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.

United States v. Easter

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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 § … Read more

Commonwealth v. Kemick

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In Commonwealth v. Kemick, the Superior Court first determined that the trial court’s oder, denying Kemick’s motion to dismiss the charges based on double jeopardy, was collateral and, thus, appealable. The Court then remanded the case. The trial court contravened Pa.R.Crim.P. 587 because the court did did not conduct a hearing, as defined by the official … Read more

Commonwealth v. Brame

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In Commonwealth v. Brame, the Superior Court concluded that the totality of circumstances — including officers’ observation of Brame tossing a knotted plastic bag into a vehicle followed by the vehicle’s occupant tossing a roll of money into Brame’s vehicle, as well as the officers’ training and experience — provided reasonable suspicion for an investigatory … Read more

Commonwealth v. Betts

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In Commonwealth v. Betts, the Superior Court set forth the proper procedure for criminal defendants who wish to allege that their attorneys rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during PCRA proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas. Defendants are obliged to raise their claims in response to the lower courts’ notice of intent to dismiss pursuant … Read more

MZM Constr. Co. v. NJ Bldg. Laborers Statewide Benefit Funds

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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

Tazu v. Att’y Gen. United States

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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.

Ctr. Investigative Reporting v. Se. Pa. Transp. Auth.

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In Ctr. Investigative Reporting v. Se. Pa. Transp. Auth., the 3rd Circuit held that that SEPTA’s Advertising Standards violated the First Amendment as an impermissible subject matter restriction on speech., finding the Standards were not capable of reasoned application.

Flansman v. Jenny Craig, Inc.

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In Flansman v. Jenny Craig, Inc., the NJ Supreme Court enforced an arbitration agreement that did not name an arbitrator, designate an arbitration organization to conduct the proceeding, or set out a process to do so. The Court found that the agreement clearly and unmistakably informed the parties that they must submit to arbitration for any … Read more

Commonwealth v. Richard

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The Superior Court reversed the trial court’s suppression order in Commonwealth v. Richard. The Court ruled that that the totality of the circumstances presented—marijuana discovered on Richard’s person, his visible nervousness and inability to tell the officer where he was going, and the strong smell of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle—provided the officer with probable … Read more

Gentile v. S.E.C.

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The 3rd Circuit held in Gentile v. S.E.C. that the Administrative Procedure Act did not waive sovereign immunity to an administrative agency’s decision to investigate. 

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