Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Blog

Gerrymandering Oral Argument Roundup 1-18-18

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Our roundup is all about Gerrymandering today. The Allentown Morning Call covers the oral argument and provides quotes from political operatives on both sides. The Philly Inquirer gives a balanced look at the lawsuits possible outcomes. Reuters tacitly predicts a win for the League of Women Voters challenging the map, and HuffPost agrees. PennLive notes that it doesn’t matter whether the onlooker likes the congressional map or not; the suit turns on whether the constitution is implicated. As far away as Bryan, Texas (home of “The...

read more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Round-up – 12-21-17

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Round-ups | 0 comments

Two Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases get early coverage, while the other December releases remain quiet. The Allentown Morning Call interviews the ACLU about Com v. $34,440 and the ongoing consideration of civil forfeiture law in Pennsylvania, an issue that’s sure to come back to the Court and maybe even the legislature in the near future. Thomson Reuters covers SCF Consulting LLC v. Barrack Rodos, discussing the briefs and the difficult public policy determinations at play in the ongoing case. The Legal Intelligencer discusses the...

read more

Com v. $34,440: Proximity to Drugs presumption may be rebutted in forfeiture proceeding

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Civil Forfeiture, Criminal | 0 comments

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania continues its consideration of the powers of civil forfeiture in a 5-2 decision that the “proximity to drugs” presumption in civil forfeiture proceedings may be rebutted by evidence that the seized property was not involved in any illegal activity. Juan Lugo was pulled over for tailgating in a “borrowed” car with several friends in Monroe County (home of “The Tricky Triangle”). The officer who pulled Lugo over then smelled marijuana, obtained consent to search the car, and discovered ecstasy in the cigarette...

read more

SCF Consulting, LLC v. Barrack, Rodos and Bacine: A contract action against a law firm alleging an unethical fee-sharing agreement should be allowed to proceed

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Attorney Discipline, Civil, Contract | 0 comments

A divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania agreed that a lawsuit against a law firm based on a breach of a contract should be allowed to move forward, even though the alleged contract would have been in violation of the fee-sharing rules of professional conduct. The Court was divided on the reason, and remanded for further proceedings “without present guidance from this Court.” SCF Consulting filed a civil complaint against Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, a law firm on Market Street in Philadelphia (where Benjamin Franklin performed many of his...

read more

Round-Up 12/7/17

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Round-ups | 0 comments

It’s always strange to wake up to find that TMZ is covering Pennsylania law. Coverage of Rapper Meek Mill’s curious case continues with calls for investigation into the trial judge who sentenced him. NBC News covers CCP Judge Brinkley’s ruling that Mill is a “danger to the community.” Meanwhile, several organizations are calling for investigations into Brinkley’s allegedly unethical behavior both in this case, and in Financial Interest filings. Complex and XXL Magazine discuss the organizations pursuing an...

read more

Roundup – 12/5/17

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Round-ups | 0 comments

The Court is getting a lot of coverage this year, and Pennsylvania law has been back in the spotlight with more high-profile cases. To that end, a judge on the Superior Court has denied rapper Meek Mill’s Bail Request. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is likely. In another important Superior Court case, a ruling issued requiring a man to turn over his computer password over his Fifth Amendment objection. His lawyer promise an appeal to SCOPA, and appears to be a case of first impression in Pennsylvania. In an interesting...

read more

Scarnati v. Wolf: Press Releases aren’t “Proclamations”

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Civil, Constitutional Provisions | 0 comments

In Scarnati v. Wolf, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania rules 6-1 that a press release does not satisfy the Pennsylvania Constitution’s requirement of veto by proclamation under Article IV, Section 15. In 2014, two appropriations bills passed the House and Senate, and were presented to the Governor for his signature. The House adjourned upon passing the bill, and the Governor vetoed the bill, returning it to the parliamentarian of the House. Unlike under the Federal Constitution, where the President’s veto back to the House would be the end of...

read more

Com v. Livingstone: You’re Drunk, I presume.

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Criminal, Suppression | 0 comments

In Commonwealth v. Livingstone, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that a police officer must have articulable explanation for his “community caretaking” to use it as an exception to the warrant requirement. Late one evening, Trooper Frantz was out on I-79 (named for former Pennsylvania Governer Raymond Shafer) when he saw a car stopped on the side of the road, with no hazard lights on. Concerned that the motorist might be having trouble, he turned on his emergency lights and pulled up next to her. He rolled down his window and spoke to...

read more

In re 2014 Allegheny County Grand Jury: Mootness ruling must be based on facts

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Civil, Justiciability | 0 comments

In an unusually brief, unanimous opinion, Chief Justice Saylor ruled that the Superior Court erred in finding a dispute between two parties moot where the facts of record did not clearly demonstrate mootness. WPXI, a television station, sought access to certain sealed grand jury documents about a sex scandal at a local school on the basis of Pennsylvania’s common law right of public access to judicial documents. The Commonwealth fought the disclosure of the documents based on the need for privacy in grand jury proceedings. The trial...

read more

Miller v. County of Centre: District Attorneys are not “Judicial Agencies” exempt from Right to Know disclosure requirements

Posted by on Nov 23, 2017 in Civil, Right to Know | 0 comments

Right to Know (RTK) requests by several defense attorneys in Centre County (home of Mount Nittany) revealed communications between DA Stacy Parks Miller and judges on CCP and MDC, which the defense attorneys used to demonstrate ex parte communications in various cases. The County handed over all documents requested without consulting with Parks Miller or the judicial staffs. Parks Miller sued for an injunction prohibiting future disclosures on the basis that she is not subject to the general disclosure requirements of the Right to Know Law...

read more