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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Miller

After the Miller and Montgomery decisions, the trial court resentenced the defendant, a juvenile lifer, to imprisonment of 55 years to life. The defendant appealed, challenging the legality of the sentence as a de facto life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) and the discretionary aspects of his sentence. The…

Commonwealth v. Miller
Pennsylvania Superior Court

After the Miller and Montgomery decisions, the trial court resentenced the defendant, a juvenile lifer, to imprisonment of 55 years to life. The defendant appealed, challenging the legality of the sentence as a de facto life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) and the discretionary aspects of his sentence. The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed, holding… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Miller

Commonwealth v. Lehmman
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for first-degree murder. The defendant made three claims of error. First, he claimed that the trial court erred by denying his motion in limine seeking to present evidence of the victim’s rap music videos to the jury. The Superior Court ruled that the defendant did not proffer… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Lehmman

Commonwealth v. Hobel
Pennsylvania Superior Court

After a jury convicted the defendant of three gunpoint robberies and a subsequent high-speed chase, he appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, claiming that his motion to suppress was erroneously denied, his matters were improperly joined, as well as weight and sufficiency arguments. The latter claims were perfunctory and not meritorious. The suppression motion asserted… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Hobel

Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Davis
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the trial court’s award entered in favor of Hartford. The case stemmed from a motor vehicle accident in which Appellant was injured while operating a vehicle owned by Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. during the course and scope of his employment. Hartford insured the vehicle under a commercial automobile policy. Hartford… Continue reading Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Davis

Jordan v. Pa. State Univ.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

A former PSU football player sued the school and its medical center following surgery to repair an injury suffered during a practice for a bowl game. The trial court sustained the defendants’ preliminary objections and dismissed the action, denied his request for recusal, and held him in contempt. The former athlete fared no better before… Continue reading Jordan v. Pa. State Univ.

Commonwealth v. Juray
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court likely issued this opinion as a reminder to practitioners about proper appellate practices. The Court footnoted multiple errors made by the defendant’s counsel in perfecting the appeal. And the Court wrote at length to articulate the distinction between a weight and a sufficiency challenge. The Court affirmed the judgments of sentence,… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Juray

In re Estate of Schwartz
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the order that refused to appoint Appellant as an administrator of Decedent’s estate. Decedent passed away intestate, and the only potential heir disclaimed and renounced his interest in the estate. Appellant, a party adverse to the estate in pending litigation as a principal creditor at the time of Decedent’s death,… Continue reading In re Estate of Schwartz

Commonwealth v. Dabney
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected the defendant’s novel argument that medical marijuana is not a Schedule I controlled substance for purposes of the DUI statute. The Court relied, in part, on its recent en banc decision in Commonwealth v. Stone in concluding that medical marijuana continues to be a schedule I controlled substance. The Court… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Dabney

Constantakis v. Bryan Advisory Svs., LLC
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In a 55-page novella, the Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated in part, affirmed in part, and remanded this case in which the lower court granted preliminary injunctions. The lower court enjoined Appellants from making false, unsubstantiated, and defamatory statements about Appellees. The Superior Court vacated that portion of the orders because they restricted free speech. The… Continue reading Constantakis v. Bryan Advisory Svs., LLC

Commonwealth v. Carl
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed an order from the Court of Common Pleas that granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the charges based on the Commonwealth’s violation of Rule 600(c). The critical issue was the county’s COVID-related judicial emergency declaration, which closed the courts and mandated that “any postponement caused by the judicial emergency shall be… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Carl