Commonwealth v. Fitzpatrick

The “state of mind” exception to the hearsay rule took center stage when detectives investigating a homicide found a note the decedent wrote stating, “If something happens to me—JOE.” The decedent also sent an email to herself in which she indicated she feared Joe, her husband. Though the trial court found that the notes were … Read more

Commonwealth v. Satterfield

Satterfield entered an open guilty plea to various offenses, including three counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742. Reasoning that Satterfield left the scene, leading to the deaths of three individuals, the trial court sentenced him on the three Section 3742 convictions to incarceration for … Read more

Pa. Env’t Def. Found. v. Commonwealth of Pa.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated at the outset that this decision is the “final resolution” of a dispute about amendments to the Fiscal Code by the General Assembly that diverted to the General Fund revenues generated from oil and gas leases on state forest and game lands. The matter turned on the Court’s interpretation of … Read more

Mortimer v. McCool

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court  examined the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil, which the Court glossed as an area “among the most confusing in corporate law.” In 2007, Mortimer was permanently injured when a drunk driver hit her car. The driver had been served by employees of the Famous Mexican Restaurant. The Restaurant owners had … Read more

In re C.M.

A mother with Lupus voluntarily terminated her parental rights so her parents could adopt her child. But the mother intended to maintain her parental role. The move was designed to ensure that if the mother’s condition were fatal, the child would remain with the grandparents and stay in a stable environment. Meanwhile, the father petitioned … Read more

Amazon, Inc. v. Amazon, Inc. (In re Amazon, Inc.)

This case arose out of a class-action suit for unpaid wages brought by employees at an Amazon warehouse. The employees claimed they were entitled to compensation under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”) for their unpaid time spent in a security screening process. After Amazon removed the case to the United States District Court for … Read more

U.S. Venture, Inc. v. Pa.

In 2014, Venture applied for and received two Alternative and Clean Energy (“ACE”) grants under 73 P.S. § 1649.307(a)(1)(iii). After completing the projects, Venture sought payment of the grant money. The Commonwealth Financing Authority (“CFA”) denied the request, stating Venture improperly structured the construction and financing of the project. Venture filed a statement of claim … Read more

McKelvey v. Pa. Dep’t of Health

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified the interplay of the Right-to-Know Law and the information contained in applications to grow, process, or dispense medical marijuana. Media outlets requested disclosure of medical marijuana business permit applications under the RTKL. The Medical Marijuana Act mandates that the applications are subject to disclosure. But the Department of Health instructed … Read more

McCloskey v. Pub. Util. Comm’n (Appeal of Metropolitan Edison Co.)

The parties disputed whether and, if so, how the addition of Section 1301.1(a) into Subchapter A of Chapter 13 of the Public Utility Code Code, requiring inclusion of “income tax deductions and credits” in rate calculations, should apply to the “distribution system improvement charges” (“DSICs”) rate adjustment mechanism. The Public Utility Commission ruled in favor … Read more

City of Johnstown v. Workers’ Comp. App. Bd. (Sevanick)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reconciled competing interpretations of the Workers’ Compensation Act as it relates to the timeliness of claims for firefighters suffering from certain work-related cancers. Section 301(c)(2) of the Act provides that a compensable injury includes death or disability caused by occupational diseases. That same section requires that when a claim is based … Read more