Civil Procedure

Pa.R.C.P. 1033 amended allowing correction of name of party within 90 days of commencement of action, effective 4-1-17, Pa.R.C.P. 1033, February 2, 2017

Criminal Law

In 1st PCRA, appointed counsel must file (1) amended Petition or (2) certificate of lack of merit, leave to w/draw, Comm. v. Cherry, February 6, 2017

PaRJP 152 & 242 amended to remove suggestion that juvenile can precede pro se in detention hearing, eff. 4-1-17, PaRJP 152, 242, February 6, 2017

Supreme Ct to decide if consent to search vehicle includes canine sniff of packages, Comm. v. Valdivia, February 1, 2017

Supreme Ct to decide if criminal defendant must show prejudice to show incompetent assistance when attorney failed to meet him, Comm. v. Brown, February 1, 2017

PCRA not timely, new arson investigation standards NFPA 921 not “new evidence” because it was set years before petition, Comm. v. Smallwood, February 1, 2017

Burglary as predicate act not crime of violence requiring enhanced sentence for conviction of possession of ammunition by convicted felon, U.S. v. Steiner, February 1, 2017

Juvenile dependency based on status offenses must have counsel but not GAL; Court distinguishes representing juvenile’s legal interest and desires as opposed to juvenile’s best interests, In the Interest of: C.P., A Minor, January 31, 2017

PaRJCP 407 amended changing colloquy for juvenile when admission to conduct amounting to sexual violence may render juvenile eligible for civil commitment for involuntary treatment; eff. 4-1-17, Rule 407, January 26, 2017

Estates, Elder Law

Superior Ct discusses lack of basis for agent’s authority to sign waiver of ADR in nursing home agreement, Peterson by and through her Attorney in Fact, Morrison v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc., et al, February 1, 2017

Family Law

Termination of parental rights reversed; trial judge denied mother’s right to testify after she got sick & left courtroom; Court reminds trial judge to conduct hearing in a manner mindful of Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 2.8,  In the Interest of: A.N.P., A Minor, January 30, 2017

Proposed changes to PaRCP 1915.11-1 & 1915.23 re-establishing parent coordinators, comments by 2-24-17, Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, Recommendation 155,

Proposed changes to PaRCP 1920.42, 1920.51, 1920.72 & 1920.73 , related to Act 24 of 2016 providing for the presumption of consent to divorce when there is an allegation that a party is the victim of domestic abuse, comments by 2-24-17, Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, Recommendation 158

Proposed changes to PaRCP 1910.16-1, calculating child support when an individual 3rd party, not a public body or private agency, is seeking support, comments by 2-24-17, Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, Recommendation 159

Personal Injury

Landowner has no duty to protect invitees from dangers on adjoining highway, Newell v. Montana West, et al, January 23, 2017

Landowner has no duty to provide adequate parking for its invitees, Newell v. Montana West, et al, January 23, 2017

Real Estate

Superior Ct en banc analyzes facts confirming easement by implication for sewer line, Gurecka v. Carroll, February 3, 2017

General Interest

Supreme Ct to decide if fee agreement violates RCP 5.4, limiting liability, SCF Consulting, LLC v. Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, February 1, 2017

3d Circuit releases new Internal Operating Procedures for Posting Video Recordings of Select Oral Arguments, Third Circuit Website

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

Supreme Ct announces available positions on the Disciplinary Board and Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Comm.; applications by 2-28-17, Announcement

Michael Hardiman, Curtis Jones, Jr., & Mayur Patel confirmed to Pa Human Relations Commission, Pa Newsroom, January 27, 2017

William Carroll & Aaron Marcus appointed to Criminal Procedural Rules Committee, Order, February 3, 2017

Judge Bradley Moss appointed to Minor Court Rules Committee, Order, February 3, 2017

David Schwager appointed Chair and Douglas Leonard appointed Vice Chair, PA Disciplinary Board, Order, February 3, 2017

Daniel Booker reappointed to PA Lawyers Fund for Client Security Board, Order, February 3, 2017