Philadelphia / Eastern PA

Judge Sends School Cop's Free Speech Lawsuit to Trial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A school safety officer's First Amendment suit alleging he was fired because he spoke to a television reporter in relation to a story about a student accused of burglary must be decided by a jury, a federal judge has ruled.

Dentist's Age Bias Suit Against Penn Brushed Away

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A dentist claiming she was fired because of her age has lost her appeal seeking to reinstate her age discrimination case against Penn Dental Medicine.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Sprague, Abraham Seek to Revive Their Bid to Oust Williams

By Max Mitchell |

After their case seeking to oust Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was tossed earlier this week, attorney Richard Sprague and former District Attorney Lynne Abraham have filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Benjamin Shein.

Phila. Asbestos Plaintiffs Firm Faces More RICO Claims

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Philadelphia law firm is facing renewed claims that it withheld evidence in asbestos cases.

City Hall in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Judicial Primary Results Mixed for Party-Endorsed, Bar-Recommended Candidates

By Max Mitchell |

On Tuesday, Philadelphians effectively chose the nine judicial candidates who will be taking seats on the Common Pleas and Municipal Court benches next year.

Wells Fargo

Phila. Sues Wells Fargo Over Alleged Discriminatory Lending

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia has sued Wells Fargo, alleging the bank violated the Fair Housing Act by targeting minority borrowers with high-risk and high-interest loans. The lawsuit is the first that a city has lodged against a financial institution since a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling established that municipalities have standing to sue banks over allegedly discriminatory lending practices.

After Venue Musical Chairs, Auto Worker's Injury Suit Stays Put

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

After being kicked around to multiple courts, an auto worker's personal injury suit has finally found a home in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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

Judge's Decision to Override DA's Office in Amtrak Case a Rare Move

By Zack Needles and P.J. D'Annunzio |

A judge's order compelling the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to bring ­involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges against the Amtrak engineer involved in the May 2015 derailment was highly uncommon, according to criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors.

Philadelphia City Hall building.

It's Still Anyone's Game in Phila. DA, Judicial Races

By Max Mitchell |

The past few months have seen numerous unexpected twists and turns in both the Philadelphia District Attorney race and the race to fill numerous open seats on the Philadelphia courts—and primary day is shaping up to be just as unpredictable.

Mike Fitzpatrick.

Obermayer Adds Bucks Co. Office, Led by Ex-US Congressman

By Lizzy McLellan |

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel has expanded further into the Philadelphia suburbs, opening an office in Bucks County.

Judge Rejects Bid to Throw Out $2.3M Dragonetti Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

The judge who oversaw a Dragonetti lawsuit that resulted in a $1.75 million award against a Philadelphia-area attorney has denied efforts by the defendants to overturn that verdict.

Civil Rights Lawyers: New Bill Harms Transparency in Excessive Force Cases

By Victoria Hudgins |

A bill passed in March by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives restricting the public identification of police officers involved in violent altercations would not affect the discovery phase of police brutality cases if signed into law, but could harm the public's trust in law enforcement, civil rights lawyers said.

Photo by TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr.

Bucks MDJ to Stand Trial for Money Laundering

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Bucks County magisterial district judge charged with laundering $400,000 with three other officials has been scheduled to stand trial.

Father's RICO Claims Against Daughter, Son-in-Law OK'd

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case filed by a man who claimed his daughter and son-in-law sabotaged his business by embezzling company funds and diverting them to their own business can move forward, a federal judge has ruled.

Philadelphia City Hall, Handout

Counsel Fees, but No Williams, in Spotlight at Budget Hearings

By Max Mitchell |

Representatives from the First Judicial District appeared before the Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday to outline the district's fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, and the council members in attendance focused their questions on security, criminal justice reform efforts and payment issues with the court-appointed counsel fee unit.

Justices Agree to Eye Waiver of Risk in Drowned Triathlete Case

By Max Mitchell |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether the widow of a man who drowned during the Philadelphia Triathlon can sue the event organizers, despite the decedent having signed a waiver assuming all the risks of participating in the event.

485 Pharmacies Sue Catamaran Successor Over Reimbursements

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A group of 485 independently owned pharmacies nationwide has sued OptumRx, the successor company to Catamaran Corp. through a merger, claiming they were low-balled on reimbursements based on outdated pricing data.

Expert Witness' Move to Aid Stricken Juror Leads to Risperdal Post-Trial Motion

By Max Mitchell |

Three weeks before the latest Risperdal case was tossed out midtrial, one of the jurors initially tasked with evaluating the claims collapsed while a plaintiff's expert was testifying on the stand.

Defendants Fire Back at Raynor Over Civil Suit

By Max Mitchell |

Lawyers being sued for their involvement with the contempt proceedings against medical malpractice attorney Nancy Raynor are fighting back against her lawsuit, with some arguing state law does not recognize the claims and others seeking to have her case moved from court's standard program to one reserved for business disputes.

Bill Cosby

Court Rules Jury Can Hear Cosby's Quaaludes Testimony at Trial

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Montgomery County judge has ruled in Bill Cosby's criminal case that prosecutors may reference evidence from a 2005 civil deposition in which Cosby admitted to using Quaaludes to have sex with a woman. But other references to the civil case will be prohibited.

SEPTA bus in Philadelphia.

SEPTA Not Subject to Phila. Anti-Bias Law Protecting LGBT Persons, Justices Say

By Max Mitchell |

SEPTA is not subject to a Philadelphia ordinance forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation, a divided state Supreme Court has ruled.

Pepper Hamilton

Judge Nixes Unfair Collection Claims Against Pepper Hamilton

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pepper Hamilton partner M. Kelly Tillery's use of his firm's letterhead for collection letters did not make him or the firm a debt collector under federal law, a federal judge ruled.

Phila. Judicial Ballots Quietly Trimmed, Stirring Confusion

By Max Mitchell |

When Philadelphia voters look at their ballots during the May 16 primary, they may find fewer open seats than they had expected in the judicial races, especially if they are following the number of endorsements from the Democratic City Committee.

Left to right: James Kwartnik, Jeffrey Mullen, Raymond Deluca and Bruce Ficken, Cozen O'Connor

Cozen O'Connor Grabs Construction Group From Pepper Hamilton

By Lizzy McLellan |

Cozen O'Connor has new leadership in its construction practice after bringing on a four-lawyer group from Pepper Hamilton.

Salary History Law Adds Hurdle to Law Firm Hiring

By Lizzy McLellan |

With the city poised to bar employers from asking about job applicants' salary history, Philadelphia's business community is preparing for guessing games. But legal recruiters in the city are sure of one thing—their jobs are about to be more challenging.

Phila. Bar Taking Data-Driven Approach to Judicial Politics

By Max Mitchell |

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Judicial Commission takes about 2,000 hours vetting candidates seeking judgeships on the city's courts, so when a report came out saying that the product of those investigations—its ratings list of the candidates—had little impact when compared to ballot position or party endorsement, the bar leadership decided to do something about it.

Judge Dismisses Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit as Time-Barred

By Max Mitchell |

The first lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania over the shingles vaccine has been dismissed with a federal judge saying the suit was begun after the statute of limitations had run out.

Philadelphia.

Eight Phila. DA Candidates Fight to Distinguish Themselves

By Max Mitchell |

Throughout the Philadelphia District Attorney Candidates' Forum on Monday evening, the candidates continually sought to distinguish themselves in a race that is increasingly centered on two issues: public integrity and the expansion of diversionary programs.

Another Risperdal Case Tossed Midtrial

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia judge did not explain his decision, but another lawsuit was tossed in December shortly after the defense started their case.

Philadelphia.

As Wall Street Firms Soar, Do Pa. Firms Care?

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania firms lagged behind the soaring heights New York City firms reached financially in 2016, but for leaders of those Keystone State firms, that's OK.

Phila. Lawyers, Ex-Pa. Justice Denied Tax Board Backpay

By Zack Needles |

A group of commissioners on Philadelphia's Board of Revision of Taxes, including former state Supreme Court Justice Russell M. Nigro, has lost in its bid to recoup nearly $300,000 in compensation lost as a result of a city ordinance that cut commissioners' pay but was ultimately declared unconstitutional.

Bill Cosby.

Pa. Justices Reject Appeal as Cosby Trial Approaches

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declined to take up another appeal by Bill Cosby in his criminal case.

'Audit Trail' Metadata Discoverable in Med Mal Suit

By Max Mitchell |

A woman suing a hospital over treatment that allegedly caused brain damage should be allowed to access "audit trail" information outlining which health care providers viewed her medical records and whether those records were manipulated, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled in an apparent case of first impression.

Pepper Hamilton

Ex-Baylor Football Director Drops Claims Over Pepper's Report

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former Baylor University football official is dropping his libel suit against the university and Pepper Hamilton, but his claims may not be gone forever.

Xarelto, a blood thinner drug. HANDOUT.

Xarelto Makers Want Plaintiffs' Litigation Funding Info

By Max Mitchell |

Defendant drug companies in the Xarelto mass tort want to know how the plaintiffs are funding their lawsuits.

Roberta Liebenberg of Fine, Kaplan & Black, and Dianne Nast, of Nast Law

EDPA Becomes Hub for Generic Drug Antitrust Litigation

By Max Mitchell |

A multidistrict antitrust litigation over the generic drugs Digoxin and Doxycycline has been significantly expanded to include numerous additional class action cases, all stemming from a wide-ranging federal probe that last year led two pharmaceutical executives to plead guilty to price-fixing charges.

Left to right: Linsey B. Bozzelli, Blank Rome and Marlee Myers, Morgan Lewis

Now at the Top, Pa. Women Dealmakers Look to Grow Ranks

By Lizzy McLellan |

More and more women are winning leadership roles at their firms in mergers and acquisitions and private equity. But plenty of obstacles to gender parity remain.

Kathleen Kane and Seth Williams.

How Seth Williams Became His Worst Enemy: Kathleen Kane

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The two rivals had a slew of similarities leading up to their political collapse amid criminal investigations.

Montgomery McCracken

Montgomery McCracken Adds Another NY Real Estate Group

By Lizzy McLellan |

Philadelphia-based Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads has brought on four attorneys and the full staff of a small New York firm, further growing its real estate practice in the Big Apple.

Can Opiate Litigation Ever Be the New Mass Tort?

By Max Mitchell |

Console & Hollawell attorney Richard Hollawell had a tough case to make when he stood before Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson in an effort to convince her that the maker of a powerful fentanyl painkiller should be held liable for his client's opiate-related death.

Philadelphia City Hall, Handout

FJD Can't Escape Class Action Over Civil Forfeiture

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has refused to let the First Judicial District out of a proposed class action over civil forfeiture procedures that plaintiffs say are unconstitutional.

Judge Rejects Bid to Overturn $5M Sex Abuse Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia judge has upheld a more than $5 million verdict over sex abuse against a foster care agency, rejecting a bid to have the verdict overturned due in part to post-verdict research of jurors that revealed two had possibly lied during voir dire.

Seth Williams.

Shades of Fattah's Case in Williams' Legal (and Money) Troubles

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Philadelphia district attorney's lawyer has asked to be excused due to Williams' financial woes.

David Axelrod, Ballard Spahr.

Now at Ballard, SEC Vet Predicts Shift in Agency Approach

By Lizzy McLellan |

The SEC will remain committed to enforcement under Jay Clayton, says newly minted Ballard Spahr partner David Axelrod. But fines may be smaller.

Montgomery McCracken Loses Counsel Fee Scrap With Bankruptcy Client

By Zack Needles |

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads will have to accept even less than what it claims it bargained for when it agreed to a fee reduction in a bankruptcy case, thanks to a federal judge's ruling.

Seth Williams.

Defense Bar Has Faith in DA's Office, Despite Williams Indictment

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams is operating under a serious legal and ethical cloud, and by all accounts morale in the office may be at an all-time low. But criminal defense attorneys say they are not worried that the troubles at the top will cause any disruption when it comes to the day-to-day operations of line prosecutors in Philadelphia.

Platinum Company Scores $16M Against Junkyard

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The jury sided with Impala Platinum Holdings. However, it did not find officers and shareholders of A-1 Specialized Services liable for fraudulent transfer.

Suit Over Wal-Mart Ammo Sale to Remain in Philadelphia Court

By Max Mitchell |

The civil suit against Wal-Mart over claims that it negligently sold ammunition to a drunken 20-year-old, who later used it in a fatal shooting spree, will not be moved out of Philadelphia, a trial judge has ruled.

Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick of New Jersey announces charges against Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams on March 21, 2017.

Feds Charge Phila. DA Seth Williams With Corruption

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Federal authorities filed corruption charges Tuesday against Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams related to the acceptance of gifts valued at thousands of dollars to do favors for two local business owners.

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

York Jury Awards $4M to Man Blinded in Trip-and-Fall

By Max Mitchell |

A central Pennsylvania jury has awarded $4 million to a man who was partially blinded when he fell outside a shopping center.

New Partners

Duane Morris Grows Revenue 4.6 Percent, PPP 4.4 Percent

By Lizzy McLellan |

Even with cost-conscious clients keeping industrywide demand in check, Duane Morris edged forward in 2016, hitting new highs for revenue and profits per equity partner.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane departs after her preliminary hearing Nov. 10, 2015, at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown.

Kane Urges Third Circuit to Affirm Dismissal of Retaliation Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The former state attorney general argues that the plaintiffs failed to state a viable First Amendment claim, and that her alleged retaliation was entirely in the form of speech.

People participate in a peaceful demonstration against President Donald Trump's immigration policies at International Arrivals Hall inside Philadelphia International Airport, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.

Syrian Family Denied Entry in Phila. Still in Settlement Talks With Feds

By Victoria Hudgins |

A Syrian family that sued the federal government after being turned back from Philadelphia International Airport in the hours following President Donald Trump's first immigration executive order is in the midst of settlement talks with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Industry, Policy Groups Weigh In on Both Sides in Beverage Tax Appeal

By Max Mitchell |

As the challenge to Philadelphia's controversial tax on sweetened beverages makes its way through the appellate courts, numerous state and national interests are lining up behind each side in the issue.

Bill Cosby is escorted back to the courtroom at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 1 after a midafternoon recess where he will find out if testimony dating back 12 years and more will be admitted in the case against him.

Cosby to Get Allegheny County Jury

By Max Mitchell |

An Allegheny County jury will be brought across the state to hear the criminal case against comedian Bill Cosby, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled.

Saul Ewing Revenue Down 1.6 Percent, PPP Down 5.6 Percent

By Lizzy McLellan |

Revenue and profits suffered in 2016 as litigation activity slowed and two contingency fees came in later than expected.

road

Delco Jury Awards $5.4M to Brain-Damaged Cyclist

By Max Mitchell |

A Delaware County jury has awarded more than $5.4 million to a man who suffered brain damage after falling off his bicycle because of an alleged road defect.

Blank Rome Boosts Revenue 22 Percent Amid Major Growth Spurt

By Lizzy McLellan |

Blank Rome hit the accelerator in 2016, posting big revenue gains as it added more than 100 lawyers from a failing firm and lured lateral hires from several competitors.

Civil RICO Case Against Carpenters Union Gets Green Light

By Zack Needles |

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has refused to toss out a civil racketeering suit in which members of a carpenters union are accused of committing "multiple violent and intimidating acts" after being barred from working at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Charles Koch speaks in his office at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas.

Penn Law Is Latest to Receive Koch Foundation Donation

By Karen Sloan |

The school announced Tuesday that it has received $2.2 million to establish a new criminal justice research initiative.

Soft Demand Drags Pa. Law Firms Back Down to Earth

By Lizzy McLellan |

Big law firms based in Pennsylvania faced a reality check in 2016, as weak demand for legal services took its toll.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Phila. Mayor's Budget Proposes 5 Percent Hike for FJD, 2 Percent for DA

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's proposed 2018 fiscal year budget includes a slight increase for the city's justice system.

Asbestos Case Beats Statute of Limitations

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied a pump manufacturer’s argument that an asbestos-related lung cancer case should be tossed because it wasn’t filed in time.

Bill Cosby leaves the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Feb. 27, with spokesman Andrew Wyatt, after a judge granted change of venire in his criminal case.

Where in Pa. Is Bill Cosby's Impartial Jury?

By Lizzy McLellan |

There's no simple formula for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to choose the jury's home county, and finding impartial jurors anywhere in the state will be no easy feat.

Stay Requests in Mass Torts Place Spotlight on Upcoming SCOTUS Case on Jurisdiction

By Max Mitchell |

It's not unusual for attorneys to seek stays when a higher court is considering a key issue related to their case, but a small wave of these motions seen in consolidated actions across the country—all citing the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to take up a key jurisdictional issue—has struck some attorneys as unusual, and a sign of the potential significance the case holds.

GlaxoSmithKline headquaters.

Judge Keeps California County's Avandia Suit in Federal MDL

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has rejected Santa Clara County, California's bid to have its case against GlaxoSmithKline over Avandia removed from the federal multidistrict litigation over the diabetes drug, but made way for an appellate court to immediately review the decision.

Bill Cosby

In Cosby Trial, Judge to Allow One of 13 Prior Accusers

By Lizzy McLellan |

In Bill Cosby’s criminal trial for alleged sexual assault, prosecutors will be allowed to present testimony from just one other accuser, aside from the alleged victim, the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas has ruled.

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.

Janssen Wants More Medical Info From New Risperdal Plaintiffs

By Max Mitchell |

A dispute has arisen in the Risperdal litigation in Philadelphia over whether new plaintiffs in the mass tort should have to include prescription records and documentation of a Risperdal-related injury in their plaintiff fact sheets.

FJD to Curtail Cellphone Use in CJC—With Exemption for Lawyers

By Max Mitchell |

The First Judicial District is planning to use cellphone-locking technology at the Criminal Justice Center—although attorneys and court officials will be largely exempt from the new rules.

Judge Rules Invokana Litigation Should Remain in Federal Court

By Max Mitchell |

The litigation that began in state court over the diabetes drug Invokana should be handled in federal court, a district judge has ruled.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Court Narrows Claims Over Essure Birth Control Device

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has shaved several theories from a cluster of cases against Bayer Corp. over its Essure birth control device, finding that express pre-emption applied to many of the plaintiffs' claims.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

Phila. Taps Dechert, Eyes Hogan Lovells to Protect Sanctuary City Policy

By Max Mitchell |

As legal clashes over its status as a sanctuary city appear likely, Philadelphia is turning to a team of local big-law attorneys to advise it on how to handle the controversial immigration issue.

Pot Bar Takes Shape in Pa. as Cannabis Business Grows

By Lizzy McLellan |

As Pennsylvania takes stock of evolving legal issues surrounding marijuana and more law firms get involved, local bar associations are looking to provide guidance on the burgeoning but complicated area of law.

Pepper Hamilton

Amid Departures, Pepper Hamilton Revenue Drops 10 Percent, PPP Down 28 Percent

By Lizzy McLellan |

Firm leaders said double-digit declines were misleading, but there are signs that partners are unsettled.

Kevin Greenberg.

Greenberg Traurig Grabs Government, Corporate Partner From Flaster Greenberg

By Lizzy McLellan |

Government and corporate lawyer Kevin Greenberg has left Flaster Greenberg, taking his practice to 1,800-lawyer Greenberg Traurig.

Seth Williams.

Williams' Career Felled in 'Perfect Storm' of 'Self-Inflicted Wounds'

By Max Mitchell |

Attorneys and political observers used words like "sad" and "self-inflicted" when describing the downfall of the once-promising career of Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams. But few said they were surprised.

Gina Maisto Smith, left, and Leslie Gomez, right, of Cozen O'Connor.

Cozen O'Connor Launches Sexual Misconduct Practice With Pepper Hamilton Pros

By Lizzy McLellan |

Cozen O'Connor debuted a new practice group focused on institutional responses to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, hiring five Philadelphia lawyers, including four attorneys from Pepper Hamilton.

Syrian Family Turned Back at Philadelphia Airport Sues Feds

By Tom McParland |

Attorneys said the family had visas when they were denied entry into the United States under the president's executive order.

Hospital Must Face 'Patient-Dumping' Case, Judge Says

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The law suit focuses on whether Pottstown Memorial Medical Center admitted a patient complaining of chest pain or just put him under observation the day before he suffered a fatal heart attack.

David Caputo, left, and Andrew Youman, right, of Youman & Caputo.

Kline & Specter Partners Jump Ship to Form New Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

Two Kline & Specter partners, Andy Youman and David Caputo, are leaving to form their own shop, Youman & Caputo.

Amazon, UPenn Reach Settlement Over Student's Suicide

By Max Mitchell |

Amazon and the University of Pennsylvania have agreed to settle claims brought by the family of a deceased student who committed suicide using cyanide she bought through the online retail giant.

Timothy Katsiff of Ballard Spahr.

Ballard Spahr Snags Securities Litigator From Morgan Lewis

By Lizzy McLellan |

The firm added Philadelphia litigator Timothy Katsiff as a partner in its Philadelphia office.

James A. Byrne federal courthouse in Philadelphia.

Eastern Pa. Federal Court Names New Clerk of Courts

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Kate Barkman is the permanent replacement for Michael Kunz, the longest serving clerk in federal judicial history.

Outgoing Montgomery Bar Association president Carolyn Mirabile, left, passes the gavel to 2017 bar president Eric B. Smith at the association’s annual Business Luncheon on Jan. 13.

New Montco Bar Leader Seeks to Raise Association's Profile

By Max Mitchell |

The new president of the Montgomery Bar Association, Eric B. Smith, wants to make the association an integral part of being a young lawyer in Montgomery County. And, given that the High Swartz attorney has been involved in the association for his entire legal career, he may have some unique insight into accomplishing that.

Paul Legaard, Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young

Stradley Grabs Life Sciences IP Pro From Pepper Hamilton

By Lizzy McLellan |

Paul Legaard, who joined Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young this month, said Philadelphia could soon catch up with Boston as a life sciences hub.

People participate in a peaceful demonstration against President Donald Trump's immigration policies at International Arrivals Hall inside Philadelphia International Airport, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.

Phila. Team Convenes 'On the Fly' for Detainees, Prepares for Future Fights

By Lizzy McLellan |

A network of Philadelphia lawyers moved quickly Saturday when immigrants were detained at the Philadelphia International Airport, and they're readying for a prolonged fight ahead against the executive order blocking certain individuals from entering the country.

Risperdal at the Root of Mass Tort Spike

By Max Mitchell |

The pharmaceutical inventory in Philadelphia is at its highest level in recent years, and that could be due to one mass tort program: Risperdal.

Ronald Schiller, Hangley Aronchick

Ex-DLA Piper Partner Named First Nonfounder Chairman at Hangley

By Lizzy McLellan |

Ronald Schiller, who joined Hangley Aronchick with a group of DLA Piper lawyers eight years ago, is the firm's first chairman who isn't also a founding partner.

Mike Fitzpatrick.

Departing Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick Lands at Obermayer

By Lizzy McLellan |

After two stints serving Pennsylvania's eighth district in Washington, Michael Fitzpatrick is returning to private practice in the Philadelphia office of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel.

Philadelphia City Hall, Handout

Mass Tort Programs Saw Inventory Spike in 2016

By Max Mitchell |

The number of mass tort cases pending in Philadelphia's Complex Litigation Center at the start of 2017 has risen to its highest level in more than five years.

Reed Smith Loses Health Care Partners, Gains Dentons Emerging Markets Pro

By Scott Flaherty |

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has boosted its health care practice with two Reed Smith partners in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., while Reed Smith snagged a notable hire from Dentons in D.C.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Thomas Del Ricci.

New Montco President Judge Looking Forward to Busy Tenure

By Max Mitchell |

As the newly installed president judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Judge Thomas DelRicci will have a lot on his plate. The Saint Joseph's University graduate, who received his law degree from Loyola University and has served on the Montgomery County bench for nearly 20 years, was sworn in as the new leader of the court on Jan. 6 at a time when several major projects are underway. The Legal spoke with DelRicci about his goals and the challenges he may face during what appears likely to be a very busy tenure.

DA Williams Agrees to Pay More Than $60K Over Ethics Violations

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams has been hit with more than $60,000 in fines and penalties in connection with failing to properly report gifts and payments he received—many of which came from prominent defense attorneys and firms.

Out-of-State Firms Look to Phila. for Core Practice Building Blocks

By Lizzy McLellan |

National and regional law firms have recently looked to Philadelphia as a source for legal talent and access to clients on a quest to beef up their core practices.

Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor

Cosby Accuser, Castor Duel Over Discovery

By Lizzy McLellan |

A defamation battle between a woman who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault and a former prosecutor who declined to charge the embattled entertainer is heating up in discovery, with both sides claiming the other failed to produce requested records in the case.

20-Year-Old Whistleblower Claims Against Drugmaker Ruled Timely

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel said the case can move forward because previous claims were filed within the six-year statute of limitations.

With New Law in Place, Phila. Taxi Drivers Drop Uber Suit

By Max Mitchell |

Leaders of Philadelphia's taxi union said they are planning to withdraw their lawsuit against the city's parking authority over allegations that it failed to properly regulate rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft.

Joe Nguyen, with Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young

Stradley Adds Litigator From Ocwen In-House Post

By Lizzy McLellan |

Class action pro Joe Nguyen joined Stradley Ronon's Philadelphia office Jan. 3, the firm announced Monday.

Left to right: Daniela Berisiartu, Michael Stevenson and Scott Bettridge, Cozen O'Connor

Cozen O'Connor Adds Immigration Group From Fox

By Lizzy McLellan |

Cozen O'Connor has lured three immigration attorneys from Fox Rothschild to its Miami office, continuing its growth in South Florida and adding a new practice area to the mix.

Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Kevin Steele speaks with members of the media after Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s preliminary hearing Nov. 10, 2015, in Norristown.

DA Accuses Cosby of Attempting to Handpick Jury

By Lizzy McLellan |

Prosecutors are not opposing Bill Cosby's request for a jury from outside Montgomery County, but they are opposing a change of venue in the case, and the way in which Cosby wants the venire chosen.

Duane Morris Faces $625M Suit Over Appellate Brief

By Lizzy McLellan |

Duane Morris is facing a $625 million lawsuit for allegedly failing to file an appellate brief, but contends that the plaintiff was never a client of the firm.

Judge Says $13.7M Judgment for Defective Mesh Should Remain

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Philadelphia judge presiding over a transvaginal mesh case that resulted in a $13.7 million judgment said the award should not be disturbed on appeal.

Longtime Spector Gadon Lawyer Edward G. Fitzgerald Dies at 71

Edward G. Fitzgerald, longtime ­principal of Spector Gadon & Rosen, died on Dec. 4, 2016, after a brief illness. He was 71.

Josh Quinter, left, and Karin Corbett, right, of Offit Kurman.

Offit Kurman Creates Suburban Philadelphia Presence

By Lizzy McLellan |

Baltimore-based Offit Kurman is opening its first office in the suburbs of Philadelphia with the hire of two lawyers from Blue Bell-based Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein.

Missing Refund Snowballs Into $308K Judgment for QVC

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge found EnvirOx is liable for a $175,000 refund for the cleaning kits sold on the televised shopping network plus interest and attorney fees.

Bill Cosby is escorted back to the courtroom at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 1 after a midafternoon recess where he will find out if testimony dating back 12 years and more will be admitted in the case against him.

Cosby Wants Trial Moved From Montco Court

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bill Cosby wants his criminal case to be transferred out of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, arguing that potential jurors in that county have been unfairly influenced by media coverage of the comedian's alleged crimes.

Business handshake and business people

For Big Law, 2016 Served Up a Surprise at Every Turn

By Gina Passarella |

For Pennsylvania's largest law firms, 2016 waffled like an indecisive kid in a candy store, with news of mergers that almost were, finances that looked bad to start but perked up by year's end, unexpected choices to be had on salaries and bonuses, and layoffs coupled with streams of large acquisitions.

Jury Instructions Seen as Most Salient Post-'Tincher' Issue for 2017

By Max Mitchell |

In the two years since the state Supreme Court recalibrated products liability law in Pennsylvania with its decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, several contentious battles over the meaning of the seminal decision have repeatedly cropped up.

Barton Winkour of Dechert.

CDI Shareholders Want Winokur, Dechert Out

By Lizzy McLellan |

Barton Winokur, the former head of Dechert and a longtime member of the board of directors at Philadelphia-based CDI Corp., is facing a public call for his resignation from the company's board by two shareholders.

Midsize, Small Firms Aimed for Fast Growth in 2016

By Lizzy McLellan |

For Pennsylvania's small and midsize law firm market, 2016 was a year of geographic expansion.

Robert McDonnell. July 9, 2013.

McDonnell Case Casts Long Shadow in Public Corruption Prosecutions

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

This year saw significant changes in the way public corruption is prosecuted thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's bribery conviction.

Judge Rips Defense, Gives $1.3M in Fees to Spurned Vendor

By Zack Needles |

Chastising the defense for its "overly aggressive litigation strategy," a federal judge has ordered the School District of Philadelphia to pay about $1.3 million in attorney fees, costs and prejudgment interest to a vendor that lost out on a no-bid contract when former Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman illegally steered the work to a minority-owned company.

Conclusions, Rights Issues, Mark Pa. Federal Courts' 2016

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Pennsylvania's federal courts consistently handle myriad cases and 2016 was a year in which some of the most significant ones, some with lasting national impact, were decided in the state's three federal districts.

FJD Completing a Year of Big Changes, Challenges

By Max Mitchell |

For the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, 2016 was a year of significant administrative changes on the civil side, challenges on the criminal justice side, and of course, big verdicts.

Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Convicted of Mischief, Ex-Prosecutor Suspended 30 Months

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former high-ranking attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has been suspended from practicing law for 30 months after using her position to help, then seek revenge upon a one-time paramour.

Cooley Adds Pepper, Chadbourne Partners in Play to Boost Mid-Atlantic Foothold

By Lizzy McLellan |

Cooley has grabbed groups from Chadbourne & Parke and Pepper Hamilton to bolster its life sciences and international arbitration practice on the East Coast.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Is Asbestos Trial Consolidation Ending in Philadelphia?

By Max Mitchell |

Defense attorneys have long said the practice of consolidating asbestos trials in Philadelphia gives the plaintiffs' bar an unfair advantage, but some are now looking to a recent state Supreme Court decision as an indication that the consolidation of asbestos trials might be on its way out.

DOJ Charges Ex-Pharma Execs With Price-Fixing

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Two former high-level executives of a generic pharmaceutical company have been charged with rigging prices for an antibiotic, the Department of Justice announced.

Court Can't Enforce Settlement Over IDEA Plan, Judge Rules

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled the court cannot enforce a settlement in the case of a disabled student suing a school for not providing an individualized education plan to meet her needs.

Bill Cosby is escorted back to the courtroom at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 1 after a midafternoon recess where he will find out if testimony dating back 12 years and more will be admitted in the case against him.

DA, Cosby Lawyers Spar Over 13 Accusers at Contentious Hearing

By Lizzy McLellan |

Even before legal arguments began in a pretrial hearing for Bill Cosby, evidentiary discussions devolved into shouting matches, as the court prepared to determine whether women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault should be allowed to testify at trial.

Dan Filler.

Daniel Filler Tapped for Dean's Job at Drexel Law

By Karen Sloan |

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law's next leader knows the institution well—he's a member of the inaugural faculty that opened the Philadelphia school in 2006.

received 9/14/16-  (handout)  Michael Rynowecer, president and founder of BTI Consulting Group

BTI Report: Client-Targeted Marketing Boosts Leading Law Firms

By Lizzy McLellan |

Firms that know their clients well and tailor their strategies to each client will be the most financially successful, the head of BTI Consulting said.

Deborah Gross, incoming Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Incoming Chancellor Commits to Strengthening Bar's Legal Aid Services

By Max Mitchell |

At a time when the political winds across the country are shifting, the incoming chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association wants the organization to take a leading role in ensuring that those in need can access legal aid.

Murray Shusterman.

Murray Shusterman of Fox Rothschild Dies at 104

By Lizzy McLellan |

Murray H. Shusterman, a longtime partner at Fox Rothschild, died Monday at the age of 104, after an 80-year career.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, at a hearing Jan. 26, 2016. Photo: P.J. D'Annunzio.

Feds Seek More Than 17 Years’ Jail Time for Fattah

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Federal prosecutors want to lock up convicted former Congressman Chaka Fattah for 17-and-a-half to 22 years for racketeering, bribery and other corruption charges, according to a court document.

Bill Cosby

Cosby Deposition to Be Allowed at Trial

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bill Cosby has lost in his attempt to keep his deposition testimony from a 2005 lawsuit out of the courtroom in his ongoing criminal case.

Inventory Boost Gives Pa. Firms Optimism in Collections Season

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania law firm leaders are cautiously optimistic as they work through collections season, in slightly better shape than the overall industry.

Roberta Liebenberg of Fine, Kaplan & Black, and Dianne Nast, of Nast Law

In 'Extremely Rare' Move, Two Women Appointed to Lead Antitrust MDL

By Max Mitchell |

In an "extremely rare" move, one that was hailed as an advance for diversity, two women have been tapped to lead a federal multidistrict antitrust litigation.

SEPTA bus in Philadelphia.

Commonwealth Court Won't Revive Ex-Officer's Defamation Suit Against SEPTA

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has declined to revive a defamation suit that an ex-transit police officer, fired after getting into an altercation with a woman at a Dunkin' Donuts, brought against his former employer over a bulletin that alleged the man had impersonated a police officer and pointed a loaded gun at a pedestrian.

Villanova University School of Law

Alumna Donates International Criminal Court Collection to Villanova Law School

By Hannah Winegar |

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law library now houses a ­historical display of notes and other ­materials involved in the conception of the International Criminal Court, thanks to a recent donation by an alumna who helped create the court.

Julia D. Corelli, Vice Chair of the Executive Committee (far left), and Thomas M. Gallagher, Chair of the Executive Committee (far right), with Pepper Hamilton’s newly elected partners and of counsel, from left to right: Judith L. O'Grady, Jessica A. Rickabaugh, Shirley R. Kuhlmann, Abigail A. Hazlett, Tracey E. Diamond, and Nilufer R. Shaikh.

Pepper Hamilton to Promote All-Female Partner Class

By Lizzy McLellan |

The six lawyers to be promoted at Pepper Hamilton in January all have one thing in common—they are women.

Zane Memeger

US Attorney Zane Memeger Announces Resignation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Zane Memeger is the third and final U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania to resign before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.  

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.

Janssen Seeks to Move Phila. Invokana Cases to Federal Court

By Max Mitchell |

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is seeking to move the growing litigation over its diabetes medication Invokana from state to federal court.

Pepper Hamilton

Partner's Use of Pepper Letterhead Brings Firm Into FDCPA Suit

By Gina Passarella |

A couple who rented residential property from a Pepper Hamilton partner has sued the partner and the firm for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, alleging the lawyer tried to intimidate the couple by writing letters seeking payment on the firm's letterhead.

Investment banker Jason Galanis

Firms Face Malpractice Claims Over Alleged Bond Scheme

By Lizzy McLellan |

Law firms Dilworth Paxson and Greenberg Traurig are facing legal malpractice and ERISA claims over their alleged role in what the SEC has called a fraudulent scheme to divert investment funds using a fake annuity purported to benefit a Native American tribe.

Bernie Smalley, Raynes McCarty

Smalley Leaves Tucker Law Group for Raynes McCarty

By Lizzy McLellan |

Philadelphia plaintiffs attorney Bernard W. Smalley Sr. has joined Raynes McCarty, leaving the Tucker Law Group after five years.

gavel

Ex-Lawyer Whose Sex Club Plan Became Murder Plot Fails on Appeal

By Zack Needles |

A now-disbarred Bucks County attorney who pled guilty to plotting the kidnapping and murder of the resident of a home he hoped to turn into a sex club, as well as scheming to defraud insurers by staging auto accidents, unsuccessfully appealed the denial of his Post-Conviction Relief Act petition.

U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Names in the Mix for Phila.'s Next Top Federal Prosecutor

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A little over a week after Donald Trump won the presidency, names for his potential U.S. attorney appointee for the Philadelphia office have already begun circulating in the legal community.

Commonwealth Court Blocks Access to Surveillance Video Collected by Police

By Max Mitchell |

Video of a two-vehicle collision captured by a casino's surveillance camera and then collected as evidence by police does not need to be turned over to the public, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Waiver Prompts Court to Affirm Dismissal of Case Over Drowned Triathlete

By Max Mitchell |

The widow of a man who drowned during the Philadelphia Triathlon will not be able to proceed with her lawsuit against the event organizers, a split en banc panel of the Superior Court ruled Nov. 15 in Valentino v. Philadelphia Triathlon.

Pa. Courts Just Beginning to Eye Social Media Discovery Disclosure

By Max Mitchell |

For several years, defense attorneys have turned to social media websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to gather information about plaintiffs making claims against them. But, a recent string of cases appear to be the first in the state to directly address exactly when defendants need to turn over their social media findings.

Bill Cosby is escorted back to the courtroom at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 1 after a midafternoon recess where he will find out if testimony dating back 12 years and more will be admitted in the case against him.

Cosby Accusers Won't Be Subjected to Competency Hearings

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bill Cosby's most recent effort to have his criminal charges dismissed has failed, as have his attempts to subject his accusers to competency hearings.

Kevin Washo of Cozen O’Connor.

Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies Grabs DNC Host Committee Director

By Lizzy McLellan |

Kevin Washo, formerly the executive director of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the DNC, has joined Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies in Philadelphia.

Tony Volpe, IP litigator and co-founder of Volpe and Koenig.

IP Veteran Volpe Forms Mediation Practice for Business Disputes

By Lizzy McLellan |

Anthony S. Volpe, a veteran intellectual property litigator and co-founder of intellectual property boutique firm Volpe and Koenig, is backing away from litigation and taking on another approach to business disputes, establishing BusinessMediation.com.

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

Court Stays $20.5M Suit Against Reed Smith

By Lizzy McLellan |

A legal malpractice suit against Reed Smith over a $20.5 million settlement has been stayed while a federal appeals court considers whether a related case against an insurer was properly decided.

The 'Virtual' Employee in the 'Gig' Economy On Monday's 'The American Law Journal'

The so-called "gig" economy—think Uber, Lyft and Airbnb—is changing the face of business. And finding its way into court.

Ankle bracelet monitor.

Defendant Has Liberty Interest in Continued House Arrest, Judge Rules

By Max Mitchell |

Defendants have a liberty interest in continuing home confinement—and remaining out of jail—under the 14th Amendment, a federal judge has ruled in an issue of first impression.

Lawyers Aiming to Put Phila. Fund Industry on the Map

By Lizzy McLellan |

Philadelphia may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of top asset management markets, but a group of lawyers and industry professionals are working to change that perception.

Thomas Gallagher of Pepper Hamilton.

For Pepper Hamilton's Chair, Veterans Day Is Personal: Q&A With Thomas Gallagher

By Gina Passarella |

As Veterans Day is upon us, The Legal checked in with Pepper Hamilton chairman Thomas M. Gallagher about his military service, its similarities with the law, what veterans bring to an organization and the many ways Pepper Hamilton is looking out for veterans in and outside of the firm.

Ex-Lundy Law Employee Gets Jail Time for Tax Charges

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former intake coordinator for Lundy Law has been sentenced to jail time for filing false federal income tax returns, after failing to report kickbacks he received through his job at the firm.

Justices Reject Use of King's Bench in Phila. Soft Drink Tax Challenge

By Max Mitchell |

The state Supreme Court has decided against using its King's Bench power to take up a challenge to Philadelphia's sweetened beverage tax by a group of retailers and distributors.

Paralegal Settles Wage Claims Against Messa & Associates

By Gina Passarella |

A former paralegal at personal injury firm Messa & Associates has reached a $7,500 settlement of her claims against the firm over alleged unpaid overtime wages.

Law Firm Worker Can Sue Elevator Co., Office Building Over Injury

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A woman working at a Center City law firm may move forward with a lawsuit over injuries suffered when an elevator she was in came to a sudden stop after a federal judge rejected defendants' bid for summary judgment.

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 2 for a pretrial hearing involving Cosby's criminal sexual assault case.

Cosby, DA Spar Over Cause of 12-Year Delay in Charging

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pointing to a deceased defense lawyer and their client’s blindness, attorneys for Bill Cosby argued Wednesday that the charges against him were brought too late and should be dropped.

Philadelphia Newspapers Settle Morgan Lewis Fee-Bilking Row

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has settled its fee dispute with Philadelphia Media Network for undisclosed terms.

Bill Cosby is escorted back to the courtroom at the Montgomery County courthouse Nov. 1 after a midafternoon recess where he will find out if testimony dating back 12 years and more will be admitted in the case against him.

Cosby Lawyers: Under Castor Promise Deposition Must Be Suppressed

By Lizzy McLellan |

Lawyers for Bill Cosby argued Tuesday that Cosby relied on a promise he would never be prosecuted when he sat for a deposition, at which he admitted to obtaining drugs in order to have sex with a woman.

Nurse Claims She Was Fired Due to Age, Not for Ordering Buffalo Wings

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge took issue with Lankenau Medical Center's argument that the nurse falsified medical records after she ordered chicken wings for a patient.

10/31/16- Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, law firm sign, Miami, Fl., office

Gordon & Rees Hires Phila. Bankruptcy Partner

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney has joined Gordon & Rees, coming from Flaster Greenberg.

Risperdal Case Settles Before Trial Begins

By Max Mitchell |

Parties have settled a lawsuit over claims that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a young man to grow excessive breast tissue that had been set to start trial Monday.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Woman Awarded $12.7M After Tonsillectomy Leads to Brain Damage

By Gina Passarella |

A Montgomery County jury awarded $12.7 million to a woman who was left brain damaged after doctors allegedly too quickly removed her breathing tube at the conclusion of her tonsillectomy.

The cafe at Reed Smith’s Philadelphia office.

Philadelphia Firms Opt for Less Space, More Flexibility

By Lizzy McLellan |

Keeping pace with national law firm real estate trends, law offices in the city are learning how to do more with less.

Foster Care Agency Hit With $5M Verdict Over Sex Abuse

By Max Mitchell |

Presbyterian Children's Village has been hit with a more than $5 million verdict for placing a child in a foster home where she was sexually abused, despite allegedly knowing that the foster home was being investigated for abuse allegations.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Phila. Bar Pushes for Ban on Harassment, Stronger Equal Pay Law

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Philadelphia Bar Association is sending a message to Pennsylvania's highest court and state lawmakers, seeking a rule change to expressly prohibit harassment by lawyers and legislation to advance equal pay for women.

Offit Kurman Prevails in Phila. Lawyer’s Fee Lawsuit

By Lizzy McLellan |

An arbitrator has found in favor of Offit Kurman in a fee dispute involving a Philadelphia lawyer who was dismissed from the firm in 2012.

Temple University.

Religious Discrimination Case Against Temple Kept Alive

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Baptist man said he was discriminated against when the university fired him after he was allegedly harassed by two Muslim co-workers.

Judge Opts for Modified Bellwether Method in Lining Up Phila. Xarelto Trials

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New is taking a different tack in trying cases in the Xarelto mass tort program.

 Philadelphia

Origination, Partner Comp Drop in Philadelphia

By Lizzy McLellan |

Recently released data on partner compensation and origination seem to paint a bleak picture for Philadelphia's legal market, but they may just be reflecting a return to normal after a particularly strong rebound from the recession.

Philadelphia City Hall building.

CJD Finds Phila. Judge Roca Violated Conduct Rules

By Ben Seal |

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Angeles Roca violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Pennsylvania Constitution by asking a fellow judge to help her obtain a favorable result in her son's tax dispute with the city, the Court of Judicial Discipline has ruled.

Property Owner Sheds Tears During Building Collapse Testimony

By Max Mitchell |

The building owner whose property collapsed on the Center City Salvation Army facility, leaving seven dead and 12 injured, broke down in tears on the stand Thursday afternoon after about an hour of questioning.

Prison cell.  Credit: BigStock.

Anti-Sanctuary Bill Worries Immigration Attorneys

By Ben Seal |

A bill that would punish Pennsylvania municipalities that provide sanctuary from federal immigration authorities for undocumented aliens is worrying immigration attorneys concerned about protecting the civil rights of immigrants and ethnic minorities.

Injured Trooper Secures $2.6M Verdict in Case Over Defective Gun Holster

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia jury has hit a firearms accessories manufacturer with a $2.6 million verdict for an allegedly defective holster that caused a state trooper's gun to fire into his leg while he was exiting his vehicle.

Bill Cosby

DA: Cosby Not Prejudiced by 12-Year Delay in Charges

By Lizzy McLellan |

Montgomery County prosecutors have accused Bill Cosby of repeating "fiction" and attempting to manipulate the media in his latest attempt to have his criminal charges dismissed.

FILE - In this June 5, 2013 file photo rescue personnel search the scene of a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia. The first wrongful-death lawsuit over the building collapse has been filed Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 by the family of an art school graduate killed inside a Salvation Army store. The June collapse killed 24-year-old Mary Lea Simpson of Haverford and five others. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

Defense Probes Architect's Role in Salvation Army Case

By Max Mitchell |

Defense attorneys in the Salvation Army building collapse trial pointed to alleged bribery and a deal providing immunity from criminal prosecution as they cross-examined the architect who oversaw the demolition project that eventually proved fatal. Architect Plato Marinakos took the stand Tuesday for a second day of questioning, after the lead plaintiffs attorney Monday attempted to paint Marinakos as "clueless" about demolition safety standards.

Ted Offit of Offit Kurman.

For Offit Kurman, Philadelphia Is the Next Big Thing

By Lizzy McLellan |

Nearly a decade ago, Offit Kurman planted a flag in Philadelphia, opening an office with one lawyer. Now, the Baltimore-born firm has 30 lawyers in Pennsylvania, after adding three principals to the Philadelphia office in six weeks, and says Philadelphia could become its largest office.

Antiques Roadshow.

'Antiques Roadshow' Stars' High Bid Sparks Row With Auction House

By Max Mitchell |

An auction house is seeking to enforce a judgment against two "Antiques Roadshow" stars who may have bid a little higher than they should have. Leigh and Leslie Keno, two antiques experts who rose to fame as appraisers on the hit PBS show, were the highest bidders on about 90 items up for auction through the Kamelot Auction House in Philadelphia, but have so far failed to pay for the goods.

Baker & Hostetler Hires Pepper Hamilton Tax Partner

By Lizzy McLellan |

A tax controversy partner from Pepper Hamilton has left to join Baker & Hostetler's growing Philadelphia office.

Edward F. “Ted” Behm Jr.

Dilworth Paxson Hires New Head of Patent Practice

By Gina Passarella |

Dilworth Paxson has brought in new leadership for its patent practice with the hire of a Barnes & Thornburg partner.

FCC Fines Comcast Record $2.3M for Wrongly Charging Customers

By Ben Seal |

The Federal Communications Commission entered into a consent decree with Comcast Corp. on Tuesday under which it will pay the largest civil penalty ever assessed of a cable operator for its billing practices and enter a five-year compliance plan.

Uber car service on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

Uber's Minimum Wage Suit Moves Forward in Philadelphia

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A prospective class of Philadelphia UberBLACK drivers were given the green light to move forward with their lawsuit alleging the company failed to pay them the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

In Philadelphia, Uber Issues Are Muddy but Familiar

By Max Mitchell |

The status of rideshare companies in Philadelphia remains unclear after an appellate court stayed a ruling that had ordered UberX and Lyft to stop operations in the city. And, although the situation doesn't appear to be getting any clearer anytime soon, attorneys are seeing a familiar pattern in the dispute.

Judge Orders UberX and Lyft to Cease Operations in Phila.

By Max Mitchell |

A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge has determined that rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft violate the civil rights of riders with disabilities, and has ordered the services to stop operations in Philadelphia.

merger

Post & Schell Hires Former McCarter & English Phila. MP

By Lizzy McLellan |

A partner in McCarter & English's Philadelphia office has joined Post & Schell as a principal and chairman of the firm's corporate practice group.

Attorney Wins $1.5M Defamation Suit Over 'Secret Legal Fees'

By Max Mitchell |

Thomas "Buck" Riley secured the judgment against Main Line Media News and its publisher, Journal Register East, for coverage that falsely suggested he had inappropriately directed work from the Pennsylvania Convention Center to his law firm.

Bernstein Reflects on Decades of Judicial Reform, Future in Private Sector

By Max Mitchell |

After nearly three decades on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Judge Mark Bernstein is stepping down from the bench to begin a new role in the private sector handling mediations and arbitrations.

John Cordisco, left, and Michael Saile, right.

Bucks County Party Leader, Trial Lawyer Form New Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

Michael Saile Jr. and John Cordisco are forming their own firm.

Plaintiffs Chalk Up Jurisdictional Win in Pa. Talc Case

By Max Mitchell |

Jurisdictional challenges by defendants have been on the uptick in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, but defendants in Pennsylvania might have one less jurisdictional argument they can raise following a recent decision from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.

Counsel Aims to Save Risperdal Cases, Challenging Cutoff Date

By Max Mitchell |

A trial judge's decision to establish a litigationwide cutoff date for when claims should have been brought against Janssen Pharmaceuticals over the drug Risperdal fails to apply standard discovery-rule principles, unfairly placing hundreds of cases at risk of dismissal, an attorney representing numerous plaintiffs told a state Superior Court panel Tuesday.

UPenn Sued for 'Unfair' Sexual Assault Discipline Process

By Ben Seal |

A male student at the University of Pennsylvania has sued the school for alleged ineptitude and bias in the disciplinary process it uses to handle complaints of sexual assault on campus.

Invokana Plaintiffs Seek to Consolidate Litigation

By Max Mitchell |

Plaintiffs in two major wings of the growing litigation over the diabetes drug Invokana are seeking to consolidate the action at the federal and state court level.

Civil Forfeiture Plaintiffs Argue for Class Status in Phila.

By Ben Seal |

Philadelphia residents who have had property seized in civil forfeiture were in federal court Monday asking for class status, saying due process has been denied to thousands of individuals.

Patrick Reese, one of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's closest aides and an OAG special agent, at a sentencing hearing March 3, 2016.

Montco DA: No Recusal Needed in Kane Aide's Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

Montgomery County prosecutors have disputed appellate arguments by Patrick Reese, a former aide to Kathleen Kane, instead saying he was rightly convicted of indirect criminal contempt, and that the judge who oversaw the case was not required to recuse.

FILE - In this June 5, 2013 file photo rescue personnel search the scene of a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia. The first wrongful-death lawsuit over the building collapse has been filed Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 by the family of an art school graduate killed inside a Salvation Army store. The June collapse killed 24-year-old Mary Lea Simpson of Haverford and five others. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

Could Gag Order in Salvation Army Case Spark New Fights?

By Max Mitchell |

The gag order barring attorneys in the Salvation Army collapse case from talking with the media may have been put in place to keep jurors focused on the facts presented in court, but the order has also become a point of contention several times since the start of the trial Monday.

Taxi Drivers See Bankruptcy Threat, Seek Tighter Regulation of Uber

By Max Mitchell |

The head of Philadelphia's taxi union is demanding that the city's parking authority level the playing field with ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, and warning that failure to do so will decimate the city's taxi and limousine companies.

Former Phila. Solicitor Joins Archer & Greiner

By Lizzy McLellan |

Archer & Greiner has added another former member of Philadelphia's Law Department to its ranks, bringing on former Philadelphia city solicitor Shelley R. Smith as a partner.

3M Hit With Failure-to-Warn Suit Over Anti-Fire Foam

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Bucks and Montgomery county residents whose water was contaminated when toxic fire-fighting foam used at nearby military bases seeped into their wells have filed a lawsuit against 3M and several other manufacturers of the chemical.

Tylenol.

Bellwether in Tylenol MDL Postponed Again

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has indicated that there will be another delay before the beginning of a first trial in multidistrict litigation alleging that Tylenol is linked to liver damage.

Wal-Mart Seeks to Delay Suit Over Alleged Sale of Ammo to Drunken Man

By Max Mitchell |

Wal-Mart, which is facing negligence claims in Philadelphia for allegedly allowing a drunk 20-year-old to buy handgun ammunition, has asked a judge to stay the civil proceedings pending the outcome of three homicide trials in which the ammunition was allegedly used.

Morgan Lewis Settles Dispute With Ex-Partner

By Gina Passarella |

After languishing on the docket for months, a largely sealed lawsuit between Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and a former partner who left the firm after allegations he shared confidential client information has settled.

SEPTA bus in Philadelphia.

SEPTA Not Subject to Phila. LGBT Protections, Attorney Says

By Ben Seal |

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority can't be held to account by a Philadelphia rule barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, its attorney argued Tuesday before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Ballard Spahr offices in Washington, D.C. March 24, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Penn Medicine Data Privacy Lawyer Rejoins Ballard Spahr

By Lizzy McLellan |

Ballard Spahr has rehired a data privacy and intellectual property attorney from the University of Pennsylvania, where she spent two years working in data privacy issues related to HIPAA compliance.

received 9/8/16-  David H. Marion, senior counsel, White and Williams, Philadelphia

Longtime Phila. Litigator Joins White and Williams

By Lizzy McLellan |

White and Williams has added to its litigation bench in Philadelphia, bringing in veteran trial attorney David H. Marion as senior counsel.

merger

Eckert Seamans Hires Former Aria Health Chief Counsel

By Lizzy McLellan |

The former chief legal counsel for Aria Health, Rafael Villalobos, has joined Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott as a member, allowing the firm to offer a greater variety of health law services.

Committee Convened to Eye Conflict Counsel Fee Agreement

By Max Mitchell |

The First Judicial District has named a committee to review and possibly revamp portions of the fee agreement and pay system for court-appointed indigent defense attorneys that have not been updated for about two decades.

Court Finds School Can Be Liable for Stranger's Assault on Kindergartner

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The Third Circuit held that Philadelphia's school district and a now-deceased teacher could be liable for putting a student in danger. The teacher had allowed the student, in kindergarten at the time, leave school with a stranger who later sexually assaulted the child.

Calif. Mass-Tort Ruling Not Seen Likely to Empty Pa. Dockets

By Max Mitchell |

The California Supreme Court's recent decision to relax restrictions on who may bring mass tort claims in the Golden State may have sent shockwaves throughout the products liability bar as the latest pronouncement in the ongoing battle over jurisdiction, but according to attorneys, Pennsylvania will see little immediate impact.

Football

Objectors to NFL Concussion Accord Take Fight to Supreme Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers for a group of ex-NFL players have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their objections to a nearly $1 billion settlement reached in concussion litigation against the league.

Young Hispanic businesswoman sitting in a meeting room with some of her colleagues

Despite High Satisfaction, Pa. Midlevel Associates Gripe Over Pay

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania midlevel associates generally reported high levels of satisfaction, with a few firms making major jumps in national rankings, in a recent survey conducted by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer. But some firms showed noteworthy declines in associate satisfaction, with survey responses revealing complaints about compensation or workload.

Williams' Woes Leading Potential Challengers to Mull 2017 DA Race

By Max Mitchell |

When Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams recently disclosed his failure to report gifts valued at more than $160,000 since he took office, he may have not only opened himself to potential ethics inquiries, but also helped encourage competition for his re-election bid next year.

MDJ Charged After Using Robe as Pillow, Bullying Clerks

By Max Mitchell |

Employees always risk disciplinary action if they sleep on the job, but if you are a magisterial district judge, you might want to think twice before using your judicial robe as a pillow. Former Magisterial District Judge David W. Tidd of Northampton County was charged by the Judicial Conduct Board recently in connection with a number of incidents of allegedly inappropriate behavior while on the bench.

Layoffs Likely on Horizon, but Less Severe in Pennsylvania

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania firms are not immune from a nationwide dip in demand, which industry observers predict will lead to layoffs, but the impact in Pennsylvania may not be as severe as in other regions, where more firms have raised first-year associate salaries to $180,000.

James J. Eisenhower.

Veteran White-Collar Defense Attorney Joins Dilworth

By Lizzy McLellan |

James J. Eisenhower, a longtime white-collar defense lawyer with roots in federal prosecution, has joined Dilworth Paxson as a partner in Philadelphia.

Shape of Xarelto Litigation Coming Into Focus Nationally

By Max Mitchell |

Nationwide litigation over the blood thinner Xarelto is starting to take shape, as the multidistrict litigation is beginning to see an increase in filings and the first trial dates are getting firmed up in the mass tort in Philadelphia.

HVAC Parts Maker Beats Class Certification in Defect Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Siding with a subsidiary of Daikin, the world's largest HVAC manufacturer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled that a plaintiff who brought breach of warranty and other claims hadn't done enough to pursue his case as a class action.

State Settles Suit Over Gender Changes on Birth Certificates

By Gina Passarella |

Two transgender people have settled their lawsuit with the Pennsylvania Department of Health over a policy that required gender confirmation surgery before residents could change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Thomas R. Anapol of Anapol Weiss

New Leader of Pa. Trial Lawyers Aims to Bolster Diversity, Advocacy

By Max Mitchell |

Thomas R. Anapol, shareholder at Anapol Weiss and longtime member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, recently took over as president of that organization, and plans to spend the coming year working to make its ranks strong and diverse.

Court Won't Revive Claims Made by Transit Worker Seen at TV Taping

By Max Mitchell |

A SEPTA employee 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 revive her hostile work environment and discrimination claims against the transportation authority, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Philadelphia City Hall building at night

FJD Leaders Added to Phila. Civil-Forfeiture Class Action

By Ben Seal |

Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit challenging the civil-forfeiture practices of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office are seeking to add four top officials of the First Judicial District as defendants.

'Pioneer' Bonavitacola Remembered, Mourned

By Hank Grezlak |

Former Philadelphia Judge Alex Bonavitacola, who held the powerful posts of both administrative judge and president judge at different times and died of heart failure at 85 on July 29, was hailed by colleagues as a "pioneer" who helped change the court system from one plagued by backlogs to one seen as a model of efficiency.

Obermayer Can't Arbitrate Ex-Associate’s Bonus Allegations

By Gina Passarella |

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel has lost its bid to arbitrate a lawsuit filed against the firm by a former associate who alleged its billing rate allocation denied associates their fair share of bonuses.

Amid DNC Pomp in Phila., LGBT Rights Panel Maps Future

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

While Democrats assembled for their national convention, LGBT rights experts convened nearby to discuss the future of their community's legal advocacy.

Municipal Judge Segal Guilty of Ethics Violations

By Max Mitchell |

Suspended Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal has been found guilty of ethics violations by the Court of Judicial Discipline.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane, Prosecutors Aim to Bar From Trial Mention of Shuttered Probe, Porn Emails

By Lizzy McLellan |

As the criminal trial of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane approaches, each side is seeking to shape the evidence that can be presented.

Bennett Bricklin Opens Wilkes-Barre Office

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bennett Bricklin & Saltzburg is opening an office in Wilkes-Barre, with the addition of a defense litigator from Thomas, Thomas & Hafer.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives to be processed and arraigned on charges she leaked secret grand jury material and then lied about it under oath on Aug. 8, 2015, at the Montgomery County detective bureau in Norristown, Pa.

Fina's Retaliation Suit Against Kane Dismissed

By Ben Seal |

A retaliation lawsuit brought by Frank Fina and other former Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General employees against Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been dismissed for failing to show violations of the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights.

Bill Cosby

Cosby Appeals to Superior Court on Accuser Testimony Issue

By Lizzy McLellan |

Lawyers for Bill Cosby have, as promised, filed an appeal seeking to overturn the trial court's rejection of his bid to secure dismissal of criminal sexual assault charges against the comedian.

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

Bill Cosby Coverage From The Legal Intelligencer

Comedian Bill Cosby is having his day(s) in court as he fights accusations of sexual misconduct. The list below is a hub for The Legal's articles since Aug. 4, 2015.

Edward C. Fronczkiewicz Jr.

Urban Engineers' First GC Passes the Torch

By Lizzy McLellan |

A new general counsel has been named at Urban Engineers, as the company's first general counsel plans to retire in December.

Trujillo Joins Chamberlain to Spearhead Growth in Phila.

By Lizzy McLellan |

Ken Trujillo, a Philadelphia litigator from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis and a player in the local political scene, has left the firm to join Houston-based Chamberlain Hrdlicka and grow its Philadelphia presence.

Ballard Spahr offices in Washington, D.C. March 24, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Clients Oppose Ballard Suit Seeking Cut of Merger Money

By Lizzy McLellan |

Clients of Ballard Spahr want the firm's suit against them thrown out, arguing the law firm has no claim to a cut of the proceeds from a merger that resolved antitrust litigation Ballard filed on their behalf.

Uber's Phila. Presence Spurs More Legislation, Litigation

By Ben Seal |

Eighteen months into two-year experimental licenses granted to Uber and Lyft to operate their ride-sharing services in Pennsylvania, the companies' presence in Philadelphia continues to be a point of contention as regulators and legislators attempt to bridge the gap between city and state laws.

Plaintiffs Bar Diversity Improves Slightly as Conversations Shift

By Lizzy McLellan |

While certain firms made individual gains in attorney diversity since last year, improvement in the number of minority and female trial attorneys remained sluggish from 2015 to 2016, based on The Legal's ninth annual survey examining diversity at the largest plaintiffs firms in the state.

Bill Cosby departs after he learned at a preliminary hearing at Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, PA, that the sexual assault case against him will move forward to trail.  May 24, 2016.

Cosby Can't Sue for Cooperation With DA

By Lizzy McLellan |

A federal judge has rejected Bill Cosby’s argument that cooperating with law enforcement can constitute a violation of a valid settlement agreement.

Boston Scientific headquarters in Marlborough, MA. Courtesy of Boston Scientific. (Photo by Warren Patterson).

Pelvic Mesh Likely to See Piecemeal, Not Global, Resolution

By Max Mitchell |

In the wake of a series of massive verdicts in cases over defective pelvic mesh, Boston Scientific is hammering out settlements, but, according to attorneys involved in the litigation, don't expect a global settlement in the MDL any time soon.

Merck sign, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Shakeup at Merck to Leave Legal Department Unrattled

By Lizzy McLellan |

Merck & Co. announced a number of changes to its research and development operations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey this week, but the company says the legal department will not be affected.

Ajay Raju, executive chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson. 2015. HANDOUT.

Changes at Dilworth: 'Identity Crisis' or 'Radical Vision'?

By Lizzy McLellan |

Dilworth Paxson's attorney head count has taken some noticeable hits in recent months, leading some to express concern for the firm's future, but its leader said he is encouraged by the shape Dilworth has taken since he began implementing a new strategy more than two years ago.

Business handshake and business people

Notable Mergers, Departures Show Through in Pa. Firm Head Counts

By Lizzy McLellan |

While Pennsylvania's largest law firms maintained a steady head count overall in 2015, a number of firms experienced noticeable gains and decreases due to mergers, strings of departures or group moves, according to data reported by Legal affiliate The National Law Journal.

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.

Risperdal Plaintiffs Gain Leverage in Wake of $70M Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

The $70 million verdict a Philadelphia jury levied against Janssen Pharmaceuticals on July 1 may not survive challenges that it is excessive, but the award was a definitive win for the plaintiffs in the Risperdal mass tort litigation, attorneys who work in the pharmaceutical arena said.

As Merger Fever Continues, Phila. Market Is Hot

By Lizzy McLellan |

As law firms nationwide experience a record pace for mergers and acquisitions, Philadelphia-area firms have accounted for a significant share of the activity.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, right, arrives for a court appearance Feb. 3, 2016, in Norristown.

Cosby Aims to Avoid Deposition in His Own Lawsuit

By Lizzy McLellan |

At a hearing on Bill Cosby's breach of contract lawsuit against the woman who accused him of sexual assault and her lawyers, an attorney for Cosby argued that the comedian should not have to sit for a deposition while his criminal case is pending.

FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, Philadelphia Police and Fire Department investigate the scene of a food truck explosion in the Northeast section of Philadelphia. Authorities say a mother and daughter have died of injuries they suffered when a food truck exploded in Philadelphia earlier this month. The city medical examiner's office confirmed Thursday that 17-year-old Jaylin Steffany Landaverry Galdanez died Tuesday and 42-year-old Olga Galdanez died Sunday. The mother owned the truck. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, C.F. Sanchez, File)  THE EVENING BULLETIN OUT, TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES

U-Haul Fights Consolidation of Food Truck Explosion Cases

By Max Mitchell |

Efforts are underway to consolidate several lawsuits filed over a fatal food truck explosion that happened two years ago in Philadelphia, but defendant U-Haul is pushing back.

Drinker Biddle Litigator Gregory Miller Joins JAMS

By Lizzy McLellan |

Gregory P. Miller, a former managing partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, has joined JAMS.

Post-Conviction Counsel 'Crisis' at Center of Court Hearing

By Max Mitchell |

Court-appointed attorneys may have come to Philadelphia Judge Teresa Sarmina's courtroom June 24 morning intending to represent indigent clients in post-conviction cases, but it was the Philadelphia court-appointed process that was on trial, with proceedings often breaking into heated exchanges where both the judge and attorneys despaired at the state of the system.

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 Faces Long Odds on Conviction Appeal

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Facing the probability of a stiff prison sentence and slim odds of having his conviction reversed on appeal, the fate of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, seems all but sealed.

School Faces Constitutional Trouble for Letting Students Run in the Halls

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A suit by a high school runner injured during a track practice session in the school's hallways has cleared a key hurdle.

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

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Convicted on All Charges

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal jury Tuesday afternoon found U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pennsylvania, guilty on all charges against him in a monthlong corruption trial.

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

Reed Smith Hires Lincoln National Lawyer in Philadelphia

By Gina Passarella |

While Reed Smith has seen departures from its Pittsburgh office in recent months, the firm has been growing in Philadelphia where it brought on two new litigators last week.

merger

Legislation, New Generation Are Focal Points for Trial Bar Leader

By Max Mitchell |

The future will be the focus for Ezra Wohlgelernter, the incoming head of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane departs after her preliminary hearing Nov. 10, 2015, at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown.

Kane Motion Alleging Selective Prosecution Is Denied

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's bid to have her criminal charges thrown out on grounds of selective prosecution was rejected by the trial judge in the case.

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.

Lawyers Spar Over What Janssen, Docs Knew About Risperdal

By Max Mitchell |

Opening arguments were held Monday in the fifth case from the Risperdal mass tort to go to trial. There are nearly 1,750 Risperdal cases pending in Philadelphia with plaintiffs from across the country.

Hank Grezlak

Grezlak Promoted as Part of ALM Leadership Changes

By ALM Staff |

Hank Grezlak's role with ALM as Regional Editor-in-Chief for the Northeast—including The Legal Intelligencer—has been expanded to include oversight of all regional brands including the New York Law Journal, The Recorder, Texas Lawyer, Daily Report and the Daily Business Review. The move is one of several promotions ALM has made to its senior editorial leadership team as part of its efforts to move toward a more digital-first, global newsroom.

Attorneys Look to Sue Phila. Over Indigent Defense Fees

By Max Mitchell |

Fed up with low rates, slow payment and seeing their fees slashed, defense attorneys in Philadelphia who serve the indigent are gearing up to take their long-standing complaints to courts.

Common Pleas Courts Anticipate Boost From Appointments

By Ben Seal |

When Gov. Tom Wolf announced his nominees for 16 interim appointments to Pennsylvania's courts of common pleas, judges around the state let out a sigh of relief. For shorthanded courts, open seats on the bench have meant heavier workloads, scheduling concerns and, in some cases, delays in hearing certain types of cases, judges said.

Banana Fall Case Slips Away From Shopper

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Federal judge dismisses case, saying there was no evidence the grocery store staff knew the banana was in the middle of the aisle.

Fattah Case Will Hinge on Big Themes, Not Details, Experts Say

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers who have handled similar cases said jurors won't get caught up in the minutiae lawyers focus on.

Plaintiff Wants Comcast to Reveal Hackers' Identity

By Tom McParland |

In a petition for pre-complaint discovery a plaintiff is asking the federal district court to make Comcast reveal the identity of a person who allegedly stole trade secrets.

Tylenol.

Insurance, Confidential Drug Info Mulled in Tylenol MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers for the estate of a woman who died of liver failure can tell jurors that Johnson & Johnson was developing a safer product, a Pennsylvania judge ruled on June 3.

Phila. Teacher's Firing for Immorality Violated School Code

By Ben Seal |

While making clear to say the court did not condone a teacher's conduct, the Commonwealth Court has ruled that the School District of Philadelphia failed to adhere to mandatory provisions of the School Code when it fired him for using vulgar language and making inappropriate comments to students.

penn state

Penn State Seeks Appeal in Molestation Coverage Dispute

By Max Mitchell |

Penn State is seeking to immediately appeal a recent decision barring it from receiving insurance coverage for damages stemming from much of the sexual abuse by convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.

Traffic Court

Ex-Traffic Court Judge Barred From Future Judicial Office

By Max Mitchell |

The Court of Judicial Discipline has barred former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael Sullivan from holding future judicial office.

State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, during a news conference April 4, 2013, in Philadelphia.

State Sen. Farnese Charged With Bribery Conspiracy

By Ben Seal |

State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with buying the vote of a member of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee.

Skyline of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Slashing Fees For Court-Appointed Counsel

By Max Mitchell |

Attorneys agree that selecting juries and attending sentencing hearings are essential elements when handling any case, but city of Philadelphia officials charged with processing payments for court-appointed attorneys might think differently. According to numerous sources, the unit within the Philadelphia Department of Public Safety responsible for processing payments for court-appointed attorneys has recently begun cutting fees for nearly all work, except for days spent at trial.

FJD, DA Present FY 2017 Budgets to Phila. City Council

By Max Mitchell |

The First Judicial District touted its ­cost-saving measures and cooperation with other criminal justice agencies when it came before Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday asking for approval of its nearly $158 million budget for next year.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith End Merger Discussions

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith have ended merger discussions less than two weeks after the firms confirmed they were eyeing the possibility of joining forces.

documents

Few Attorneys Equipped to Handle Phila.'s PCRA Backlog

By Max Mitchell |

Philadelphia court officials have identified a backlog of at least 600 pending Post-Conviction Relief Act cases sitting in the court system, and exacerbating the problem is the fact that there are fewer than 10 attorneys on the list of court-appointed counsel who are equipped to handle these cases.

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

McGuireWoods Takes Team of Reed Smith Finance Litigators

By Gina Passarella |

McGuireWoods is set to hire a team of lawyers from Reed Smith's Pittsburgh office led by partner Mary Hackett, a former head of Reed Smith's financial services litigation group, Reed Smith has confirmed.

City Hall in Philadelphia

Phila. Mayor Plans Unchanged FJD Funding Level

By Max Mitchell |

Funds for the First Judicial District will remain largely unchanged from last year if Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's budget is implemented as proposed.

Michael Malin, White and Williams Partner, Dies

Attorney Michael Malin died Feb. 25 at age 83.

PI Firm Says Paralegal Fired Over Negative Facebook Posts

By Gina Passarella |

Personal injury firm Messa & Associates denied on Friday wage-and-hour claims levied by a former paralegal, instead saying she was fired because she posted negative things about the firm in public forums.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives to be processed and arraigned on charges she leaked secret grand jury material and then lied about it under oath on Aug. 8, 2015, at the Montgomery County detective bureau in Norristown, Pa.

Kane Seeks Full-Bench Recusal, Fights Charges

By Ben Seal and Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is seeking a full-bench recusal in her criminal trial, as well as the quashing of all charges, alleging she is the victim of a "selective and vindictive prosecution."

Stradley Ronon Opens in Chicago With K&L Gates Hires

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has brought on a four-partner team from K&L Gates, adding to its Washington, D.C., office and spurring the opening of a Chicago location.

Bill Cosby

Cosby Sues Accuser Over Contract Dispute

By Lizzy McLellan |

Bill Cosby has sued the woman whose sexual assault allegations are behind the criminal charge against him.

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.

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

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.

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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.