R Us has received final approval—for the second time.

 Philadelphia

Xarelto Mass Tort Established in Philadelphia

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Litigation surrounding Xarelto, a blood thinner that is alleged by plaintiffs to cause uncontrollable and sometimes fatal bleeding, has been organized into a mass tort in Philadelphia.

gavel

Phila. Defender Association Sole Entrant in New Conflict-Counsel Bid

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Since late 2012, the Nutter administration has been trying to establish an organization to represent indigent defendants when the Public Defender's Office has a conflict. Now the only candidate for the contract is the defender's office itself.

Shredded paper series - confidential

Gay Lawyer Suing Firms Seeks Confidential Settlement Info

By Max Mitchell |

A gay attorney suing personal injury firms for alleged discrimination is pointing to a confidential settlement to help establish the value of lost compensation he claims to have sustained because of the firms' allegedly scuttling his lateral move.

Lawyer Denied Fees From Ex-Client's Settlement

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that a workers' compensation claimant's former attorney should not be awarded fees for a settlement reached after the claimant discharged that attorney.

verdicts and settlements

Driver Settles With Deliveryman After Intersection Crash

On June 2, 2013, plaintiff Mahmoud Ahmad, 25, a pizza deliveryman, was driving an Acura TL sedan on Lycoming Street toward the intersection with K Street, in Northeast Philadelphia.On June 2, 2013, plaintiff Mahmoud Ahmad, 25, a pizza deliveryman, was driving an Acura TL sedan on Lycoming Street toward the intersection with K Street, in Northeast Philadelphia. Ahmad claimed that he stopped at a four-way stop sign, then drove into the intersection. As he did so, the driver's side of his car was struck by a Nissan Maxima driven by Mohammed Abuawada, who was traveling on K Street. Ahmad maintained that Abuawada struck his car at 80 to 85 mph. Ahmad suffered a fracture to his left clavicle, which he claimed was a serious impairment of a bodily function.

gavel

New Montco Bar Association Leader Stresses Lawyer Involvement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The incoming president of the Montgomery Bar Association said increasing involvement of the organization's new members will be one of his top areas of focus.

Cynthia Baldwin

Judge OKs Former GC's Role in Penn State Case

By Max Mitchell |

A Dauphin County judge has denied the bid by three former Penn State administrators charged with covering up the crimes of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky to have the cases against them dropped.

Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearnigs for Samuel Alito. Credit: Roberto Westbrook. 1/11/06.

Alito, Accepting Becker Award, Lauds Third Circuit Icon

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal appellate judge with chambers at Sixth and Market could exist in isolation—driving into the parking garage and taking the judges-only elevator up to the top floors of the courthouse where he could read briefs and write his opinions, stopping to take lunch in the judges-only lunch room a few floors below, "where the food was really lousy," said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr.

Marshall Dennehey Hires Post & Schell Appellate Lawyer

By Gina Passarella |

Longtime Post & Schell appellate attorney Teresa Ficken Sachs has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin as vice chairwoman of the firm's appellate practice.

Case Weighing ADA Protections Against Workplace Violence Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge in Philadelphia has decided to develop the record in a case that, according to the judge, "tests the outer bounds of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the context of workplace violence."

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Lowry Gets 20 Months in Prison

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for lying to the grand jury in the ticket-fixing case.

Defense Trying to Execute Accord in Judge's Fatal Fall Case

By Gina Passarella |

The estate of former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Robert C. Daniels, who died after a fall during a party at Berger & Montague shareholder Sherrie Savett's home in 2011, has settled with Savett and others, but the defense has not been able to execute judgment.

Jon A. Baughman, Former Chairman of Pepper Hamilton, Dies

Jon A. Baughman, a trial lawyer who served as chairman of Pepper Hamilton's executive committee from 1992-94, died Monday following a long illness.

Ex-Fox 29 Anchor's Racial Slur Case Moves Toward Trial

By Max Mitchell |

A former Fox 29 anchor who was fired after using a racial epithet will not have to wait for his former employer's interlocutory appeal before his employment discrimination suit can go to trial, a federal judge has ruled.

gavel

ACLU, Phila. City Paper Challenge Law Aimed at Felons' Speech

By Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania ACLU and several media outlets, including the Philadelphia City Paper, are challenging a state law they claim is aimed at silencing convicted felons and those who publish the words of felons.

handshake

Choice of Smyler as GC Seen as 'Visionary'

By Gina Passarella |

While a small-firm lawyer from Philadelphia was not what many may have expected in Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's selection of his general counsel, those who know Denise Smyler say she is the perfect person for the job both for her temperament and her legal and political acumen.

Office of Open Records Head to Join Pepper Hamilton

By Gina Passarella |

Terry Mutchler, the first executive director of Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records, will be leaving the office to head up a new practice within Pepper Hamilton's media and communications group.

Defendant Seeks $177K From Hagens Berman in Thalidomide Cases

By Gina Passarella |

One of the defendants in a cluster of thalidomide lawsuits in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is seeking nearly $177,000 in fees as a sanction against the plaintiffs' counsel, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff's Leg Was Fractured in Multi-Vehicle Collision

On Oct. 1, 2010, plaintiff Shawn Garnett, 19, a retail employee, was a passenger in a 2003 Ford Explorer traveling on New Falls Road in Middletown Township. The driver, Meagan Peterson, lost control, crossed the center line, and struck two other vehicles head-on. Garnett, who was in the rear seat behind the driver, claimed he suffered a fractured left femur.

Plaintiffs Get Second Chance With Expert in Zoloft MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Hundreds of people who sued Pfizer alleging birth defects from its antidepressant Zoloft will be allowed to present another expert after the first one they offered to the court was tossed last summer.

Duquesne University General Counsel Set to Retire in June

By Gina Passarella |

Duquesne University's longtime general counsel, Linda S. Drago, has announced she will retire at the end of the academic year.

After 40 Years, Man Claiming Wrongful Conviction Freed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has ordered the immediate release on parole of a man who has served more than 40 years of a life sentence, which he claimed was the result of prosecutorial misconduct and false testimony.

With Ferman Leaving, Castor Eyes Return as Montco DA

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has announced she will be running for one of the county's open judicial slots, forgoing the chance to run for a third term as head prosecutor.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton Can't Be Sued for Using Public Documents

By Gina Passarella |

Even if Pepper Hamilton violated a former client's confidentiality by disclosing an FBI affidavit of probable cause to search that client's home, the firm can't be sued considering the affidavit was made public prior to the firm's disclosure, a Philadelphia trial judge has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff Said Staff Failed to Monitor Infirm Patient

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Eunice Rogers, on June 2, 2012, the plaintiff's mother, Mildred D. Rogers, who was 83 at the time, was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital, of the North Philadelphia Health System, for treatment of aspiration pneumonia.

Robbery Not a Normal Work Condition of Liquor Store

By Max Mitchell |

In light of the state Supreme Court's 2013 ruling that a police officer's PTSD stemming from a fatal car collision was a compensable injury, the Commonwealth Court has changed its position on whether an armed robbery at a liquor store constitutes a normal working condition for workers' compensation purposes.

Justice Ronald Castille

After 21 Years on Supreme Court Bench, Castille Retires

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

When he arrived at a naval hospital in Philadelphia after being wounded in Vietnam, the City of Brotherly Love was the last place Ronald D. Castille wanted to be.

State and Federal Law Privilege Psych Evaluations

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Psychological evaluations for a student who allegedly touched the genitals of another student in their special-needs class are privileged under a combination of state and federal laws, a federal judge has ruled.

picture of man hands signing contract

Judge Explains $6.9M Award in Heated Nonsolicitation Case

By Gina Passarella |

Nearly a year-and-a-half after awarding the plaintiff in a nonsolicitation case $6.9 million in compensatory and punitive damages, the Chester County judge overseeing the matter authored an opinion in support of the award, detailing in sharp terms the defendants' alleged misconduct.

pa map

'Kids-for-Cash' Facility Dispute Sent to Pa.

By Max Mitchell |

A New Jersey district court judge has transferred to Pennsylvania federal court a dispute between the co-owners of the juvenile detention facilities at the heart of the "kids-for-cash" scandal.

Justices OK Rules Aimed at Protecting Client Funds

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved additions to the Rules of Professional Conduct aimed at deterring theft by lawyers of their clients' money and reducing potential conflicts of interest.

Nonprofit Group Home Operator Denied Tax Exemption

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has determined that a nonprofit that operates about 80 group homes in western Pennsylvania should not have been awarded tax-exempt status as a "purely public charity."

Fracking, Penn State Topped Commonwealth Court Agenda

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Commonwealth Court in 2014 took on several issues of national importance.

handshake over coffee

Mergers, Management Changes Drew BigLaw Focus in 2014

By Gina Passarella |

The latter part of 2014 brought with it not only the biggest business of law news for Pennsylvania, but perhaps for the country. All eyes watched during the second half of the year as Morgan, Lewis & Bockius entertained merger discussions with struggling Boston-based firm Bingham McCutchen. A full-on acquisition of the more than 700 lawyers at Bingham would have been a big departure for Morgan Lewis' typical growth strategy of acquiring groups of attorneys from firms that are disbanding.

gevel in a courtroom

Commonwealth Court Sets Boundaries on Civil Forfeiture

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Commonwealth Court has made more stringent the prerequisites for civil forfeiture in a ruling to remand the forfeiture case of a Philadelphia woman's home and vehicle.

gavel and book

Counsel Fees Aren't Loss Under Trade Law, Justices Rule

By Max Mitchell |

Attorney fees alone won't be enough to toll the "ascertainable loss" requirement under Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the state Supreme Court has ruled

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Suit Brought Over Corbett's Healthy PA Plan

By John L. Kennedy |

Just after the Obama administration gave final approval to the Corbett administration's health care plan, Healthy PA, Philadelphia-based Community Legal Services filed suit to stop the plan. The group says Healthy PA puts the health care of low-income Pennsylvanians at risk.

Football

Objecting Former NFL Players Denied Appeal

By Lizzy McLellan |

Seven dissident ex-pro football players have been denied permission to appeal U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's conditional certification, for the purpose of facilitating settlement, of class plaintiffs in the NFL concussion lawsuit.

/image/pa/300_pics/asbestos-article.jpg

En Banc Superior Court Tosses $14.5M Asbestos Verdict

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After hearing reargument over whether a jury that awarded a $14.5 million asbestos verdict had been told to award a specific number for noneconomic damages in the case, an en banc Superior Court panel threw out the verdict.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Scandals Involving Judges, Staff Darkened FJD's Year

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The First Judicial District in 2014 saw several of its judges and staff targeted for alleged misconduct, from fixing cases to stealing court funds.

Rohm and Haas Brain Cancer Cases Settle

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Dow Chemical subsidiary Rohm and Haas and the plaintiffs in 33 brain-cancer-cluster cases originating out of Illinois have reached a settlement.

merger

Midsized Firms Saw Splits and Out-of-State Entries to Market

By Max Mitchell |

The passing year began with a flurry of changes for small and midsized firms across the state, with leadership transitions, group laterals, additions and splits continuing throughout the year.

scales of justice

Justices Deny Multiple-Trigger Theory for Non-Asbestos Liability

By Lizzy McLellan |

The state Supreme Court has placed a limit on the multiple-trigger theory of liability insurance coverage through a recent decision on the liability of a plumbing company's insurer.

Property Tax

Appellate Court Unable to Review City's 'Strong-Arm' Tactics

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a Philadelphia tax assessment case, the Commonwealth Court has said the city's tax collection tactics may need review, but it was unable to review them because the defendant waived his right to appeal.

verdicts and settlements

Seller's Failed Repairs Warrant Payment For Homeowner

A Chester County judge has awarded nearly $7,000 to a homeowner who brought claims against the previous owner after encountering various flaws in the home.