In Tyson v Superintendent Houtzdale SCI, the 3rd Circuit held that a criminal defendant’s trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object to the trial court’s jury instruction. The trial court incorrectly instructed the jury that an accomplice to first-degree murder must only act to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime to … Read more
In Johnson v. City of Philadelphia, the 3rd Circuit threw cold water on Section 1983 state-created danger claims. Those claims proliferated based on a few passing words by the United States Supreme Court in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services. In the Johnson case, a 911 operator made massive blunders that led firefighters astray, … Read more
In DLJ Mortg. Capital v. Sheridan, the 3rd Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of judgment in favor of DLJ under Rule 52(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, concluding that DLJ satisfied all elements of its debt and foreclosure claim. The 3rd Circuit found that Sheridan was “fully heard” within the meaning of Rule … Read more
In Watters v. Bd. of Sch. Dir. of the City of Scranton, the 3rd circuit assumed for argument’s sake that Section 1983 provides for a private right of action for a purported violation of the Contracts Clause. The Court then moved on to determine whether a 2017 amendment to Pennsylvania’s Public School Code violated the tenure … Read more
In Porter v. City of Philadelphia, the 3rd Circuit held that the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office’s policy prohibiting comments during a sheriff’s sale is a reasonable, viewpoint neutral speech restriction aimed at protecting the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to sell hundreds of foreclosed properties in a single auction, and thus does not violate the 1st Amendment.
In the case of In re Allergan ERISA Litig., the 3rd Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the case and the denial of the plaintiffs’ request for leave to amend. Even when viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, the factual allegations failed to support a plausible inference that the defendant conspired with … Read more
In El v. City of Pittsburgh, the 3rd Circuit confronted two brothers’ Section 1983 actions against three Pittsburgh police officers. What started as an investigatory detention over the possibility that one brother might have purchased tobacco underage (he didn’t) ended with one brother tasered, and the other brother slammed against a wall. The Court reiterated … Read more
In United States v. Easter, the 3rd Circuit broke with the holdings of several other circuits and ruled that, when deciding whether to exercise its discretion under § 404(b) of the First Step Act to reduce a defendant’s sentence, including the term of supervised release, the district court must consider all of the § 3553(a) … Read more
In MZM Contr. Co. v. NJ Bldg. Laborers Statewide Benefit Funds, the 3rd Circuit confronted “the queen of all threshold issues” in arbitration law, namely who decides whether an arbitration agreement exists when the disagreement is over whether the arbitration agreement exists. Is it the courts or the arbitrator? In this instance, the 3rd Circuit … Read more
In Tazu v. Att’y Gen. United States, the 3rd Circuit held that 8 U.S.C. §1252(g) stripped the district court of jurisdiction to hear a habeas petition in which the petitioner sought to stop the Attorney General from executing a valid removal order while the petitioner tried to reopen his removal proceedings in the Second Circuit.