News

Philadelphia / Eastern PA

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.

New Phila. Family Court Building Dedicated by FJD

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The dedication of the Philadelphia Family Court building Thursday afternoon marked the culmination of a years-long process—at times mired in controversy—to centralize the city's family court system into one location.

Eastern District Judge Tosses Thalidomide Case Against GSK

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The time for Edmund Andre to bring a suit against the maker of thalidomide has long since passed, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled, rejecting Andre's expert and the argument that the company's initial cover-up of the drug's effect on babies born to women who took it would extend the statute of limitations.

Mushroom Antitrust Case Set for Review By Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The unsettled question of whether an agricultural collective's accidental inclusion of a non-agricultural member would cut through the collective's shield from certain antitrust laws has been certified to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

NTSB Seeks Dismissal of Wolk Firm Suit

By Gina Passarella |

The National Transportation Safety Board has argued an aviation law firm and several of its clients don't have standing to sue the board for failure to provide crash investigation materials.

'Extremist' Group Can Continue Sidewalk Demonstrations

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has ruled that an "extremist" group's racially-charged demonstrations on the sidewalk outside of a Philadelphia mall were protected by the First Amendment.

The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals Calendar of Events

On Oct. 20, the board of directors meeting is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Saul Ewing, 1500 Market St., Centre Square West, 38th floor.

Longtime Client Sues Squire Patton for Malpractice, Fraud

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania company has filed a nine-count complaint against its longtime outside general counsel, Squire Patton Boggs, over allegations the firm was conflicted in representing the company and its sole founder and allegedly helped that founder inappropriately benefit from the company's stock plan to the tune of millions of dollars.

Charles F. Forer

Blocking the Use of Mediation Documents in Litigation

By Charles F. Forer |

Bob prepares intensely for mediation. He spends a lot of time preparing his client so the client's "extemporaneous" remarks in joint session send a strong message to the other side and suggest creative ways to settle the dispute.

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Asbestos Lawsuit Tossed for Lack of Causation Evidence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Although evidence suggested that a woman's husband may have been exposed to asbestos, it did not prove that the possible exposure was the cause of her mesothelioma, the state Superior Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Intersection Collision Leads to Shoulder Injury

On April 20, 2012, plaintiff Harriet Greenberg, 66, was driving a 2003 BMW sedan through an intersection at a shopping center at 1657 The Fairway, in Jenkintown, Pa. As she proceeded through the intersection, the front driver's side of her car was struck by the front of a Nissan Maxima driven by Katherine Stoever. Greenberg claimed that she suffered an injury to her left shoulder.

verdicts and settlements

Family Dispute Leads to Attack With Broken Glass

On March 8, 2012, plaintiff Daniel Contreras IV, 20, was contacted by his sister, Veronica DeJesus, regarding a family dispute outside their grandmother's beauty salon, located in the 3300 block of north Front Street in North Philadelphia.

Whistleblower Suit Against Nursing Home Chain Settles for $38M

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A nursing and rehabilitation facility chain is paying $38 million to settle claims that it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid programs by billing for substandard care in what the U.S. Department of Justice is calling the largest failure-of-care settlement with a chain of this type yet.

Attorney Fights $245K Default Judgment in Legal Mal Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A lawyer who was hit with a default judgment in the amount of $245,000 in a legal malpractice case has appealed a Philadelphia judge's ruling against him.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Dougherty to Be Next AJ of Phila. Court's Trial Division

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kevin M. Dougherty is set to take over as administrative judge of the court's trial division after the retirement of Administrative Judge John W. Herron, sources have confirmed to The Legal.

 Philadelphia

Law Firms in Phila. Market Looking In-House for Talent

By Gina Passarella |

While the Philadelphia lateral market has been languishing when it comes to firms hiring from one another, in-house counsel seem to be an attractive draw.

The new civil jury room, located in Room 195 and 196, opened Wednesday in Philadelphia City Hall.

New Civil Jury Room Open for Business in Phila. City Hall

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A newly completed jury room designated for civil cases opened in Philadelphia City Hall on Wednesday with roughly 200 jurors passing through its threshold.

$15.6 Mil Verdict Against Toyota Dealerships Upheld

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has affirmed a $15.6 million verdict awarded to a driver and passengers in a Toyota van who were injured when the vehicle malfunctioned and careened into a ravine.

Pa. Justices Win Turf Battle With CJD

By Max Mitchell |

The dispute between the Court of Judicial Discipline and the state Supreme Court over which body has the power to suspend judges has been ongoing since the CJD was created more than 20 years ago.

McCaffery, Rapaport Ordered to Answer Referral Fee Questions

By Gina Passarella |

The judge overseeing a defamation case filed by state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial assistant, Lise Rapaport, has laid the groundwork for discovery, ordering the couple to answer detailed questions about the referral fees Rapaport was paid that were the subject of the allegedly offending newspaper articles.

patent stamp

Reverse-Payment Nexium Suit Moved to State Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

AstraZeneca and three generic makers of its drug Nexium have failed in their bid to keep an antitrust action brought by dozens of insurance companies in federal court.

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Retroactive Tax Exemption Violates Separation of Powers

By Max Mitchell |

Reaffirming that the General Assembly cannot make laws explicitly to overturn court rulings, the state Supreme Court has determined that a portion of a law granting retroactive tax exemptions to charter schools that appealed their prior tax assessments violated the separation of powers doctrine.

State Law Bars Eminent Domain for Private Enterprise

By Max Mitchell |

State law aimed at curbing eminent domain abuse prevents a water authority from condemning land for the purpose of building a water and sewer facility that would be used by a private developer for a residential subdivision, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Allstate Settles Accident-Related Bad-Faith Claim

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bad-faith suit against Allstate Insurance Co. stemming from an auto-accident case that produced a $19.1 million verdict in Philadelphia has been settled for $22 million.

verdicts and settlements

Adderall Maker Settles Whistleblower Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The maker of Adderall, Pennsylvania-based Shire Pharmaceuticals, has settled a whistleblower suit for $56.5 million in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

GSK Moves Paxil Birth-Defects Case to Ohio

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has succeeded in getting a case filed against it in federal court in Philadelphia moved to the Southern District of Ohio.

Pepper Hamilton Chairman Thomas Gallagher

Gallagher Succeeds Freeh as Pepper Hamilton Chairman

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton Chairman Louis J. Freeh is stepping down from the role nearly two years after taking the helm of the firm and a little more than one month after he was in a serious car accident in Vermont.

Teachers' Discrimination Suit Against Archdiocese Survives

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's request to toss a discrimination case brought against it by Catholic school teachers who claim they were dismissed because of their age.

road

Businesses Not Liable for Fatal Accident on State Road

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has let the owners of a nightclub and a parking lot out as defendants in the case of a man who was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing the street from the nightclub to get to his parked car.

State Law Claims Survive in Pitt-Lundy Dispute

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

State law claims in the case between two Philadelphia personal-injury law firms have survived a motion to dismiss in federal court.

Company Fights $2.6 Mil. Interest Figure in Condo Sale Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A real estate company is challenging the $2.6 million recalculation of a $4 million deficiency judgment, which had originally been tacked onto an $8.4 million property value judgment, in a case stemming from a sheriff's sale of condominiums.

Judge OKs Trade-Secrets Claims Against Latham & Watkins

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has allowed to proceed half of the claims legal services consulting company Mattern & Associates filed in its trade-secrets case against Latham & Watkins

chocolate

Cargill Keeps Cocoa Case in Eastern District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Although a federal judge in Philadelphia called a business dispute between Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate and ABCO Laboratories "California-centric," he held that venue was proper in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

$22 Mil. Settlement Reached in Allstate Bad-Faith Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bad-faith suit against Allstate Insurance Co. stemming from an auto-accident case that produced a $19.1 million verdict in Philadelphia has been settled for $22 million.

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.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More Dark Times Ahead for Philadelphia's Court System?

By P.J. D'Annunzio 
and Hank Grezlak |

The recent guilty plea of a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge to case-fixing charges and the suspension of two other judges, all occurring with the Philadelphia Traffic Court scandal still fresh in the public's mind, has seriously damaged the reputation of the Philadelphia judicial system, members of the legal community said.

Custody of child

Court Upholds $10K Fee Lawyer Must Pay to Contest Custody

By Gina Passarella |

A $10,000 payment a former Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorney agreed to make every time he attempted to change his child custody agreement is enforceable, the state Superior Court has ruled, rejecting the trial court's determination that the payment was against public policy.

Pa. Justices Say SEPTA May Fall Under City Discrimination Law

By Gina Passarella |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a lower court's ruling that SEPTA is an agency of the state that falls outside the scope of Philadelphia's local discrimination law. A divided high court sent the question back to the Commonwealth Court for an analysis of whether the goals of the transportation authority or the city should win out.

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.

City Hall in Philadelphia

More Trouble for Philadelphia's Court System

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr.'s guilty plea to case-fixing, two more Municipal Court judges have been suspended and it has come to light that a Philadelphia court administrator has been fired for misappropriating funds.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Displays Select Emails to Reporters

By Max Mitchell |

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has allowed reporters to view emails containing reportedly pornographic photos and videos that her office uncovered during the investigation into how the state Attorney General's Office handled the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case.

 Philadelphia

Pittsburgh Lawyer's Defamation Suit Moved From Phila.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Pittsburgh attorney who was falsely called a child molester in fliers cannot keep his defamation suit in Philadelphia, the state Superior Court has ruled, despite his claims that having the case in his home county would damage his reputation.

$56.5 Million Settlement Over Adderall Marketing Claims

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The maker of Adderall, Pennsylvania-based Shire Pharmaceuticals, has settled a whistleblower suit for $56.5 million in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Judge Joseph Waters

Former Phila. Judge Waters Pleads Guilty to Case-Fixing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to corruption charges stemming from fixing cases for campaign donors.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Phila. Judge Waters Resigns Amid Alleged Charges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. has resigned amid what sources say are pending federal charges against him.

$12 Mil. Awarded in Suit Over Ad Company Sale

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

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.

Morgan Lewis Merger With Bingham a 'Strategic Change'

By Gina Passarella |

A full-scale law firm acquisition would be somewhat of an outlier in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' growth strategy, but it may be just what the firm is about to do with reports this weekend that leadership at Morgan Lewis and Boston-based Bingham McCutchen have agreed to press forward with a merger.

Traffic Court

Government Answers Traffic Ct. Judges' Acquittal Requests

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Prosecutors in the Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket-fixing case said there was "overwhelming evidence" to support the perjury convictions against the four ex-judges seeking acquittal.

Federal Judge Returns FMLA, ADA Suit to State Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge has remanded a case originally brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to state court.

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.

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.

Pharma Whistleblower Can Bring Wrongful-Termination Claim

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A marketing director who blew the whistle on the pharmaceutical company she worked for can bring her state-law claim that she was forced out of her job in retaliation in federal court.

EDPA Nominees Move to Senate Floor

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The four nominees to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have won approval from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted Thursday morning to move them to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Drexel University School of Law Dean Roger Dennis, Tom Kline of Kline & Specter, and Drexel University President John A. Fry

Drexel Renames Law School After Kline Donates $50 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Drexel University's law school is to be renamed the Thomas R. Kline School of Law in honor of the Philadelphia litigator's $50 million donation to the university.

documents

Discovery Battles in McCaffery Defamation Case Persist

By Gina Passarella |

The discovery battles in a defamation lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial assistant, Lise Rapaport, against the owners of Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers have shed light on a number of topics raised by the papers' publications at issue.

Greenberg Traurig Seeks to Affirm $673K Award in Partner Row

By Gina Passarella |

Greenberg Traurig has asked a Philadelphia judge to affirm an arbitration award of $673,060 in its favor and against two former shareholders who left to form their own firm.

Antique Map New England

Joinder of Pa. Bank Returns MERS Case to State Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Since a federal judge agreed to join a Pennsylvania-based bank to a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the mortgage recording system MERS, the case has bounced back to the state court where it was first filed.

examining the city

Pennsylvania Firms Look to 'Reassert' Themselves Locally

By Gina Passarella |

As Pennsylvania-based law firms were setting their sights on national and international markets, out-of-town firms started opening up shop in the state. With foreign expansion slowing down for many Pennsylvania firms and competition in the local market increasing, area firms are refocusing their efforts on their own backyards.

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.

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.

gevel in a courtroom

Fraud Case Opens Class Certification Question for Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A suit alleging mass-market fraud on the part of Zions First National Bank and its subsidiaries gave the Third Circuit a chance to examine the standards for class certification.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

Aviation Lawyer Sues NTSB for Delaying Investigations

By Gina Passarella |

Aviation attorney Arthur Wolk of The Wolk Law Firm has sued the National Transportation Safety Board in federal court for allegedly failing to properly respond to FOIA requests related to his clients' cases.

Antique Map New England

Third Circuit Weighs GSK's 'Re-Removal' Efforts

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Since closing the question about GSK's corporate citizenship last year, the Third Circuit opened the narrower question about where the remaining cases over its antidepressant drug Paxil would be heard. That issue was before the appeals court Wednesday.

Football

Third Circuit Eyes Timing of NFL Concussion Accord Appeal

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

All three judges on the appellate panel summoned by objectors to the settlement in the NFL concussion case wanted to know why their review had been sought at this point—before the trial judge has held the fairness hearing scheduled for November.

Cozen O'Connor Argues Brady's $450K Legal Debt Forgivable

By Gina Passarella |

It is "irrational" and "illogical" to suggest U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., is still a candidate for Philadelphia mayor and thus bound by city campaign finance laws in repaying $450,000 in legal fees seven years after Brady lost the primary, his attorney argued before the state Supreme Court.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building. October 16, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

FTC Continues Its Pay-for-Delay Battle Through AbbVie Suit

By Gina Passarella |

As the pharmaceutical industry awaits the Third Circuit's decision in a case over whether pay-for-delay settlements are anti-competitive even without including a direct cash payment, the Federal Trade Commission has sued a number of pharmaceutical companies in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania over one such accord.

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.

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.

Qui Tam, Class Action Cases Against Merck Proceed

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has allowed the majority of claims to proceed against Merck & Co. in a qui tam suit and related antitrust putative class action over the company's testing and government sales of its mumps vaccine.

Lawyers See Potential for Xarelto Mass Tort

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

With litigation surrounding the blood thinner Xarelto in its infancy, some lawyers examining cases said the litigation could expand to mass-tort proportions while others said it's too early to tell.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Defense in Sidewalk Trip-and-Fall

By Max Mitchell |

According to a pretrial memorandum from the plaintiffs, 54-year-old plaintiff Debbie McAdams exited a taxicab at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue in the Italian Market in Philadelphia. As she walked on the sidewalk outside M&L Donuts, which was owned by defendants Michael Chan and Linda Ma Chan, McAdams, who was working as an assistant bank manager, tripped and fell. McAdams allegedly sustained a hand injury.

verdicts and settlements

Rear-ender Didn't Lead to Missed Work, Jury Finds

On April 23, 2012, plaintiff Kirsten Robinson, a nurse's aide in her mid-20s, was driving a sedan that was stopped on Montgomery Avenue at the intersection of Gay Street, in West Chester, when she was rear-ended by a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Ashlee Palmer.

Justice Ronald Castille

Castille Again Blasts Federal Defenders

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

One of the most vocal opponents of federal defenders' tactics in capital cases, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille has again issued scathing criticism of the defenders in an opinion stemming from an ongoing death-penalty appeal.

In McCaffery Lawsuit, Judge OKs Subpoenas of Law Firms

By Gina Passarella |

The judge overseeing the defamation suit filed by state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial aide, Lise Rapaport, has dismissed the couple's objections to subpoenas of seven law firms that paid Rapaport referral fees.

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

Superior Court Throws Out $2.5 Mil. Verdict in Fall Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has tossed a $2.5 million verdict awarded to a man who fell 40 feet from an electrical transmission pole after his lanyard detached from a ladder.

Leaders Managing 'Staggering' Costs of Firm Merger Talks

By Gina Passarella |

In an economy in which revenue is hard to come by, mergers are increasingly viewed as a way for firms to capture market share. But merger discussions could also lead to lost revenue opportunities, making them a tricky proposition for firm leadership.

pa map

Defendants May Now Have Easier Time Changing Venue in Pa.

By Max Mitchell |

The uphill battle defendants faced when trying to get their cases moved from a plaintiff's chosen venue has been leveled somewhat thanks to the state Supreme Court's decision last month in Bratic v. Rubendall, according to attorneys who spoke with the Law Weekly.

Justices Take Up Hospital's Liability for ER Doc's Acts

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear argument on whether a plaintiff may state a claim for vicarious liability against a hospital for the alleged conduct of an emergency room doctor by pointing out that she was part of an emergency response team and had not previously treated the patient.

Justices Won't Hear Case on Rights for Online Impersonators

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear argument on whether online commenters have a constitutional right to falsely attribute nonsatirical postings to someone with direct connection to the subject matter.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Defense in Treatment Center Slip-and-Fall

According to a pretrial memorandum from the plaintiffs, on Aug. 31, 2010, Robert Smith was treated at the renal department of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

unfinished automobiles in a car plant

Panel Affirms Ford's Win in Asbestos Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Ford Motor Co. cannot be held liable in a case involving asbestos-containing auto parts manufactured and distributed by its subsidiary in the United Kingdom, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Medical Supply Provider Appeals Class Decertification Decision

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A medical equipment provider is fighting a Philadelphia judge's decision to revoke class status given to medical providers suing insurance companies for failure to pay interest on late reimbursements.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Secant Dismissed From Pelvic-Mesh Mass Tort

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Secant Medical, the sole Pennsylvania-based defendant in Philadelphia's pelvic-mesh mass tort, has been dismissed from the litigation.

gavel

Lawyer Suspended for Using Client Money to Pay Support

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A lawyer who paid his child-support bills with money from a client's personal injury settlement has been suspended by the state Supreme Court for a year and a day.

Implied Warranty Doesn't Extend to Subsequent Home Buyers

By Max Mitchell |

Subsequent home buyers may not sue for breach of an implied warranty of habitability, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

construction

Complaints Are Separate From Liens, Superior Court Rules

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Actions to compel judgment on mechanic's liens must be filed separately from the liens themselves, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled, affirming both case law on the issue and the trial court's opinion.

truck

Judicial Estoppel Won't Apply to Employment Arguments

By Max Mitchell |

A health care company was not barred from arguing in a workers' compensation action that a former employee was acting outside the course of his employment, even though the company had admitted in a previous civil action that the former employee had been acting in the course of his employment, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff Claimed Railing Unhinged, Caused Fall

On March 31, 2011, plaintiff Joseph Ragan, 31, an independent salesperson for third-party energy suppliers, was accessing his basement at 10031 Westbourne Place in Northeast Philadelphia. Ragan leased the property from Kathleen Dragoni and Thomas Garofolo III. Ragan alleged that as he descended the basement stairway, he grasped the wooden railing and in doing so it unhinged, which caused him to fall down the stairs, approximately 12 steps. Ragan claimed that he suffered a spine injury.

Local Lawyers Take a Break From Practice to Join JAG Corps

By Ben Seal |

Practicing at a private law firm can be plenty stressful, and the demands placed on lawyers are often exhausting, but two Philadelphia attorneys are going through intense training in order to use their legal skills in an entirely new situation.

McCaffery Responds to Papers' Subpoena Request

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In response to The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News' bid to subpoena law firms for information on referral fees paid to his wife, state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery in a court filing called the papers' bid "improper."

Carl W. Hittinger

Antitrust Lawyer Hittinger Joins Baker & Hostetler

By Gina Passarella |

Baker & Hostetler has for the first time expanded its Philadelphia office beyond an intellectual property focus with the addition of DLA Piper antitrust practice co-chairman Carl Hittinger.

Shkedy/Smolen

Components to Launching and Establishing a Law Firm

By Rebecca Rosenberger Smolen and Amy Neifeld Shkedy |

As we marked the two-year anniversary of our fledgling two-attorney law firm May 15, we thought it would be helpful to reflect and share our gleanings on the key components for launching and sustaining a law firm, based on our experience to date:

Business handshake and business people

Novak Druce Opens Philadelphia Office

By Jeff Mordock and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Intellectual property boutique Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg has expanded into Philadelphia, opening the Houston-based firm's ninth office.

Nursing Home Fights Grant of New Trial in Negligence Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The grant of a new trial in a nursing-home negligence case must stand because the plaintiffs should not have been barred from pursuing claims of corporate negligence against the facility, according to a Philadelphia judge.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Pelvic Mesh Mass Tort Filings Continue to Rise

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The number of filings in the pelvic mesh litigation in Philadelphia has increased since the mass tort's creation in February, court officials said.

Phila. Ban on Cops' Political Donations Tossed

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Philadelphia's rule banning police officers from donating to their union's political action committee is unconstitutional, the Third Circuit has ruled.

Lawyer Disbarred for Accepting 243 Pounds of Marijuana

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia attorney who was convicted on charges related to receiving a 243-pound shipment of marijuana has been disbarred by the state Supreme Court.