Pennsylvania Superior Court

Autopsy Report on Suspicious Death is Testimonial under Confrontation Clause

An autopsy report is testimonial evidence for purposes of the Confrontation Clause when the victim’s death was sudden, violent or suspicious, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Com. v. Brown.

By | May 20th, 2016|Categories: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Autopsy Report on Suspicious Death is Testimonial under Confrontation Clause

Convictions Upheld for Rapper who Threatened Police Officers in YouTube Video

A YouTube video threatening to kill individually named police officers was sufficient evidence to support convictions of terroristic threats and intimidation of witnesses, the Pennsylvania Superior Court decided in Com. v. Beasley.

By | May 19th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Law|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Convictions Upheld for Rapper who Threatened Police Officers in YouTube Video

Evidence of Prior DUI Conviction and DUI Education Class Admissible to Establish Driver’s Mens Rea

Evidence of a prior DUI conviction and participation in a DUI education program is admissible as inferential evidence of a driver’s state of mind, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Com. v. Diehl.

By | May 18th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Law|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Evidence of Prior DUI Conviction and DUI Education Class Admissible to Establish Driver’s Mens Rea

Evidence of Decedent Pedestrian’s Intoxication Admissible in Negligence Action against Motorist

In a negligence action against a motorist who struck and killed a pedestrian, evidence of the decedent’s intoxication was admissible where corroborated by the defendant’s toxicology expert’s testimony, the Pennsylvania Superior Court decided in Coughlin v. Massaquoi.

By | April 8th, 2016|Categories: Civil Litigation|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Evidence of Decedent Pedestrian’s Intoxication Admissible in Negligence Action against Motorist

School Police Officer Barred from Obtaining Private Detective License

A school police officer who exercises law enforcement powers cannot possess a private detective license, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in In re Clader.

Surreptitious Recording of Conversation Using Voice Memo App Violates Wiretap Act

An employee who secretly recorded a conversation with his boss using his smartphone’s voice memo app violated the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act (Wiretap Act), the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Com. v. Smith.

By | March 8th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Law|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Surreptitious Recording of Conversation Using Voice Memo App Violates Wiretap Act

Trial Court Erred in Failing to Excuse Juror who Exhibited Bias in Favor of Police

Despite her assurance that she could be fair and impartial, a prospective juror who admitted her bias in favor of police should have been excused for cause, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Com. v. Penn.

By | February 19th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Law, General|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Trial Court Erred in Failing to Excuse Juror who Exhibited Bias in Favor of Police

No Fraud Exception to Confidential Spousal Communication Privilege

There is no fraud exception to Pennsylvania’s civil spousal communication privilege, the Superior Court held in CAP Glass, Inc. v. Coffman.

Slayer Act Bars Defendant found Guilty but Mentally Ill from Inheriting Victim’s Estate

A verdict of guilty but mentally ill for first-degree murder bars a killer from inheriting from the decedent’s estate, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in In re Estate of McAndrew.

By | January 26th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Law, Estate Planning and Administration|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Slayer Act Bars Defendant found Guilty but Mentally Ill from Inheriting Victim’s Estate