Civil Procedure

Damages limited under Pa.R.C.P. 1311.1 do not include attorney’s fees added after verdict, Grimm v. Universal Medical Services, Inc., et al, March 1, 2017

Criminal Law

Vehicle Code mandatory 5 year sentence for DUI, second offense, not required; Court can use discretion under Sentencing Code, Comm. v. Watson, March 8, 2017

Commonwealth exercised due diligence in attempting to bring back defendant who was jailed in NY, time excluded from Rule 600 calculation, Comm. v. Plowden, March 8, 2017

CYS report including victim statements inadmissible; report falls within business record exception, but statements within it are hearsay within hearsay and fall under no exception to hearsay rule, Comm. v. Savage, March 7, 2017

Mace can be a deadly weapon if used during fistfight, rendering victim unable to defend himself, Comm. v. Chambers, March 7, 2017

SCOTUS allows consideration of post-trial juror statement that racial stereotypes influenced conviction, Pena-Rodriquez v. Colorado, March 6, 2017

Sentence for recidivist retail theft cannot use facts underlying NY conviction for petit larceny to show statutes are similar,  Comm. v. Vandyke, March 1, 2017

Changes to Pa.R.E. 803.1 & others adopted to admit prior statement of “turncoat witness,” effective 4-1-17, Amendments to Pa Rules of Evidence, March 1, 2017

Elder Law

PA Insurance Commissioner announces Commonwealth Court approval of liquidation of Penn Treaty and American Network; 98% of policies affected are long term care policies; claims to be paid through PA guaranty system, PA Insurance Commission, March 1, 2017

Environmental Law

Pa. DEP:  Comment period open until March 21 on two regulations on general permits, revisions to air quality exemption for methane and other pollutant reduction related to gas drilling and transport, Proposed Regulations, February 16, 2017

Employment Law

Employer pays $35,000 to settle claim by normal-vision plaintiff denied job due to possible vision impairment found at post-offer physical, EEOC, March 6, 2017

Family Law

Consent to in loco parentis standing in child custody litigation cannot be implied by parent whose acts are inconsistent with consent, K.W. v. S.L. & M.L. v. G.G., March 6, 2017

Changes to Pa.R.E. 803.1 & others to admit prior statement of “turncoat witness” effective 4-1-17, Amendments to Pa Rules of Evidence, March 1, 2017

Supreme Court adopts new Support Guidelines, effective May 1, 2017, Support Guidelines, February 10, 2017

Juvenile Law

Changes to Pa.R.E. 803.1 & others to admit prior statement of “turncoat witness” effective 4-1-17, Amendments to Pa Rules of Evidence, March 1, 2017

Proposed new PA Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure 415 and 518 – challenge to sufficiency of evidence must be raised with trial judge, comments by 3-20-17, Juvenile Ct Rules 415, 518, February 10, 2017

Proposed change to Pa.R.J.C.P. 170 and 172 – include Juvenile Offense Tracking Number in expungement motion, comments by 3-20-17, Juvenile Court Rules 170, 172, February 10, 2017

Immigration Law

President issues new travel ban for 6 countries effective March 16, 2017, Executive Order, March 6, 2017

Municipal Law

Owner’s constitutional rights not violated when tenant gives permission to view property for code violations, Comm. v. Cannarozzo, March 1, 2017

Personal Injury

Changes to Pa.R.E. 803.1 and others to admit prior statement of “turncoat witness” effective 4-1-17, Amendments to Pa Rules of Evidence, March 1, 2017

Real Estate

Reassessment due to improvements made before purchase of property not impermissible spot reassessment, Fasnacht v. Board of Property Assessment Appeals of Schuylkill County, March 9, 2017

Owner’s constitutional rights not violated when tenant gives permission to view property for code violations, Comm. v. Cannarozzo, March 1, 2017

School Law

Supreme Court to decide court’s authority to order public sale of School District property, In the Matter of Private Sale of Property by Millcreek School District, March 7, 2017

Torts

Company demolishing fire-damaged building was not acting as an employee of City of Philadelphia and not immune from liability under Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. et al v. JPC Group, Inc., March 9, 2017

Workers Compensation

Commonwealth Court rules WC Judge and Board erred in applying 600-week limitations period retroactively to firefighter’s fatal claim petition, City of Warren v. WCAB (Haines), March 9, 2017

Supreme Ct to decide if WC claimant must prove exposure to specific carcinogen under Section 108(r),  City of Philadelphia Fire Dept. v. WCAB (Sladek), March 1, 2017

General Interest

PA Supreme Court reduces active attorney registration fees, increases inactive attorneys fees, both effective for the 2017-18 annual attorney assessment, Rule 219, February 15, 2017

Supreme Ct adopts Public Access Policy for Case Records in Appellate, Trial Courts, local rules vacated unless approved by AOPC on recommendation of President Judge, effective January 6, 2018, AOPC Policy