Western PA

Samsung Pushes to Arbitrate Overheating Phone Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Samsung has asked the federal judge overseeing the putative class action litigation against it related to overheating phones to toss the claims out of court and send them to be resolved in arbitration.

Meagan Temple.

Burns White Revives White-Collar Practice With Pittsburgh Hire

By Lizzy McLellan |

Burns White is bringing its investigations and criminal defense practice back to life, hiring a partner in Pittsburgh to lead the effort.

Lawsuit Over Toxic Chemical Exposure Moves Forward

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A case involving a worker who claims he developed neurological injuries after coming into contact with toxic chemicals will proceed now that a federal judge in Pennsylvania has denied summary judgment to both sides.

Obermayer Hire Targets Energy Deals, Pittsburgh Growth

By Lizzy McLellan |

A partner from Jackson Kelly is hopping firms and state lines, taking his Wheeling, West Virginia-based energy-focused transactional practice to Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Pittsburgh.

New Damages Trial Ordered in Nursing Home Liability Row

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ordered a new trial on compensatory damages against a nursing home management services provider, as well as on punitive damages against that company and its nursing home client in a long-running suit over a resident's death.

Bank Blocked From Billing for In-House Counsel's Work

By Lizzy McLellan |

Enterprise Bank has lost an appellate-level bid to charge counsel fees to a client in foreclosure for work completed by an in-house attorney and paralegal.

gavel

Justices to Review Contractor Liability for Dangerous Conditions

By Zack Needles |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to decide whether liability should extend to a contractor for creating a dangerous condition on land that was discoverable by a subsequent owner or user of the land.

Judicial Education Center Opens With $7.5M Gift and Help From Pa. Law Schools

By Karen Sloan |

The nine law schools in the state are teaming up to teach the law, but don't expect to see introductory classes like torts or contracts on the course list.

Reed Smith Partner Jumps to Cozen O'Connor Amid Lateral Spree

By Lizzy McLellan |

Building on recent expansion in its Pittsburgh office, Cozen O'Connor has brought on a real estate partner from Reed Smith, as well as two associates from other firms.

Wendy West Feinstein of Morgan Lewis.

Morgan Lewis Grabs Veteran Litigator From Eckert Seamans

By Lizzy McLellan |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has taken a leader from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott's products liability group, adding to its Pittsburgh office.

Title VII Anti-Gay Bias Case Proceeds Against Railroad

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A former Union Railroad employee claiming he was subjected to a hostile work environment when co-workers harassed him with homophobic slurs based on a rumor he was gay can proceed with his discrimination case.

Diocese, Parishes Can't Escape Sexual Harassment Suit

By Zack Needles |

A federal magistrate judge in Erie has allowed a Title VII sexual harassment case to proceed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie and two of its parishes, ruling that discovery is needed to determine whether the three entities together constitute a "single employer" for the purposes of the litigation.

John Royer Jr., left, and Erik Carrozza, right, of Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld.

Eying Growth, Royer Cooper Adds Nonlawyer to C-Suite

By Lizzy McLellan |

Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld, a growing, Conshohocken-based firm with 26 lawyers, has brought on a nonlawyer with experience in finance and technology to help run the business.

Maureen Lally-Green, Duquesne Law

New Duquesne Dean Lally-Green Joins Wave of Women Law School Leaders

By Lizzy McLellan |

Duquesne University School of Law has named its first female dean, tapping interim dean Maureen Lally-Green to fill the role.

Joan Orie Melvin.

Orie Melvin’s Habeas Corpus Petition Denied

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has denied former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's habeas corpus petition.

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

Two Trials, Two Hung Juries, No Third Try for Feds in Gun Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Federal prosecutors in Western Pennsylvania tried and failed two times to get a conviction for a felon's possession of a gun, and now a federal judge is denying their request for a third bite at the apple.

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.

Uber sticker on a parked car on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. September 4, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Uber Facing Lawsuit Claiming Unidentified Driver Crashed

By Max Mitchell |

When Austin Lee stepped into a car he hailed through Uber, what he did not know was that the driver was not the one named in the app, a new lawsuit filed in Allegheny County against the rideshare giant alleges.

US Hauled Back Into Warrantless Detainer Suit

By Max Mitchell |

One day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned so-called “sanctuary cities” to change their immigration policies or face funding cuts, a federal judge in Pennsylvania determined that the federal government should not be let out of a civil suit alleging that a U.S. citizen born in Mexico was wrongfully arrested pursuant to a warrantless immigration detainer request.

Schnader Harrison Grabs Former OAG Corruption Prosecutor

By Lizzy McLellan |

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis has added to its white-collar and internal investigations practice, bringing on partner Laurel Brandstetter in Pittsburgh.

Target Dealt $2.1M Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

An Allegheny County jury has awarded $2.1 million to a woman who tore her hamstring after slipping on a wet floor at a Target store.

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.

fracking

Court to Mull Whether 1920s Deed Contemplated Fracking

By Zack Needles |

The Commonwealth Court has cleared the way for a suit over whether hydraulic fracturing is allowed under a land deed that was executed decades before the oil and gas extraction method was developed.

Justices to Consider Quantum Meruit in Nonpartner Fee Dispute

By Lizzy McLellan |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is giving Pittsburgh-based Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck a second chance at recovering damages for attorney fees under quantum meruit, in a case where multiple justices acknowledged that court precedent had muddied the waters on what the firm could argue.

Class Action Against Wyndham Hotels Over Cost Disclosure Survives

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has rejected efforts by international hotel chain Wyndham Hotels and Resorts to throw out a proposed class action lawsuit against it over claims that its website didn't tell customers the full cost of their reservations before booking.

Law Firm Love Story: Tale of Two Partners

By Lizzy McLellan |

Luke and Allison Sizemore see advantages in the personal and professional crossover as attorneys at Reed Smith.

Judge Rejects Attorney Fee Bid in Patent Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer said litigation tactics employed in a suit over an infant chair didn't qualify as "exceptional."

Blank Rome Takes Corporate, Finance Partners From Pepper, Cadwalader

By Lizzy McLellan |

The hires bolster Blank Rome's corporate and securities practice in Pittsburgh and its energy and finance practices in Washington, D.C.

Pittsburgh, PA.

Eckert Seamans Acquires Pittsburgh Trusts and Estates Boutique

By Lizzy McLellan |

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott is combining with a small trusts and estates law firm in Pittsburgh, Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore.

Judge Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, speaking at the Federalist Society’s 2016 National Lawyers Convention, at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

Eyes Shift to Hardiman as Trump Prepares His Supreme Court Pick

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

As President Donald Trump prepares to announce on Tuesday night his nominee to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, all eyes in Pennsylvania are on Pittsburgh's Thomas Hardiman.

Wrongful Adoption Suit Can Proceed on RICO Claims

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

While the bulk of a lawsuit in which three families allege an adoption agency lied about Polish orphans' disabilities to couples looking to adopt them has been tossed, two Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization claims against its owner remain.

Drafting and Deploying Arbitration Agreements in Consumer Contracts

By Michael P. Daly 
and Daniel E. Brewer |

Consumer class actions have long posed a major threat to customer-facing businesses. That is true now more than ever, as many in the plaintiffs bar have taken to pursuing "gotcha" class actions that seek potentially annihilating aggregate statutory damages based on technical violations of obscure statutes that did not harm the named plaintiff or anyone else.

Obamacare website

Judges Question ACA's Usage in Med Mal Damages

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Lawyers relying on the Affordable Care Act to mitigate their client's liability in medical malpractice cases have been dealt a series of setbacks in state and federal courts amid concerns Congress will repeal the law.

© Valeriy-Fotolia

Superior Court Affirms $3M Jefferson Co. Failed Diagnosis Verdict

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has declined to toss a $3 million verdict that a Jefferson County jury awarded against two radiologists who failed to detect a woman's lung cancer.

Blank Rome Snags Pittsburgh Energy Duo From Norton Rose

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Blank Rome welcomed two new energy partners in Pittsburgh this week, capitalizing on the closure of Norton Rose Fulbright's office in the city earlier this month.

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.

After Witness Deaths in Legal Mal Case, Non Pros Affirmed

By Lizzy McLellan |

A 20-year-old legal malpractice case against an Elk County law firm will not be reopened after a non pros ruling, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled, noting that six years of inactivity and the death of several witnesses prejudiced the defendants.

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.

Workers' Comp Lawyers Pay Fee Refund After Appeal

By Lizzy McLellan |

In an outcome some plaintiffs' lawyers feared would cause a "chilling effect," the Commonwealth Court has ruled that a workers' compensation claimant's lawyer can be ordered to repay the employer unreasonable contest attorney fees when the employer prevails on an appeal.

Same-Sex Couple Can Annul Adoption to Marry

By Lizzy McLellan |

An Allegheny County same-sex couple will be allowed to revoke their adoptive relationship in order to marry, the Superior Court has ruled.

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.

Organ Recipient Challenges MCARE's Statute of Repose

By Max Mitchell |

An organ recipient and donor are challenging the MCARE statute of repose on claims that it unfairly protects plaintiffs who had sponges or scissors left in their bodies, but can leave those who receive problematic organs without a claim.

Pittsburgh Startups, Law Firms Form Alliances

By Lizzy McLellan |

As Pittsburgh's technology and startup community experiences a growth spurt, area law firms are looking to get in on the action by forging relationships with local players in the technology industry.

Harrisburg

Third Circuit Halts Pa. Hospital Merger

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Siding with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ordered a lower court to impose a preliminary injunction blocking two hospitals from merging in the Harrisburg region.

Energy Practices Expect Boon—For Now—From New DEP Rules

By Lizzy McLellan |

As Pennsylvania's energy industry prepares for a new set of regulations, expected to take effect this fall, law firms with energy and environmental practices in the state are gearing up to provide guidance about what those regulations will require.

merger

Energy Lawyer Rejoins Post & Schell After In-House Stint

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former Post & Schell shareholder who was most recently in-house at an energy company has returned to the firm as a principal in its environmental, energy and utilities and Marcellus Shale practice.

People protest outside of Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Jackson, Mich. Participants sang and prayed to end abortion and close Planned Parenthood.

Challenge to Health Facility Protest Buffer Zones OK to Proceed

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has allowed a First Amendment challenge to proceed against a Harrisburg ordinance that bars demonstrators from congregating within 20 feet of the entrances, exits and driveways of health care facilities, including those of Planned Parenthood.

Amid Rent Debt, Bankruptcy Firm Seeks Chapter 11 Protection

By Lizzy McLellan |

A western Pennsylvania bankruptcy firm that changed hands in the midst of a now-suspended principal's disciplinary troubles has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Pa. Trial Judge Clarifies Do's and Don'ts of Med Mal Discovery

By Zack Needles |

An Allegheny County trial judge has clarified his own 2009 decision on what is permissible in medical malpractice discovery, holding that it did not bar plaintiffs lawyers from utilizing materials like patient's slides and X-rays to jog a defendant doctor's memory regarding treatment, but it did place restrictions on questioning a treating doctor about the standard of care.

Kimberly Kitchen, left, leaves the Huntingdon County Courthouse in Huntingdon, Pa., on March 24, 2016, after she was found guilty of posing as an attorney for nearly a decade. Kitchen was convicted March 24 on charges of forgery, unauthorized practice of law and felony records tampering in Huntingdon County.

A Pa. Lawyer Who Wasn't Faces Sentencing After Years of Deception

By Ben Seal |

Kimberly Kitchen's past began to unspool two years ago. Kitchen was, by all accounts, a generous member of the Huntingdon community whose volunteer work with charitable organizations made her a familiar face around town. She was also a forger who practiced law without a license, for which she was found guilty in March of two misdemeanors and a felony. As she prepares to be sentenced Tuesday, the Huntingdon County bar is picking up the pieces left behind by her ruse.

Munich, Germany.

Pa. Firms Keep Eyes on Germany in Wake of Brexit Vote

By Lizzy McLellan |

In the wake of last month's Brexit vote, and in preparation for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, some large Pennsylvania firms are looking to expand operations in Germany.

Burns White Grows Med Mal Group With Obermayer Attorneys

By Lizzy McLellan |

Two medical malpractice attorneys from Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, including the co-chair of that practice, have joined Burns White, further adding to the latter firm's growing litigation bench.

David Hickton

David Hickton Named The Legal's Attorney of the Year

By Zack Needles |

U.S. Attorney David Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania was announced Tuesday night as The Legal's 2016 Attorney of the Year.

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.

handshake

Obermayer Grabs Former Montour County DA

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former district attorney from Montour County has joined Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel as a partner, the firm announced this week.

Bill Cosby speaking event with Judge Marvin Arrington at Benjamin E. Mays High School. .Photo by Zachary D. Porter/Daily Report .4/24/08.4/24/08

In Third Circuit, Cosby Defends District Court Ruling

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a brief to a federal appeals court, Bill Cosby argued that defamation claims brought by a Pittsburgh woman were rightly dismissed.

Traffic Offense Against Police Shooting Victim Upheld

By Max Mitchell |

After a Pittsburgh man was misidentified by police during a traffic stop, shot at and paralyzed in an ensuing car crash, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed his sentence of "guilty without further penalty" for failing to stop at a stop sign.

Burns White Adds Med Mal Group In Pittsburgh

By Lizzy McLellan |

Further adding to its litigation bench strength, Pittsburgh-based Burns White has added two members and two associates in the areas of professional liability and ­medical malpractice.

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

Pittsburgh Woman's Suit Against Cosby Tossed

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has tossed a Pittsburgh woman's civil suit against Bill Cosby, finding that statements the comedian made refuting rape allegations against him fell short of defamation.

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

Cosby Says Pittsburgh Defamation Claim Not Actionable

By Lizzy McLellan |

As he begins to fight the first criminal charge against him, Bill Cosby continues to argue that he did not defame a number of his accusers who have sued him, including a Pittsburgh woman.

Allegheny Jury Awards $32M in Wrongful-Death Case

By Ben Seal |

An Allegheny County jury has awarded $32 million to the family of a 6-year-old boy killed in a 2012 car accident in Pittsburgh, including $10 million for a wrongful death claim and $10 million for a survival claim.

After Setbacks, Pittsburgh Now a Hot Legal Market for Out-of-Town Firms

By Gina Passarella |

The Pittsburgh legal community, which has suffered some setbacks due to a dip in energy work, is in the midst of what some have described as a "renaissance," driving significant growth of out-of-town firms in the city due to health care, technology, finance and even energy matters.

Vorys Sater Expands in Pittsburgh With Burleson Hires

By Gina Passarella |

Two partners in the Pittsburgh office of dissolving energy boutique Burleson LLP, including its managing partner, have joined Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

Frost Brown Opens in Pittsburgh With 10 Burleson Lawyers

By Gina Passarella |

Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd has opened a Pittsburgh office with 10 lawyers from disbanding energy boutique Burleson LLP.

Diversified Energy Practices Survive Dip in Prices

By Lizzy McLellan |

Nearing the end of a year when gas prices dropped significantly and oil-and-gas-related title work opportunities became fewer, Pennsylvania energy attorneys said there is still work to be had in the market.

Burleson to Close at End of Year

By Gina Passarella |

Texas-based energy boutique Burleson LLP is set to close by year's end, the firm confirmed Monday.

$3M Delayed-Diagnosis Verdict in Jefferson County

By Ben Seal |

A woman whose cancer diagnosis was delayed more than four years by her doctors' failure to report a mass on her lung has been awarded a $3 million verdict by a Jefferson County jury. The verdict is the largest ever reported in Jefferson County, according to a review of The Legal's annual listing of top verdicts and settlements.

Insurer's Motion in Heinz Case Doesn’t Cut the Mustard

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied a request for summary judgment from H.J. Heinz Co.'s insurer claiming the food company wasn't fully transparent about a series of contaminations in its products.

Anapol Weiss Looks to Bolster Class Action Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

Philadelphia plaintiffs' firm Anapol Weiss has brought on the former Philadelphia office leader of a Pittsburgh-based plaintiffs' firm.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Jan. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Judge Rules on Sandusky Motion After Kane's Testimony

By Ben Seal |

After weeks of making noise about the actions of various state officials, Attorney General Kathleen Kane came and went silently from the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg on Thursday. She had been ordered there to testify about a statement she made last week accusing the judge who oversaw the grand jury that investigated convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky of colluding to leak secret information to the press.

handshake

Jones Day Makes Pittsburgh Leadership Changes

By Gina Passarella |

The Pittsburgh office of Jones Day will have new leadership for the first time in 12 years as the current managing partner takes over as head of the firm’s global rule of law initiatives.

Penis Pump Suit Tests 'Tincher' Ruling

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge, relying in part on the state Supreme Court's recent landmark products liability ruling in Tincher v. Omega Flex, found one of the defendants in a penis-pump personal injury suit improperly removed the case to federal court.

Burleson Sheds MP, Five Associates in Pittsburgh

By Lizzy McLellan |

Houston-based energy law firm Burleson LLP has laid off six attorneys in its Pittsburgh office, including the office managing partner.

Outside Firms Benefiting From Pittsburgh Lateral Activity

By Gina Passarella |

Out-of-town firms with offices in Pittsburgh are beginning to bolster their attorney ranks thanks to a confluence of factors including both client opportunities and the focus by some indigenous firms on trimming lawyer head count in the city.

UPMC-Highmark Dispute Highlights Busy Argument Session

By Ben Seal |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear two expedited appeals from the Commonwealth Court in an argument session beginning today in Pittsburgh, one of which will impact the health care options of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians and the business relationship between two of the state's health care powers.

Justices Hire Firm That Represented Kane to Review Eakin Emails

By Max Mitchell and Lizzy McLellan |

The state Supreme Court has retained Pittsburgh firm Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd—the same firm that represented Attorney General Kathleen Kane when she challenged the grand jury investigating her—to review the contents of numerous allegedly offensive emails linked to Justice J. Michael Eakin.

PNC

Judge Declines to Rule on Insurer's Coverage of PNC

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has decided it's too soon to declare an insurance company need not cover PNC Financial Services Group for $13 million in one case and potentially more in another because the underlying litigation has not been resolved.

Damages Testimony OK'd in Banking App MDL

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled that testimony from a damages expert for a technology company can be admitted in the company's patent infringement case over a mobile banking app, the last one pending in a Pittsburgh-based multidistrict litigation.

verdicts and settlements

Casino Server Wins Verdict in Sexual-Harassment Suit

On April 27, 2014, plaintiff Allyson Pelesky worked as a server at Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh. She claimed that a male customer put his hand down her shirt and placed a casino chip in her bra, making contact with her breast. Pelesky told a supervisor about the incident, and she was interviewed by the state police.

Court Revives Claims Against Firms Over 'Sham' Motion

By Max Mitchell |

The state Superior Court has revived an abuse of process suit against Fox Rothschild, Dillon McCandless King Coulter & Graham and two attorneys over claims that a coordination motion stemming from an underlying legal malpractice suit was a "sham" aimed at having the suit tried in a more favorable county.

Business handshake and business people

Pittsburgh Hires Grow Cohen Seglias Energy Practice

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman has added two attorneys to its Pittsburgh office, the firm announced Monday, doubling the office's head count and expanding the firm's oil and gas practice.

patent stamp

Counterclaims of Patent-Trolling Stand in Infringement Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Counterclaims alleging patent-trolling filed by a vitamin and supplement company sued for patent infringement along with six similar companies will be allowed to proceed, a federal judge has ruled.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane addresses the media Wednesday in Harrisburg regarding the charges that allege she released confidential grand-jury materials.

Kane: Criminal Charges Stem From Porn Emails

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said the charges against her are part of a plan to keep under wraps a chain of emails that included pornography and racially and religiously offensive material.

$1.69M in Attorney Fees Awarded in Drone Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has approved a recommendation for roughly $1.69 million in attorney fees for the plaintiffs counsel to a drone manufacturer in a patent infringement case.

AG Charges Two Attorneys With Wiretap Violations

By Max Mitchell |

The state attorney general has filed charges against two western Pennsylvania defense attorneys over alleged violations of the Wiretap Act. The charges stem from separate incidents where the attorneys allegedly used illegally made recordings in legal proceedings.

Reed Smith Partner to Lead Pitt Law Energy Institute

By Gina Passarella |

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has formed the Energy Law and Policy Institute, which will be led to start by Reed Smith partner and law school alumnus Kevin Abbott.

verdicts and settlements

Tyco Electronics Owes Millions 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.

medical malpractice

Judge: Medical Device Strict-Liability Claims Barred in Pa.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled the Restatement (Second) of Torts bars strict liability claims for medical devices, even though the treatise does not specifically say so.

verdicts and settlements

Allegheny Co. Settles With Estate of Man Who Died in Prison

By Gina Passarella |

Allegheny County and the former company that provided medical services to the county prison have agreed to settle for $2.09 million with the estate of a prisoner who died after weeks of asking for medical treatment to no avail.

Court Denies 'Implicit Bias' Expert Testimony

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has barred an expert's testimony on "implicit bias" in an age discrimination case.

Energy Company Loses in Royalty Class-Action Suit

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal magistrate judge has upheld a verdict in favor of a class of landowners who claimed they were shortchanged on royalties from an oil and gas company drilling on their property.

Lawyer Who Contacted Only One Expert Faces Lawsuit

By Lizzy McLellan |

When a plaintiff's attorney contacts only one potential expert to support a certificate of merit and that expert does not support the plaintiff's claims, a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the attorney breached his duty of care, the Superior Court has ruled.

Man Hit by Train Gains Access to Accident Video

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A man who was severely injured after being hit by a CSX freight train can have access to the railroad's video surveillance recordings, but a federal judge has ruled that he may not share it outside of the courtroom.

Pittsburgh Legal Market Shedding Partners, Wrestling With Change

By Gina Passarella |

The Pittsburgh legal market, despite housing the headquarters of some of the largest law firms in the world, held on longer to the collegial nature of partnerships than some of its brethren in larger markets. But things have begun to change.

verdicts and settlements

Parties Reach Settlement in Fatal Truck Crash Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

The wife of a truck driver who was killed in a two-truck accident has reached settlement with the other driver, his employer and the company that leased to the employer.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Evidence.

HIPAA Doesn't Bar List of Witnesses to Health Facility Fall

By Max Mitchell |

A physical therapy facility must turn over a list of potential eyewitnesses after a patient fell during an exercise, a court of common pleas judge has ruled.

Medical Records

Hospital Board Minutes Privileged in Med Mal Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Minutes of a hospital board meeting held after a patient contracted hepatitis C from a kidney transplant are privileged, the state Superior Court has ruled.

partnership

Six Attorneys Join Reed Smith IP Group

By Lizzy McLellan |

Reed Smith has expanded its intellectual property, information and innovation group, bringing on six attorneys, including three who will launch the group's presence in Delaware.

gavel and book

Court Clarifies Evidence Standard for Consumer Claims

By Lizzy McLellan |

A preponderance of the evidence standard can be applied to a statutory claim under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, rather than a clear and convincing evidence burden of proof, the Superior Court has ruled in a matter of first impression.

Judge Upholds Attorney Fees for Tax Lien Collection

By Max Mitchell |

The Commonwealth Court has rejected claims that amendments to the Municipal Claims and Tax Lien Act imposed unconstitutional new taxes by passing along legal fees to delinquent taxpayers.

Court Favors Surveyor Measurement in Taking Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

In interpreting a deed with contradictory definitions of a land parcel's boundaries, a split en banc panel of the Commonwealth Court has ruled in favor of the landowners who alleged a de facto taking of that property by a gas company.

Court Backs Denial of Coverage in Fatal Dirt Bike Crash

By Lizzy McLellan |

A homeowner's insurance carrier was within its rights to deny coverage to a man who provided the use of a dirt bike—and, allegedly, alcohol—to a 19-year-old who was fatally injured when he crashed the vehicle, the Superior Court has ruled.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Drone Maker in Patent Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An American drone maker has won $7.8 million in damages from a French competitor that infringed on its patents.

verdicts and settlements

Energy Company Settles Overtime Suit

An oil-and-gas drilling support services company has settled for $1.25 million a class action suit alleging that it failed to pay overtime.

Child Death Case Against Toys R Us Returns to State Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has ruled that a suit against Toys R Us, Babies R Us and others involving two children who were killed by a falling dresser can be sent back from federal court to the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas.

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

Asbestos 'Any Exposure' Arguments Delve Into Causation

By Max Mitchell |

The crossroads of medical and legal causation of mesothelioma was on display before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case set to determine whether a plaintiff's expert testimony was based on an impermissible "any exposure" theory of causation.

Federal Jury Awards $7.8M in Drone Patent Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An American drone maker has won $7.8 million in damages from a French competitor that infringed on its patents.

verdicts and settlements

Jury Awards Plaintiff In Sex Bias Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal jury in Pittsburgh awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages to a woman who was routinely called a "bitch" by her male colleagues at an insulation manufacturing plant in southwest Pennsylvania.

fracking

Workers, Energy Co. Settle Overtime Dispute for $1.25M

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

An oil-and-gas drilling support services company has settled a class action suit alleging that it failed to pay overtime for $1.25 million.

Facebook Firing Case Sent to State Court

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A man who was fired after posting disparaging comments on his employer's Facebook page has gotten his case sent back to state court.

Jury to Mull Future Damages in Drone Tech Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

As a patent dispute between drone makers heads toward trial to determine damages next week, the federal judge handling the case has preserved the question of future damages for the jury.

Pittsburgh Jury Awards $13M in Gender Discrimination Case

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

A federal jury in Pittsburgh awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages to a woman who was routinely called a "bitch" by her male colleagues at an insulation manufacturing plant in southwest Pennsylvania.