Philadelphia / Eastern PA

gavel

Margolis Edelstein Wins Legal Mal Suit in Third Circuit

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit has rejected an insurer's appeal of a ruling determining it was too late in filing a legal malpractice action against Margolis Edelstein.

Zauzmer Named Acting Pardon Attorney by DOJ

By Gina Passarella |

Robert A. Zauzmer, the chief of the appeals unit for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has been named acting pardon attorney by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Reed Smith Washington, D.C. offices. November 12, 2014.

Appeal Withdrawn Over Reed Smith's Mandatory Arbitration Clause

By Gina Passarella |

A month after a trial judge explained why Reed Smith's mandatory arbitration agreement in a client engagement letter was unenforceable, the law firm withdrew its appeal, dashing the chance for the first-impression issue to reach the state's appellate courts.

Segal Phone Calls Played for CJD

By Max Mitchell |

Numerous recorded phone calls allegedly showing case-fixing between former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters and Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal were played for the Court of Judicial Discipline during Segal's disciplinary trial Thursday.

Longtime Phila. Prosecutor McCann Takes Key Post in Montco Office

By Lizzy McLellan |

A longtime Philadelphia prosecutor is heading to the suburbs, taking over the post of first assistant district attorney in Montgomery County.

Janssen Says $3M Topamax Claim Is Pre-empted

By Max Mitchell |

In its bid to toss a $3 million verdict, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has asked the state Superior Court to find that federal law pre-empts a plaintiff's negligent failure-to-warn claims over the name-brand anti-seizure medication Topamax.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, at a hearing Jan. 26, 2016.

Fattah: Re-election Comes First, Defense Second

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Even as his attorneys attempt to withdraw from his corruption case for nonpayment, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, told a federal judge Tuesday morning that he would focus on his re-election bid before committing fully to his legal defense.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Parties Spar Over Pelvic Mesh Efficacy in Second Trial

By Max Mitchell |

The device at the center of the second pelvic-mesh trial in Philadelphia was the "worldwide gold standard" in treating the stress-related incontinence that the plaintiff had suffered, an attorney defending its design told jurors during her opening ­statement Monday.

No Attorney-Client Privilege Testimony in Reverse-Payment Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has disallowed mention of attorney-client privilege relating to reverse-payment settlements in the Provigil antitrust litigation.

GlaxoSmithKline headquaters.

Five Charged With Theft of GSK Cancer Drug Secrets

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Five people including two scientists working for GlaxoSmithKline have been charged with taking part in a scheme to steal trade secrets and methods for manufacturing cancer medication from the drugmaker, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ­announced Wednesday.

gevel in a courtroom

Third Circuit Hears Argument in Franchisee Class Action

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys representing parties embroiled in a class action over pay deductions argued in federal appeals court over whether ­workers in a cleaning service franchise were considered independent contractors or employees of the franchisor.

AT&T. Washington, D.C. November 11, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Jury Awards $370K to Former AT&T Exec in Age Bias Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former AT&T service executive who claimed the telecommunications company fired him because of his age has been awarded $370,000 by a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

handshake

Ballard Spahr Hires New CMO

By Gina Passarella |

Ballard Spahr has hired a new chief marketing and business development officer with a focus on client development and cross-marketing.

Business Owners Hit With $4.8M Verdict for Dodging Company Debt

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury has handed up a $4.8 million verdict against the owners of a company who tried to sidestep nearly $6 million in liability by transferring the company's assets through sale to a successor entity.

Former Big Law Partner Charged for Airplane Assault

By Lizzy McLellan |

A one-time partner at a national law firm is facing a federal misdemeanor charge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania over an allegation that she assaulted another person during a flight that was forced to divert to Philadelphia.

Bill Cosby

AP Lawyers: Cosby Appeal of Unsealing Moot

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bill Cosby's appeal of a federal court order unsealing documents from a 2005 lawsuit against him is "pointless" and moot, lawyers for The Associated Press said in a reply brief filed this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Ex-Paralegal Lodges FLSA Overtime Suit Against PI Firm

By Gina Passarella |

A former paralegal at personal injury law firm Messa & Associates has filed a proposed collective and class action against the firm, alleging it failed to pay her overtime wages and then fired her for complaining about the payment practices in private Facebook messages.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

Former DA Denies Cosby Accuser's Defamation Claim

By Lizzy McLellan |

In an answer to a defamation complaint, former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. has said his statements about a Bill Cosby accuser were true, including statements that her allegations to police differed from her civil claims, and therefore do not form a basis for the lawsuit.

Philadelphia DA Challenges New Trial for Lynn

By Max Mitchell |

The Philadelphia district attorney has asked for reconsideration of an appellate court's recent decision to vacate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted of endangering the welfare of children abused by other priests.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ex-Philadelphia Sheriff Charged With Honest Services Fraud

By Gina Passarella |

The former sheriff of Philadelphia has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted gifts and illegal campaign donations from the heads of two companies his office hired to help advertise and process sales of delinquent properties.

Suit Against Phila. Gov't Over Airport Death Clears Hurdle

By Max Mitchell |

The family of a woman who died in a Philadelphia International Airport restroom while waiting nearly an hour for emergency services to arrive will be able to pursue their civil claims against the city of Philadelphia government, which owns and operates the airport, a common pleas judge has ruled.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Pelvic Mesh Closings Focus on Statute of Limitations, Experts

By Max Mitchell |

A medical record from 2011 allegedly linking the plaintiff in the ongoing pelvic-mesh trial to a potential implant-related products liability suit means her case should be tossed for failure to file within the statute of limitations, the defense attorney told jurors in his closing argument.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, listens to testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder during the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2010.

Judge: No Evidence of Prosecutorial Misconduct in Fattah Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The judge handling the political corruption case of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, found there was no evidence that prosecutors attempted to inappropriately influence the grand jury.

Stradley Ronon Defeats Santander's $95M Malpractice Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has defeated a long-running malpractice suit filed by former client Santander Bank, which claimed the firm failed to protect the bank's security interest in $95 million it was owed by a bankrupt mortgage servicer.

'Low T' Drugmakers Ordered to Produce Withheld Documents

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ordered pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Besins Healthcare to produce documents withheld during discovery in an antitrust case involving drugs to treat low testosterone.

Phila. Judge Urges Venue Transfer in BMW, Takata Air Bag Case

By Max Mitchell |

BMW's regular attendance at the Philadelphia Auto Show should not be enough to keep a man's suit against the car company and Takata over allegedly defective air bags in Philadelphia, according to a common pleas judge.

Fox Rothschild to Acquire Minneapolis Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

Fox Rothschild has announced its planned merger with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, a Minneapolis-based firm, which will grow total head count more than 10 percent to over 700 attorneys.

'Low T' Drugmakers Ordered to Produce Withheld Documents

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ordered pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Besins Healthcare to produce documents withheld during discovery in an antitrust case involving drugs to treat low testosterone.

Kenney Taps Assistant US Attorney to Be City Solicitor

By Max Mitchell |

When Sozi Pedro Tulante takes over as Philadelphia’s new city solicitor next year, he says his focus will be on improving communications within city government, and making the office an "agent of change."

Janssen Defends Data Reanalysis in Risperdal Trial

By Max Mitchell |

A Janssen Pharmaceuticals official and the statistician who recently conducted a hotly contested reanalysis of data purportedly linking Risperdal to gynecomastia were "hoagie buddies," according to the plaintiff's attorney in the ongoing Risperdal-related case.

$4.2M Awarded to Woman Who Lost Leg After Knee Surgery

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded $4.2 million to a woman whose left leg was amputated because of an infection she developed after double knee-replacement surgery at Temple University Hospital.

Gaetan J. Alfano

Incoming Chancellor Wants to Raise Relevancy of the Bar

By Max Mitchell |

The incoming chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association said he does not just want to focus on getting more people involved in the association, but instead wants to focus on getting the bar association more involved in the greater community.

Suicide Suit Against Amazon, UPenn Clears Hurdle

By Max Mitchell |

The suit against Amazon and the University of Pennsylvania over a student's suicide using chemicals she bought through the online retail giant will be allowed to proceed, a common pleas judge has ruled.

Novel Xarelto Claims Brought Into Existing Mass Tort

By Max Mitchell |

Claims against Janssen Pharmaceuticals over the efficacy of the blood thinner Xarelto will be wrapped into Philadelphia's existing mass tort that focuses on claims the drug led to excessive bleeding, under a court order issued Wednesday.

Bill Cosby

Cosby's Appellate Brief Blasts 'Public Moralist' Argument

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a federal appeal, attorneys for Bill Cosby have argued that a federal judge was wrong to unseal documents from a 2005 lawsuit against the comedian, denouncing the contention that Cosby, as a "public moralist," has a diminished privacy interest.

Thomas R. Kline and Robert Mongeluzzi at a press conference Dec. 2 in Philadelphia.

Congress Set to Hike $200M Amtrak Accident Payment Cap

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers representing passengers injured in May's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia commended an agreement reached by members of Congress on Tuesday to raise the compensation limit for passengers from $200 million to $295 million.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Pelvic Mesh Trial Opens in Philadelphia

By Max Mitchell |

Plaintiff's counsel in Philadelphia's first pelvic mesh trial focused his opening statements on the product’s design and injuries it allegedly caused.

Political Consultant's Trademark Suit Against Axelrod Tossed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has thrown out Philadelphia media and political consultant Frank Keel's case against David Axelrod in which Keel claimed the former adviser to President Obama took credit for a political strategy developed by Keel.

Judge Denies Plaintiffs' Key Expert's Testimony in Zoloft MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled that plaintiffs' expert Dr. Nicholas Jewell's testimony should be excluded from the Zoloft multidistrict litigation.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Mass Tort Status Sought for Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro Cases

By Max Mitchell |

Attorneys representing several plaintiffs with claims stemming from their use of the antibiotics Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro have petitioned the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to consolidate the cases into a mass tort program.

Heart Monitor Company in Contempt of Patent Settlement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled that a cardiac monitoring service involved in patent infringement litigation is in contempt of a settlement prohibiting it from selling the plaintiff's technology.

handshake

Lamb McErlane Bolsters Chester County Municipal Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

Lamb McErlane, a West Chester-based boutique firm, has hired two municipal attorneys from Philadelphia-based Conrad O'Brien, allowing it to reach a broader swath of clients throughout Chester County.

Ex-Officer's Defamation Suit Against SEPTA Tossed

By Max Mitchell |

An ex-transit police officer, fired after getting into an altercation with a woman at a Dunkin' Donuts, will not be able to proceed with a defamation suit against his former employer, which had issued a safety bulletin alleging the man was impersonating a police officer and had pointed a loaded firearm at a pedestrian.

Football

NFL Concussion Settlement Unfair, Lawyers Argue

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys representing dozens of former NFL players in the nationwide concussion litigation argued in a federal appeals court today that the league's $1 billion settlement left certain players suffering from brain trauma without compensation.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Hires Private Counsel in Suit by Ex-Appeals Chief

By Gina Passarella |

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired lawyers from Littler Mendelson in Philadelphia to represent her in a civil suit filed by a former deputy in her office who alleged he was fired after testifying before the grand jury investigating Kane.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

Defense Argues to Exclude Finance Evidence in Tylenol MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys for the plaintiff and drugmaker McNeil Consumer Healthcare went back and forth Tuesday in federal court over motions to exclude pieces of evidence—some related to profit margins and lobbying—in the first bellwether trial in the Philadelphia-based Tylenol multidistrict litigation.

Egalet Picks First GC From GSK Ranks

By Gina Passarella |

Wayne-based specialty pharmaceutical company Egalet Corp. has hired its first general counsel, pulling from the in-house legal department of GlaxoSmithKline.

Tylenol.

Summary Judgment Motions Dismissed in Tylenol MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied Tylenol maker and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeill Consumer Healthcare's motions to toss the bellwether case in the Tylenol multidistrict litigation based in Philadelphia.

Asbestos.

Jury Awards $1.7M in First Asbestos Case Against Employer

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded a deceased factory worker and his wife $1.7 million, in what one litigator said may be the first asbestos case tried against an employer.

Fina, Costanzo Sue Kane, Daily News

By Lizzy McLellan |

A group of former Office of Attorney General employees has sued Attorney General Kathleen Kane, as well as the Philadelphia Daily News, over alleged retaliation that resulted in defamation.

Lawyer Arrested for Assault Loses Case Against Cops

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a lawyer's case against the Philadelphia Police Department in which he claimed that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned for elbowing a social worker.

Alleged Sex-Abuse Victim Settles Clergy Claims

By Max Mitchell |

The plaintiff in a civil clergy sex-abuse case has settled his claims against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the three men who allegedly abused him.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Parties Sparring Over Novel Xarelto Case Consolidation

By Max Mitchell |

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is fighting to consolidate a novel Xarelto case into an existing mass-tort program in Philadelphia that, so far, has focused on claims the drug led to excessive bleeding.

Judge Rules 'Actavis' Doesn't Bar Patent Expert Testimony

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Citing recent Supreme Court antitrust precedent, a federal judge has ruled that evidence on the strength of patents in reverse-payment settlement litigation is admissible.

$1.7M Award Against Wyeth Over Defunct Factory Reversed

By Max Mitchell |

In ruling that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals will not need to perpetually pay operation and maintenance costs for a wastewater treatment plant in Chester County, the Commonwealth Court has reversed a $1.7 million breach of contract award to the borough of West Chester.

Judge Denies $15.5M Comcast Class Settlement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After cable giant Comcast and a putative class of subscribers reached a settlement agreement in an antitrust case surrounding cable boxes, a federal judge decided Thursday to deny the proposed $15.5 million settlement as well as certification of the class.

MCCA CEO to Lead Duane Morris' Diversity Initiatives

By Gina Passarella |

The outgoing CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association will be joining Duane Morris as the co-chief diversity and inclusion officer in January 2016.

Claims Against SEPTA Tossed After Worker Seen at TV Taping

By Max Mitchell |

A SEPTA employee who was fired after she was seen at a taping of the "Live With Kelly & Michael" television program while on sick leave will not be able to proceed with her hostile work environment and discrimination claims against the transportation authority, a federal judge has ruled.

Pediatric Neurologist Testifies in Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A defense neurology expert testified on Thursday in the third Risperdal gynecomastia trial about the benefits and risks associated with prescribing the drug to children suffering from Tourette syndrome.

gavel

Ex-Judge Nocella Disbarred by State Supreme Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Nocella has been disbarred by the state Supreme Court more than two years after his removal from office.

Ex-Judge's Plea Deal Rejected in Tax Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael J. Sullivan's guilty plea for paying employees of his bar under the table was supposed to be entered in federal court Tuesday morning, but the judge had other ideas.

Treating Doctor Testifies in Risperdal Trial

By Max Mitchell |

The doctor who treated the plaintiff in the third Risperdal trial against Janssen Pharmaceuticals testified that he would not have prescribed the drug if he had more information about its potential to cause gynecomastia.

Traffic Court

Last Traffic Court Case Defendant Gets 3 Years' Probation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Garage and strip club owner Henry P. Alfano was sentenced today by a federal judge to three years of probation after pleading guilty to trading pornographic videos, seafood and auto repairs to a Philadelphia Traffic Court judge for fixing his friends' tickets.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Third Risperdal Trial in Philadelphia Begins

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Opening statements were held today in the third Risperdal gynecomastia case against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Kraft Must Fork Over Turkey Meat

By Max Mitchell |

Despite cutting turkey production due to an avian flu outbreak, a Philadelphia judge has ordered Kraft Heinz to provide a family-owned meat processor with thousands of pounds of turkey twice a week for the rest of the year.

Trial Judge Says Dismissal of Risperdal Suits Should Be Affirmed

By Max Mitchell |

The judge in charge of Philadelphia's Complex Litigation Center has asked the state Superior Court to affirm his decision to toss 13 Risperdal cases that originated in Michigan.

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Shipbuilding Asbestos Cases Proceed Despite Bankruptcies

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has allowed a series of shipbuilding-related asbestos cases to proceed, despite the defendants' assertion that the plaintiffs were barred from bringing them because the cases were not listed as assets in the plaintiffs' respective bankruptcies.

Defense Experts OK'd in Cephalon Reverse-Payment Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Defense experts' testimony not covering the defendants' state of mind when entering into reverse-payment settlement agreements can be admitted in the antitrust litigation against Cephalon and associated pharmaceutical companies involving the alleged delay of introducing a generic version of the drug Provigil, a federal judge has ruled.

Wolf Block

Wolf Block Loses Coverage Suit Over Partner Severance Payments

By Gina Passarella |

The insurance company for defunct law firm Wolf Block does not have to indemnify the firm over its failure to pay a former partner severance payments, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

Credit: photogl/iStockphoto.com.

Drexel Law Student's ADA Claims Against Firms Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has tossed three complaints filed against Pepper Hamilton, Blank Rome and Dechert filed by a law student who claimed the firms' decision not to hire him for a summer position violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Zoloft.

Zoloft MDL Cases Dismissed by the Hundreds

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Zoloft birth-defect multidistrict litigation based in Philadelphia, which once had as many as 600 cases, has been reduced to roughly half its original size. The drop is the result of hundreds of cases involving non-cardiac injuries being dismissed.

Hospital Found Liable For Bedsore Injury

A Delaware County jury found negligence on the part of Main Line Hospitals Inc. in the amount of $650,000 in a medical malpractice case related to a bedsore the plaintiff developed while an inpatient at Lankenau Hospital.

Elevator Company Ordered to Return Maintenance Device

By Ben Seal |

A federal judge has ordered an elevator company to return a maintenance tool to Berks County so it can service and repair dysfunctional elevators in two of its government buildings.

Insider-Trading Trial Date Set for Ex-Fox Rothschild Partner

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A trial has been scheduled for the former Fox Rothschild lawyer hit with insider-trading charges stemming from the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide insurance merger.

documents

Montco Clearing Backlog, Expediting Trials

By Max Mitchell |

The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas is ramping up efforts to clear out a backlog of cases dating as far back as 1980, and in the coming months the court will put more than 100 languishing cases on an expedited case-management schedule that will entail putting attorneys on 48-hour trial notice.

Data-Breach Class Action Against Coca-Cola Survives

By Gina Passarella |

The Coca-Cola Co. and several bottling companies have lost a bid to dismiss a putative class action filed against them by a former employee who said his identity was stolen after 55 laptops with employee data went missing from the bottling company's possession.

Chartwell Law Offices to Acquire Florida Boutique

By Gina Passarella |

Chartwell Law Offices is set to acquire the 22-lawyer Florida law firm Wadsworth Huott, bringing Valley Forge-based Chartwell to more than 110 attorneys, including 40 in the Sunshine State. The merger is expected to go into effect Oct. 5.

RatnerPrestia to Open Munich Office

By Gina Passarella |

In a rare move for a firm of its size, intellectual property boutique RatnerPrestia is set to expand abroad with the Jan. 1 opening of an office in Munich.

Cleanup was underway and traffic was light along Market Street Monday morning.

Day After Pope's Visit a 'Nonevent' for Many Firms

By Gina Passarella |

Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this past weekend meant law firm closures and, for some, more hype than proved necessary.

SEC Can't Get Insider-Trading Defendants' Phone Passwords

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The smartphone passwords of two former Capital One data analysts accused of insider trading will remain a secret to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal judge has ruled in a case one securities lawyer said covered rarely-trodden ground.

$50M Accord, $15M in Lawyer Fees in Comcast Class Action

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has approved a $50 million settlement in the long-running Comcast antitrust class action, carving out $15 million of that total for attorney fees.

Judge Urges Denial of Videotaped SEPTA Amputation Appeal

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia judge is urging the Commonwealth Court to deny the appeal of a man who was injured during a videotaped incident in which he fell between SEPTA train cars.

Fox Rothschild Creates Chief Privacy Officer Role

By Gina Passarella |

Fox Rothschild appears to be the first Pennsylvania firm, and possibly only second firm nationwide, to elevate a partner to the role of chief privacy officer.

GlaxoSmithKline headquaters.

Wellbutrin Antitrust Cases Against GSK Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has dismissed all claims against GlaxoSmithKline in the Wellbutrin XL antitrust litigation in which the pharmaceutical giant was accused of delaying the entry of generic versions of the antidepressant medication to market by entering into illegal agreements with generic drug makers to settle patent infringement lawsuits.

insurance policy

Insurer Off the Hook in Main Line Mansion Fire Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled an insurer did not interfere with a lease-to-own agreement between the tenant and the former owner of a Main Line mansion that burned down in 2012.

Pope Francis

Court Closures, Filing Deadlines Outlined for Papal Visit

By Gina Passarella |

As Philadelphia gears up for this weekend's papal visit, court operations in the city are shutting down.

Judge OKs Class in Egg Price-Fixing Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has certified a class of direct purchasers of eggs in a long-running case alleging egg producers devised a price-fixing scheme that violated state and federal antitrust laws.

In this May 7, 2015 photo, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., speaks during a My Brother's Keeper town hall at the School of the Future in Philadelphia. Fattah, an 11-term Democrat from Philadelphia, was indicted Wednesday, July 29, 2015, on charges that he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Fattah Allowed to Introduce Good-Deed Evidence, for Now

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The judge overseeing the corruption case against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, has denied federal prosecutors' request to keep the congressman from introducing evidence of "good acts" performed during his career to the jury.

Cigna corporate offices at Two Liberty Place in Philadelphia, PA.

Same-Sex Benefits Case Against Cigna Kicked to State Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The domestic partner of a deceased university administrator must pursue his life insurance benefits claims against Cigna and its subsidiary in state court, a federal judge has ruled.

penn state

PSU, Frat Seek to Move Hazing Suit to Centre County

By Max Mitchell |

Penn State and other defendants in a hazing suit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas are seeking to transfer the case to Centre County.

Judge Rejects Class Certification Bid in Egg Price-Fixing Case

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has denied class certification to indirect purchasers of eggs in a long-running case alleging egg purchasers engaged in price-fixing in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.

Benjamin Rauf.

Temple Law Community Responds to Grad's Murder by Classmate

By Gina Passarella |

Shazim Uppal and Benjamin Rauf both started out in Temple University's Beasley School of Law's evening program, eventually transitioning to the full-time track and graduating within months of one another earlier this year. But by August, Uppal was found dead in his car in a Delaware parking lot, killed, according to police, by Rauf in an alleged drug-related robbery.

Operational Plans for During Papal Visit Outlined by FJD

By Gina Passarella |

The First Judicial District has outlined its plans for the operation of core court functions in Philadelphia during Pope Francis' visit next week.

Judge Awards $4M Against Abortion Doctor Gosnell

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia judge has awarded nearly $4 million to the daughter of a woman who died while under the care of Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor convicted of murder in 2013.

Mass Torts Attorney Leaves Beasley Firm for More Focused Work

By Lizzy McLellan |

A mass torts attorney for The Beasley Firm has departed to start his own firm and serve as of counsel to a Midwest firm, seemingly leaving his former firm with no mass torts lawyers.

Firms Still Weighing Whether to Close Monday After Papal Visit

By Gina Passarella |

With less than a week before the World Meeting of Families kicks off the pope's visit to Philadelphia, law firms are still making decisions on whether and when to close down in a Center City that will largely be barricaded from Sept. 25-28.

insurance policy

Insurance Fraud Case Against Adjusters, Lawyers Stands

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An insurer's cases against an adjustment agency for allegedly filing fraudulent claims on behalf of a church—and against the lawyers who litigated those claims after they were denied—can move forward, a federal judge has ruled.

Zofran Birth-Defect MDL Headed to Pennsylvania?

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A new multidistrict litigation over the anti-nausea drug Zofran could be coming to Pennsylvania pending the outcome of a hearing before a federal judicial panel in roughly two weeks.

Stradley Ronon in Fee Dispute With Rapist Lawyer

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young is in the midst of a fee dispute with an attorney and his parents over fees the firm claims it is owed for work representing the attorney in a civil suit filed by a Russian boy the lawyer was convicted of raping.

Business handshake and business people

Post & Schell Hires Principal to Co-Lead Tax Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

In hiring a Philadelphia tax lawyer from his solo firm, Post & Schell has launched a new practice group focused on tax disputes with federal, state and local authorities.

verdicts and settlements

Estate of Woman Killed by Drunken Driver Awarded

By Ben Seal |

In the early hours of July 8, 2012, Confesora Aquino Rosario was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Paul LaBranche that was struck from behind by Matthew Carter, who was driving while intoxicated at an excessive rate of speed, according to the plaintiff's assessment of damages.

Embattled Montco Attorney Disbarred by Pa. Supreme Court

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Montgomery County lawyer who has faced charges on multiple fronts has been disbarred in relation to a number of alleged professional conduct violations, in a chain of events stemming from the sale of a home.

gavel

EDPA US Attorney Cracks Down on Improper Conduct

By Gina Passarella |

Thursday was a busy day for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania when it came to policing the practice of law.

Williams Could Face Fallout From Porngate Prosecutors

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams' decision not to fire three employees involved in pornographic and racist email chains while working for the state Attorney General's Office will likely lead to some political backlash, according to political observers and consultants.

Comcast Live Events Division Names New General Counsel

By Gina Passarella |

Comcast Spectacor has named Brian Rothenberg as the new general counsel of its live events unit, Spectra, the company announced Tuesday.

Centre County Judge Won't Seek Retention

By Max Mitchell and Lizzy McLellan |

A judge at the center of a text-message-related controversy in Centre County will not seek to remain on the bench in the upcoming election.

Justices: Doctor Still Ostensible Agent Under MCARE

By Lizzy McLellan |

A doctor can be found as an agent of a hospital in a medical malpractice case under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act, the state Supreme Court has ruled, but a nurse may not be able to provide expert testimony on patient care when both doctors and nurses were involved in the treatment.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

Morale Rises as Firms Give Associates a Voice, Technology

By Gina Passarella |

The majority of Pennsylvania law firms on this year's rankings of associate satisfaction by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer saw strong improvement, thanks in large part to both investments in technology and paying closer attention to what the associate committees had to say.

Gender Reassignment Surgery OK'd Over Parents' Objection

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Bucks County judge has denied two parents' emergency petition for limited guardianship of a transgender woman, allowing her to proceed with a scheduled gender reassignment surgery.

Lawyer Spars With Judge Over Alleged Bias

By Max Mitchell |

Jeffrey Downs, the attorney who recently lost a civil suit over his scuttled lateral move, may have wanted to focus on allegedly improper jury instructions during a post-trial motion hearing Thursday, but the judge handling the case wanted to discuss Downs' allegations that the judge had played favorites during the trial.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, listens to testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder during the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2010.

Email, Good Deed Evidence Latest Focus in Fattah Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Evidence issues took center stage in the corruption case against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, on Wednesday as two court filings were docketed: an appeals court decision on a search warrant for Fattah's emails and a prosecution motion to keep out anecdotes of good deeds performed by the congressman.

Suit Against Amazon Over Student Suicide Won’t Be Arbitrated

By Max Mitchell |

The suit against Amazon stemming from a University of Pennsylvania student who killed herself using chemicals allegedly bought through the online retailer is not headed for arbitration under a stipulation agreed upon by both sides.

Dechert

Dechert Forms Association With Saudi Arabia Firm

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has expanded its reach in the Middle East through an association with the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Zoloft.

Plaintiffs' Expert Scrutinized in Zoloft 'Daubert' Hearing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After being postponed for several months, a Daubert hearing in the Zoloft MDL kicked off again with counsel for Pfizer claiming the plaintiffs' causation expert was unqualified to offer opinions in the case and used improper methodology to arrive at his conclusions that Zoloft causes cardiac birth defects.

Court Reverses $3M Legal Malpractice Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has tossed a more than $3 million legal malpractice verdict against two Philadelphia attorneys, finding the suit had not been initiated within the statute of limitations.

Firm Seeks to Bar Witnesses in Scuttled Lateral Suit

By Max Mitchell |

A law firm facing retaliation claims by a former associate over a scuttled lateral move is seeking to preclude several witnesses from testifying in the trial scheduled to take place next month in federal court.

SRC, School District Can't Cap Charter School Enrollment

By Max Mitchell |

The School District of Philadelphia and the School Reform Commission do not have the power to enforce enrollment limits on charter schools, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Court Unseals Porn Emails, Other Kane-Related Filings

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unsealed a number of court documents related to the grand jury that recommended criminal charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, containing information about the pornographic emails exchanged between state officials, including members of the Office of Attorney General.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, listens to testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder during the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2010.

Fattah Asks Judge to Allow Contact With Witnesses

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, has asked a judge to permit him contact with people on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses in the corruption case against him.

Jury Awards $2.8M for Improper Tracheostomy

By Max Mitchell |

A Delaware County jury has awarded a woman $2.78 million for having a tracheostomy placed too high, which allegedly caused her to no longer be able to breathe without the tubing.

Novartis Headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

J&J CEO Excused From Deposition in Qui Tam Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Alex Gorsky, the former CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals and present head of Johnson & Johnson, does not have to give a deposition in a false-claims whistleblower case against Novartis, a federal judge has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Del. Water Authority Agrees to Pay for Alleged Violations

By Max Mitchell |

The Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (DELCORA) has agreed to pay state and federal environmental protection agencies $1.38 million as part of a consent decree to settle allegations that it improperly discharged pollutants into the Delaware River and its tributaries.

Whistleblower Withdraws Case Against Syringe Maker

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former employee of syringe maker Unilife Corp., who claimed he was the subject of a retaliatory firing for pointing out in 2011 that the company was in violation of FDA regulations, has withdrawn and apologized for his claims.

Time Clock

Class of Unpaid Insurance Workers Certified

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has granted conditional class status to a group of insurance claims representatives who alleged they were unpaid by Farmers Insurance Exchange for work performed before they clocked in each day.

patent stamp

Judge Orders $6.5M in Attorney Fees in Patent Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In a patent infringement case that has traveled the appellate ladder up to the U.S. Supreme Court and back down again, a district judge has ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendants roughly $6.5 million in legal fees for bringing the lawsuit in bad faith.

Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., pictured center, pleaded not guilty to corruption charges Aug. 18, 2015, in Philadelphia.

US Rep. Fattah Declares Innocence in Federal Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, who is facing corruption charges related to allegedly accepting an illegal $1 million campaign loan and taking bribes, repeatedly asserted his innocence at an arraignment held in federal court in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

More Risperdal Cases Headed to Trial

By Max Mitchell |

A second wave of trials in the Risperdal mass tort has been scheduled for October, and several more cases are gearing up for trials in the spring.

More Appeals Filed in NFL Concussion Settlement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Three more former professional football players have appealed the settlement between the National Football League and its former players who suffered head injuries while playing for the NFL.

Union Station, Washington, D.C.  May 13, 2015.  Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Faction of Plaintiffs Lawyers Contest Amtrak MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Although most plaintiffs in the Amtrak derailment litigation and the railroad company itself agreed to the establishment of a multidistrict litigation, three plaintiffs attorneys have argued consolidation is not the way to go.

Suspension With Pay Not Cause for Discrimination Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled in a case of first impression that suspension from work with pay does not count as an adverse employment action for a discrimination case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Ex-Client's Suit Against Squire Patton Is Ended

By Gina Passarella |

A multimillion-dollar malpractice and fraud suit against Squire Patton Boggs over its 17-year relationship with client Alliance Holdings was withdrawn Wednesday, a few months after a settlement agreement appears to have been reached, court documents show.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, listens to testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder during the Department of Justice Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Overview Hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on March 16, 2010.

Fattah Hires New Lawyers in Corruption Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr. has tapped a new legal team to defend him against federal corruption charges stemming from his alleged acceptance of bribes and an illegal $1 million campaign loan.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Delco Jury Awards $12.5M to Paralyzed Man

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Delaware County jury has awarded $12.5 million to a paralyzed man and his wife following an alleged delayed diagnosis of a cervical abscess.

Antibiotic MDL Could Be Coming to Pennsylvania

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia could be home to a multidistrict litigation involving antibiotics produced by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer, pending a decision from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

merger

Morgan Lewis Hires Ex-Head of US Attorney's Office in Trenton

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has been focused on deepening its white-collar defense bench over the past several months, most recently adding Harvey Bartle IV as a partner in the firm's Philadelphia and Princeton, New Jersey, offices.

Lawyer's ADA Suit Against Marshall Dennehey to Be Arbitrated

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has sent to arbitration an ADA case against Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin involving an attorney who said the firm didn't make accommodations for her fear of taking the elevator to her 24th-floor office.

Commuters on light rail

SEPTA Not Subject to Phila.'s Anti-Discrimination Law

By Max Mitchell |

SEPTA is not subject to a Philadelphia ordinance forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

MDJ Charged With Indecent Assault

By Max Mitchell |

A York County magisterial district judge has been charged criminally for allegedly groping a woman who had appeared in his court, and making inappropriate comments to other women who had also appeared before him.

Morgan Lewis Wants Arb Award Confirmed in Ex-Partner Beef

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is seeking confirmation of an arbitration award in a dispute between the firm and a former partner who had previously been alleged to have assisted a plaintiff in an intellectual property case against longtime Morgan Lewis client Apple.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

FJD Set to Close for Papal Visit

By Max Mitchell |

The First Judicial District is scheduled to be closed for four business days when Pope Francis comes to Philadelphia in late September.

Dechert

Dechert Expands Arbitration Practice With Weil Gotshal Duo

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has expanded its international arbitration capabilities to the United States with the hire of two Weil, Gotshal & Manges partners in Washington, D.C.

Suit Over Undelivered Gaming Machines Tossed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has dismissed a gaming company's suit against a producer of pub video-gaming units for lost profits stemming from a failure to deliver gaming software and hardware.

Bayer Agrees to $56.9M Settlement Program for Yaz Claims

By Max Mitchell |

The makers of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella have agreed to provide nearly $56.9 million to establish a settlement program for plaintiffs claiming they suffered arterial blood clots as a result of taking the birth-control drugs.

Chicken Suit Involving Pfizer Stays in Pennsylvania

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A lawsuit filed by Mexican chicken breeders against pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Zoetis for producing faulty chicken vaccines will be litigated in Pennsylvania, a federal judge has ruled.

St. Joe's Hires Lawyers in Softball Hazing Suits

By Gina Passarella |

Saint Joseph's University has hired lawyers at Saul Ewing to represent it in two lawsuits filed over allegations of hazing in the women's softball program.

K&L GATES

Firm Partnership Ranks at K&L Gates Being Trimmed

By Gina Passarella |

When more than 90 partners in seven months leave a law firm, no matter how large, eyebrows are raised and at least 91 different stories can be had about the cause. For K&L Gates, those stories have played out publicly across legal media in recent weeks as former partners and the firm's chairman offer up their explanations for departures across the 2,000-lawyer firm's increasingly global platform.

In this May 7, 2015 photo, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., speaks during a My Brother's Keeper town hall at the School of the Future in Philadelphia. Fattah, an 11-term Democrat from Philadelphia, was indicted Wednesday, July 29, 2015, on charges that he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

US Rep Fattah Hit With Corruption Charges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, and four associates have been indicted on racketeering charges stemming from several schemes, including one in which Fattah allegedly accepted an illegal $1 million campaign loan, according to federal prosecutors.

Gay Wedding Exchanging Rings

Common Law Marriage Retroactively Applied to Same-Sex Couple

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania state court judge has declared a same-sex couple married under common law even though one of the spouses died before the state's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

Plaintiff Rebuts Cosby Allegation of Settlement Breach

By Lizzy McLellan |

In two memoranda filed Tuesday, counsel for Andrea Constand, who reached a settlement with Bill Cosby in 2006, said the plaintiff did not breach the parties' confidentiality agreement, but it was the comedian who did so.

Judge Won't Certify Class Over Pre-emptive Settlement Fears

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied a plaintiff's request to form a class action in the hopes of blocking the defendant from pre-emptively settling with her.

Class Certified in Provigil Antitrust Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has certified a class of direct purchasers of the drug Provigil in their antitrust case against generic drug makers Ranbaxy Laboratories and Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

Hospital CMO's Malpractice Case Against Duane Morris Settles

By Gina Passarella |

Duane Morris has settled a legal malpractice case filed against it by the former chief medical officer of Aria Health, who argued the firm's representation of him in an underlying suit caused his termination.

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Gets Two Years' Probation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An ailing Fortunato N. Perri Sr., the last Philadelphia Traffic Court judge to be sentenced for involvement in the court's ticket-fixing scandal, was given two years of probation by a federal judge July 24.

Magisterial District Judge Charged With Extortion

By Max Mitchell |

The suspended Dauphin County magisterial district judge who was charged by the state Judicial Conduct Board last year is now facing criminal charges for allegedly demanding campaign contributions from the constables who worked for him.

Buchanan Hires Leave Novak Druce Lawyerless in Phila.

By Gina Passarella |

Part of a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia appears to have left Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg's year-old office in the city without any attorneys.

Ex-Judge Found Guilty of Theft, Conflict of Interest

By Max Mitchell |

A jury has found retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. guilty on charges of theft of services and conflict of interest related to his running a real estate business out of his judicial chambers.

Judge Orders Tyco Entity to Pay $126M in Shareholder Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Tyco Electronics is liable to a group of former Com-Net Critical Communications shareholders for $125.8 million, an Allegheny County judge ruled last week.

Cosby Says Accuser's Court Reporter Released Deposition

By Lizzy McLellan |

A lawyer for Bill Cosby is seeking to strike a motion that sought to unseal records from the comedian's 2006 settlement with Andrea Constand.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Former Secretary Testifies in Ex-Judge's Criminal Trial

By Max Mitchell |

The former secretary of retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. testified at Berry's criminal trial Tuesday that she helped to run his rental property business out of his judicial office.

Ex-Fox Rothschild Partner Pleads Not Guilty to Insider Trading

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former Fox Rothschild lawyer who was with the firm during its handling of the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide insurance merger pleaded not guilty in federal court to insider-trading charges.

Defense Attacks Key Witness in Ex-Judge's Trial

By Max Mitchell |

The attorney for retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. attacked the credibility of the prosecution's star witness during opening statements, saying she is only testifying out of retaliation.

Bancroft's Paul Clement

Clement Talks Same-Sex Marriage, Affordable Care Act

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement gave his annual recap to the Federalist Society of the most significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the term, spanning from the landmark same-sex marriage decision to its Affordable Care Act ruling to cases involving the First Amendment.

Buchanan Ingersoll Names Phila. MP as Next CEO

By Gina Passarella |

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has set a leadership transition plan in place, naming Philadelphia office managing shareholder Joseph Dougherty as the CEO-elect.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Favors Defense In Dram Shop Action

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Chester County jury has decided in favor of the defendants in a dram shop case where the plaintiff drove drunk and sustained severe brain injuries.

Ex-Fox Rothschild Lawyer Charged With Insider Trading

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former Fox Rothschild lawyer who was with the firm during its handling of the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide insurance merger has been charged by federal authorities with insider trading.

Pfizer to Turn Over 'Ex Parte' Emails in Zoloft MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pfizer has agreed to hand over email chains between the drugmaker's expert witness in the Zoloft multidistrict litigation and authors of studies on the risks of the antidepressant.

merger

General Counsel Say They Want Law Firms to Personalize the Pitch

By Gina Passarella |

Lawyers need to differentiate themselves through relationship-building and personalized pitches that demonstrate a deep understanding of the client's specific business, a panel of general counsel in Philadelphia said Thursday in explaining how to win and keep their business.

Zoloft.

Zoloft Plaintiffs Seek Pfizer Expert's Ex Parte Messages

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The plaintiffs in the Zoloft multidistrict litigation have asked the court to order discovery of ex parte email chains between drugmaker Pfizer's expert witness and authors of studies used in the litigation.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Mass Tort Inventory Stays High in Wake of Program Changes

By Max Mitchell |

Despite changes to the mass tort program the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas put in place a few years ago, the inventory in the Complex Litigation Center remains high and the number of out-of-state plaintiffs has largely remained steady.

Union Station, Washington, D.C. May 13, 2015.

Amtrak Won't Contest Compensatory Damages in Derailment Cases

By Gina Passarella |

In the first two answers filed by Amtrak in the train 188 derailment cases, the railroad company said it would not contest compensatory damages proximately caused by the May 12 accident that injured more than 200 passengers and killed eight others.

Adjusters Could Face Negligence Claims in Pa., Judge Rules

By Gina Passarella |

Predicting that Pennsylvania courts may allow for negligence claims against individual insurance adjusters, a federal judge has found a couple did not fraudulently join adjusters as defendants in their bad-faith case to destroy federal diversity jurisdiction.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

$32.8M Verdict Upheld in Chesco Brain Injury Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has affirmed a $32.8 million verdict awarded to a child who suffers from severe cerebral palsy as the result of sustaining brain damage minutes before birth.

Electrical Expert's Testimony Allowed in House Fire Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has allowed an electrical expert's testimony on the cause of a house fire, despite the defendant electrical parts manufacturer's claim that he did not use scientific methodology in drawing his conclusions.

Amputee Gets $12M Settlement Before Retrial

By Lizzy McLellan |

When the state Superior Court affirmed an order granting a new trial in a case involving a construction vehicle incident, a 10-year-old operator and an overturned $20 million verdict, the plaintiffs were receiving the final payments in a $12 million settlement.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

In Unsealed Documents, Cosby Admits Giving Drugs to a Woman

By Lizzy McLellan, Gina Passarella and Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has unsealed a number of documents revealing information about Bill Cosby's 2006 settlement with Andrea Constand over allegations of sexual assault and other claims.

Firm Must Pay Fee to Avandia MDL Committee

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A firm that used work product from a plaintiffs' steering committee in the Avandia multidistrict litigation must pay a percentage of the settlement proceeds from its cases to the committee's attorney compensation fund.

JCB Chair Facing Criminal Investigation

By Max Mitchell |

The chair of the state Judicial Conduct Board has been relieved of some of her duties as a magisterial district judge in Lancaster County because of an ongoing criminal investigation that appears to center around her handling of three traffic citations.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Carpenter After Stairway Collapse

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury awarded $3 million to a carpenter who broke his shoulder after the temporary stairway he was walking on collapsed.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Pizzeria Owner For Loss of Taste

On Sept. 1, 2009, plaintiff Antonio Costagliola, 34, a pizzeria owner, presented to otolaryngologist Samuel Rizzo, of Pittston, because of episodes of recurrent tonsillitis for approximately five years.

insurance policy

Claim Against Insurer In Estate Fire Case Allowed to Survive

By P.J. D'ANnunzio |

The renter and prospective owner of a Philadelphia Main Line estate destroyed by fire may move forward with her claim that the insurance company tried to keep from paying her the entire cost of rebuilding.

Morgan Lewis Took Risks in Its Rebranding

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius was a different firm a year ago. Certainly many of the same practices and office locations existed, but since then the firm has a new chairwoman and has completed two mergers that catapulted it to the largest in the United States by domestic head count with nearly 2,000 attorneys worldwide.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment May 13 in Philadelphia.

Amtrak Consents to Derailment MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Amtrak has agreed with plaintiffs in the Train 188 derailment litigation that all cases should be funneled into a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Renders Defense Verdict for Infant Cataract Claims

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has rendered a defense verdict for a pediatrician over claims that he failed to diagnose an infant's cataract.

Stable CMO Market Sees Some Unexpected Movement

By Gina Passarella 
and Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania's legal marketing community has seen relative stability over the past few years as many of the largest law firms have installed and maintained the next generation of chief marketing and business development officers. But there have been a few changes of late, including what the marketing community has perceived as the abrupt departure of Saul Ewing's marketing leader.

Phila. Jury Rejects Claims Over Infant Cataracts

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has rendered a defense verdict for a pediatrician over claims that he failed to diagnose an infant's cataracts.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment May 13 in Philadelphia.

Amtrak Derailment Plaintiffs Petition to Create MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

As personal injury lawsuits continue to be filed against Amtrak in federal court, a request has been made to funnel all of the cases surrounding the Philadelphia derailment into a single multidistrict litigation.

Constitutionality of Alabama Law Argued in Tylenol MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers in the bellwether case in the Tylenol multidistrict litigation Wednesday argued over whether the lack of a formula for determining punitive damages under Alabama's wrongful-death law violates the due process rights of the drug's maker.

IPad Texts Not Private Under Wiretap Act

By Max Mitchell |

An iPad does not fall within the telephone exemption under the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, and users of the device do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to sending text messages, the state Superior Court has ruled in a case of first impression.

Committee Vote Set for Restrepo, but Delay Seems Likely

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee vote to confirm Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is likely to be pushed back, once again delaying the already-drawn-out confirmation process.

No Punitives in Tylenol MDL, at Least on Paper

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ordered that punitive damages may not be pursued in the bellwether case in the Tylenol MDL, but the plaintiff's lawyer said punitive damages are already factored into the case under the law of the plaintiff's home state, Alabama.

Hagens Berman Agrees to Conditional $145K Sanctions Payout

By Gina Passarella |

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has conditionally agreed to pay pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH $145,000 in sanctions for prosecuting three thalidomide injury suits a federal judge had determined were meritless.

Injured Motorcyclist Secures $1.2M Settlement in Dauphin

By Max Mitchell |

A motorcyclist who fractured her pelvis after being hit by a sedan in Dauphin County has settled her claim against the defendant-driver for $1.2 million.

In Pricey Markets, Midsize Firms Must Acquire to Grow

By Lizzy McLellan |

Markets like New York and Washington, D.C., can be tempting for midsized Pennsylvania firms looking to grow, but legal observers and recent events suggest that mergers are a better way to go in those high-priced markets.

FMLA Termination Suit Revived by Third Circuit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman fired after submitting faulty medical-leave paperwork to her employer should have been able to correct her submission before being terminated, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled.

gavel

Justices Reject Per Se Rule on Guilty Plea Withdrawal

By Max Mitchell |

Asserting innocence after pleading guilty does not provide sufficient reason for a trial court to grant a presentence request to withdraw the plea, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly speaks with members of the media at NFL football minicamp June 17, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Chip Kelly Tackled for $80K in Rent, Costs

By Max Mitchell |

A collection action has begun against Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly after he was hit with a nearly $80,000 judgment over a lease dispute for a penthouse in what court papers describe as the "most expensive rental in Philly."

verdicts and settlements

Jury Finds for Pfizer In Zoloft Birth Defect Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia jury handed up a defense win in a suit brought by an Illinois woman who said her use of the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy was the cause of her daughter's congenital heart defects.

verdicts and settlements

Defense Verdict in Case of Anchor Fired for Racial Slur

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury unanimously handed up a defense verdict, rejecting allegations of discrimination by Tom Burlington, the white news anchor who was fired by the Fox 29 television station after he used the word "n-----" in an editorial meeting.

Morgan Lewis Fights Against Newspapers' Fee Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has disputed it should return to former client Interstate General Media around $700,000 in fees the Philadelphia newspaper company said it was "bled" through the firm's alleged disloyal representation.

Traffic Court

Sentencing Date Set for Last Traffic Court Judge

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After months of delay, a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Fortunato N. Perri Sr.—the last Philadelphia Traffic Court judge awaiting sentencing for involvement in the court's ticket-fixing scandal.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment May 13 in Philadelphia.

Defense Counsel Retained, Motions Filed in Amtrak Cases

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

As new lawsuits continue to emerge over the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, motions have begun to surface and a firm representing Amtrak has entered its appearance.

Supreme Court's Mandatory Minimum Ruling Viewed as 'Game-Changer'

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court's decision tossing the mandatory minimum sentencing scheme for drug-free school zones effectively strikes down numerous mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the state, and leaves the question of whether these schemes will return in the hands of the General Assembly, according to court watchers.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Jury Issues Defense Verdict in Case of Anchor Fired for Racial Slur

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury unanimously handed up a defense verdict, rejecting allegations of discrimination by Tom Burlington, the white news anchor who was fired by the Fox 29 television station after he used the word "n*****" in an editorial meeting.

gavel

Judge OKs Suit Against ADA Over Civil Forfeiture

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has allowed a civil suit to go forward against a Philadelphia assistant district attorney and his supervisor over their conduct during civil forfeiture proceedings.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

Subpoena of Cosby Settlement Put on Hold

By Lizzy McLellan |

It will not be known whether three women suing Bill Cosby for defamation can obtain information about the comedian's confidential 2006 settlement until a judge decides whether the case should be dismissed.

handshake

Public Interest Leadership Changes Reflect National Trend

By Ben Seal |

The Philadelphia public interest community is in the midst of a flurry of leadership changes, and as longtime pillars of the community pass on their organizations' torches, the same appears to be happening nationwide as a generational shift occurs.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Man For Unnecessary Skin Grafts

By Max Mitchell |

A man who burned himself while cooking has been awarded $3 million for undergoing unnecessary skin grafts.

Zoloft.

Pfizer Wins Zoloft Failure-to-Warn Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia jury Thursday handed up a defense win in a suit brought by an Illinois woman who said her use of the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy was the cause of her daughter's congenital heart defects.

merger

Campbell Hires GC From Lincoln Financial

By Lizzy McLellan |

Campbell Soup Co. has appointed Adam G. Ciongoli as general counsel, the company announced Thursday.

Lawyer Seeks Sanctions Against Anapol Schwartz

By Max Mitchell |

In what has become a duel between competing motions for sanctions, the gay lawyer who sued Anapol Schwartz over his scuttled lateral move is seeking to recover some court costs against the defendant law firm over a motion for sanctions the firm filed late last month.

Blank Rome

Blank Rome Acquires Houston IP Boutique

By Gina Passarella |

Blank Rome has looked to a jurisdiction with one of the busiest intellectual-property dockets in the country to grow that practice nationally and add additional IP litigation capabilities.

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks after he took the oath of office to become the 47th governor of Pennsylvania, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wolf Reversed on Arneson Removal

By Lizzy McLellan |

Erik Arneson, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records who was ousted from that position by Gov. Tom Wolf in January, has been reinstated.

Valets Have No Duty to Withhold Drunk Patrons' Keys, Pa. Superior Court Rules

By Max Mitchell |

An en banc panel of the state Superior Court has ruled valets do not have a duty to withhold car keys from visibly intoxicated patrons.

Class Certification Denied in Cephalon Antitrust Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge weighing whether to approve a $1.2 billion settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and Cephalon has denied class certification to a group of plaintiffs suing Cephalon and others over the same allegations of antitrust violations.

Phila. Bar Honors Carr, Longtime CLS Head, With O’Connor Award

By Max Mitchell |

When Community Legal Services Executive Director Catherine C. Carr accepted the Philadelphia Bar Association's Sandra Day O'Connor Award, she did so in front of her former boss and the first woman to receive the award more than 20 years ago.

Fragrance-Sensitive Employee's Termination Suit Stands

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman who alleged the company she worked for terminated and discriminated against her based on her heightened sensitivity to fragrances may proceed with her lawsuit, a federal judge has ruled.

Legal Briefs

Timely EEOC Filing Equals Timely PHRC Filing, Judge Rules

By Gina Passarella |

A worksharing agreement between the EEOC and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission shows that a charge of discrimination filed by a plaintiff with one is deemed to have been filed with the other on the same date, a federal judge has ruled in an issue not yet addressed by the Third Circuit.

Union Station, Washington, D.C.  May 13, 2015.  Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Judge Handling Amtrak Cases Known for Intellect, Empathy

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania—who has been tapped to preside over cases stemming from last month's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia—is the right person for the job of handling the complexity of disaster litigation, according to those who know him.

verdicts and settlements

Cephalon Agrees to Record Settlement in Pay-for-Delay Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Federal Trade Commission's biggest settlement to date—$1.2 billion in a pay-for-delay case—came out of federal court in Philadelphia.

verdicts and settlements

Worker Awarded After Fall Through Scaffolding Hole

By Lizzy McLellan |

A jury in Philadelphia has awarded more than $527,000 to an energy plant worker who fell through scaffolding.

Pressure to Build Books Faces GCs Returning to Law Firms

By Gina Passarella |

As business consolidation has increased along with economic improvement, there have been more senior-level in-house counsel looking for new positions and that typically means a stop, for however long a time, in law firms.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Jury Awards $3M for Needless Skin Grafts

By Max Mitchell |

A man who burned himself while cooking has been awarded $3 million for undergoing unnecessary skin grafts.

<b>ON THE DEFENSE:</b> Entertainer Bill Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and ­molested women throughout his career.

Cosby Seeks to Prevent Disclosure of 2006 Settlement

By Lizzy McLellan |

As he faces a lawsuit by three women in Massachusetts federal court, Bill Cosby has filed a motion to prevent disclosure of information from his 2006 settlement in a Pennsylvania federal court with a plaintiff who alleged the comedian assaulted her.

Judge: Pa. Doesn't Recognize Data-Breach Negligence Claims

By Max Mitchell |

An Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge has dismissed a class action suit against UPMC over a data breach, ruling Pennsylvania law does not recognize a civil cause of action against companies for failing to keep confidential information secure.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

Evidence of Damages Permitted in Asbestos Insurance Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A manufacturer of asbestos-containing products can present evidence of damages against an insurer claiming it did not owe the company excess insurance coverage in underlying asbestos litigation, a federal judge has ruled.

Panel Sees More Data Breach Litigation on the Horizon

By Max Mitchell |

A panel of national data-security attorneys agreed at a cybersecurity conference Tuesday that data breach litigation is expanding in almost every way, and big changes are coming soon.

Trial for Anchor Fired for Epithet Nears

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Thomas Burlington, the white news anchor who was fired after he used the word "n*****" in an editorial meeting, was largely successful in recent pretrial motions for his reverse discrimination suit against the Philadelphia Fox television station where he had worked.

Are Contract Attorney Markups Of Any Concern to Clients?

By Gina Passarella |

When a former Drinker Biddle & Reath contract attorney received a two-year suspension last week for overbilling a client on document review, the legal community's reaction focused not so much on the behavior as on the lawyer's billing rate.

Superior Court Seeks More Information on Asset Transfer

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has remanded a sex-crime victim's Fraudulent Transfer Act suit for further consideration about whether the perpetrator and the businessman who purchased the perpetrator's small business are indispensable parties in the case.

verdicts and settlements

Federal Judge Enforces Settlement In UIM Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

A judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has enforced a $100,000 settlement in an underinsured motor vehicle claim, ruling against the insurer.

Risperdal Accords Don't Mean Swift End to Litigation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After settlement of the third case to head to the courtroom in Philadelphia's Risperdal mass tort, the lead trial attorney for the plaintiffs said it is too soon to expect a global resolution of the litigation.

unfinished automobiles in a car plant

Manufacturers of Asbestos-Free Products May Still Face Claims

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Companies aren't strictly liable for asbestos injuries caused by aftermarket parts they didn't manufacture, but they might be liable for a claim of negligence, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled, predicting how the state Supreme Court would come down.

Defendants Attempt to Dismiss Gay Lawyer's Federal Suit

By Max Mitchell |

Defendants opposing claims of discrimination, retaliation and defamation brought by a gay lawyer over his scuttled lateral move have renewed their attempts to have the federal court case against them dropped.

$1.2 Billion Settlement in FTC's Suit Against Cephalon

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Federal Trade Commission's biggest settlement to date—$1.2 billion in a pay-for-delay case—came out of federal court in Philadelphia on Thursday.

gavel and book

Collection of $1M Fine Against Lawyer Halted Again

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has issued an order—for a second time—to suspend garnishments against defense attorney Nancy Raynor, sanctioned nearly $1 million by a Philadelphia judge.

Morgan Lewis Loses Bid to Move Conflict Suit to Del.

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia Commerce Court judge rejected Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' argument that a fee dispute by the owner of Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers should be moved to the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Defense Seeks Sanctions Against Gay Lawyer in Defamation Suit

By Max Mitchell |

The gay lawyer who sued Anapol Schwartz over his scuttled lateral move should be sanctioned for allegedly making false statements about a key fact in the case, the defendants argued in a post-trial motion.

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Ford Roll-Over Case

By Gina Passarella |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear a case against Ford Motor Co. that involved a controversial theory of injury in roll-over accidents.

Runners start the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 36th annual 5K Run/Walk after Chancellor Albert S. Dandridge III fires the starting gun.

Phila. Bar 5K Event Brings Out Judges, Children and Lawyers

By Manny D. Pokotilow |

On May 17, the 36th annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk benefiting the Support Center for Child Advocates was held at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Approximately 1,200 people participated in the 5K Run/Walk, the 1 Mile Dash, the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Kids' Dash and the Caesar Rivise Team Competition.

Class Status Denied in Health Care Data Breach

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has refused to certify a proposed class of roughly 200,000 individuals whose personal and health information was stored on a flash drive and allegedly lost by their health insurance companies.

Axiom Growing Office in Pa.

By Gina Passarella |

For the past couple of months, a 1,200-person alternative legal services provider has been quietly building up its team in a new location that serves Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware, and South Jersey.

Verdict Vacated Over Negligent Hiring Claim

By Lizzy McLellan |

A commercial real estate company was not liable for hiring a contractor who was found negligent after a multi-alarm warehouse fire, as the plaintiff failed to show evidence of negligent hiring, the Superior Court has decided.

verdicts and settlements

Architectural Firm to Pay College for Using Unlicensed Personnel

The Community College of Philadelphia was awarded $5.5 million in its suit against an architectural firm for using unlicensed personnel to work on the construction of a new campus facility.

verdicts and settlements

U.S. Gets Settlement For Alleged Overcharging

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Siemens has agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle claims that it overcharged the federal government for medical equipment, without admitting liability.

Justice Ronald Castille

Castille Wins The Legal's Attorney Of the Year Award

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Editor's note: Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille was named Attorney of the Year at The Legal's Professional Excellence Awards dinner Wednesday. His fellow finalists were U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius chairwoman Jami Wintz McKeon.

Alabama Law Applies in Tylenol MDL Death Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Alabama law, which allows for uncapped damages, will apply in the case of a woman from that state who allegedly died from liver failure after taking Tylenol, a federal judge has ruled.

Appeal Denied in Defunct Company Privilege Lawsuit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments on whether a former in-house lawyer for a defunct business entity can invoke attorney-client privilege to keep from submitting subpoenaed documents in a suit against it.

St. Joe's Sued for Softball Team's 'Sexually Charged' Hazing

By Gina Passarella |

A softball player at Saint Joseph's University has sued the school for Title IX violations stemming from allegations of a "sexually charged" hazing culture within the women's softball team.

Citigroup Keeps Its Arbitration Win

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A win for Citigroup Global Markets in arbitration will stand since a federal judge dismissed a challenge to it, finding that her court didn't have jurisdiction.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Out of Dozens, 15 Judicial Candidates Win Dem Primary

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Voters on Tuesday selected 12 Democrats from a crowded field of candidates for the 2015 Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to progress to November's general election.

Collection of $1M Fine Against Lawyer Again Sought

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After having been put on hold for several months, efforts to resume collection against Nancy Raynor, an attorney sanctioned by a Philadelphia judge for nearly $1 million for eliciting banned testimony about smoking in a medical malpractice case, have picked up again.

Montco Courts to Open Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday announced the creation of a mortgage foreclosure diversion test program aimed at helping residents who face the threat of eviction to stay in their homes.

 Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky co-founder Robert Mongeluzzi, left, and Thomas R. Kline of Kline & Specter announce Monday the launch of litigation against Amtrak in federal court in Pennsylvania.

'Indescribable Horror' of Amtrak Derailment Prompts Suits

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A cluster of lawsuits against Amtrak stemming from last week's derailment that injured over 200 people and killed eight has been filed in Pennsylvania.

Pfizer Wins Right to See Expert Report in Similar Birth-Defect Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Lawyers bringing the case alleging that Zoloft caused birth defects in babies born to women who took the antidepressant have to turn over the report that their expert produced in similar litigation over Prozac, the federal judge handling the case has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Bicyclist Gets Settlement After Collision With Truck

By Lizzy McLellan |

A bicyclist has recovered $2.6 million in a settlement with various defendants following a 2012 crash with a mattress store truck.

Appeals Filed in NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Three weeks after the settlement between the National Football League and its former players who suffered head injuries while playing for the NFL got final approval, challenges to it are getting under way.

Union Station, Washington, D.C. May 13, 2015.

When Is Too Soon to Seek Disaster-Victim Clients?

By Gina Passarella |

As police and government officials were sorting through the wreckage Wednesday of Tuesday evening's derailment of Amtrak 188, lawyers began sifting through potential claims and, for some, offering their services to potential clients.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment May 13 in Philadelphia.

Valuing Damages in Amtrak Crash Made Trickier by $200M Cap

By Gina Passarella |

Lingering over the liability claims expected to be raised by victims of the Amtrak 188 derailment is a 1997 federal law that creates a $200 million damages cap to be paid out for any single railroad accident.

Clergy Abuse Plaintiff Seeks Judgment Based on Lynn Conviction

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The plaintiff in a civil clergy sex-abuse case is asking the court for summary judgment against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Monsignor William Lynn based on the reinstatement of Lynn's criminal conviction.

Union Station, Washington, D.C. May 13, 2015.

Lawsuit Filed in Amtrak Derailment

By Gina Passarella |

A federal lawsuit has already been filed stemming from Tuesday's Amtrak disaster.

Union Station, Washington, D.C.  May 13, 2015.  Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Lawyers Eye Details in Wake of Amtrak Derailment

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia that, according to public officials, resulted in the deaths of at least seven people and injured more than 200, lawsuits seem all but certain to be filed.

Siemens Settles for $5.9M With U.S. Government

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Siemens has agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle claims that it overcharged the federal government for medical equipment, without admitting liability.

Jury Sides With Anapol Schwartz in Gay Lawyer's Suit

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has rejected a gay lawyer's claims against Anapol Schwartz over his aborted lateral move.

Justices Consider Disclosure of Subcontractor Rates

By Lizzy McLellan |

As Pennsylvania's Supreme Court justices took up an issue on health care rates and the Right-to-Know Law during oral arguments in Harrisburg last week, they eyed the use of "middlemen" for government functions, specifically the extent to which records of contracts and subcontracts should be publicly available.

verdicts and settlements

Phila. Jury Awards Woman Paralyzed After Spinal Surgery

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

April Mendel, a former school-bus driver, was awarded roughly $4.9 million by a Philadelphia jury after becoming a paraplegic from a post-spinal surgery infection.

$5.5M Awarded to Community College in Building Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Community College of Philadelphia has been awarded $5.5 million in its suit against an architectural firm for using unlicensed personnel to work on the construction of a new campus facility.

Defense Counsel Testifies on Role in Gay Lawyer's Exit Interview

By Max Mitchell |

The attorney defending Anapol Schwartz against claims of defamation and tortious interference by a gay lawyer whose lateral move was scuttled took the stand to explain his role during an exit interview with the plaintiff.

Phila. Bar Releases Final Group of Judicial Ratings

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia Bar Association has released its final batch of judicial candidate ratings just two weeks before the May 19 primary election.

At Trial, Gay Lawyer's Ex-Boss Says He Was Betrayed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Mark LeWinter, who supervised Jeffrey Downs, the gay attorney suing Anapol Schwartz for defamation, testified Wednesday his trust had been "betrayed" when Downs told another firm leader to keep LeWinter in the dark about Downs' threat of a lawsuit.

Cozen O'Connor Adds 10-Person State AGs Practice

By Gina Passarella and Katelyn Polantz |

Cozen O'Connor has continued its expansion efforts this year with the addition of a 10-person state attorneys general practice from Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, D.C., and the firm's leadership said it isn't stopping there.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Phila. Courts Request $1.2M for GPS Ankle Bracelets

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Leaders of Philadelphia's court system and District Attorney's Office on Tuesday urged City Council to make adjustments to Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposed 2016 city budget in order to fund several criminal-justice initiatives.

Court Rules Board Must Explain Pension Termination

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement should not have terminated a former police officer's pension without providing an explanation of his malfeasance leading to that decision, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Family Awarded After Costa Rican Crash

By P.J. Dannunzio |

A federal judge awarded $4.5 million to a family injured in Costa Rica when a resort-owned shuttle bus crashed and partially flipped over.

Gay Lawyer Takes Stand in Defamation Suit

By Max Mitchell |

The gay attorney suing Anapol Schwartz for defamation took the stand Tuesday to outline his departure from the firm and decision to accept a job at Raynes McCarty.

Lawyers: $1M Attorney Sanction Over the Top

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In response to a Philadelphia judge's second defense of issuing roughly $1 million in sanctions against attorney Nancy Raynor, several attorneys have called the magnitude of the sanctions "unprecedented."

Philadelphia Defamation Trial Begins for Gay Lawyer Suing Firms

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys offered opening statements Monday afternoon in the state-court defamation case of the gay lawyer who claimed two law firms scuttled his lateral move.

Judge Bifurcates Motor Vehicle, Residency Phases in UIM Case

By Max Mitchell |

A plaintiff's contested residency claims regarding an underinsured motorist coverage policy will be tried separately from the plaintiff's action regarding a motor vehicle collision, a court of common pleas judge has ruled.

Panel Upholds Late-Diagnosis Award, Avoids Expert Issue

By Lizzy McLellan |

An oncologist's expert testimony in a medical malpractice case against a podiatrist did not compromise the validity of the plaintiff's verdict, the state Superior Court has ruled, upholding a $750,000 award.

verdicts and settlements

Delco Jury Awards Stroke Victim in Med Mal Case

By P.J. Dannunzio |

A man who claimed his stroke was the result of a doctor's failure to treat his high blood pressure has been awarded a verdict of roughly $7.4 million by a Delaware County jury.

Cozen O'Connor to Acquire Bulk of Chicago Firm

By Gina Passarella |

Cozen O'Connor is set to significantly bolster its Chicago presence with the acquisition of 60 lawyers from 70-attorney Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson, the firms said Thursday morning.

Family Awarded $4.5M in Costa Rica Crash Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has awarded $4.5 million to a family injured in Costa Rica when a resort-owned shuttle bus crashed and partially flipped over.

Football

NFL Concussion Settlement Approved

By Saranac Hale Spencer and P.J. D'Annunzio |

The highly contested settlement between the NFL and its former players who allege they suffered head injuries while playing for the league has gotten final approval from the federal judge overseeing the case.

Choice of Law Key to Punitives in Tylenol MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Whether punitive damages will be unlimited or not available at all in the bellwether trial for the Tylenol MDL will depend on whether Alabama or New Jersey law applies.

$512M Settlement Reached in Cephalon Reverse-Payment Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An antitrust lawsuit against Cephalon and associated pharmaceutical companies involving the alleged delay of introducing a generic version of the drug Provigil into the market has settled for $512 million.

Phila. Family Wins Back Rare Coins From U.S. Government

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Ten rare gold coins at the center of a tug-of-war between the federal government and a Philadelphia family are back in the hands of the family following a split Third Circuit decision issued Friday.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Woman Paralyzed After Spinal Surgery Awarded $4.9M

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

April Mendel, a former school bus driver, was awarded roughly $4.9 million by a Philadelphia jury after becoming a paraplegic from a post-spinal surgery infection.

verdicts and settlements

Bars Settle With Family of Man Beaten to Death

The estate of a 23-year-old man beaten to death after a night out in the Old City section of Philadelphia has settled for $7 million with the bars that served the man's attackers, according to lawyers in the case.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Limited Tort Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Lackawanna County jury has decided in favor of the defendant in a 2009 motor vehicle case.

Reed Smith Malpractice Case Headed for Trial

By Gina Passarella |

Reed Smith has lost its bid to send to arbitration a legal malpractice case over the firm’s advice in a $20.5 million insurance settlement.

Old-City Beating Death Leads to $7M Dram Shop Settlement

By Gina Passarella |

The estate of a 23-year-old man beaten to death after a night out in the Old City section of Philadelphia has settled for $7 million with the bars that served the man’s attackers, according to lawyers in the case.

Traffic Court

JCB Charges Former Traffic Court Judges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Judicial Conduct Board has filed charges against four judges of the defunct Philadelphia Traffic Court, including one who was cleared of all federal charges against him in the ticket-fixing case last summer.

Signing a contract

Class Action Over Alleged Energy Fraud Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A 2002 prediction from the Third Circuit that Pennsylvania courts would bar contract actions from being brought under statutory fraud claims because of the economic loss doctrine is no longer valid, a federal district judge has ruled.

Lawyer's Role in Involuntary Psych Commitments Before Third Circuit

By Gina Passarella |

Delaware County’s involuntary commitment procedures and the liability of the court-appointed attorney who represented people facing extensions of forced psychiatric treatment were at issue before the Third Circuit on Tuesday.

School Slip-and-Fall Case Settles for $5M

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman who slipped on flooring glue in the school where she worked, sustaining debilitating back injuries, has settled her case against a contracting company for $5 million.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

Pa. Big-Firm Associate Salaries in Flux

By Gina Passarella |

The associate compensation landscape in Pennsylvania is slowly evolving and, in the wake of Dechert's local salary bump, could see more changes as a number of law firms say they are evaluating their compensation programs.

Firing of Tyco Accountant Not Tied to Whistleblowing

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Tyco's decision to fire Jeffrey Wiest was likely caused by sexual comments he made to female co-workers, not by his challenge to the corporate spending on extravagant parties in the wake of a similar scandal that put Tyco's former CEO in jail, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled.

/image/pa/300_pics/health-law-article.jpg

Trial Judge Rules Sentinel Event Report Not Confidential

By Lizzy McLellan |

In an apparent case of first impression in Pennsylvania, a Lackawanna County judge has decided that a sentinel event report prepared for a private accreditation commission is subject to discovery in a psychiatric malpractice action.

Ex-Township Treasurer Has Standing to Appeal Audit

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former township treasurer has standing to appeal the township's annual audit and financial report for part of her term, even after leaving the treasurer position, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Football

High-School Football Concussion Case Tossed by Federal Judge

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

When William Croce was a sophomore in high school, he got a concussion during a football game and was sent back in to play, according to the lawsuit he filed against the West Chester School District.

verdicts and settlements

Transport Company Settles After Car Collision

By Gina Passarella |

Plaintiff Michael Spadine claimed injuries from a Nov. 3, 2009, motor vehicle accident in which defendant Richard Kemmerer collided with Spadine's car and fled the scene.

Alleged ISIS Recruit to Stay in Prison

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Keonna Thomas, the 30-year-old Philadelphia woman who is accused of making plans to join the terrorist group ISIS, will be held in federal custody until trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled Thursday afternoon.

Antique Map New England

Case Tied to Three States Must Be Handled in Montco

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A counterclaim to a breach of contract case—involving a Wayne-based company, a former executive and employment agreements requiring litigation of disputes in three different states—must be handled in Montgomery County, a judge has ruled.

Lawyers Talk Confidentiality, Choice of Law in Tylenol MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys in the Tylenol multidistrict litigation discussed Wednesday whether confidential documents should remain out of the public eye and which state's law should govern the first case in the MDL.

Blogger Immune From Suit for Anonymous Comments

By Max Mitchell |

A blogger is immune from defamation claims stemming from anonymous posts that appeared in the moderated-comments section of his website, a common pleas court judge has ruled.

Client: Arbitration Clause No More Valid Because He Is a Lawyer

By Gina Passarella |

A businessman and attorney suing Reed Smith for legal malpractice said his status as a former practicing lawyer should have nothing to do with whether the firm fully informed him of the rights he was giving up by signing a mandatory arbitration clause.

Firms Respond to Dechert Salary Increases

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert took the Philadelphia market-high for associate compensation to a new level for dozens of junior lawyers when it announced Monday that it would increase salaries to between $160,000 and $280,000 for first- through eighth-year associates.

EDPA Seeing Stiff Competition For Whistleblower Litigation

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Several U.S. attorneys have begun courting False Claims Act litigation in recent years, according to lawyers who practice in the area, chipping away at the dominance that Philadelphia and Boston once had on whistleblower cases.

Dechert

Dechert Raises Associate Pay in Phila., Princeton

By Gina Passarella |

Competition among law firms for market share is fierce, and so too, it seems, is the competition for associates. In the past two years, Pennsylvania law firms have been bumping up, sometimes quietly, associate salaries.

Xarelto Mass Tort Cases Rising Steadily in Phila.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Case filings are gradually increasing in the Xarelto blood-thinner litigation, the Philadelphia court system's newest mass tort.

Third Circuit Revives Products Liability Case in Wake of 'Tincher'

By Max Mitchell |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reinstated a defective design claim based on the state Supreme Court's ruling last year in Tincher v. Omega Flex.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Punitives for Kraft Factory Shooting

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury awarded more than $38.5 million in punitive damages to the estates of two Kraft employees who were fatally gunned down by a disgruntled co-worker.

verdicts and settlements

Stroke Victim Gets Verdict for Allegedly Ignored Symptoms

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A 76-year-old woman in Montgomery County alleging her doctor ignored the signs of an impending stroke was awarded $6.3 million in her medical malpractice case.

gavel

Attorney Can't Get Cut of Longtime Client's Settlement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that personal injury lawyer Larry Pitt can't collect fees from a settlement negotiated by another attorney for Pitt's former client of 26 years.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Phila. Court Has Jurisdiction in Mesh Cases, Judge Rules

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In response to a venue challenge, a Philadelphia judge has ruled the city's courts have jurisdiction over the defendants in the pelvic-mesh mass tort.

Phila. Woman Charged for Allegedly Aiding ISIS

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Two days before Keonna Thomas was allegedly going to join ISIS in Syria, federal agents searched her Philadelphia home and charged her with attempting to give material support to a foreign terrorist organization, according to the criminal complaint unsealed April 3 in federal court in Philadelphia.

GSK Wins Summary Judgment in Thalidomide Case

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge threw out what could potentially be one of just a handful of remaining thalidomide cases against GlaxoSmithKline in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, finding the statute of limitations expired decades ago.

Lawyer's Legal Mal Suit Against Spector Gadon Thrown Out

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has thrown out a legal malpractice case against Spector Gadon & Rosen and its partner, Alan Epstein, over the firm's handling of an employment contract dispute.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives for her state Supreme Court hearing March 11.

Montco DA to Investigate Possible Kane Prosecution

By Max Mitchell |

The Montgomery County district attorney has said she will review the information gathered by a special prosecutor who investigated whether Attorney General Kathleen Kane leaked confidential grand-jury information.

Widener Splits, Renames Delaware, Pa. Law Schools

By Gina Passarella |

Widener University has officially split its Wilmington, Delaware, and Harrisburg law school campuses into two law schools, each with different names and different deans.

Cozen O'Connor Could Fill Market Void With Chicago Merger

By Gina Passarella and Brian Baxter |

Cozen O'Connor leadership said as recently as last week that it was looking to grow in the Midwest this year, and, according to one media report, that may happen sooner rather than later if merger talks with Chicago's Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson result in a union.

gevel in a courtroom

Jury Awards $38.5M in Punitives for Fatal Kraft Factory Shooting

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded more than $38.5 million in punitive damages to the estates of two Kraft employees who were fatally gunned down by a disgruntled co-worker.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Phila. Bar Releases 2015 Judicial Candidate Ratings

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The first batch of 2015 judicial candidate ratings from the Philadelphia Bar Association were released Monday, including for the first time ratings of some candidates for the state's appellate courts.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

One-Third of Phila. Judicial Candidates Have Quit Race

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Of roughly 60 candidates who were running for judgeships in Philadelphia's common pleas and municipal courts, 20 have dropped out of the race.

verdicts and settlements

Janssen Prevails in Second Phila. Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The jury in the second Risperdal mass-tort case in Philadelphia, while finding that Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn about the risk of male breast growth from the drug, determined that the drug did not cause the plaintiff's gynecomastia.

verdicts and settlements

Carpenter Secures Settlement in Forklift Incident

By Lizzy McLellan |

A union carpenter who was injured on the job reached settlement with the heating and air conditioning subcontractor whose employee allegedly struck the plaintiff with a forklift.

Cozen O'Connor Grows Revenue 2.1 Percent, PPP 2.8 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Cozen O'Connor grew revenue 2.1 percent and boosted profits per equity partner (PPP) 2.8 percent on a year driven by growth in the firm's corporate, real estate and commercial litigation practices, the firm's CEO said.

$6.3M Awarded to Montco Stroke Victim

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A 76-year-old woman in Montgomery County alleging her doctor ignored the signs of an impending stroke has been awarded $6.3 million in her medical malpractice case.

No Class Action in Suit Against Cephalon for Actiq

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Cephalon won't have to face a nationwide class-action suit over its heavy-duty painkiller for cancer patients, Actiq, since a federal judge in Philadelphia denied class status in the case this week.

picture of man hands signing contract

Arbitration Clause at Issue in Reed Smith Case

By Gina Passarella |

The owner of a destroyed Main Line mansion who is suing Reed Smith for its advice on insurance claims argues the firm's mandatory arbitration clause contained in client engagement letters is unenforceable.

Judge Seeks Precision in Cephalon Expert Reports

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Defense lawyers have 30 days to whittle down their 13 voluminous expert reports to the essential points before the federal judge overseeing the case decides who will be allowed to testify to what at trial.

A Push by Some for Looser State Rules Over Referral Fees

By Gina Passarella and P.J. D'Annunzio |

A media report earlier this month about law firm emails that purport to show former Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, and not his wife, may have been the one to refer out certain cases while on the bench, has again raised questions about Pennsylvania's comparatively lax referral-fee rules.

gavel

Punitive Phase Begins in $8M Factory Shooting Trial

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury on Monday watched surveillance video of a disgruntled Kraft employee shoving a gun into the security booth outside the factory where two of her co-workers were gunned down minutes later.

Parent in Wrongful-Death Case Barred From Nonmoney Damages

By Lizzy McLellan |

A parent bringing a wrongful-death and survival action over a child's death may not recover nonpecuniary damages because of the Sovereign Immunity Act, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Philadelphia Jury Awards Paralyzed Heroin Addict

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded more than $6 million to a heroin addict who was paralyzed from the chest down due to alleged negligent medical treatment.

Pepper Hamilton Grows Revenue 3 Percent, PPP 8 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton grew gross revenue nearly 3 percent in 2014 thanks to double-digit revenue gains in the intellectual property and white-collar litigation and investigations practices along with strong growth in its health effects and corporate practices, firm leaders said.

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

Janssen Prevails in Second Phila. Risperdal Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The jury in the second Risperdal mass-tort case in Philadelphia, while finding that Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn about the risk of male breast growth from the drug, determined that the drug did not cause the plaintiff's gynecomastia.

Lawyer Styles at Center Stage in Risperdal Closings

By Gina Passarella |

Closing arguments in the second bellwether trial in Philadelphia's Risperdal mass tort were as much commentary on the lawyers' styles as they were about whether Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to adequately warn doctors that the drug could cause boys to grow breasts.

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Singletary Gets 20 Months in Prison

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for lying to federal agents investigating ticket-fixing in the court.

Loss for QVC on Internet Crawling Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In an opinion that has defined a section of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a law that has been clouded by decades of amendments, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled in favor of an Internet startup company and against retail giant QVC.

First Settlements in Drywall MDL Total $55M

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Two defendants in the multidistrict litigation alleging price-fixing on the part of major manufacturers of drywall have agreed to settle for $55 million.

PepsiCo Defeats Contract Breach Claim in $30M Energy Deal

By Gina Passarella |

PepsiCo Inc. won summary judgment in a Pennsylvania federal court over claims it reneged on a $30 million oral agreement for the installation of energy efficiency equipment in 100 of its facilities worldwide.

Judge Orders Lawyer to Pay $18.4M in ERISA Restitution

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has ordered a suspended Bridgeport attorney and his law firm to pay $18.4 million in restitution for his alleged misuse of millions of dollars in funds from several employee-benefit plans.

 Philadelphia

In Rare Move, Judge Overrides Forum Selection Clause

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In an unusual move, a federal judge in Philadelphia has set aside a forum selection clause and kept a potential class action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

verdicts and settlements

Fallen Shelf Caused Head Injury, Plaintiff Claims

According to the plaintiff's mediation memorandum, on Oct. 5, 2011, plaintiff Jessica M. Ng, a scientific researcher, was standing in an aisle and talking to a co-worker at the Colket Translational Research Center in Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, when a 32-pound wood panel fell from a tech desk and struck her on the head.

Atheist's Religious Discrimination Case Gets Second Wind

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A one-sentence section of Pennsylvania unemployment law has revived a religious discrimination claim brought in federal court by an atheist against his Christian employer.

gevel in a courtroom

Franchisee Class Cleans Up in Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Nearly 250 people who run franchises for the cleaning company Jani-King got certification to bring a class action suit against the company for misclassifying them as independent contractors.

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

Phila. Jury Awards $6M to Paralyzed Heroin Addict

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded more than $6 million to a heroin addict who was paralyzed from the chest down due to alleged negligent medical treatment.

Courtroom Descends Into Chaos in $1M Sanction Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A hearing Tuesday in the case of defense attorney Nancy Raynor, sanctioned $1 million for eliciting banned testimony, took on the atmosphere of a boxing ring with lawyers and the judge engaging in heated shouting matches in all directions.

Speech Case Defeats SEPTA Ad Policy

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The group behind a controversial advertising campaign designed for public transportation in major cities has defeated SEPTA's policy that kept its ads off of Philadelphia-area buses after bringing a First Amendment challenge in federal court.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives for her state Supreme Court hearing March 11.

Justices Grill Special Prosecutor in Kane Case

By Max Mitchell |

During the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's argument session Wednesday in Philadelphia over whether a supervising grand jury judge had the power to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate alleged leaks of grand jury secrets by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, several justices peppered the special prosecutor with questions on the specifics of how he'd been appointed and how his investigation was handled.

Children's Tylenol Maker Agrees to Pay $25M Fine

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes children's Tylenol has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge for its failure to correct faulty manufacturing practices, agreeing to pay $25 million to resolve the matter.

Williams Blasts Kane Over Corruption Case

By Gina Passarella |

In filing charges against three more public officials in a public corruption investigation that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane declined to prosecute, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams had harsh words for Kane's portrayal of the case as evidence of "racial targeting" and "dead" before her arrival to the office.

Hagens Berman Sanctioned in Thalidomide Cases

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has sanctioned plaintiffs firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro for its conduct in three of the 52 thalidomide personal-injury cases brought in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Northampton Judge Challenges Ban on Judges in Business

By Lizzy McLellan |

A court of common pleas judge has said a judicial conduct rule that requires him to resign from two financial boards in June violates his constitutional rights, and the state Supreme Court, while rejecting his initial application for relief, has not entirely disposed of the challenge.

Defendants Lack Cause for Additional PTSD Testing

By Max Mitchell |

The plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident will not need to undergo additional medical testing that the defendants' expert claimed is necessary to render a more accurate examination of the plaintiff's claimed post-traumatic stress disorder, a Lackawanna County judge has ruled.

Student Loans, Bankruptcy and Discharge on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

Taxes, marital support and student loans. None of these are dischargeable under Chapter 7. Or are they?

verdicts and settlements

Phila. Jury Awards Families of Slain Factory Workers

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.

verdicts and settlements

Family of Woman Killed in Head-on Collision Awarded

By Max Mitchell |

The family of a woman killed in a multiple-vehicle collision has received an award of nearly $1.5 million from a Monroe County jury.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Bar Association Working Overtime on Nearly 50 Judicial Ratings

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

With the largest number of judicial candidates in recent memory running for vacancies on the city's bench, the Philadelphia Bar Association has its hands full with evaluating each candidate's fitness for office.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter speaks during a news conference Feb. 12, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Nutter Proposes Spending Increase for FJD

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has proposed an increase of nearly 10 percent in spending for the First Judicial District while keeping funding for the District Attorney's Office largely unchanged.

Civil Rights Case Begins Over Photographing an Arrest

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Three-and-a-half years after Coulter Loeb was arrested while he took photos of a Philadelphia police officer removing a homeless woman from Rittenhouse Square, his civil rights case is in front of a federal jury.

With 'Foundation' in Place, West Chester Firm Aims for Growth

By Lizzy McLellan |

After four years of building a new leadership structure, Chester County-based Gawthrop Greenwood has chosen a new leader to take on the firm's next set of goals.

Antique Map New England

Morgan Lewis Wants Fee Dispute Moved to Chancery Court

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius wants an $880,000 fee dispute with the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News moved from Philadelphia to the Delaware Court of Chancery.

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.

verdicts and settlements

Apartments To Pay For Resident's Icy Fall

A resident of a Philadelphia apartment complex has been awarded damages in a slip-and-fall case.

Email Report Finds Justices, OAG Did Not Discuss Cases

By P.J. D'Annunzio and Max Mitchell |

A review of roughly 4,000 emails sent between members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Office of the Attorney General has revealed that no improper communications between members of the two bodies took place, according to a report released by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts on Dec. 19.

Justice Ronald Castille

Castille Rebukes Judge as Killer's Death Sentence Is Reinstated

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After eluding execution on his fourth capital appeal, a convicted murderer has been put back on death row by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, prompting its chief justice to issue criticism of the Philadelphia judge who reversed the death sentence.

gavel

Cozen O'Connor Can Forgive Rep. Brady's Legal Fees

By Gina Passarella |

The legal expenses racked up in fighting a 2007 mayoral ballot challenge were not incurred to influence the outcome of an election, so forgiving that debt is not bound by campaign finance limits, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Phila. DA Charges Two More Officials in Revived Probe

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams announced charges against two state representatives from Philadelphia implicated in the corruption probe that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane had called "non-prosecutable."

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Official Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The former director of records at the Philadelphia Traffic Court, William "Billy" Hird, has been sentenced to two years in prison for his part in the court's ticket-fixing scandal.

Federal Judge Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Follows Merger

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The attorney-client privilege covering communications made in anticipation of a business merger belong to the company that resulted from the merger, not the executives of the company that was swallowed, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled.

After Another Poor Performance, JCB Needs Serious Reform

By hank grezlak |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's civil war—and our immediate legal crisis—came to an end when former Justice Seamus McCaffery decided to retire, but the lingering questions about the competency of the Judicial Conduct Board remain.

gavel

Pa. Justices to Revisit Long-Running Defamation Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a 12-year-old defamation case that has twice been remanded to trial court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to consider whether the latest Superior Court ruling granting a third trial complies with the First Amendment.

$50M Comcast Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The $50 million agreement proposed in October to settle a decade-old case brought by Comcast subscribers who alleged the company had monopolized the local cable market has gotten preliminary approval from the federal judge handling the case.

Family Doc Can't Testify to Need for Specialized Surgery

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia judge has ruled a plaintiff's primary care physician cannot be qualified to testify as an expert on laser spine surgery.

Former Pa. Attorney Resigns Over Stalking, Child Porn Convictions

By Max Mitchell |

A former Blue Bell, Pa., attorney, suspended since 2009 over criminal convictions stemming from incidents involving stalking and child pornography, has resigned from practicing law.

Unlikely Path to Big Law for Blind Melon Guitarist

By Ben Seal |

It's a Friday afternoon in November and Rogers Stevens is in the wrong city. A few hours ago he was in Ballard Spahr's Philadelphia office on Market Street and all was well, but now he's in a car at the airport, rushing to change out of his suit because he's got a plane to catch and a show to play and that show is in Calgary. He's not even in the right country.

Wrongful-Death Suit Against SugarHouse Casino Clears Hurdle

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The son of a man who collapsed at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and died shortly thereafter can proceed with his wrongful-death suit but the judge in the case dismissed most of the plaintiff's negligence claims.

$4.75M Accord Reached in Apartment Fire Class Action

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The parties in a class action composed of tenants whose possessions were destroyed during an apartment building fire and subsequent demolition have reached a $4.75 million settlement, attorneys in the case have said, pending approval from the court.

Women Still Less Than One-Third Of Lawyers at Pa.'s Largest Firms

By Gina Passarella |

In the last 10 years, there has been no movement in the percentage of women lawyers practicing in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's 100 largest law firms.

Phila. Judge Lerner Receives Bar's Brennan Award

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner of the court's Criminal Division is the newest recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award.

New Bar Chancellor Dandridge To Focus on Community Service

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Incoming Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Albert S. Dandridge III said getting lawyers more involved with helping the poor and veterans, as well as promoting diversity, will be top priorities during his tenure.

 Philadelphia

Phila.'s Longtime Chief Public Defender Retiring

By Max Mitchell |

Ellen Greenlee, who has been the chief defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia for the past 25 years, has announced she will be stepping down this spring.

Porn Records Statutes Challenged in Third Circuit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Modern sexual habits—such as sexting, for example—may cause a constitutional problem for broad federal statutes aimed at stopping child pornography, but the group of professional pornography producers who are challenging the laws might not be the right plaintiffs to prove that problem.

penn state

Consent Decree Still at Issue in $60M PSU Sanction Case

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that the validity of the consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State that included a $60 million sanction against the university will remain on the table in the dispute over where the money will eventually end up.

Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claims Not Exempt From Arbitration

By Gina Passarella |

The anti-arbitration theme for whistleblower retaliation cases that runs through the Dodd-Frank Act does not in fact apply to a Dodd-Frank cause of action, the Third Circuit has ruled.

Fog of War Lifts to Reveal Military Supply Fraud

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Overseas contractors pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding the U.S. government of millions of dollars in a multibillion-dollar contract to supply food and water to U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Hospital, Doc Not Liable Over Brain Tumor Follow-Up

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A doctor and hospital sued for medical malpractice were not at fault for allegedly failing to properly follow up on the discovery of brain tumors that led to a woman's death from metastatic melanoma, the state Superior Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Latest Accord Brings Total to $5.7 Million In Bus Collision

By Max Mitchell |

More than a dozen people who were passengers on a bus that had a portion sheared off following a collision with a utility pole have settled their claims against multiple defendants for $4.3 million.

Traffic Court

Tynes Sentenced to Two Years for Perjury

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Retired Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes will serve two years in federal prison for perjury in front of the grand jury that was investigating ticket-fixing in her court, under a sentence handed down by a federal judge Thursday.

Berry

Ex-Judge Berry Nixes Plea Deal

By Max Mitchell |

Retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. has decided not to take a plea deal regarding the theft and conflict of interest charges he faces for allegedly using his judicial positions and public money to help run his personal real-estate business.

Judge Greenlights 'Product-Hopping' Claims in Suboxone Litigation

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has allowed to survive several of the claims in an antitrust suit against the maker of opioid dependency drug Suboxone over allegations the company engaged in a "product-hopping" scheme.

Traffic Court

Traffic Court Judge Gets 18 Months

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew will serve 18 months in prison for perjury in front of the grand jury that was investigating ticket-fixing in his court, under a sentence delivered Wednesday by a federal judge.

State Bound to Defunct Charter School's IDEA Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The state is responsible for carrying out the terms of a settlement made between a disabled student and the now-defunct charter school that had signed the agreement, a federal judge has ruled in an apparent case of first impression.

SEPTA Loses Round Over Ad Linking Hitler, Islam

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A caustic advertising campaign that has won the right to publish on public transportation in New York and D.C. is looking to come to Philadelphia. And the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the organization run by two bloggers who are critical of Islam, has won a round against SEPTA in federal court in Philadelphia.

Duquesne Responds to Law Professor's Bias Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Duquesne University School of Law and its dean alleged in a response to a discrimination suit by one of its law professors that it wasn't her age, gender or teaching a course in Islamic law that caused her to be denied tenure but her "consistently poor teaching record."

Magistrate Judge Arnold C. Rapoport Dies

Former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arnold C. Rapoport of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania died Nov. 29 at age 83.

City Can't Seek Offset From Injured Cop's Settlement

By Max Mitchell |

In clarifying a 2011 state Supreme Court decision, the Commonwealth Court has ruled that the city of Philadelphia will not be able to recoup funds from a third-party settlement reached by a police officer who received Heart and Lung Act benefits after his cruiser was rear-ended by a drunk driver.

verdicts and settlements

U-Haul Settles With Deceased Employee's Family

By Lizzy McLellan |

A negligence case that brought a matter of first impression to a federal judge recently settled in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Morgan Lewis Sued by Newspapers' Parent Co. Over Fees

By Gina Passarella |

The parent company of Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers has sued Morgan, Lewis & Bockius over the firm's alleged "disloyalty" in siding with one faction of two feuding ownership groups while the firm was supposed to be acting more neutrally as counsel for the parent entity.

Pharmacies Not Subject to Medical Records Act

By Max Mitchell |

Pharmacies have not been overcharging attorneys for medical records, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Attorney Charged With Sexual Assault of 14-Year-Old

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia lawyer has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution by a Germantown couple, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

Judge Rizzo, Head of Foreclosure Program, Leaving the Bench

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After 16 years on the bench, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Annette M. Rizzo is set to leave the court to work in alternative dispute resolution.

operating room

Panel Throws Out $19.5M Med Mal Verdict

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has reversed a $19.5 million verdict awarded to the husband of a woman who died from complications related to polyp-removal surgery.

Retaliation Case Against School District on Track for Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Philadelphia School District can't dodge a First Amendment case with qualified immunity, the Third Circuit has ruled.

Morgan Lewis Finalizes Bingham Deal, Adds 510 Lawyers

By Gina Passarella |

Philadelphia became home Monday to the largest firm in the United States based on domestic-attorney head count with the addition of 510 lawyers to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton CEO Leaving the Firm

By Gina Passarella |

Scott Green, one of the first nonlawyer CEOs of an Am Law 100 or 200 firm, is leaving Pepper Hamilton to "pursue other interests," the firm said in a brief statement.

Robert Kerns

Kerns Sentenced to Two Years' Probation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Robert Kerns, the former Montgomery County Republican Party leader and lawyer who was accused of rape, has been sentenced to two years' probation for indecent assault.

Judge Allows Explanation of UIM in Jury Instructions

By Lizzy McLellan |

In an underinsured motorist case, a Lackawanna County judge has decided that a jury should be told the plaintiff had UIM coverage, but should not know the insurer has already paid first-party benefits.

verdicts and settlements

Imprisoned Woman Awarded in Phila. Dungeon Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A mentally disabled woman who was imprisoned in Philadelphia basements for nearly a decade has won a $45 million verdict in the civil case against her captors.

verdicts and settlements

Truck Driver Wins Verdict After Serving Jail Time

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A truck driver who was accused of stealing gasoline from his employers and sent to jail for three months has won his malicious prosecution case against the Philadelphia food bank he worked for.

Lawyers, Not Clients, Must Pay Court Reporting Costs

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia trial judge, in an issue of first impression, ruled lawyers, not clients, are responsible for paying court reporting costs.

Suzuki Not Liable in ATV Crash

By Max Mitchell |

Suzuki will not be held liable for an allegedly defective four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle that flipped onto and severely injured the 14-year-old driver, an Allegheny County jury has determined.

Traffic Court

Divided Pa. Supreme Court Lifts Ex-Judge's Suspension

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Over the protests of two state Supreme Court members, including the chief justice, the court has lifted the suspension of former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael J. Sullivan.

Justices Decline to Adopt Third Restatement

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has held that Pennsylvania will continue to follow the Restatement (Second) of Torts in products liability cases.

school bus

Pa. Supreme Court Upholds Governmental Damages Cap

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has denied a student, whose leg was amputated after being run over by a school bus, the ability to bypass the $500,000 statutory damages cap and collect the full $14 million verdict for her injuries.

Closeup of American flag

Beetlestone Confirmed as Federal Judge in Eastern District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Wendy Beetlestone, a lawyer at Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate to join the federal bench in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Business handshake and business people

Morgan Lewis Offers 300 Bingham Professionals Full-Time Jobs

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has extended offers of full-time employment to more than 300 legal professionals at Bingham McCutchen, a source close to Morgan Lewis said.

Football

Brody Hears Grievances Over NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The peculiar fault lines in the case against the NFL split before the federal judge overseeing the litigation during the highly anticipated fairness hearing for the settlement in a class action over head injuries Wednesday morning.

Third Circuit Mulls Whether Reverse Payment Means Cash

By Gina Passarella |

The Third Circuit grappled Wednesday with whether pharmaceutical companies that settle patent litigation for terms other than cash payments can still fall under the specter of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in FTC v. Actavis that allowed for antitrust scrutiny of large reverse-payment settlements.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Ex-FJD Supervisor Charged With Stealing $155K in Bail

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former supervisor of the First Judicial District Bail Acceptance Unit has been charged with stealing roughly $155,000 in bail funds.

Traffic Court

Traffic Court Defendants' Sentencing Delayed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The three Philadelphia Traffic Court ex-judges convicted of perjury and one convicted of lying to the FBI, originally slated for sentencing Wednesday and today, are instead set to be sentenced early next month.

Will New Expert Be Allowed to Save Zoloft MDL?

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Several months after tossing the key expert witness for plaintiffs who allege that Pfizer's antidepressant drug Zoloft causes birth defects, a federal judge in Philadelphia considered allowing them to offer a new one.

lynn

Lawyer for Lynn Attacks Child Endangerment Conviction

By Max Mitchell |

The attorney representing the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted of endangering the welfare of children abused by other priests argued Tuesday before the state Supreme Court that the conviction should not stand because the official did not have any supervisory interactions with the children.

gavel

Concealing Sanction Payments Earns Attorney Probation

By Max Mitchell |

A founding member of the former Booth & Tucker law firm has been sentenced to two years of probation with a stayed suspension for hiding expenses and sanction penalties from a client and his former partner.

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

Justices to Eye Phila. Asbestos Consolidation Procedure

By Lizzy McLellan |

When the state Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Rost v. Ford, it gave itself the opportunity to consider a unique rule that requires the consolidation of asbestos-related cases in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

verdicts and settlements

Group Home Settles With Brother of Deceased Resident

By Lizzy McLellan |

The brother of a deceased, mentally disabled man has reached a settlement with the owner and operator of the group home where the man was a resident.

Company Hit With Attorney Fees for Disseminating Covert Tapes

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Shifting legal arguments made on behalf of a medical device manufacturer that is facing a whistleblower suit have cost the company attorney fees for the plaintiff.

$45M Verdict Awarded in Philadelphia Dungeon Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A mentally disabled woman who was imprisoned in Philadelphia basements for nearly a decade has won a $45 million verdict in the civil case against her captors.

Magisterial District Judge Charged With Misconduct

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Dauphin County magisterial district judge has been formally charged with seven counts of judicial misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Board.

NFL Concussion Accord, Fairness Hearing on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

Tonight at 7 on the Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV, "The American Law Journal" presents, "The NFL Concussion Settlement: Good for the Players? Or Better for the Owners and Lawyers?"

Shredded paper series - confidential

'Secret Archive' Files Sought in Clergy Abuse Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The plaintiff in a priest sex-abuse case has asked the court to compel the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to reveal its "secret archive" files and personnel records on 17 priests.

Driver Accused of Theft Wins Case Against Philabundance

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A truck driver who was accused of stealing gasoline from his employers and sent to jail for three months has won his malicious prosecution case against the Philadelphia food bank he worked for.

Tynes to Plead Guilty in Revived Probe

By Max Mitchell |

Retired Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of conflict of interest in the bribery probe that was previously shuttered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, according to a court filing over Tynes' sentencing in an unrelated federal case.

Litigation Funder Sues Composer It Backed In Usher Copyright Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia-based litigation funding company is suing a California law firm and its client over the failure to repay funds loaned to help support the client during his copyright suit against musical artist Usher and various record labels.

verdicts and settlements

Ex-Professor Must Pay Wife's Estate Over Her Killing

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Montgomery County jury awarded $124.3 million in a civil case against Rafael Robb, the former University of Pennsylvania economics professor who pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his estranged wife.

verdicts and settlements

State Not Liable for Muddy Steps in Park

On May 15, 2012, plaintiff Jennifer Enloe, in her mid-30s, was visiting Ridley Creek State Park, at 1023 Sycamore Mills Rd., in the borough of Media. Enloe alleged that she exited the park's visitor center, walked down a flight of stone steps, and as she reached the landing, slipped on mud, which caused her to roll her left ankle, fracturing it.

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.

Murphy Named AJ of Philadelphia Family Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has named Judge Margaret T. Murphy as the new administrative judge of the First Judicial District's Family Division, taking over for Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty.

$1.2M in Attorney Fees for Wage-and-Hour Suit Against TD Bank

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Class counsel who settled a wage-and-hour suit brought by tellers at TD Bank for $6 million have been awarded $1.2 million in attorney fees.

construction

Concrete Co. Disputes Its Liability for Agent's Negligence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A concrete company hit with a $2.3 million judgment after a man was knocked into an open basement by an out-of-control hose attached to a concrete truck is appealing the verdict.

Justices Allow Flooding Suit Against SEPTA

By Max Mitchell |

Holding that the Federal Railroad Safety Act does not preempt common-law negligence claims for property damage, the state Supreme Court has ruled that SEPTA can be held liable for flood damage allegedly caused by a more-than-100-year-old railroad bridge.

Phila. Court of Common Pleas Judge James A. Lineberger Dies at 84

Retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge James A. Lineberger died Oct. 29 at the age of 84.

Gay Lawyer Seeks Trial in Suit Over Scuttled Lateral Move

By Max Mitchell |

Jeffrey Downs, the gay attorney who sued personal injury firms Anapol Schwartz and Raynes McCarty for allegedly scuttling his lateral move because of discrimination complaints he made, is arguing that his case is too contentious for the court to grant any of the defendants' summary judgment motions.

pa map

Baylson, Wife Argue Dragonetti Case Should Stay in Phila.

By Gina Passarella |

A lawyer for U.S. District Senior Judge Michael Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and his wife, Dr. Frances Batzer Baylson, said a Philadelphia trial judge was wrong to find the couple's Dragonetti action could only be filed in the county in which the underlying litigation arose.

gavel

Ex-Fox 29 Anchor's Case Over Racial Slur Survives, Again

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

One co-anchor's role in getting the other fired over a racial slur ties their employer, Fox 29, closely enough to the resulting lawsuit that the case has withstood summary judgment twice.

Report: Pa. Federal Judges Carrying Average Caseload

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's three federal trial courts fall roughly in the middle of a ranking of the country's nearly 100 district courts for workload per judge.

Overall Pennsylvania Bar-Passage Rate for July Test Dipped

By Max Mitchell |

Although some schools saw passage rates for the Pennsylvania bar exam drop by around 10 percentage points, the overall passage rate for the Pennsylvania bar exam's July test saw only a slight drop over last year.

Superior Ct. Upholds $19.1M Award in Auto Accident Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A $19.1 million verdict awarded to a man whose right leg was amputated above the knee as the result of two successive car accidents has been affirmed by the state Superior Court.

Littler Mendelson Hit With Fees By Federal Court in Case It Won

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Littler Mendelson has been ordered to pay sanctions in a case that it won on summary judgment in federal court in Philadelphia.

Pa. Superior Court Upholds Dismissal of Asbestos Exposure Claims

By Max Mitchell |

The testimony of two co-workers was not enough evidence to allow asbestos exposure claims against six manufacturers to proceed to a jury trial, the state Superior Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Employer Did Not Discriminate in Firing Ex-Military Employee

By Lizzy McLellan |

A federal judge has decided that Gemalto Inc. does not have to pay more than $600,000 to a former employee who asserted claims that he was terminated because of his military service under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Military Leave of Absence Act.

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Charged in Revived Bribery Probe

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Retired Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes turned herself in Thursday on corruption charges stemming from a bribery investigation that Attorney General Kathleen Kane had previously said was dead.

Statement Issued by U.S. Attorney On Justice McCaffery 'Unusual'

By Gina Passarella |

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is not often in the business of confirming or denying the existence of, let alone commenting on, pending or closed investigations. But the office issued a public statement Tuesday to say no criminal charges would be filed against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery or his wife, Lise Rapaport, in relation to an investigation into Rapaport's acceptance of referral fees.

Third Circuit Wrestles With Attorney Fees Under ERISA

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

After broaching the issue in a nonprecedential opinion released last summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit suggested during arguments Tuesday morning that it might soon answer definitively whether the catalyst theory for recovering attorney fees applies in ERISA cases.

Student Nurse's Civil Rights Lawsuit Gets Green Light

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A private hospital and a public university could face millions of dollars in damages since a nursing student won summary judgment on her civil rights claim after she was tossed out of her graduate program for refusing to take a drug test.

gavel

McCaffery, Rapaport Drop Defamation Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial assistant, Lise Rapaport, have dropped their defamation lawsuit against The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News over articles about referral fees Rapaport was paid, the parties confirmed.

Third Circuit Considers Arbitrator Fitness Rules

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Where the burden falls for investigating the fitness of arbitrators could determine the outcome of a multimillion-dollar suit against investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Medical MDL Consolidated in Eastern District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

More than 20 cases brought against health insurance company Aetna have been centralized in federal court in Philadelphia.

Abuse of Process Case Against Fox Rothschild Withdrawn

By Gina Passarella |

An abuse of process suit against Fox Rothschild and two of its partners settled on the eve of trial with no monetary damages being paid.

verdicts and settlements

Nursing Home Chain Settles False Claims Case

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.

verdicts and settlements

Jail Failed to Treat Prisoner's Decaying Tooth

By Max Mitchell |

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Joseph W. Consonery Jr., he was incarcerated on Feb. 6, 2009, at the Washington County Correctional Facility. On that day, he told a nurse he had an infected tooth and he needed to see a dentist, the memo said. Days later, Consonery's tooth "snapped," which led to ongoing bleeding, the memo said.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Cohen Seglias Petition to Collect $200K Dismissed

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal district judge has upheld a bankruptcy court's finding that a creditor with whom Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman filed an involuntary petition in order to collect debts from a defunct business acted in bad faith, resulting in dismissal of the petition, including the firm's claim.

Dougherty Video Deposition Compelled in Defamation Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Despite his claims a videotaped deposition containing potentially embarrassing information could be disseminated by the media, the state Superior Court has ruled that union leader John J. Dougherty's deposition will not be sealed.

documents

Newspapers Make Bid to Subpoena Firms in McCaffery Case

By Gina Passarella |

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News have argued in court papers that they have a right to subpoena law firms to determine whether Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery's claims that he and his wife always acted ethically in regard to his wife's acceptance of referral fees are accurate.

More Expert Testimony Barred in Zoloft MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In another blow to the plaintiffs alleging that Pfizer's antidepressant, Zoloft, causes birth defects, the federal judge handling the case rejected the testimony of three of their expert witnesses.

Shredded paper series - confidential

McCaffery Seeks to Enjoin Papers' Publication of Personal Info

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and chief judicial aide, Lise Rapaport, have filed a motion for a mandatory injunction seeking to prohibit Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers from publishing any personal information about the couple.

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.

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.

Wolf Block

Judge Denies Insurer's Objections in Wolf Block Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia judge has denied preliminary objections of the insurance company for defunct Wolf Block in a coverage suit involving the firm's decision not to make severance payments to a former partner after the firm dissolved.

Suit Over Disparaging Website Survives in Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A website allegedly used by one Philadelphia-area financial planner and insurance provider to disparage a competitor is the center of a Lanham Act suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Judge Disagrees With Colleague's Dismissal of Legal Mal Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In response to an appeal of the dismissal of a legal malpractice suit, a Philadelphia judge said her former colleague's decision to toss the case was "inappropriate."

Traffic Court

Legal Battles Continue for Traffic Court Judges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

While some former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges are moving on with their lives in the weeks after the two-month corruption trial ended, others still have legal battles to fight.

Federal Judge Lets Investment Researcher Off the Hook, Reluctantly

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Because Congress has left the courts unarmed, a federal judge said, he wasn't able to find an investment research firm liable for listing a Ponzi scheme in its hedge fund database used by investors.

gavel

Mulgrew Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Fraud

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Ex-Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for a scheme to defraud the state Department of Community and Economic Development out of state grant funds awarded to nonprofits.

gavel, scale, and law book

Newspapers Seek Supreme Court's Intervention in McCaffery Suit

By Gina Passarella |

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are asking the Supreme Court to decide the state of the law on false-light invasion of privacy in Pennsylvania before discovery or a trial begins in a defamation suit brought against the papers by one of the court's own justices.

Voting

Election Worker Class Action Against City Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A class action composed of Philadelphia election workers claiming they were covered by the city's minimum-wage ordinance has been thrown out by a common pleas court judge.

Greene's Suit Against Newspapers Tossed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has dismissed former Philadelphia Housing Authority Executive Director Carl R. Greene's defamation suit against two newspapers.

Justices Won't Consider Oil and Gas Royalty Minimums

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a case that dealt with the interpretation of oil and gas royalties under the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act.

NLRB's McDonald's Decision Has Local GCs Concerned

By Gina Passarella |

A one-line email last week from the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel to McDonald's has brought to the fore an issue that local GCs and labor lawyers say has been bubbling up for nearly a year.

bill collection

$400K Attorney Fee Award for Ballard Spahr Representation

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A commercial landlord won more than $400,000 in attorney fees from a former tenant after it prevailed on its breach of contract claim with representation from Ballard Spahr.

Class Status Denial Upheld in Phila. Sheriff's Office Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Plaintiffs claiming that homeowners were owed $53 million in surplus money from sheriff's sales cannot initiate a class action against the state's Treasury Department, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Brain Injury Case Against Verizon Settles for $3 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

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.

medical malpractice

Pa.'s Strict Liability Bar Strips Two Claims From Mesh Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's bar on strict liability claims for prescription drugs shaved two claims from a woman's case against a mesh manufacturer in federal court.

Pepper Hamilton

Dougherty's Malpractice Suit Against Pepper Hamilton Is Tossed

By Gina Passarella |

After two other courts found an FBI affidavit of probable cause to search union leader John J. Dougherty's home was appropriately in the public domain, a Philadelphia judge has thrown out Dougherty's legal malpractice suit against Pepper Hamilton for using the affidavit in a separate defamation action.

patent stamp

Cephalon Can't Rely on Patent in Reverse-Payment Antitrust Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Cephalon can't rely on the strength of its patent for a narcolepsy drug in a reverse-payment antitrust suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission because the judge found in a related case that the patent is invalid.

Football

Restlessness in NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Discord among the dozens of lawyers representing thousands of former NFL players in a suit against the league for head injuries was illustrated in the motion filed Tuesday seeking the data that underpins the recently reached settlement.

Fed. Judge Applies Ban on Juvenile Life Sentences Retroactively

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Miller v. Alabama, deeming mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile homicide defendants unconstitutional, applies retroactively.

gavel and book

Union Leader Dougherty Loses Bid to Reseal FBI Affidavit

By Gina Passarella |

Labor union leader John J. Dougherty has lost an attempt in federal court to reseal a years-old FBI affidavit of probable cause to search his home that was made public through litigation in state court.

merger

Nelson Levine Looks to Client to Fill COO Role

By Max Mitchell |

As part of an effort to add muscle to the firm, Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton has hired a longtime Harleysville Insurance senior official as the new executive vice president and chief operations and strategic officer.

Traffic Court

Traffic Ct. Defendants Not Guilty on Fraud, Conspiracy Charges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia Traffic Court trial, which endured for nearly two months, concluded with jurors finding four of the traffic court judges guilty of perjury and giving false statements, but not guilty of charges related to ticket-fixing.

Football

Appeal Sought From NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The seven former football players who objected to the settlement with the NFL in the case over concussions are now seeking appellate review from the Third Circuit.

Phila. Bar Association Issues Guidelines on Social Media Use

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A recent Philadelphia Bar Association ethics opinion detailing how lawyers may instruct their clients on the use of social media provides greater clarity to lawyers caught in the middle of a constantly "evolving" digital landscape, some attorneys said.

Shredded paper series - confidential

Phila. Settles Gun Application Data-Breach Case for $1.43 Mil.

By Gina Passarella |

The city of Philadelphia has agreed to a $1.43 million settlement in a class action brought by unsuccessful applicants to carry firearms who alleged the city disclosed confidential information about the applicants on a website database, the plaintiffs' attorneys said Tuesday.

Court Upholds $10 Mil. Children's Motrin Verdict Against McNeil

By Gina Passarella |

The state Superior Court has upheld a $10 million verdict against McNeil-PPC in a case in which a 3-year-old girl was left blind in one eye and suffered damage to her reproductive system and permanent disfigurement of much of her skin after taking several doses of Children's Motrin.

Risperdal Judge Won't Reconsider Punitive Damages Ruling

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia judge has declined to reconsider his decision denying hundreds of plaintiffs in the Risperdal mass tort litigation the ability to seek punitive damages.

Teacher's Race Discrimination Claim Survives

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Claims of racial discrimination brought by one of two black teachers in the Boyertown Area School District have survived a motion to dismiss in federal court.

Traffic Court

Prosecutor: 'No Apology' for Case Against Traffic Ct. Defendants

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

During the final day of arguments in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek made clear that federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials stood by their case against the defendants, despite claims from a defense attorney that the investigation went too far.

Traffic Court

'Little People' Not 'Screwed' in Traffic Court, Lawyer Says

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In response to the prosecution's argument that ordinary people couldn't get special treatment for their tickets from traffic court judges, a defense attorney in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Friday said "the little people" never "got screwed."

Doctor Not Shielded by Co-defendants' Settlements in RICO Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

One of the doctors who was allegedly part of a scheme to inflate the cost of medical care for car accident victims can't use his fellow doctors' settlement agreements with State Farm to dodge his part of a $12 million judgment, a federal judge has ruled.

Pa. Justices to Hear Informed-Consent Med Mal Case

By Gina Passarella |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted the appeal of a doctor who was denied the ability to use a patient's informed consent as his main defense at trial.

gavel and book

Malpractice Suit Against Gross McGinley Revived

By Gina Passarella |

A legal malpractice suit against Gross McGinley has been reinstated after the state Superior Court found there was a question of fact as to whether the plaintiff and primary shareholder of the law firm's client had standing to sue on behalf of his company.

Off-Label Marketing Suit Against Cephalon Tossed

By Gina Passarella |

A group of workers' compensation insurers who alleged Cephalon took advantage of the laws providing for full prescription coverage to those injured on the job had their claims dismissed Monday.

Judge Awards $50 Mil. to Attorneys in Truck Stop Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has granted final approval of a $130 million settlement in an antitrust suit between independent truck-stop owners on one side and trucker fleet payment card company Comdata Inc. and three national truck-stop chains on the other.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

Evidence Closes in Philadelphia Traffic Court Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

In the eighth week of trial for Philadelphia Traffic Court judges accused of ticket-fixing, both the defense and the prosecution finished presenting their evidence. Closing arguments are scheduled to start Thursday morning.

Traffic Court

Traffic Court Defendant Denies Knowledge of 'Consideration'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Chester County Magisterial District Judge Mark Bruno testified in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial that he had never heard of the term "consideration" as it relates to the alleged ticket-fixing scheme.

Girl Wrestles Attorney Fees From School District

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The rural Pennsylvania school district that had to allow a girl to wrestle on a boys' team after she brought a suit in federal court now has to pay more than $70,000 in attorney fees to cover the cost of the girl's legal representation in the case.

documents

Pa. Adopts Rule Banning Attorney-Expert Discovery

By Gina Passarella |

Over the objection of one of its members, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made official through a rule change what a divided court was forced to do when it couldn't reach a majority decision on the discoverability of attorney-expert communications: It made the communications off-limits in discovery.

Case Over Electric Shock to Carpenter Settles for $2.5 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The case of a carpenter who was injured after sustaining an electric shock on the job—and who was also alleged to have developed ALS as a result of the shock—has been settled with property owners and electricians for $2.5 million.

Colombian Soccer Hopeful Gets $3.34 Mil. Med Mal Verdict

By Gina Passarella |

A college soccer star once weeks away from going to Colombia on a contract to play professionally was awarded $3.34 million for injuries he suffered after a botched groin surgery that put an end to his athletic career.


Defense Witnesses Call Traffic Ct. Judges' Reputations 'Impeccable'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Witnesses testified in federal court Thursday that defendants in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial were of high moral standing and had "impeccable" reputations for honesty.

Cozen O'Connor Picks Up Jefferson Health Deputy GC

By Gina Passarella |

A restructuring of Jefferson Health System that did away with the need for the 40-person staff working for the system's parent entity meant Deputy General Counsel R. Christopher Raphaely was back on the market for a private-practice gig.

Traffic Court

Prosecution Rests in Traffic Court Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After more than a month of witness testimony, the prosecution in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial has rested its case.

Immunity Offers Scrutinized by Defense in Traffic Court Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A defense attorney in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Tuesday scrutinized how prosecutors offered immunity to witnesses in the case.

Football

Judge OKs NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Removing the $675 million limit on the amount that the NFL would have to pay to former players suffering from head injuries satisfied the federal judge overseeing the massive case, as she granted preliminary approval today to the parties' second attempt at settlement.

Maker of Restasis Responds to Whistleblower Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The pharmaceutical company Allergan said that qui tam claims against it are "defective" and "baseless," and should be dismissed, according to a response filed in federal court.

Developer Challenges $375K Legal Fee Award to Firm

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A developer and property owner, sued by the firm that represented him in two real estate cases for not paying $375,000 in legal bills, has challenged a Philadelphia judge's ruling in favor of the firm.

Traffic Court

'Hookup,' Motorcycle Blessings Detailed in Traffic Ct. Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Prosecutors in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial today played a video of a motorcycle rally in which defendant Willie Singletary blessed motorcycles and asked attendees to contribute to his campaign, claiming they would need his "hookup" in traffic court.

merger

Marshall Dennehey Makes Several Leadership Changes

By Gina Passarella |

With five people stepping in to take over the roles of one of its retiring executive committee members, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin is continuing its leadership transition with the goal of better aligning its management with the needs of a firm that has grown significantly in the past decade.

Blank Rome

Blank Rome Hit With Jury Verdict, but No Damages

By Gina Passarella |

Blank Rome and longtime client St. Luke's University Health Network were each found by a jury Tuesday of improperly suing family members of two former patients who had sued the hospital over allegations a former nurse killed their loved ones, but the firm and health system were not assessed any damages.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Strippers Win Round in FLSA Legal Dance With Club

By Gina Passarella |

Exotic dancers who worked at a Philadelphia strip club that substantially controlled the work environment and took cuts of tips and lap dance proceeds are employees and can bring an FLSA collective action, a federal judge has ruled.

In Mortgage Case, County Officials' Claims Set for Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The recorders of deeds in Pennsylvania's 67 counties won declaratory judgment from a federal judge who ruled that Merscorp must create and record property transfers with the county offices.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Key Expert Tossed From Zoloft MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The road to victory for plaintiffs alleging that Pfizer's antidepressant, Zoloft, causes birth defects has gotten steeper since a federal judge barred the testimony of one of their key expert witnesses.

Chinatown Business Again Scrutinized in Traffic Ct. Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A significant portion of day 16 in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial was devoted to the role of businessman Robert Moy's translation service in an alleged scheme to fix tickets.

Phila. Archdiocese Denied Contraceptive Mandate Injunction

By Gina Passarella |

Less than a week after a federal judge granted a Pittsburgh-area Catholic diocese a preliminary injunction from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, a different federal judge in Philadelphia has denied such an injunction to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

McCaffery's Suit Against Newspapers Survives Objections

By Gina Passarella |

The judge presiding over state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery's defamation lawsuit against The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and several of their reporters and editors has denied all of the defendants' preliminary objections.

Francis Ballard, Longtime Attorney at Ballard Spahr, Dies at Age 88

Francis Ballard, an attorney at Ballard Spahr for 41 years, died June 20 at age 88.

Suit Over Law Firm's Debt Collection Practices Is Revived

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A suit over debt collection practices brought against a Philadelphia law firm has been revived by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Traffic Court

Traffic Court Trial Shifts Focus to Chinatown Business

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Robert Moy's Chinatown office that advertised "guaranteed absolution" of traffic tickets was the focus of the federal trial over alleged ticket-fixing in the Philadelphia Traffic Court on Wednesday.

picture of man hands signing contract

Cephalon Defeats Conspiracy Claim in Pay-for-Delay Agreements

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Four "pay-for-delay" agreements that Cephalon entered into with separate generic drug manufacturers eight years ago don't establish a conspiracy among the companies, a federal judge has ruled.
In the agreements, Cephalon paid a "substantial amount of money" to the generic companies, U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said, and the companies agreed to enter the market for a lucrative narcolepsy drug in April 2012.

Prosecutors Say South Phila. Tavern Was Base for Ticket-Fixing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Witnesses in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Tuesday testified as to the role of a South Philadelphia tavern in relaying alleged ticket-fixing requests to defendant Michael J. Sullivan.

Have Med Mal Filings Stabilized 10 Years After Tort Reform?

By Zack Needles |

After a decade of mostly steady decline, punctuated by a few fleeting spikes, Pennsylvania medical malpractice filings saw a marginal uptick in 2013, which some lawyers said could be indicative of a leveling off as more time passes since the shock to the system from the Supreme Court's tort reform measures.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane: Moulton Report Finds Delays in Sandusky Probe

By Max Mitchell |

Senior leadership at the Office of Attorney General under Gov. Tom Corbett failed to promptly investigate and charge serial child molester Jerry Sandusky in 2010, a report issued Monday by Attorney General Kathleen Kane said.

gavel

Ex-Spector Gadon Attorney Sentenced to 24 Months

By Gina Passarella |

On Oct. 1, 2012, former Spector Gadon & Rosen attorney Gomer "Tom" Williams III was sitting in his car with a shotgun, he recounted to a federal judge today, about to end his life over what he said was overwhelming guilt for stealing more than $500,000 from clients.

Traffic Court

Tense Exchanges Between Attorneys and Witnesses in Traffic Ct. Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia Traffic Court trial began its fourth week on a contentious note as witnesses seemed to become short-tempered with attorneys during questioning.

Wolf Block

Wolf Block Gets Insurance Dispute Remanded to State Court

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has granted Wolf Block's request to remand a case against the defunct firm's insurer to state court, finding the citizenship of the firm's partners at the time of dissolution is a genuine issue in determining whether there is diversity of citizenship for federal jurisdiction.

Corbett Names 11 to Common Pleas Court Judgeships Statewide

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday announced 11 nominees for vacant seats on common pleas courts across Pennsylvania.

Impact of Lost Ticket Revenue Detailed in Traffic Ct. Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Witnesses from several agencies testified Thursday in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial how funding from traffic fines—or lack thereof—has affected the public.

Robert Kerns

Rape Charges Against Kerns Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Rape and sexual-assault charges against lawyer Robert Kerns have been dropped for the second time. However, the former Montgomery County Republican Party leader is still set to return to court on other charges.

Williams

Williams Takes Over Shuttered Corruption Probe

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has announced his office will be taking over a political corruption investigation of public officials that was dropped by Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office earlier this year.

At Phila. Traffic Court Trial, Strip Club, Pronoun Get Center Stage

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The logistics of getting a strip club's bus out of a Philadelphia Parking Authority lot in 2010 was the primary topic of conversation on tapes played to the jury in the trial of several Philadelphia Traffic Court judges accused of ticket-fixing Wednesday.

Federal Judge Weighs Ordering State Judge What to Do

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge faced with determining whether to order a state court to reseal a mistakenly revealed FBI affidavit of probable cause to search labor union leader John Dougherty's house asked both sides Tuesday, "Why do you care what I do?"

Traffic Court

Judge Calls Out Lawyers for Remarks in Traffic Court Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The tension in the courtroom seemed to elevate in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Tuesday as a prosecutor and defense lawyer sparred over burden of proof issues during the questioning of a witness.

Nevada's Discovery Rule Saves Tylenol Suit Against J&J

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Nevada law applied to a case in federal court in Philadelphia has preserved the wrongful-death claim made by the parents of an infant who died after taking Tylenol.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

FBI's Investigation Scrutinized in Phila. Traffic Court Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers for the defendants in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Monday zeroed in on the FBI's investigation into the alleged ticket-fixing scheme for being too narrowly focused.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Woman Disabled by Slip-and-Fall Settles for $6.5 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman who was partially paralyzed after slipping on liquid that had leaked out of a milk crate has settled her case with the dairy company for $6.5 million.

Defendants Should Step Up Fight in Data Breach Cases, Lawyers Say

By Gina Passarella |

Plaintiffs are increasingly winning in the earlier stages of data breach litigation and defendants may be helping set unrealistic settlement figures out of a fear of going through discovery, attorneys on both sides of the issue said Thursday.

Judge OKs Punitives Claim for Cellphone Use in Crash Case

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia trial judge has allowed three plaintiffs in a personal injury case to seek punitive damages against a truck driver they claim was talking on his cellphone when he collided with their vehicle.

Lawyer/Jury

$2.4 Mil. Awarded to Cyclist Hit by Van

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman who was injured when a van struck her bicycle in its rear end and was subsequently run over after colliding with the opened door of a parked car has been awarded $2.4 million by a Philadelphia jury.

Court Remands International Venue Dispute in Plane Crash Case

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ordered a trial judge to make a more thorough analysis of whether a products liability case involving a plane crash in Portugal should stay in Philadelphia trial court or be sent to a Portuguese court.

Janssen Says Risperdal Plaintiffs Too Late on Punitives Argument

By Gina Passarella |

The plaintiffs in Philadelphia's Risperdal mass tort are belatedly changing their legal argument in an effort to sway a judge to reconsider his ruling denying the plaintiffs a chance at punitive damages, Risperdal maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals argued in a court filing this week.

verdicts and settlements

Philadelphia Jury Sides With Plaintiff In UM Case

Following a two-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, an eight-member jury awarded $250,000 to a man who was injured in a car accident while driving a vehicle insured under an uninsured motorist policy through Progressive Advanced Insurance Co.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Finds Fire Set Intentionally in Insurance Dispute

According to the amended complaint from plaintiffs Stephen and Michele McKean, property they owned was damaged by fire on Sept. 22, 2011. The plaintiffs had insurance through Nationwide Insurance Co., which provided coverage for fire damage, and they timely notified the carrier, the complaint said. However, the carrier did not provide the coverage, the complaint said.

IRS's Jeopardy Tax Assessment Avoided by Ex-Sen. Fumo

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Because the IRS couldn't prove that former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo had taken concrete steps toward sheltering his wealth with family members, a federal judge has tossed a special assessment that the department had levied on him.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Small Decrease Anticipated by FJD in New Mass Tort Filings

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The First Judicial District has projected a slight decrease in new mass tort filings in Philadelphia's court system, according to the most recent court statistics.

Philadelphias Skyline

Dougherty Wants Federal Judge to Order Affidavit Resealed

By Gina Passarella |

Labor union leader John Dougherty has asked a federal judge to order a state court to reseal an FBI affidavit of probable cause related to a search of Dougherty's home in 2006.

Jury Awards $250K in Largest-Ever UM Post-Koken Verdict

By Zack Needles |

In what several attorneys say is the largest reported verdict in a Pennsylvania uninsured motorist case since the state Supreme Court's game-changing 2005 ruling in Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania v. Koken, a Philadelphia jury has awarded $250,000 to a man who was injured in a car accident while driving a vehicle insured under UM policy with defendant Progressive Advanced Insurance Co.

Traffic Court

Additional Wiretaps, Witness Testimony in Traffic Court Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

More wiretap recordings of phone conversations between Philadelphia Traffic Court judges and an administrator were played for jurors in federal court Thursday.

Francis J. Lawall

Bankruptcy to Remain Open Until Death of Life Estate Beneficiary

By Francis J. Lawall and Justin C. Esposito |

Any time divergent areas of the law intersect within a bankruptcy proceeding, the possibility of an unexpected outcome substantially increases. Such a case was evidenced by an unusual order recently entered in In re Mrozik, No. 08-12533 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2014), which permitted a Chapter 7 trustee to keep open a bankruptcy to await the death of the holder of a life estate so that the creditors of the remainderman could recover from the proceeds of the remainder interest upon termination of the life estate.

Witnesses Detail Alleged Ticket-Fixing System in Traffic Court

By Max Mitchell |

A Traffic Court officer testified during the trial of several former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges that he would typically see a note attached to a defendant's file and that defendant would be directed to a judge's personal assistant for a conference.

Risperdal Plaintiffs Want Claims for Punitive Damages Revived

By Gina Passarella |

The plaintiffs in the Risperdal mass tort litigation have asked a Philadelphia judge to reconsider his decision last month barring them from seeking punitive damages in any of their cases.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

At Traffic Court Trial, Jurors Hear Wiretap Evidence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Jurors in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Tuesday listened to recorded phone conversations among a former judge, court administrator and business owner, which prosecutors said provide further evidence of a ticket-fixing scheme.

Anthony S. Volpe

'Points in Time' Next Approach to Willful Infringement Analysis?

By Anthony S. Volpe and Jonathan Lombardo |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in the recent nonprecedential opinion Bose v. SDI Technologies, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4812 (Fed Cir. 2014), analyzed several different "points in time" to determine whether a defendant, charged with inducement and contributory patent infringement claims, had the requisite level of intent required to support these indirect infringement theories. In Bose, the Federal Circuit reversed a summary judgment holding of no liability based on the conclusion that SDI may have had the requisite level of intent for indirect infringement at "several points in time," and therefore the summary judgment of no liability at those points in time was improper.

Amendment Doesn't Alter Charter School's Enrollment Cap

By Max Mitchell |

Changes to a state law governing enrollment in charter schools did not affect an enrollment cap imposed on a Philadelphia charter school, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Traffic Court

Former Assistant Says Mulgrew Knew About Ticket 'Consideration'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The former personal assistant to suspended Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew testified in federal court Monday that Mulgrew "knew what he was doing" in considering requests for the downgrading or dismissal of traffic tickets.

verdicts and settlements

Mother, Son Injured In Read-End Collision

On Jan. 5, 2012, plaintiff Freddie Jackson, in his mid-30s at the time, was operating a minivan that was stopped in traffic on the eastbound section of Interstate 76, near the exit for Conshohocken, when the rear of his vehicle was struck by the front of a sedan being driven by Hongyen Tran.

verdicts and settlements

Ironworker Reaches Accord in Leg Amputation Case

According to the plaintiffs' mediation memorandum, 47-year-old plaintiff Alfonso Jones was working on the renovation of the Lafayette Building in Philadelphia, which was being prepared to house the Hotel Monaco.

Morgan Lewis Shuffles Office and Practice Leadership Roles

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is preparing now for the elevation this October of litigation department head Jami Wintz McKeon to serve as chairwoman of the firm.

insurance policy

Insurer Had No Duty to Warn Bar Owner of Policy Expiration

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia judge has ruled that an insurer had no statutory or contractual duty to warn its insureds that their policy was set to expire after they failed to timely respond to a renewal offer a month earlier.

Zane Memeger

Memeger Named Attorney of the Year by The Legal

By Gina Passarella |

U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has been named as The Legal's Attorney of the Year for his many notable efforts throughout 2013, including shepherding a $2.2 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson regarding off-label marketing, filing indictments of nearly the entire Philadelphia Traffic Court and focusing heavily on community outreach.

Local Politicians Asked for Ticket-Fixing, Witness Says

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A witness in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Thursday testified that the court received calls from the offices of several local politicians requesting ticket-fixing.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Plaintiff Who Injured Knees in Crash

By Zack Needles |

A Montgomery County jury awarded $1 million to a woman who suffered knee injuries in an automobile accident caused when the defendant made a left turn in front of a vehicle in which the plaintiff was a passenger.

verdicts and settlements

U.S. Gov't Settles With Mine Foreman Over Electric Shock

By Max Mitchell |

According to a complaint filed by plaintiff Robert D. Williams Jr., he suffered an electric shock as a result of misconduct by U.S. Mine Safety Health Administration inspectors during a surprise inspection.

Finger setting navigation system

En Banc Panel of Third Circuit Eyes Warrantless GPS Tracking

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Evidence police collected from a GPS device they attached to a suspect's vehicle without a warrant should be admissable because the officers relied in good faith on legal precedent at the time, the U.S. Attorney's Office argued in front of an en banc panel of the Third Circuit on Wednesday.

$16.3 Mil. Accord Reached in Ironworker's Leg Amputation Case

By Zack Needles |

An ironworker whose right leg was amputated and left foot crushed when a 3,000-pound granite base stone toppled over onto him during the renovation of a 106-year-old Philadelphia building has settled with the work site's general contractor and three other defendants for $16.3 million.

Defense Lawyer Calls Late Traffic Court Evidence an 'Ambush'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Witness examination restarted in the Philadelphia Traffic Court trial Wednesday after defense attorneys objected to the prosecution's introduction of last-minute traffic ticket evidence.

gevel in a courtroom

Federal Magistrate Judge Tosses Case as Sanction Against Lawyer

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal magistrate judge has ordered a Swarthmore, Pa., lawyer to pay the costs associated with seeking sanctions against him.

Gymnast Taxed $104K in Lost Lawsuit Against Cornell University

By Gina Passarella |

A gymnast who was unsuccessful in his attempt to collect upwards of $75 million in damages against Cornell University for an injury on campus has now been taxed more than $100,000 in costs.

Traffic Court

Prosecutors Say Traffic Court Judges Defrauded City, State

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Prosecutors told jurors in federal court Tuesday in the Philadelphia Traffic Court case that the defendants were responsible for creating a culture of favoritism that, through fixing tickets, robbed the city and Pennsylvania of funding.

Hank Grezlak

Jones' Same-Sex Marriage Decision Shows Judges Can Bridge Cultural Divides

By Hank Grezlak |

Some judges have a good sense of history when dealing with big cases. Rather than passing the buck to a higher court, or puffing up and delivering self-indulgent decisions, they write an opinion that not only makes important law, but makes it easier for society to absorb historical shifts.

verdicts and settlements

Phila. Jury Sides With Driver Injured In Van Crash

On Oct. 14, 2010, plaintiff Vincent Casino Jr., 44, was operating a van toward the intersection of N. 12th Street and W. Allegheny Avenue, in the Glenwood section of North Philadelphia, when the passenger's side of his vehicle was struck by the front of a sedan.

verdicts and settlements

Montco DA Settles With Wrongly Accused Contractor

By Zack Needles |

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office has apologized to a contractor it wrongfully charged with defrauding a church and has agreed to settle with him for $1.7 million.

Runners take off at the Philadelphia Bar Association 35th annual 5K Charity Run on May 18 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park

Children, New Venue Add to Phila. Bar's 35th Annual 5K Run

By Manny D. Pokotilow |

On May 18, the 35th Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Charity Run took place at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park.

Gay Wedding Exchanging Rings

Corbett's Decision Against Appeal Ushers in Same-Sex Marriage

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday decided not to appeal the decision of a federal judge who struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Voters OK City Lawmakers' Oversight of Conflict-Counsel Contract

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Voters passed a measure Tuesday geared toward increasing Philadelphia City Council's oversight role in contracts related to establishing a private conflict-counsel organization in criminal cases.

Fox CHart

Fox Rothschild Sees Revenue Grow 8.7 Percent

By Zack Needles |

Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild saw its gross revenue increase by about 8.7 percent in 2013, a year in which the firm grew by more than 40 attorneys across the country, including a 16-attorney merger in Denver.

medical malpractice

'Any Exposure' Theory Ban Doesn't Apply in Ford Asbestos Case

By P.J. D'Annuznio |

Despite a plaintiffs expert's testimony that minimal exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, the state Superior Court has ruled that prohibition of "any exposure" causation theories did not apply in an asbestos case against Ford Motor Co.

Effect on Clients Key to Differences in Attorney Discipline

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of a lawyer's year-and-a-day suspension for neglecting cases after the death of his son—and despite shorter suspensions given to two other lawyers for sexual misconduct—attorneys say the state Supreme Court's disciplinary board's role isn't to police attorneys tarnishing the profession's image as much as it is to protect clients.

Marriage Equality Demonstrators

Pa. Supporters Cautiously Optimistic About Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By Zack Needles, Max Mitchell and P.J. D'Annunzio |

Immediately following U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania's ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage, many Pennsylvania attorneys were exuberant about the decision, but several also wondered with some trepidation what comes next.

documents

Plaintiffs in Drywall MDL May See Research Company's Records

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Since an industry research organization may have unintentionally been a conduit for communicating information among conspirators in a price-fixing scheme among major manufacturers of drywall, plaintiffs in the related multidistrict litigation can collect some of the organization's confidential information, a federal judge has ruled.

Traffic Court

Switch of Judges Postpones Trial in Philadelphia Traffic Court Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia Traffic Court case, originally set to go to trial Monday, has been postponed due to the weekend hospitalization of the presiding federal judge.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Gas Pipeline Builder in Contract Case

By Zack Needles |

A Delaware County jury has awarded more than $24.3 million to a company that claimed an oil and gas company failed to pay it for work it did to build a natural gas pipeline system.

GSK Keeps 45 of 53 Cases Over Avandia Drug in Federal MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Lawyers for about 3,000 plaintiffs suing GlaxoSmithKline over its drug Avandia may have been able to skirt federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act but were ultimately stymied in their effort to get out of U.S. court by the rules on diversity jurisdiction.

Traffic Court

Interview Didn't Infringe Upon Traffic Court Judge's Privilege

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled that Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry's Fifth Amendment privilege against potential self-incrimination was not violated when he participated in an interview conducted by consultants reviewing the court's operations.

Has FDA Become 'Big Pharma' Alumni Club? on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

Tonight at 7 on the Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV, "The American Law Journal" presents "The FDA: Big Conflicts Over Big Pharma?"

Gay Marriage Challenge Steered to More Common Route?

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The novel approach taken in one of the challenges to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage has drawn some skepticism from the bench.

Student May Sue University Over Finding of Sexual Assault

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A college student may proceed with two claims against Saint Joseph's University over allegations that a school tribunal wrongly found him to have committed sexual assault, a federal judge has ruled.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

In Transvaginal Mesh MDL, Drinker Hit With Sanctions

By Zack Needles |

Calling the defense counsel's behavior "unjustifiable," a West Virginia federal judge has sanctioned Drinker Biddle & Reath in the Ethicon transvaginal surgical mesh multidistrict litigation for continuing to remove cases filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia despite the judge's previous rulings that the cases belong in Pennsylvania state court.

Joseph W. Marshall Jr., Professor Emeritus at Temple Law, Dies at 88

Joseph W. Marshall Jr., a professor emeritus at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, died May 4 of congestive heart failure at age 88.

MDL Judge Says Drywall Antitrust Plaintiffs Must Reveal Specifics

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Lawyers for the plaintiffs alleging price-fixing among major makers of drywall will have to divulge the facts that support their claims while discovery is ongoing, the federal judge handling the multidistrict litigation has ruled.

Trustee Has Questions on Firms' Roles in Casino Bankruptcy

By Gina Passarella |

DLA Piper has been granted an expedited hearing as to whether legal fees from the parent company of once-proposed Foxwoods Casino paid to the firm prior to the company's bankruptcy filing were property of the estate, thus transforming DLA Piper into a creditor.

Rick Ballard

Frederic L. Ballard Jr., Longtime Ballard Spahr Partner, Dies at 72

Frederic L. (Rick) Ballard Jr., who helped transform his great-grandfather's law office into the national, 500-lawyer firm that Ballard Spahr is today, died May 11 at age 72.

Abuse Reporting Law Raises Issues of Confidentiality

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A new law concerning the mandatory reporting of suspected instances of child abuse has led several attorneys to question whether the legislation threatens attorney-client privilege by requiring lawyers to report suspected abuse.

competitive intelligence

Law Firms Bulking Up Intelligence Analysis Arms

By Gina Passarella |

In a profession that relies heavily on precedence, research of all forms has long driven even the business decisions of law firms. But in the past few years that function has morphed from one of printing out reams of information into one that involves targeted business analysis that often requires a leap of faith rather than following the doctrine of stare decisis.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Couple Injured in Alleged Hit-and-Run Accident

By Max Mitchell |

According to the plaintiffs' pretrial memorandum, on Sept. 10, 2012, plaintiff George Sabu, 39, a laborer, was driving a vehicle along North 5th Street in Philadelphia, with Mebitha Sabu, 31, a homemaker, as passenger, when a vehicle collided with the rear of the Sabu vehicle. The plaintiffs alleged that either Larry Sharp or Jalonda D. Hall was driving the vehicle. The plaintiffs claimed the accident caused back injuries.

Getting Injured Workers Back to the Job on Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

Workers' comp turns 100 next year and one thing hasn't changed in all that time: Employers and employees systematically disagree on when it's time to go back to work.

In Reversal of District Ct., Third Circuit Says Cigna Can't Compel Arbitration

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Claims against health insurance giant Cigna can be litigated, the Third Circuit has ruled in a reversal of the district court's decision to compel arbitration.

lynn

Pa. Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up Priest Abuse Case

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted of endangering the welfare of children abused by other priests.

Dante Mattioni

Founder of Mattioni Ltd. in Phila., Dante Mattioni, Dies at Age 83

Dante Mattioni, 83, a Philadelphia lawyer and founder of Mattioni Ltd., died Monday after a long illness.

Papers Say McCaffery Can't Sue Over Editorial Choices

By Gina Passarella |

A minority owner of two major Philadelphia daily newspapers has been let out of a defamation case filed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his chief aide, Lise Rapaport, while the remaining defendants argued in filings that the complaint didn't allege any false reporting by the newspapers.

Pa. Supreme Court Hears Debate Over In-School Autism Coverage

By Max Mitchell |

The statute governing health insurance coverage for in-school treatment of autism spectrum disorders is unambiguous and bars appeal of a denial, an insurance carrier argued Wednesday before the state Supreme Court in Harrisburg, Pa.

gavel

Judge Sanctions Defense Lawyer Over Smoking Reference

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has ordered that defense attorney Nancy Raynor be sanctioned for allowing a defense expert to make a prohibited reference to smoking in a lung cancer-related medical malpractice case.

Football

Could Former Players' Unease Spell Trouble for Proposed NFL Settlement?

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Discontent among some former football players with the proposed $765 million settlement in the case against the NFL for players' head injuries has been most recently expressed in a motion to intervene

Anti-SLAPP Hearing Generates Suggestions Legislation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers and others gathered at a state Senate hearing late last month to offer support and suggestions for fine-tuning proposed legislation that would offer broader protection against SLAPP suits.

$11 Mil. Topamax Verdict Against Janssen Stands

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has upheld an $11 million jury verdict awarded to the parents of a child born with a severe cleft lip caused by the anti-seizure drug Topamax, which his mother took during pregnancy.

David M. Rosenblum

David M. Rosenblum, Civil Rights Attorney in Philadelphia, Dies at 47

David M. Rosenblum, a civil rights attorney and a leader in the gay rights movement in Philadelphia, died suddenly May 2 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 47.

fraud

Bankruptcy Court Fraud Finding Doesn't Apply to Civil Suit

By Max Mitchell |

A finding of fraud in U.S. Bankruptcy Court does not mean that the issue has already been decided for liability purposes in Pennsylvania courts, the state Superior Court has ruled in an apparent issue of first impression.

Signing a contract

Global Insurance Company Tied to Employee's Old Contract

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A global insurance company is bound by a contract between its new hire and a Philadelphia-based direct competitor for which she used to work, a federal judge has ruled.

Insurer Battles Over Payment of $31.5 Mil. Med Mal Accord

By Zack Needles |

The excess liability insurer for Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has filed suit in federal court accusing the hospital's umbrella liability insurer of intentionally delaying settlement during the hospital's appeal of a $78.4 million medical malpractice verdict in an attempt to "spend down" its $20 million policy limit by unnecessarily retaining appellate counsel.

verdicts and settlements

Hospice Provider Settles Federal Whistleblower Suit

A major provider of home hospice and health care services has settled whistleblower claims for $150 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Fraud Claims by PepsiCo Against Pa. Company OK'd

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

PepsiCo's claims of fraud against a Pennsylvania company—brought after discovery got under way in a $9 million breach of contract case the company had initially filed against PepsiCo—have survived a motion to dismiss in federal court.

operating room

Judge OKs Post-Mortem Brain Removal Case to Go to Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The son of a man who allegedly underwent several post-mortem surgeries, including a brain removal—against the wishes of his family—is set to have his case against Albert Einstein Medical Center sent to trial.

documents

Accidentally Disclosed Report Still Covered by Work-Product Privilege

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A report created for a medical device manufacturer that was inadvertently handed over during discovery can't be used by the plaintiff, a federal judge has ruled.

After Suspension of Six Months, 'Upskirt' GC is Reinstated

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has reinstated a Montgomery County attorney who was suspended for six months after being convicted of charges related to covertly filming up the skirts of two females—one of whom was a minor—in a public place.

insurance policy

Third Circuit Question Over Bad-Faith Claims to Be Heard by State Justices

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether an insured tortfeasor can assign bad-faith claims against his insurance carrier to the injured plaintiff.

Traffic Court

Traffic Court Judge Seeks to Remove Wiretap Evidence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Defense counsel for suspended Traffic Court Judge Michael J. Sullivan argued in federal court Monday that evidence used to support a wiretap on Sullivan's cellphone was improperly obtained by law enforcement.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Defense Over Broken Needle Mid-Surgery

A Philadelphia jury issued a defense verdict to a doctor sued after a needle he was using for a bone biopsy broke off in the plaintiff's back, requiring an additional surgery to remove it.

verdicts and settlements

Drugmaker Settles Qui Tam Suit

The maker of the intravenous antifungal medication Mycamine has settled a whistleblower action against it with the U.S. government and several states for $7.3 million.

Court Says No Leniency for Challenged Procedural Defect

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that courts may not sustain preliminary objections that improperly raise affirmative defenses when the opposing party specifically challenges the procedural defect.

Robert Kerns

Montco Attorney Kerns Again Faced With Rape Charges

By Gina Passarella |

Montgomery County attorney Robert Kerns, 66, has been charged again for rape and related offenses, this time by the state Attorney General's Office, which was referred the case when misinterpreted lab reports forced the county District Attorney's Office to drop similar charges related to the same offense.

Pa. Law Clear on Deed Recording In Mortgage Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's law requiring the transfer of deeds to be recorded with the county where the land sits isn't vague, a federal judge has ruled.

Adoptive Parents’ Suit OK’d Against City Over Child’s Placement

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has ruled that a man's adoptive parents can proceed with a civil rights suit against the city of Philadelphia and a Department of Human Services caseworker under a "state-created danger" theory for allegedly knowingly placing him in a violent and abusive home when he was a child.

gevel in a courtroom

Reargument Heard Over $18.5 Mil. Genuardi's Case

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court en banc heard reargument Wednesday over whether the damages portion of a Chester County trial judge's molded $18.5 million verdict against Genuardi's Family Markets must be reduced to present value.

Dougherty Video Deposition Suit Again Before Superior Court

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court en banc heard reargument Wednesday over whether Philadelphia union leader John Dougherty is required to show good cause for why his videotaped deposition in his defamation suit against Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Karen Heller should be sealed.

$150 Mil. Whistleblower Settlement Reached in Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A major provider of home hospice and health care services has settled whistleblower claims for $150 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Phila. Jury Awards $133,000 for Rear-End Collision

According to court documents, plaintiff Gary Murray, 57, was rear-ended while driving along 7 Oaks Drive at its intersection with Cheltenham Avenue in Philadelphia. Murray claimed that the accident caused soft-tissue injuries of the back, neck and shoulder.

Company Has No Legal Mal Claim in Factory Fire Case

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a company whose factory burnt down in a fire caused by a furnace has no legal malpractice claim against a Bucks County attorney and his former firm for failing to assert a products liability claim against the furnace distributor.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Federal Judge OKs 'Failure to Screen' Claim

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has allowed the estate of a woman who died of hemopericardium in Lankenau Medical Center's emergency room to proceed with a claim against the hospital for failure to screen under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, finding that the hospital could not adequately articulate its own screening procedure as a defense.

Allstate Bad-Faith Case Moved to Phila. Common Pleas

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A bad-faith suit against Allstate Insurance Co., which stemmed from an auto accident case that produced a $19.1 million verdict in Philadelphia, has been sent back from federal court to common pleas jurisdiction, a federal judge has ruled.

Phila. Jury Sides With Defense in Broken Needle Case

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia jury issued a defense verdict to a doctor sued after a needle he was using for a bone biopsy broke off in the plaintiff's back, requiring an additional surgery to remove it.

City Hall in Philadelphia

FJD, DA's Office, Defenders Ask City for Funding Bump

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Officials of the First Judicial District, the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the District Attorney's Office gathered before Philadelphia City Council on April 16 to request additional funding for their departments.

Federal Judge OKs 'Failure to Screen' Claim

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has allowed the estate of a woman who died of hemopericardium in Lankenau Medical Center's emergency room to proceed with a claim against the hospital for failure to screen under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, finding that the hospital could not adequately articulate its own screening procedure as a defense.

Traveler with a bag on the speedwalk

TSA Officers Can Be Sued Over Baggage Search

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Officers of the Transportation Security Administration aren't immune to Bivens actions, a federal judge has ruled in a case arising from the contentious search of a woman's baggage at the Philadelphia airport.

Football

Is Path to NFL Concussion Accord Growing Murky?

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Three months after the $760 million settlement between the NFL and its former players was denied preliminary approval, the terms of what will ultimately be accepted are still unclear.

Phila. DA Creates Unit to Review Wrongful-Conviction Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has established a new group within his office that will exclusively handle the review of cases with "legitimate" post-conviction claims of innocence.

$19.1 Mil. Verdict Upheld in Auto Accident Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has upheld a $19.1 million verdict awarded to a man who had his right leg amputated above the knee as the result of a car accident.

Pfizer Battles Over Extent of Expert Testimony in Zoloft MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pfizer has asked the federal judge handling the multidistrict litigation alleging that its antidepressant drug Zoloft causes birth defects to limit a key plaintiffs expert's testimony to the content of her report.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Expert Testimony in Remaining Denture Cream Cases Barred

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A judge has excluded testimony from the plaintiffs' causation experts in the 12 remaining denture adhesive mass tort cases in Philadelphia.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Sides With Doctor in Newspaper Defamation Suit

A Montgomery County jury has awarded an orthopedic surgeon $2 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, in a defamation suit against a local newspaper's former parent company and one of the paper's former reporters.

Custody of child

FJD to Redeploy Judges to Address Family Court Backlog

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Three judges are set to be temporarily reassigned to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas family division from other sections of the First Judicial District in order to deal with a backlog of child custody cases.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Full-Bench Recusal Granted in McCaffery Defamation Case

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia judge has granted the request of several defendants in a defamation suit filed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and Lise Rapaport for the entire Philadelphia trial court to recuse and an out-of-county judge to be appointed.

gavel

Jury Awards $7.8 Mil. in Death of Jockey

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia jury awarded about $7.8 million, including $5 million in punitive damages, to the wife of a jockey who was killed when his horse bucked and trampled him after being spooked by a chicken at Parx Casino and Racetrack.

DLA Piper to Charge Up to $1,120 an Hour in Casino Bankruptcy

By Gina Passarella |

DLA Piper has outlined its fee arrangement with Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners in the firm's application to be approved as bankruptcy counsel to the owners of the once-proposed Foxwoods Casino.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

McCaffery, Wife Oppose Recusal of Bench in Defamation Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A lawyer for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery called attorneys at Sprague & Sprague "recusal-happy" in response to a motion to have McCaffery's defamation suit against The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News heard by a judge outside of Philadelphia.

Ex-Delco ADA Suspended for Alcohol-Related Hit-and-Run

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former Delaware County prosecutor who, while driving after drinking hit a 14-year-old youth and fled the scene, has been suspended from the practice of law for one year after a recommendation from the state Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board.

gavel

Merrill Lynch Arbitration Award, Plus Attorney Fees, Stands

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A former employee of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith will have to pay the securities brokerage firm over $200,000, plus interest, now that a federal judge has upheld an arbitration award.

verdicts and settlements

Swim Club Ordered To Pay for Dangerous Tree Near Property

According to the plaintiff's arbitration memorandum, on June 24, 2010, Maryann C. Dunlap, 70, was walking to her car, which was parked in the lower parking lot of the Ridley Park Swim Club, when a tree fell on her.

gavel, scale, and law book

'Bachelorette' Lawyer Wants Legal Mal Case Out of Bankruptcy Court

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia personal injury attorney who has been accused in a legal malpractice suit of neglecting a slip-and-fall case after becoming a contestant on the reality television show "The Bachelorette" is attempting to move the case out of bankruptcy court.

Janssen Settles 76 Topamax Cases in Philadelphia

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals has settled 76 cases in which plaintiffs alleged that the anti-seizure drug Topamax, taken during pregnancy, caused birth defects, according to a Philadelphia court order.

Technical Expert Appointed in Comcast-Sprint Dispute

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Following a five-day Markman hearing in a complex patent dispute between Comcast and Sprint, the federal judge presiding over the case decided to take the uncommon step of appointing a technical adviser.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Montco Jury Awards $2 Mil. to Doctor in Defamation Suit

By Zack Needles |

Sixteen years after the case began, a Montgomery County jury has awarded an orthopedic surgeon $2 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, in a defamation suit against a local newspaper's former parent company and one of the paper's former reporters.

Police Must Pay for Arresting Bystander With Camera Phone

On Sept. 3, 2010, plaintiff Kimla Robinson, who was 47 at the time, was walking in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia when she saw a crowd of people and several police officers involved in a fight with Askia Sabur, according to the plaintiff's settlement memorandum.

Federal Judge OKs Siding MDL Settlement

CertainTeed will pay $104 million to resolve claims that its siding prematurely warped and cracked under a national class settlement agreement granted final approval by a federal judge.

Court Enforces Noncompete Against Independent Contractor

By Max Mitchell |

A noncompete and nonsolicit agreement will be enforceable against three independent contractors who were trained by and worked for a public adjustment company but began operating their own business, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Decades-Old Rebate Regulations Ruled Unconstitutional

By Max mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has deemed unconstitutional state regulations barring estates from collecting tax rebates under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance Act if the senior citizens paid taxes for the year but died before they could collect the rebates.

Suit Against School for Teacher's Sexual Misconduct OK'd

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Boyertown Area School District could be liable for the 14th Amendment claims brought by a high school student who was sexually assaulted by a teacher who had a history of harassing girls in his classes, a federal judge has ruled.

Claims Against Hospital for Sex Abuse by Doctor Not Covered by MCARE

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pennsylvania's MCARE Fund does not cover claims against a hospital for sexual abuse at the hands of a physician who practiced medicine there, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Target logo

Target Gets Patent Infringement Case Stayed by Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Claims that Target copied the design for maternity pants made by Destination Maternity are on hold until the patent office rules on its review of the allegedly infringed patents.

Two Judges Join Eastern District in Close Confirmation

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Two nominees for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania were confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, leaving five empty seats on the bench.

Justice McCaffery, Wife File Complaint in Defamation Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife and aide, Lise Rapaport, have laid out their defamation and related claims against The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and certain owners and editorial staff in a 60-page complaint filed late Tuesday.

Dismissal of Capital-Defense Fee Case a 'Big Disappointment'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court's dismissal of a case challenging the constitutionality of flat fees paid to defense counsel in capital cases has been described by several lawyers as a significant disappointment.

Fox Rothschild Adds Ex-U.S. Steel GC in Pittsburgh

By Gina Passarella |

After 34 years with U.S. Steel, former General Counsel James D. Garraux is joining the Pittsburgh office of Fox Rothschild.

Ellen Brotman, Rich Scheff and Lathrop Nelson

General's Lawyers: Sinclair Case Shows 'One-Sided System'

By Gina Passarella |

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads criminal defense partners Richard Scheff, Ellen Brotman and Lathrop Nelson spent many days in Fort Bragg, N.C., this year with their team and co-JAG counsel Maj. Sean Foster going over trial strategy and sometimes scratching their heads at the oddities, and often the frustration, of the military justice system.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Feud Between Kane, Prosecutors Raises Eyebrows

By Max Mitchell |

The war of words between the state attorney general, former state prosecutors and the Philadelphia district attorney has been escalating over the past few days, and if the public bickering becomes a trend, it won't be good for prosecutors, attorneys who spoke with The Legal said.

gavel

Court Tosses $1.4 Mil. Judgment in Lehigh Trade-Secrets Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has vacated a $1.4 million verdict against a manufacturer of cryogenic research machines because it was unclear whether the trial court incorrectly doubled the damages in the case.

merger

Sheller Key Partner Leaving to Join Ross Feller Casey

By Zack Needles |

Sheller P.C. managing partner Brian J. McCormick Jr., whose practice is heavily focused on pharmaceutical mass torts and whistleblower litigation, is leaving the firm to join Ross Feller Casey, both firms confirmed Friday.

siding

Federal Judge Nails Down $104 Mil. Siding MDL Accord

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

CertainTeed will pay $104 million to resolve claims that its siding prematurely warped and cracked under a national class settlement agreement granted final approval by a federal judge.

gavel

Pitt Firm Pushes for Discovery in Case Against Lundy

By Zack Needles |

A month after Philadelphia personal injury firm Lundy Law shot back at competitor Larry Pitt & Associates' second amended complaint by saying the Pitt firm has "stretched the facts as far as truth will allow—and beyond," the Pitt firm has responded that it has sufficiently alleged antitrust claims and that the case must proceed to discovery.

Civil Clergy-Abuse Lawsuits in Phila. See Renewed Activity, Lawyers Say

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The plaintiff in a priest sex-abuse case is petitioning the court to compel information on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's ownership interest, management and funding of the Villa St. John Vianney, a facility used for psychiatric treatment by clergy members.

Automatic Texts From Yahoo Don't Violate 'Do-Not-Call' Protection

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Yahoo's system for automatically texting its users when their email accounts have received a new message doesn't violate the federal law that protects consumers from unsolicited calls, a federal judge has ruled.

Bracewell & Giuliani Arbitration Clause Approved by Judge

By Gina Passarella |

A mandatory arbitration clause in Bracewell & Giuliani's client engagement letter meets the limited criteria in Pennsylvania for such clauses to be enforceable, a federal judge has ruled, declining to step into what he said was the sole purview of the state Supreme Court to expressly outline what steps a law firm must take to make such clauses fair for the client.

Michael B. Gebhardt

Temple Names Interim University Counsel

By Gina Passarella |

Temple University has named an interim university counsel to run the school's legal department in the wake of longtime university counsel George Moore's death earlier this month.

Business handshake and business people

Seven Lavin O'Neil Lawyers Join Dissolving Hollstein Keating

By Zack Needles |

Seven lawyers from Philadelphia litigation defense firm Lavin, O'Neil, Ricci, Cedrone & DiSipio, including name shareholder William J. Ricci and three other shareholders, are leaving to start a new firm with the 11 lawyers who currently make up fellow defense firm Hollstein Keating Cattell Johnson & Goldstein, which is currently in the process of dissolving.

Lawyers Question Decision to Dismiss Case Against Kerns

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Several lawyers have questioned the logic behind the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office's decision to drop rape charges against lawyer and former county GOP Chairman Robert Kerns when there was "sufficient" probable cause that could have been used to carry on the prosecution.

Ex-Spector Gadon Attorney Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

By Gina Passarella |

Former Spector Gadon & Rosen attorney Gomer Thomas Williams III pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to one count of wire fraud related to his theft of more than $500,000 from some of his former firm's trusts and estates clients.

Judge Awards Builder in Dispute With Township

A Bucks County trial judge awarded a molded jury verdict of $800,341 to plaintiff Klipper Construction Associates after a jury found that defendant Warwick Township Water and Sewer Authority breached its contract by failing to pay Klipper the balance of its contract for improvements it made to the township's wastewater treatment plant.

Jury Finds Doctor Delayed Treating Cancerous Ulcer

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Margaret Wilson, on Oct. 7, 2007, she presented to the office of Dr. Peter L. King, of Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia, with complaints of a plantar ulcer on her left foot.

Excess Carrier Must Defend Pipe Maker After Gas Leak Settlement

By Max Mitchell |

An excess insurance carrier involved in a multimillion-dollar settlement stemming from a 1998 Montgomery County service station gasoline leak has a duty to defend a pipe manufacturer involved in the settlement on subsequent cross-claims, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Justices Seek Bright-Line Definition for 'Investigative Detention'

By Max Mitchell |

In considering whether or not a police stop where a man was asked for identification was an "investigative detention" or a "mere encounter," the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices searched for a bright-line rule to distinguish between the two.

Pa. Justices Mull Legislature's Power to Overturn Court Rulings

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments March 12 over whether the General Assembly has the power to overturn a court ruling through retroactive legislation.

Cozen O'Connor Revenue Dips 1.3 Percent, PPP Rises 1.4 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Cozen O'Connor saw a 1.3 percent decline in gross revenue in 2013 as its headcount dropped nearly 3 percent in a year that saw a number of attorneys leave the firm in places such as Chicago and Philadelphia.

business man with pen drawing graphics on world map

Metals Dispute to Move on Parallel U.S. and English Tracks

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A $70 million case over the lease of precious metals between family-owned companies is going to proceed in federal court in Philadelphia alongside an action in the English courts, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled.

Edward Ohlbaum

Edward Ohlbaum, Professor and Trial Advocacy 'Giant,' Dies at 64

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Temple University law professor Edward Ohlbaum, known in the legal community as a pioneer in trial advocacy, the author of a treatise on evidence, and for mentoring attorneys of all ages, died of cancer Thursday at age 64.

Justices Mull Whether Railroad Flooding Suits Are Preempted

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments March 12 over whether the Federal Railroad Safety Act preempts common-law negligence claims for property damage allegedly caused by water diverted from poorly maintained railroad tracks.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Jury Awards $7.2 Million in Asbestos Case

By Gina Passarella |

A Philadelphia jury awarded $7.2 million against nine companies whose products were allegedly used by a shipfitter whose estate claimed his exposure to the asbestos-containing products caused the man's mesothelioma and death.

In Topamax Birth-Defect Case, Phila. Jury Awards $3 Million to Parents

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The parents of a child born with a cleft lip and palate linked to the mother's use of the anti-seizure drug Topamax during pregnancy have received a $3 million jury award in a failure-to-warn case in Philadelphia.

Gym Ordered to Pay After Shooting on Basketball Court

According to the plaintiff's pretrial memorandum, on the evening of March 2, 2010, plaintiff Zsaron Simpson, a food services worker, was playing basketball with his cousin on courts in the gym owned and operated by World Fitness & Sports Center Inc.

Owners Must Pay Up After Woman's Fall On Cracked Sidewalk

According to the pretrial memorandum of plaintiff Abbie Butler, on Nov. 12, 2012, she was walking her dog along the sidewalk of Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia when she tripped on an alleged defect and fell to the ground.

Unemployment Benefits OK'd for Independent Contractor

By Max Mitchell |

A man who worked as an independent contractor for a staffing company may receive unemployment compensation benefits even though he worked there only seven hours a week and held two other jobs, teaching in two school districts, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Ousted Judge's Appeal Highlights Supreme Court Arguments

By Max Mitchell |

The appeal of a former Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge who was ousted for allegedly failing to disclose information about cases in which he was a defendant to a bar association committee reviewing his candidacy will headline the state Supreme Court's oral argument session that starts today.

Mildewed Deck Class-Action Settlement Weathers Judge's Review

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge has given final approval to a class settlement with the maker of a fiber-composite deck material that allegedly fostered mold deposits.

Another Children's Tylenol Death Case Stays in Federal Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

McNeil Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, might have manufactured allegedly defective batches of children's Tylenol in Pennsylvania, but it's a New Jersey company, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled, preserving the diversity jurisdiction to keep the case in federal court.

verdicts and settlements

Endo Health Solutions Settles Qui Tam Suit

Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Endo Health Solutions has agreed to pay $193 million to settle claims that it engaged in illegal off-label marketing of its pain relief medication, Lidoderm.

Donald C. Marino

Donald C. Marino, Philadelphia Lawyer and Former Bar Chancellor, Dies at 74

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Donald C. Marino, known for being involved in several high-profile cases, died March 3 at age 74.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Bill on Oversight Of Conflict Counsel Becomes Law

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A measure to increase Philadelphia City Council's oversight role in implementing a plan to establish a private conflict counsel entity for criminal cases has become law.

insurance policy

Phila. Judge Denies Life Insurance Benefits to Same-Sex Former Partner

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia trial judge has ruled that the same-sex former domestic partner of a deceased man is not entitled to life insurance benefits because he was not able to prove he was the designated beneficiary.

Philly.com Ordered to Disclose Identity Of Commenter

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has ordered the owners of Philly.com to disclose the identity of an anonymous poster who allegedly called city International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 98, leader John Dougherty a "pedophile" in the comments section of an online article.

George E. Moore

Moore, Longtime General Counsel at Temple University, Dies at 67

By Gina Passarella |

Longtime Temple University General Counsel George E. Moore died Sunday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 67.

Morgan Lewis Hires Chief Operating Officer From Dechert

By Zack Needles |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has announced Anthony Licata has joined the firm as its first chief operating officer, effective Tuesday. Licata comes to the firm from Dechert, where he also served as COO.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ballard Spahr Helps to Generate $1.86 Billion Sale of PGW

By Gina Passarella |

When 33 potential bidders expressed interest in August in vying for Philadelphia Gas Works as part of the city's anticipated sale of the largest municipally-owned gas utility in the country, Ballard Spahr's Gregory L. Seltzer knew his client was in good shape.

'Low T' Drug Cases Could Be Next MDL, Mass Tort

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Several products liability attorneys say that the recent appearance of lawsuits nationwide against the manufacturers of testosterone therapy drugs indicates the potential for multidistrict litigation and possibly a new mass tort.

verdicts and settlements

Estate Settles With Driver, Bars After Fatal DUI Crash

On Feb. 25, 2011, plaintiffs decedent Melissa F. Lees, 21, was a passenger in an SUV being driven along Byberry Road in Bensalem by defendant Susan Pond.

Judge Patricia A. McCullough

Property Damage Claim Viable Under Common-Enemy Rule

By Max Mitchell |

A trial court will need to re-examine a property owner's claim that a school district's construction projects caused damages under the common-enemy rule after the Commonwealth Court determined the district could be considered negligent, despite the local township granting approval of the project.

High Court Remands Robbery Victim's PTSD Claim

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has asked the Commonwealth Court to reconsider a 2011 decision denying workers' compensation benefits to a state liquor store employee who had been robbed at gunpoint.

Flaster Greenberg Settles Suit With Former Associate

By Zack Needles |

Less than two months after a federal judge allowed a former Flaster Greenberg associate to continue with her claims against the firm for breach of implied contract and promissory estoppel/detrimental reliance, the parties have reached a settlement, according to court documents.

gavel

Justices Won't Mull Arb Agreements' Impact on Wrongful-Death Suits

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not hear arguments over whether wrongful-death suits can be controlled by decedents' arbitration agreements.

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

FJD to Address Low Juror Turnout With 'Scofflaw Court'

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In an effort to remedy a steadily decreasing response rate from Philadelphia citizens summoned for jury duty, the First Judicial District is re-implementing a penalty court that it phased out roughly 13 years ago, court officials said.

K&L GATES

Objection to K&L Gates, Le-Nature's Accord Withdrawn

By Gina Passarella |

Less than 24 hours after the trustee for Le-Nature's said an accounting firm's objection to his $23.75 million settlement with K&L Gates was unfounded, the objection has been withdrawn.

FJD Leaders Say Reforms Are Moving Criminal Cases Along

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The First Judicial District's criminal justice reform package, four years into its implementation, is speeding the pace of case disposition, reducing the failure-to-appear rate and addressing the root causes of criminal behavior, court officials say.

Plaintiffs and Defense Lawyers Differ on Use of Trial Technology

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

As the use of trial technology continues to advance, several plaintiffs attorneys say they consider tools such as interactive displays, computer animations and multimedia presentations to be essential in keeping the attention of modern jurors and effectively illustrating facts.

In Shooting Case, Insurer Must Defend Temple Law Student

By Gina Passarella |

An insurer has to defend a former Temple Law student in a civil trial against him over his shooting of the son of a Fox Rothschild partner, a federal judge has ruled.

Baylsons' Suit Against Fertility Clinic, Firm Sent to Montco

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Dragonetti action filed by U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and his wife, Dr. Frances Ruth Batzer Baylson, against a suburban Philadelphia law firm and its fertility clinic client is to be transferred to Montgomery County, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

Third Circuit Holds Temple University To the FCRA on Loan Debt Reporting

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Higher Education Act doesn't exempt Temple University from following the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the way it reports student loan debt information, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled.

Pelvic Mesh Cases Expanding Into Latest Mass Tort

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The increasing volume of pelvic mesh product-liability actions has prompted Philadelphia court officials to create a new mass tort program to coordinate those cases.

Endo Settles Qui Tam Suit for $193 Mil.

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Endo Health Solutions has agreed to pay $193 million to settle claims that it engaged in illegal off-label marketing of its pain relief medication, Lidoderm.

Firms Settle Fee Dispute After Sex-Bias Class Action Resolves

By Gina Passarella |

Hamburg & Golden has settled its suit against Sanford Heisler over fees the former alleged it was owed after the two firms worked together on behalf of the plaintiffs in a gender-discrimination class action.

Traffic Court

Hearing Officers Hired to Handle Phila. Traffic Cases

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Five hearing officers have been hired to adjudicate cases in the traffic division of the Philadelphia Municipal Court and are slated to commence their duties this summer, according to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer.

merger

Lewis Brisbois Opens in Pa. With 14-Lawyer Nelson Levine Team

By Gina Passarella |

Los Angeles-based Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith has opened a Berwyn, Pa., office with the addition of 14 lawyers from insurance law boutique Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton, Lewis Brisbois announced late Wednesday.

City Council Approves Conflict Counsel Bills

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia City Council has unanimously approved a legislative package that would affect the city's plan to establish a conflict counsel entity to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases.

Antique Map New England

Phila. Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Del. LLC Dissolutions

By Gina Passarella |

The Delaware Court of Chancery has exclusive jurisdiction to oversee the dissolution of a Delaware LLC, a Philadelphia judge ruled in dismissing a petition by a faction of the feuding owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer to have the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas handle the matter.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Penile Implant Lawsuit Is Thrown Out by Pa. Federal Judge

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Most of the claims brought by a man whose penile implant broke two years after it was put in were preempted by U.S. law governing medical devices, a federal judge has ruled, dismissing those claims with prejudice.

verdicts and settlements

Clogged Machine Led to Finger Amputations

On Oct. 8, 2008, plaintiff Harley Gery, 21, was working as a laborer for a bulk-powders manufacturer in East Greenville, Pa.

verdicts and settlements

Family of Man Killed By Crane Hook Reaches Accord

The family of an electrician who was killed when a crane hook fell on him has reached a $17 million settlement in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas with the owner of the crane, the company contracted to inspect and repair the crane and the contractor of the decedent's employer.

City Hall in Philadelphia

FJD Leader Aims to Increase Accessibility, Transparency

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The early weeks of 2014 have seen measures taken by the First Judicial District to increase accessibility to the resources of Philadelphia's courts and foster the transparency of court operations, according to President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper.

Harrisburg Capitol Building

Lawmakers Set to Consider Measure to Curtail SLAPP Lawsuits

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Pennsylvania Senate's judiciary committee is set to hold a hearing on proposed legislation that would offer broader protection against SLAPP suits.

picture of man hands signing contract

Pa. County Officials Certified as Class in Federal Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Montgomery County's recorder of deeds has won class status for all of the 67 recorders of deeds across Pennsylvania in a suit she filed against Merscorp for its alleged failure to file mortgage assignments with the county offices.

Lynn Files Answer to Phila. District Attorney's Office Appeal

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Monsignor William J. Lynn filed an answer Monday in opposition to a request for allocatur submitted by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office seeking state Supreme Court review of an appeals court's decision to overturn Lynn's conviction.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton Disqualified From Defamation Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton has been disqualified from representing the owners and publishers of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a suit filed against the paper by union leader John J. Dougherty, a former client of Pepper Hamilton.

$17 Mil. Settlement in Case Of Man Killed by Crane Hook

By Zack Needles |

The family of an electrician who was killed when a crane hook fell on him has reached a $17 million settlement in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas with the owner of the crane, the company contracted to inspect and repair the crane and the contractor of the decedent's employer.

documents

Court Must Decide if Firm Documents Are Protected From Discovery

By Zack Needles |

In litigation it said has "consumed significant judicial resources," the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a Philadelphia trial judge failed to address why 30 documents he compelled Blue Bell, Pa.-based Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein to hand over to the plaintiffs in a wrongful use of civil proceedings and abuse of process suit were not protected by attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine.

Failure-to-Inform Claim Survives in Case Against Health Clinic

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The government-run clinic that provided prenatal care for a mother who gave birth while she unknowingly carried streptococcus B has secured summary judgment extinguishing most of the claims brought against it.

Gay Lawyer Brings New Claims Against Personal Injury Firms

By Zack Needles |

Jeffrey Downs, the gay attorney who sued Philadelphia personal injury firms Anapol Schwartz and Raynes McCarty for defamation in Philadelphia trial court last March, has filed a new suit in federal court against the firms and several of their attorneys under the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, alleging discrimination based on his sexual orientation.

Judge Upends $20 Mil. Verdict in Construction Accident Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Defendants are entitled to a new trial in a case where a plaintiff was awarded $20 million after a 10-year-old boy ran him over with a construction vehicle, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Phila. Jury Finds Passenger Sustained Serious Injuries

According to the retrial memorandum of plaintiff Elsie Hall, in September 2011, she was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband, Hayden Hall, along Broad Street in Philadelphia. Elsie Hall was 68 at the time

rental car

High Court to Mull Requirements of Unfair Trade Practices Claim

By Max Mitchell |

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law can be applied to allegedly inflated charges that a rental car company levied against a driver for damages to a vehicle

Legal Briefs

Are Appeals Courts Showing More Mercy for Procedural Errors?

By Zack Needles |

A handful of cases over the past few years have seen Pennsylvania appellate courts taking a stand against the judicial practice of tossing out otherwise meritorious cases on procedural technicalities, but attorneys said it's still an issue, as both trial and appellate courts continue to battle heavy caseloads.

Blank Rome

Revenue Dips, PPP Rises as Blank Rome Cuts Partner Ranks

By Gina Passarella |

Blank Rome's gross revenue fell 2.6 percent to $320.5 million in 2013 while other key metrics rose as overall headcount fell and the equity partner tier was cut by 16.4 percent.

gavel

Domestic Violence Diversion Court Starts Up in Phila.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A new criminal case diversion program implemented in the First Judicial District aims to address and resolve domestic violence matters through individual treatment for anger, mental illness and drug abuse without bringing the defendants to prosecution, attorneys involved with the program say.

Deal to Lease, Manage Catholic Cemeteries Clears Hurdle

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has ruled that a proposed agreement between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with a third party for the leasing and management of cemetery space would not divert the cemeteries from their originally sanctioned purposes to serve as burial grounds for the region's Roman Catholics.

City Hall in Philadelphia

City Council Holds Hearing on Bills Related to Conflict Counsel

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the wake of the Nutter administration's failed bid to appoint a firm to act as conflict counsel, lawyers and city officials gathered before Philadelphia City Council's Law and Government Committee on Tuesday to discuss new legislation that would affect the city's plan to establish a conflict counsel entity.

Panitch Schwarze Makes First Hire In New Del. Office

By Jeff Mordock |

Patricia S. Rogowski, a former intellectual property attorney at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg's Wilmington, Del., office, has joined Philadelphia-based Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel, where she will lead her new firm's expansion into Delaware.

Forest

Federal Judge Enforces Deadline in MDL Over DuPont's Imprelis

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge signaled her reluctance to allow plaintiffs to opt out of a settlement with DuPont now that the deadline has passed.

andrews

U.S. Rep. Andrews Set to Join Phila.-Based Dilworth Paxson

By Gina Passarella |

U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., is leaving Congress later this month to join Philadelphia-based Dilworth Paxson in March, he announced Tuesday.

verdicts and settlements

Judge OKs Settlement In Price-Fixing Suit

Three major manufacturers of zippers, snaps, buttons and hooks have settled for $17.6 million with a class of thousands of plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation case alleging price-fixing.

gavel

Trial Judge Criticized for Tossing Wrongful-Death Suit

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has criticized a Montgomery County trial judge for tossing out a protracted wrongful-death and survival suit after the plaintiff moved to delay the trial due to illness.

Despite String of Big Verdicts, Birth Injury Cases Uncommon

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Despite a recent string of high-profile, eight-figure verdicts in birth injury cases in Pennsylvania, lawyers say the cases are still uncommon, are hardly surefire wins for plaintiffs and present numerous risks to both sides.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Finds Parks Employee Was Fired In Retaliation

In March 2008, plaintiff Pamela Ann Murray, a park ranger employed by Montgomery County, was fired from her position in the Montgomery County Parks Department.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton Grows Revenue 5.4 Percent

By Zack Needles |

Pepper Hamilton saw its revenue jump by 5.4 percent in 2013, despite what CEO Scott Green characterized as an "investment year" for the firm. The firm's revenue grew from about $354.5 million in 2012 to $373.5 million in 2013.

unfinished automobiles in a car plant

Ford Not Liable in Pa. for UK Subsidiary's Auto Parts

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, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

Whistleblower Suit Against Abbott Laboratories Gets Green Light

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The whistleblower claims brought by a former sales representative for Abbott Laboratories alleging that the company illegally marketed its drug TriCor for off-label uses have survived a motion to dismiss in federal court.

Judge Denies $63 Mil. Damage Claim Over Aborted Merger

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has rejected a health care informatics company's claim for nearly $63 million in damages after a potential merger partner breached an exclusivity agreement and made a deal with another company.

Gaming Rises—and Falls—Sweeten Pot of Opportunities for Lawyers

By Gina Passarella |

Slices of the gaming pie may be getting smaller as more jurisdictions vie for gamblers' dollars, but the industry's expansion—and contraction—has meant more opportunities for lawyers to get in on the action.

Mezrow Suffers Third Mistrial in Two-Year Period

By Zack Needles |

For the third time in just over two years, personal injury lawyer Steven M. Mezrow's actions have resulted in a mistrial in Philadelphia court.

Antique Map New England

Federal Judge Finds Maker of Tylenol Is a N.J. Company

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge in Philadelphia joined his colleagues in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and held that McNeil Pharmaceuticals is a New Jersey company, thereby preserving the diversity jurisdiction to keep the case in federal court.

Ex-Spector Gadon Attorney Charged in Theft of Client Funds

By Gina Passarella |

A former Spector Gadon & Rosen associate who resigned from the bar in 2012 was charged today for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from his former firm's trusts and estates clients.

Plaintiffs Lawyer Suffers Third Mistrial in Two Years

By Zack Needles |

For the third time in just over two years, personal injury lawyer Steven M. Mezrow's actions have resulted in a mistrial in Philadelphia court.

Dechert

Dechert Grows Revenue 6.6 Percent, PPP 2.4 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert saw a 6.6 percent rise in gross revenue to $777 million in 2013—a year that was spent digesting the office expansion and lateral growth of 2012.

Harrisburg

Legal Malpractice, Bad-Faith Case Moved From Phila. to Dauphin

By Max Mitchell |

A firm's reference on its website to an office in Exton, Pa., accommodating "its clients in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley" does not show that the firm had enough business in the city to keep a legal malpractice case in Philadelphia courts, the Superior Court has ruled.

insurance policy

Hockey Player's Widow Can Proceed With Appeal in Insurance Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The widow of a Philadelphia Flyers hockey player who died in a boating accident can move forward with her appeal of a Philadelphia judge's ruling that she cannot sue her late husband's insurers for accidental-death proceeds.

Hand of businessman with a pen. Finance and accounting business background.

New MP Says Saul Ewing Will Increase Industry Focus

By Zack Needles |

Just over six months after Saul Ewing announced the leadership change, Baltimore-based partner Barry F. Levin officially took over as managing partner of the firm Jan. 21.

Business handshake and business people

Phila.-Based Post & Schell Loses 14 Lawyers, Adds Practice With Two Hires

By Zack Needles |

In just over a week, Philadelphia-based Post &qmp; Schell has lost 14 attorneys, including six principals, from its casualty litigation and workers' compensation departments and has started an environmental regulatory and transactional practice with two new hires.

DA's Office Seeks Appeal in Lynn Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The District Attorney's Office of Philadelphia is seeking to appeal the state Superior Court's decision to overturn the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn.

Traffic Court

Former Traffic Court Official Pleads Guilty In Ticket-Fixing Case

By Gina Passarella |

The former director of records at the Philadelphia Traffic Court has pleaded guilty to 18 counts related to the ticket-fixing scandal that resulted in the dismantling of the court last year.

lynn

Phila. DA's Office Seeks Appeal in Lynn Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The District Attorney's Office of Philadelphia is seeking to appeal the state Superior Court's decision to overturn the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn.

insurance policy

Class Status Revoked In Lawsuit Against Progressive Insurance

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has revoked the class certification issued to medical providers who have received overdue medical benefit payments from Progressive Insurance Co. excluding interest.

Ajay Raju

Dilworth Snags Reed Smith Rainmaker as New CEO

By Gina Passarella |

In a rare move of bringing in an outsider to run a law firm, Philadelphia-based Dilworth Paxson, with about 100 lawyers worldwide, has found its new leader from the ranks of 1,700-lawyer Reed Smith's rainmakers.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff With One Glass Eye Settles Following Collision

On July 2, 2010, plaintiff Jeffrey Levan, 54, was driving a motorcycle along Amity Avenue in Douglassville, Pa., when Kevin Hafer reversed out of his driveway and collided with Levan, according to the plaintiffs' mediation memorandum. Levan claimed to sustain leg injuries.

verdicts and settlements

Montco Jury Awards Brain-Injured Woman In Med Mal Case

A $5.1 million verdict has been awarded by a Montgomery County jury to a woman who was injected with the wrong medication during nasal surgery, causing her to suffer cardiac arrest and sustain brain injuries as a result.

Justices Find UIM Benefits Offset by All Recovered Damages

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that recovery under an underinsured motorist insurance policy is offset by the amount of all damages paid to satisfy an underlying judgment.

Phila. Pharma Company Fails to Nix Class Action

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A class action brought against Hemispherx Biopharma by its shareholders has survived a motion to dismiss in federal court in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge  M. Teresa Sarmina

Sarmina Transferred to Civil Division

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina is set to begin her first day on the bench in the court's civil trial division today after being transferred from the criminal section.

 Philadelphia

City Not Immune From Liability in Slip-and-Fall Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The city of Philadelphia is responsible for pain and suffering damages in the case of a woman who was injured after she tripped on a city sidewalk, a Philadelphia judge has ruled, because government immunity did not apply.

gavel

Eighteen Asbestos Cases Set to Move Out of Philadelphia

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has ruled that 18 asbestos cases should be transferred from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas' mass tort program to Northampton County.

Firms Begin to Eye Pricing Analysis

By Gina Passarella |

After a few years of collecting financial data and applying project management techniques to the legal process, law firms are beginning to dedicate resources to pricing analysis.

Drugmakers May Face Liability For Design Defects in Pa. Court

By Max Mitchell |

Drug companies may face products liability claims in Pennsylvania for defectively designed drugs, the state Supreme Court has ruled on a 4-2 vote in a case stemming from the fatal use of a diet drug made by a Pfizer subsidiary that was later taken off the market.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

$32.8 Mil. Verdict Awarded in Chesco Brain Injury Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A $32.8 million verdict has been awarded to a child who suffers from severe cerebral palsy as the result of sustaining brain damage minutes before birth.

Smaller Plaintiffs Firms Benefiting From Others' Selectivity

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Several attorneys at small and midsized plaintiffs firms say they are seeing more medical malpractice and serious personal-injury cases referred to them by their large firm counterparts because of those firms' selectivity in taking cases.

Thomas A. Brophy and James P. Connors

Marshall Dennehey Acquires Bulk of NY-Based Jones Hirsch

By Gina Passarella |

Philadelphia-based Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin will acquire New York City-based Jones Hirsch Connors Miller & Bull's approximately 30 lawyers by July 1, the firm said Friday.

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$5.1 Mil. Awarded in Montco to Brain-Damaged Woman

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A $5.1 million verdict has been awarded by a Montgomery County jury to a woman who was injected with the wrong medication during nasal surgery, causing her to suffer cardiac arrest and sustain brain injuries as a result.

Hans Haglund

Blank Rome Hires Head of Marketing, Business Development

By Gina Passarella |

Blank Rome has hired Hans T. Haglund from Patton Boggs to serve as the firm's first chief business development and marketing officer, Blank Rome said Friday.

Caperton Saga Leaves 15-Year Imprint on Reed Smith Duo

By Gina Passarella |

It's the kind of case that has an attorney up at 3 a.m. pondering the next play or just the seeming injustice of it all. And for two Reed Smith attorneys, the case has been going on for upward of 15 years.

gavel

Justices Take Up Governmental Damages Cap Case

By Gina Passarella |

The state Supreme Court has taken up the appeal of a student whose $14 million verdict for injuries suffered when a school bus ran over her was slashed to $500,000 under a statutory damages cap.

Phila. Judge Upholds Dismissal of Asbestos-Related Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The constitutional rights of a man whose asbestos-related claims were barred because of the amount the defendant had paid out in previous litigation were not violated, a Philadelphia judge has ruled in an apparent case of first impression.

Same-Sex Couple Seeks Loss of Consortium in Med Mal Case

By Gina Passarella |

A same-sex couple is gearing up for a battle in its recently-filed medical malpractice case on whether the partner of the injured woman can seek loss of consortium damages.

Sources: Justice McCaffery Contacted FJD About Cases

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

According to several knowledgeable sources in the Philadelphia court system, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery contacted a high-level Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas leader about civil cases in 2012. Two of the cases, sources said, involved a law firm that had previously paid a referral fee to McCaffery's spouse.

picture of man hands signing contract

Back to Square One for Conflict Counsel Contract

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The current notice of intent to contract and request for proposals issued by the city of Philadelphia to create a for-profit agency to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases has been canceled by the city.

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Risperdal Suit Filings Increase in Phila. Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Individual suit filings related to the antipsychotic drug Risperdal have been increasing in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District leaders say.

Montco Bar President to Stress Leadership, Senior Rights

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

New Montgomery Bar Association President Michael F. Rogers said that under his direction the bar association will pursue initiatives aimed at enhancing attorney leadership and increasing the awareness of legal rights among senior citizens.

Attorney: Wine-Smuggling Charges Won't Impact Lawyer's License

By Gina Passarella |

A lawyer for a Chester County attorney charged with running a "high-end wine smuggling" operation said he doesn't think the allegations against his client would implicate the client's law license.

Football isolated on a white background as a professional sport ball for traditional American and Canadian game play on a white background.

NFL Concussion Settlement Fails to Gain Preliminary OK

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The federal judge handling the NFL concussion case has denied preliminary approval of the $760 million settlement agreed to by the league and its former players.

Football

Judge Denies Preliminary OK to NFL Concussion Settlement

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The federal judge handling the NFL concussion case has denied preliminary approval of the $760 million settlement agreed to by the league and its former players.

Carter Buller

Carter R. Buller, Former Chairman of Montgomery McCracken, Dies at 80

Carter R. Buller, a former partner and chairman of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, died Jan. 8.

Phila. Jury Awards Parents of Child in Premature Birth Case

A Philadelphia jury handed up a $42.9 million award in a medical malpractice case stemming from the premature birth of a child who suffered multiple physical and cognitive impairments as a result.

Debt collection

Beasley Estate Can't Collect Malpractice Deductible of $75K

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that the estate of James E. Beasley Sr. is not entitled to a reimbursement of $75,000 that Beasley and three former Beasley Firm lawyers had paid to settle a legal malpractice case.

Williams

Budget Issues a Concern for Williams in Second Term

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

As he begins his second term in office, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says he plans to continue the initiatives of his previous term while coping with the severe budgetary deficiencies in his office.

patent stamp

Patent Fraud Doesn't Void Attorney-Client Privilege

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge in Philadelphia has preserved the attorney-client privilege for a pharmaceutical company that had been found to have defrauded the patent office.

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Health Care Whistleblower Suit Unsealed

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A whistleblower suit filed against a multibillion-dollar for-profit hospital network has been unsealed in federal court in Philadelphia and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has decided to intervene.

Restricting Trooper's Gun Rights Is Constitutional

By Max Mitchell |

Prohibiting a Pennsylvania State Police officer who had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility from possessing a firearm when he is off duty does not violate the officer's Second or Fifth Amendment rights, the Superior Court has ruled.

picture of man hands signing contract

Calif. Employee Bound by Pa. Law in Noncompete Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pennsylvania law applies in a noncompete agreement case where a California resident working for a Pennsylvania-based medical device manufacturer left that company to work for a competitor, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Jury Finds for Lehigh County Family in Birth Injury Case

A Lehigh County jury awarded Mark Crowell and Sharon Petrosky Crowell $55 million for the injuries suffered by their son, Matthew Crowell, after he suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery in 2009.

Superior Court OKs Contested Roll-Over Injury Theory

By Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has decided to follow a federal court's example and will allow a car company to argue a controversial theory of injury during roll-over accidents that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration disavowed in 2009.

Monsignor Lynn Released Following Hearing

By Zack Needles |

Monsignor William J. Lynn was in court Monday after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail and surrendering his passport last week.

Lawyer's 'Inflammatory' Words Don't Warrant New Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An attorney's closing remarks about corporate greed during a personal injury case—deemed inflammatory by the trial court—were not enough to warrant a new trial, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Phila. Conflict Counsel Contract Set to Be Awarded

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The city of Philadelphia has named the lawyer to whom a contract is set to be awarded for the creation of a for-profit firm to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases where the Public Defender's Office has a conflict.

New Allegations Raised in Ongoing Pitt-Lundy Dispute

By Zack Needles |

Just shy of three weeks after a federal judge tossed personal injury firm Larry Pitt & Associates' monopoly claims against competitor Lundy Law with the opportunity to replead them, the Pitt firm has raised new allegations that Lundy Law is engaged in a "horizontal conspiracy" in which it refers work to other law firms in exchange for their agreement not to advertise on SEPTA buses.

Jury Awards Family Of Decedent in Fatal Car Crash

A trial over a fatal accident on I-83 near York, Pa. - in which a car was thrust by a tractor-trailer over a Jersey barrier to be struck head-on by another speeding truck - has ended with a $3.8 million verdict in federal court for the family of the woman who died in the crash.

Wolf Block

Decision, Not Act, Triggers Insurance Coverage, Wolf Block Argues

By Gina Passarella |

Wolf Block is arguing its decision to stop severance payments to a former partner in the wake of the firm's vote to dissolve was the trigger for its insurance coverage, not when it actually stopped making the payments after the policy period ended.

Wolf Block Claims N.J. Roots in Move to Exit Federal Court

By Gina Passarella |

Wolf Block, the defunct firm that had its headquarters in Philadelphia, has said in court papers it is a New Jersey firm for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.

Jury Sides With Construction Worker Injured by Hose

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia jury awarded $2.25 million to a construction worker who was injured when a concrete-pumping hose struck him on the head and caused him to fall into a basement.

A. Charles Peruto Sr., Criminal Defense Giant, Dies at 86

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A. Charles Peruto Sr. was a legend in the realm of criminal defense and will be remembered for his exceptional trial abilities, mentoring and wit, attorneys said in the wake of his death at age 86.

Judge Upholds $19.5 Mil. Med Mal Verdict

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has upheld a $19.5 million verdict in a case where a woman died from complications of polyp-removal surgery.

Whistleblower Suit Unsealed Against Maker of Restasis

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The pharmaceutical company Allergan is the target of a qui tam case unsealed this week in federal court in Philadelphia.

Supreme Court Dismisses HRT Punitive Damages Appeal

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Supreme Court has thrown out the appeal of a drug company seeking to overturn an $8.6 million punitive damages award in a hormone replacement therapy products liability case brought by a woman who developed breast cancer while taking Prempro.

Youth Purported to Be 9 Needed to Hear Miranda Rights

By Max Mitchell |

A youth who was questioned in connection with several burglaries was entitled to be read his Miranda rights during an initial interview even though the investigating officer believed the suspect to be under the age of 10 and had no intention of arresting him, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Commonwealth Court Says Nonprofits Must Stick to Bylaws

By Max Mitchell |

An endorsement of a candidate for union president 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 bylaws and articles of incorporation, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Pitt Firm Can Replead Monopoly Claims Against Lundy Law

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge has allowed Philadelphia personal injury firm Larry Pitt & Associates to proceed with its Dragonetti Act and Lanham Act claims against competitor Lundy Law, and is permitting the Pitt firm to replead its claims alleging Lundy Law's exclusive contracts to advertise on the outside of buses and other spaces violated antitrust laws.

Applebee's Squelches Class Action Through Arbitration Clause

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Despite expressing serious reservations, a federal judge in Philadelphia has enforced an arbitration clause between an employee and Applebee's, foreclosing the waiter from bringing his claim as a class action.

Joel Feller

Bad-Faith Auto Insurance Case Settles for $18 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The family of a 15-year-old who sustained catastrophic brain injuries as a result of a car accident in Lawrence County has settled their bad-faith case against an insurance company for $18 million.

Could Philadelphia Be the Next Houston?

By Zack Needles |

Look at a map of the shale formations in Pennsylvania and it's immediately apparent that the southeastern portion of the state is the proverbial odd man out in terms of oil and natural gas reserves.

Lawyer in Intelligent-Design Case Leaves Pepper to Form Own Firm

By Gina Passarella |

Litigator Stephen Harvey, who notably represented the plaintiffs in a challenge to the teaching of intelligent design in public schools and the more recent matter of getting two young patients on an adult lung donor list, has left Pepper Hamilton to start his own firm.

Lawyer Can't Sue Firms to Collect Judgment Against Former Clients

By Zack Needles |

An attorney has failed to show a link between his inability to collect from ex-clients $768,000 in unpaid legal fees and a separate suit filed by three law firms on behalf of those clients.

Workplace Injury Case Revived Over Employee Control

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The state Superior Court has rejected a general contractor's bid to gain immunity from civil liability in a case where a laborer was injured on the job, ruling that there were outstanding questions as to who the man was working for when he was injured.

FJD to Try Implementing Courtroom Teleconferencing System

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is implementing a telephonic conference system to simplify proceedings for attorneys who cannot make in-person court appearances, court officials said.

Concerns Raised Over Termination of Chesco Trial Master

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Chester County Democrats are claiming that the dismissal of a former judicial candidate as Family Court trial master was a matter of politics, not competence. But court leadership said the position was always a temporary one, subject to being discontinued.

Cozen O'Connor's Fala Named Liberty Property Trust GC

By Gina Passarella |

The chairman of Cozen O'Connor's real estate department is leaving the firm to serve as general counsel to client Liberty Property Trust, the company and the firm said late last week.

Law Firms Taking Baby Steps Toward Outsourcing of Nonlegal Services

By Gina Passarella |

Amid the motions deadlines, depositions and client meetings, law firms still have to get the documents processed, food served, bills collected and technology running—or do they?

Pennsylvania Firms Not Looking To Move Back-Office Locations

By Gina Passarella |

From Wheeling to Lexington and Dayton to Tallahassee, U.S. law firms have increasingly looked to move back-office operations to less expensive geographic markets in an effort to save on rent and employee compensation.

Thinking Small

This series of articles examines how law firms are thinking smaller when it comes to the space they need, the costs they pay for labor and the nonlegal services they handle

Jury Awards $2.25 Mil. to Man Injured by Concrete Hose

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded $2.25 million to a construction worker who was injured when a concrete-pumping hose struck him on the head and caused him to fall into a basement.

Federal Judge OKs Subpoena of Web Host in Fraud Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An international scheme that defrauded a French company of 17 million euros and touched three continents alighted briefly in federal court in Philadelphia.

High Court Raises Employers' Workers' Comp Modification Burden

By Max Mitchell |

An employer will need to do more than just provide an expert's job-market survey to prove that jobs are available to injured employees when seeking to modify workers' compensation benefits in the wake of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.

Jury Awards Man Rendered Incomplete Paraplegic in Crash

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An $18 million verdict has been awarded by a Philadelphia jury to a man who became an incomplete paraplegic after he lost control of his car, striking a stone wall and a telephone pole.

Wolf Block Insurer Asks Federal Judge to Toss Firm's Suit

By Gina Passarella |

As Wolf Block settles its fight with a former partner over severance payments, the defunct law firm's battle with its insurer to cover the severance case appears to continue.

$11 Mil. Verdict Awarded in Topamax Birth Defect Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An $11 million verdict has been awarded to the parents of a child born with congenital defects due to an anticonvulsant drug his mother took during pregnancy.

Corbett Pushing for Third Circuit to Take Same-Sex Marriage Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The Corbett administration wants the Third Circuit to settle what it sees as an open question of law-the bearing of a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision on challenges to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage.

Discovery Violations Result in Sanctions, Default Judgment

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Following what the court termed "egregious" discovery violations over the course of two years, a federal judge has granted default judgment to a financial services company.

Woods-Skipper Sworn in as Philadelphia CP President Judge

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The public image of Philadelphia's courts will be a major area of focus for Sheila Woods-Skipper, who was sworn in Nov. 21 as president judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Woodcock Washburn Plans to Merge With Baker & Hostetler

By Gina Passarella |

Philadelphia-based intellectual property boutique Woodcock Washburn is set to merge with 800-lawyer Baker & Hostetler pending a partnership vote, the firms confirmed to The Legal.

Pennsylvania's Gay-Marriage Ban to Be Tried in June

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The first legal challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage is set for trial in June after a decision at a case-management conference by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Jury Awards $28 Mil. Drunken Driving Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

An Allegheny County jury has returned a $28 million verdict stemming from a fatal drunken driving accident. The award included $10 million in punitive damages.

$18 Mil. Awarded to Man Injured in Car Crash

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An $18 million verdict has been awarded by a Philadelphia jury to a man who became an incomplete paraplegic after he lost control of his car, striking a stone wall and a telephone pole.

Jenkins, Delco Judge, Nominated to Superior Court

By Max Mitchell |

Judge Patricia H. Jenkins, of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, has been nominated to the state Superior Court. Gov. Tom Corbett made the announcement Thursday.

Judge Upholds $2.3 Mil. Asbestos Verdict

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An expert witness's answers to questions in an asbestos case about impermissible "each and every breath" exposure theories did not require that a $2.3 million verdict be overturned, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

Phila. Jury Sides With Hospital in Delayed-Diagnosis Case

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia jury has sided with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in a medical malpractice suit in which the legal guardian of a minor with cerebral palsy accused the hospital of failing to timely diagnose the child's mother with preeclampsia during her pregnancy.

Moss Moves on to ADR, Academia

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

In the weeks after her retirement from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, some in the legal community say that Judge Sandra Mazer Moss' legacy is one of an innovator in managing complex litigation and an approachable moderator of disputes.

Toll Brothers Owner Loses Suit Against Former Son-in-Law

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Luxury house builder Bruce Toll has lost his suit against his former son-in-law over a multimillion-dollar business deal.

Settlement Reached In Industrial Accident Wrongful-Death Case

A case involving a man who died after he was struck by a large metal bucket suspended from a crane has been settled for $3.5 million.

'Parties to Hearing' Have Voice, Not Vote, in Zoning Appeals

By Max Mitchell |

Interested landowners engaged in the appeal of a local ordinance may not continue to press the appeal once the original appellant has withdrawn, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

White and Williams MP Cellucci Dies at 59

By Gina Passarella |

White and Williams Managing Partner Guy Cellucci died in his sleep early Saturday morning. He was 59 years old.

Jury Screening Question Highlights Supreme Court Arguments

By Max Mitchell |

A case that promises to have lasting effects on the state's statutory employer law is expected to highlight the state Supreme Court's oral argument session that kicks off today in Harrisburg.

Verdict in Zoloft MDL Could Come in One Year's Time

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Lawyers in the Zoloft MDL are hoping to have a verdict by Thanksgiving 2014, Dianne Nast, who is on the plaintiffs' steering committee, told the judge at a status conference this week.

Montco GOP Chair Steps Down Amid Assault Allegations

By Gina Passarella |

Montgomery County GOP chairman and law firm founder Robert J. Kerns stepped down from his political post amid several media reports last week that he allegedly sexually assaulted an employee of his law firm.

First Challenge to Gay-Marriage Ban Headed for Trial

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The first challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage appears headed to trial now that it has survived motions to dismiss.

Conflict Counsel Debate Continues as New RFP Goes Out

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

While a Philadelphia city councilman continues to fight the city's push to establish a for-profit organization to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases where the public defender's office has a conflict, the city is pursuing an additional project in the family court realm.

Local Lawyer Wins Recognition From National Family Law Group

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

David Hofstein doesn't plan on resting on his laurels after being named 2013 Fellow of the Year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; he said there are many AAML projects he is staying involved with.

Evidence of Plaintiff's Consent Results in Med Mal Retrial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman's consent to the risks of a surgery didn't require that her medical malpractice action be thrown out, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Aaron M. Fine, Senior Founding Partner Of Phila. Firm Fine Kaplan, Dies at 90

Aaron M. Fine, a founder of Fine, Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia, died Oct. 17 at the age of 90.

Major Sentence Reduction Granted for Fed. Bank Fraud Conviction

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge has sentenced a woman convicted of bank and loan fraud to 10 days in prison, a variance from the federal sentencing guidelines' recommendation of five years.

Latham Seeks Removal of Trade Secrets Case to Federal Court

By Gina Passarella |

Latham & Watkins is looking to remove to federal court a breach of contract and trade secrets case brought against it by a Pennsylvania legal services management company.

Construction Worker Paralyzed in Fall Settles for $6.5 Mil.

By Zack Needles |

A construction worker who was paralyzed after falling off scaffolding has settled with the building owners, the scaffold manufacturer and others for a total of $6.5 million.

Transgender Woman's Discrimination Case Fails on Appeal

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A transgender engineer lost her appeal to the Third Circuit in a case alleging that her former employer's discrimination culminated in her 2008 firing from the job.

Archdiocese Sued Over Priest-Accuser's Death

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A wrongful-death lawsuit and survivorship action has been filed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the monsignor who served as secretary of the clergy, and a priest, alleging that sexual abuse led to a man's death from a drug overdose.

Narrowed Class May Pursue Action Against Comcast

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection this spring of the class certification for a group of two million subscribers suing Comcast over allegedly anticompetitive behavior, the federal trial judge in Philadelphia has decided that the plaintiffs can now seek certification of a narrower class.

Case Over College Student's Fall Settles for $11.6 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A case involving a college student who was paralyzed after she fell 20 feet through a skylight has settled for $11.6 million.

Pharma Products Liability Case Sent By Judge to N.J.

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

New Jersey law should govern a pharmaceutical products liability case, a federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled, holding further that under the Garden State's products liability law, a Pennsylvania doctor named as a defendant should be dismissed as fraudulently joined.

Phila. Cops Claim Ban on Political Donations Stifles Speech

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The political corruption that saturated the century between 1850 and 1950 has receded and a reform that was prompted by it—the provision in Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter barring police officers from making political contributions—now violates the constitutional right to free speech, the police union's lawyer told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Tuesday morning.

Estates Settle With Bars and Driver in Dram Shop Case

The last remaining defendant in a dram shop case in which a drunken driver killed three people when his truck collided with their car after allegedly running a red light agreed to settle for $1 million on Nov. 4.

J&J Settles Suit Over Faulty Marketing of Antipsychotic Drug

Subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve a suit involving, among other things, the marketing for off-label use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Justices OK Charge of Conspiracy to Commit Third-Degree Murder

By Max Mitchell |

Addressing a recurring question, the state Supreme Court has determined that conspiracy to commit third-degree murder is a cognizable offense.

Potential Lawsuit Money Not Counted as Intangible Asset

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia common pleas judge, taking a narrow view of what constitutes "payment intangible" under the Uniform Commercial Code, said the "mere hope" of recovery in litigation could not be counted as an asset for legal purposes without a lawyer's certification of the case.

Reed Smith Makes Leadership Changes

By Gina Passarella |

About a month after the top leadership position at Reed Smith changed hands, the firm has announced new managing partners for three of its offices.

Retroactive Parole Not an Option for Juvenile Lifers

By Max Mitchell |

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision deeming life without parole for juvenile murderers to be unconstitutional will not be applied retroactively in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Split Court Awards Trooper PTSD Disability Pay

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that a state trooper who claims he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after hitting and killing a woman with his patrol car is entitled to workers' compensation disability benefits.

Commonwealth Court: PPA Is a Local Agency in Parking Matters

By Max Mitchell |

For the purposes of its parking operations, the Philadelphia Parking Authority is a local agency under the Tort Claims Act, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Industrial Accident Death Case Settles for $3.5 Mil.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A case involving a man who died after he was struck by a large metal bucket suspended from a crane has been settled for $3.5 million.

Janssen Pleads Guilty to Charge In Risperdal Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, through a designated representative from the legal department of its corporate parent, Johnson & Johnson, pleaded guilty to one criminal charge in federal court, cementing the settlement announced earlier this week in the Risperdal case.

FJD Awards of More Than $1 Million Increase Slightly

By P.J. D'annunzio |

There were 18 jury verdicts and judicial awards of more than $1 million in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in the first three quarters of 2013, according to the First Judicial District's civil trial division statistics, a number that exceeds the number for all of 2012.

Ex-Corbett Chief of Staff Aichele Back at Saul Ewing

By Zack Needles |

Stephen S. Aichele, who served as Gov. Tom Corbett's chief of staff until stepping down in July, is returning to Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing, where he was previously chairman.

RICO Claims Get Green Light in GSK Avandia Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

RICO claims brought against GlaxoSmithKline for its marketing of the diabetes drug Avandia have cleared a hurdle in federal court in Philadelphia.

Pa. Civil Procedure Pre-empted in Nursing Home Death

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A survivorship action related to a wrongful-death case against a nursing home must be sent to arbitration under federal law, a Philadelphia judge has ruled in an apparent case of first impression.

Pitt & Assoc. Responds to Lundy Law's Motion to Dismiss

By Zack Needles |

In the ongoing tussle between Philadelphia personal injury firms Larry Pitt & Associates and Lundy Law, the former has responded to the latter's motion to dismiss, arguing that the question of whether Lundy Law principal L. Leonard Lundy has monopolized a key advertising market for small plaintiffs firms is one that cannot be decided until discovery is completed.

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Allocatur in Pair of HRT Cases

By P.J. D'Annunzio and Zack Needles |

The state Supreme Court has decided against taking up two hormone-replacement therapy cases involving the drug Prempro and whether it caused breast cancer, letting stand an $11.2 million verdict against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in one and a defense verdict in favor of the drugmaker in another.

Third Circuit Weighs Policeman's Immunity Over Service Gun Use

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The week after Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a federal judge in Philadelphia denied immunity to a police officer in a case where his son stole his department-issued gun to kill his estranged girlfriend.

Teva's Dispute With Insurer Sent to London

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge didn't wait for an English court to decide on the arbitrability of a case between Teva Pharmaceuticals and an excess patent insurer before sending the case there for arbitration.

Agents Can Be Liable Under Contractor Payment Act

By Zack Needles |

An agent of a company can be held liable for interest, penalties and attorney fees as an "owner" under the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, a divided state Superior Court has ruled in a memorandum opinion.

Jury Finds Against Plaintiff in Vehicle Sideswipe Case

On September 9, 2011, plaintiff Jacqueline Jackson, aged 52 and not employed due to disability, was a passenger in a paratransit van that was stopped while offloading a wheelchair-bound passenger in an indoor parking lot for a rehabilitation facility located at 1512 Race Street, in the Logan Square section of Center City, Philadelphia.

Factory Worker Who Lost Fingers Settles With Defendants

Plaintiff Dennis Tucker, who had been a supervisor at the factory of PVC piping manufacturer Harvel Plastics in Easton, Pa., alleged in his complaint that he lost two fingers when he attempted to use a coat hanger to dislodge what he thought was a calcium carbonate build-up in the hopper of a blending system designed by defendant O.A. Newton but was actually a piece of wood that had been mixed in with the ground calcium carbonate packaged by defendant ECCA Calcium Products.

Legal Mal Case Tossed for Lack of Merit Certificates

By Max Mitchell |

A malpractice case against several attorneys and their firms has been tossed after the state Superior Court determined that the case dealt with legal malpractice, not wrongful use of civil proceedings, and therefore lacked the proper certificates of merit.

Superior Court Revives Rohm and Haas Brain-Cancer Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has revived a brain-cancer-cluster lawsuit against Rohm and Haas, determining that the trial judge overstepped his authority in tossing out the suit before the plaintiff finished presenting her case.

Conflict Counsel Questions Raised at City Hall Hearing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Attorneys gathered before Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Law and Government on Monday to voice concerns over the quality of representation inherent in a for-profit legal organization that would represent indigent defendants in criminal cases where the Public Defender's Office has a conflict.

Pair of Woodcock Washburn IP Litigators Join Duane Morris

By Zack Needles |

In what has been a very quiet lateral market for intellectual property lawyers this year, Duane Morris has hired two IP litigators from Woodcock Washburn in Philadelphia, including the head of its litigation practice.

Rufe Criticizes Prosecutors' Move, Sides With Federal Defenders

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal judge admonished prosecutors in a case involving the contentious involvement of federal public defenders representing death-row inmates in state court proceedings.

Phila. Jury Awards $2.5 Mil. Verdict to Misrepresented Man

A Philadelphia jury has awarded a $2.5 million verdict to a man who alleged he was incorrectly portrayed by attorneys from Lentz, Cantor & Massey as being pertinent to a case surrounding the misuse of a family's assets through power of attorney.

Morgan Lewis Elects Phila. Litigator as New Chair

By Zack Needles |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has elected litigation head Jami Wintz McKeon as its new chair, bucking the recent trend of Philadelphia firms moving their leadership outside the city.

Same-Sex Consortium Claim to Get Second Look in Med Mal Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A state court judge has effectively revived the loss of consortium claim brought by a same-sex couple in a medical malpractice suit against Temple University Health System by granting immediate appeal from the July order dismissing the claim.

Jury Sides With Construction Worker Injured in Fall

On January 5, 2012, Joseph Verdecchio, 44, a mason, was working at a construction site in West Philadelphia when he reportedly fell and landed on his left shoulder.

Baylson Sends Paxil Case Back to Phila. Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Deepening a recent split among judges in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Senior Judge Michael Baylson has remanded a case against GlaxoSmithKline over its antidepressant drug Paxil, ruling it should be tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. GSK had argued the case belonged in federal court.

Police Have Right to Remain Silent on DUI Blood Tests

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Police officers are not required to inform drivers suspected of DUI that the results of tests taken to measure their blood alcohol content can be used against them in criminal proceedings, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Federal Judge Refuses Remand in Children's Tylenol Death Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

After holding an evidentiary hearing, a federal judge has restated her decision finding that McNeil Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Tylenol, is a New Jersey company.

Attorney Resigns From Phila. Bid for Conflict Counsel

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Amid controversy surrounding the city of Philadelphia's request for proposals for a contract that would create a for-profit legal organization to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases, an attorney involved with one of the candidates in the bid for the contract has stepped away from the project.

Couples Sue in State Court Over Pa. Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage is now being challenged on two fronts.

Parties Settle After Vehicles Collide During Reversing

Travelers Insurance Co. tendered its policy after a driver reversing from a parking spot allegedly struck another driver who had limited tort coverage.

Court: Liens Must Be Made Known Before Sheriff's Sale

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia woman's property could not be sold at a sheriff's sale because the city failed to notify all the property owners, including mortgagees, of the sewer and water liens against it, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Chartwell Partner Must Give Swartz Campbell Case List

By Zack Needles |

A Philadelphia judge has ordered attorney Thomas F. Reilly to provide Swartz Campbell with a list of contingency-fee and other cases he took with him when he left the firm to join Chartwell Law Offices in 2011, along with a schedule containing the status of those cases and the attorney fees he has received from them.

Objections to Gay Lawyer's Defamation Claim Overruled

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A judge has overruled preliminary objections made by personal injury firm Anapol Schwartz and an attorney from Raynes McCarty to a defamation lawsuit filed by an attorney.

Jury Awards $2.5 Mil. in Misrepresentation Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia jury has awarded a $2.5 million verdict to a man who alleged he was incorrectly portrayed by attorneys from Lentz, Cantor & Massey as being pertinent to a case surrounding the misuse of a family's assets through power of attorney.

Parties Settle Rear-Ender Case in Mediation

On September 16, 2010, plaintiff Karen Fishgold, 49, employed in the retail sales industry at the time, was stopped for a red light on York Road in Hatboro when the rear of her vehicle was struck by the front of a vehicle owned by Dear Garden Associates and being operated by Charles Benson, an employee of Land Rover of Willow Grove.

Court Must Review Timeliness Before Making Forum Decision

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has sent a wrongful death suit back to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas after the trial court ruled New York was the more appropriate forum, in part, because of the city's overburdened court system.

Superior Court Reverses Controversial DUI Ruling

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that the accuracy of an alcohol breath test is a matter to be addressed at trial, and not before.

Lehigh County Jury Awards $4 Mil. in Med Mal Case

By Zack Needles |

A Lehigh County jury has awarded more than $4 million to a mother whose daughter suffered a severe brain injury during delivery.

Tereshko Resigns as Supervising Judge in Wake of Critical Superior Court Decision

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Philadelphia judge taken to task by the Pennsylvania Superior Court for failing to disclose that his spouse worked for a law firm representing a defendant in a motor vehicle insurance case has resigned as supervising judge of Philadelphia's civil cases.

Ex-Cozen Attorney Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A former Cozen O'Connor real estate attorney was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison after he was convicted on charges related to diverting fees from the law firm and not declaring that as income on his tax returns.

Full Pa. Supreme Court to Debut at Phila. Argument Session

By Zack Needles |

Philadelphia is set to host the first Pennsylvania Supreme Court oral arguments with new Justice Correale F. Stevens on the bench, and the schedule includes several cases Stevens previously weighed in on as a Superior Court judge.

Trucking Company Ordered to Pay for Driver's Injuries

A Philadelphia arbitration panel has ruled that a trucking company must pay $12,370 for a driver's injuries.

Punitives May Be Imposed for Fraudulent Transfer

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal appeals court has upheld an award of nearly $550,000 in punitive damages against an ex-husband who hid assets in an effort to avoid making support payments to his former spouse.

Third Phila. Traffic Court Judge Pleads Guilty to Ticket-Fixing

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

A former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge admitted in federal court Wednesday to fixing traffic tickets for contacts who provided him seafood, videos, the installation of a patio and car repairs.

Superior Ct. Throws Out $14.5 Million Asbestos Verdict

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A divided state Superior Court panel has thrown out a $14.5 million asbestos verdict awarded to the widow of a man who died from mesothelioma, determining that her counsel's suggestion of a specific sum for damages to the jury was improper and that the plaintiff's expert's testimony was inadmissable.

Blank Rome Document Production Case Nearing Resolution

By Zack Needles |

The case in which the receiver of a financial services company, which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, has sued Blank Rome in an effort to compel the production of client files the firm has related to one of the scheme's lenders is almost resolved, according to a federal judge's order.

Traffic Court Judge's Suspension Without Pay Stands

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline ruled Friday that one of the suspended Philadelphia Traffic Court judges facing federal charges for alleged ticket-fixing should be suspended without pay.

Infant Sling Death Lawsuit Ends in $8 Mil. Settlement

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The mother of a child who died in a shoulder-slung infant carrier has agreed to settle her lawsuit with the manufacturer of the carrier for $8 million.

Claimants Have Three Years to Seek Modification, Justices Say

By Zack Needles |

A workers' compensation claimant whose benefits were suspended and have resumed may seek a modification of benefits within three years of the date of the last payment received as long as the payment falls within the 500-week eligibility period for post-suspension benefits under Section 413(a) of the state Workers' Compensation Act, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled.

Appeal Made in Cozen Same-Sex Death Benefits Suit

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The parents of a deceased Cozen O'Connor lawyer are appealing the district court's decision to direct the benefits of her profit-sharing plan to her wife, Jennifer Tobits.

NFL Concussion Class-Action Lawsuit Settles for $765 Mil.

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The National Football League has settled the concussion lawsuit brought by former players for $765 million, according to an order from the federal judge overseeing the case.

Shipowner Defendants Land Leave From Asbestos MDL

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The 25-year-old asbestos multidistrict litigation has shed over 400 cases after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania cleaned up the docket this week.

After Jury Finds Plaintiff at Fault, Accident Victim Given New Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Despite the fact that a jury found him at fault for the accident, the plaintiff in a motor-vehicle case has won a new trial because the judge handling the case has ruled the jury's verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

Lawsuit Over N.J. Derailment Kicked Out of Pa. Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge has kicked a suit filed by 45 plaintiffs against two railroad companies over a train derailment and subsequent chemical spill out of Pennsylvania court because contacts with New Jersey were greater.