OPINION SUMMARIES

At Sullivan | Simon we read every precedential opinion out of state and federal courts in PA & NJ and summarize them to help you stay up to date. If you would like these summaries emailed to you, please sign up for our weekly newsletter.

State v. Paul

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In State v. Paul, the defendant, appealed to the trial court’s denial of his motion to relax his pre-trial release conditions. The Appellate Division held that pre-trial discovery, which has reduced the weight of the evidence against the defendant, may constitute “changed circumstances” under Rule 3:26-2(c)(2). Furthermore, a defendant’s compliance with restrictive conditions over an … Read more

B.B. v. Mell

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In B.B. v. Mell, after Mell was convicted in a federal criminal court for victimizing B.B., who was 15 years old, B.B. sued Mell for damages and quickly sought a prejudgment writ of attachment of Mell’s vast assets. After the trial court entered an order compelling the payment of $26,026.50 to Mell’s attorney from B.B.’s … Read more

In re Canvassing of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of Nov. 3, 2020 Gen. Election

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In re Canvassing of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of Nov. 3, 2020 Gen. Election involved consolidated appeals by the Trump campaign. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the PA Election Code does not require boards of elections to disqualify mail-in or absentee ballots submitted by qualified electors, who signed the declaration on their ballot’s outer … Read more

Commonwealth v. Price

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In Commonwealth v. Price, the Superior Court reversed a trial court’s order that suppressed evidence recovered during a search of the defendant’s cell phone. The Commonwealth sought and was granted a warrant. But the affidavit of probable cause supporting the warrant contained scant facts establishing probable cause. However, the Court ruled that the inevitable discovery … Read more

Commonwealth v. Mojica

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In Commonwealth v. Mojica, the defendant filed a pro se PCRA petition after he was convicted, but before sentencing, and while he was still represented by counsel. In the petition, he made sufficiency and weight claims. The PCRA court ignored the pro se petition and sentenced the defendant. The Superior Court noted that it was … Read more

Thorne v. Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack

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The issue in Thorne v. Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack was whether the plaintiff could sue her tire dealer for ignoring a federal regulation that requires a tire dealer to help customers register their new tires with the manufacturer (49 U.S.C. § 30101, et seq.). The 3rd Circuit agreed with the District Court’s ruling … Read more

Crisitello v. St. Theresa Sch.

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In Crisitello v. St. Theresa Sch., the New Jersey Appellate Division reviewed an order from the Law Division granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Law Against Discrimination action. The defendant — a parochial school — fired the plaintiff because she was unmarried and became pregnant. The Appellate Division had to “determine whether … Read more

Commonwealth v. Davis

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In Commonwealth v. Davis, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed the process by which prosecuting authorities can refile criminal charges pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 544. In Davis, after a preliminary hearing, a magisterial district judge dismissed charges. The Commonwealth sought to refile the complaint but went to a different MDJ to do so. Then the case proceeded … Read more

Commonwealth v. Headley

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In Commonwealth v. Headley, the appellant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence of his convictions for recklessly endangering another person (REAP) and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.  The Superior Court affirmed. The evidence was sufficient for REAP because the appellant intentionally discharged his firearm into the floor of his apartment. The bullet passed … Read more

In re D.G.

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The matter of In re D.G. involved a mother’s appeal from the Orphan’s Court order terminating her parental rights. The case is a companion of sorts to In re D.N.G., 230 A.3d 361 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2020) because D.N.G. and D.G. are siblings. The same attorney was appointed to represent each child’s legal interests, pursuant … Read more

ARTICLES

Click below to read Matt and David’s articles, which offer our takes on some recent appellate decisions.

We framed an innocent man, but we have prosecutorial immunity, RIGHT?!

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On April 20, 2020, the Third Circuit filed an opinion in Fogle v. Sokol (bit.ly/3bBcN5s). … Read more

We don’t owe you squat!

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On April 7, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania decided Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. v. … Read more

Use This Time to Reflect on Law Firm Management

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With courts practically closed, and commerce overall slowed to a trickle, it is worth taking … Read more

No (attempted) good deed goes unpunished.

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In Commonwealth v. Frederick, 770 MDA 2019 (Pa. Super Ct. 2020), the defendant, seemingly, tried to … Read more

Appealing Adverse Pretrial Detention Rulings

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With the onslaught of COVID-19 and the virus’s breakneck pace of infecting jail and prison … Read more

Writ of Error Coram Nobis – alive, but, perhaps, not so well.

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In Ragbir v. USA (bit.ly/38kXr3q), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a comprehensive decision … Read more

NJ courts inch their way into the future.

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In Pathri v. Kakarlamath (bit.ly/36ozlDk), the New Jersey Appellate Division recognized that technological innovations might be … Read more