Bethany v. SEIU PA State Council

In Bethany v. SEIU PA State Council, the 3rd Circuit dealt with the United States Supreme Court’s fair-share ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018). In Janus, the Supreme Court ruled that unions may not deduct fees from non-union members, the so-called “fair share fee”. Bethany LaSpina was just such … Read more

United States v. Alexander

In United States v. Alexander,  Appellant filed an interlocutory appeal from the District Court’s order denying various pretrial motions to dismiss the original and superseding indictments against her on the ground that a victim of one of the charged crimes served on the grand jury that returned the original indictment. (Subsequent to learning about the … Read more

United States v. Heatherly

The defendants frequented an internet chat room where users regularly shared child pornography. One user repeatedly live-streamed himself raping and sexually abusing his six-year-old nephew. The defendants encouraged him as he did so, and they repeatedly asked users for child pornography videos. A  jury convicted the defendants of receiving child pornography and related charges. The … Read more

United States v. Safehouse

Since taking office in 2018, United States Attorney William McSwain has not been shy about taking stances in opposition to state and local officials. In United States v. Safehouse, the Third Circuit sided with Mr. McSwain in what might be his final battle as United States Attorney. Judge Bibas issued the majority opinion. In short, … Read more

United States v. Davis

In United States v. Davis, the defendant answered an ad on Craigslist.com looking for casual sex. Unfortunately, the “wild child” he responded to was actually a police officer engaged in a sting operation. On appeal, the defendant claimed that the evidence was insufficient to convict because he believed he bought condoms and subsequently traveled across … Read more

United States v. Harra

In United States v. Harra, the Third Circuit dealt with criminal convictions arising out of banking practices in the wake of the “Great Recession” of 2008. Wilmington Trust Corp. had a practice of issuing term loans: the borrower would pay interest only for the term of the loan with a balloon payment at the end … Read more

Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Comm’n v. Sec. PA Dep’t Labor and Indus.

Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Comm’n v. Sec. PA Dep’t Labor and Indus. was a dispute about an interstate compact between PA and NJ that created the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. The Commission obtained a declaratory judgment that prohibited the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry from regulating aspects of … Read more

Wilson v. Dir., Off. of Workers’ Comp. Programs

The 3rd Circuit appears to have closed out 2020 with a bang: it changed the style of its opinions. It’s first published opinion under the new format is Wilson v. Dir., Off. of Workers’ Comp. Programs. That case deals with the hot-button issue of what constitutes “navigable waters” under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation … Read more

Newton v. Comm’r Soc. Sec.

The issue in Newton v. Comm’r Soc. Sec. was whether National Guard dual status technicians qualify for the uniformed services exception, i.e., whether pensions for dual status technician service are based “wholly on service as a member of a uniformed service” under 42 U.S.C. § 415(a)(7)(A). The 3rd Circuit affirmed the District Court and held … Read more

United States v. Hart

The Third Circuit ran into a novel issue surrounding the First Step Act in United States v. Hart. The Act was passed in 2018, and it made retroactive certain reductions in mandatory-minimum sentences that were passed into law in 2012. Under the Act, eligible prisoners could petition to reduce their sentences per the 2012 reductions. … Read more