Witherspoon v. McDowell-Wright is an important read for any lawyer whose client is deceased. Rule 502 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure governs the scenario and “permits any party to make a suggestion of death on the record. The Rule then states that proceedings may be had as this court directs. The open-endedness of this … Read more
In United States v. Savage, the 3rd Circuit reviewed the multiple sentences of death imposed at the conclusion of one of the most high-profile prosecutions in Philadelphia in the 21st Century. The Court ruled on numerous issues over its 200-plus page opinion. Of particular note, the Court ruled that the defendant was not entitled to … Read more
In Satiro v. Maninno, the Superior Court found the pro se appellant’s claim waived as a result of filing a 29-issue statement of matters complained of on appeal that made it impossible for the trial court to give a comprehensive analysis of the issues.
To find harmless error, or to not find harmless error, that is the question presented in Commonwealth v. Hamlett. In a contentious set of opinions, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that an appellate court may find an error harmless even when the Commonwealth fails to put forth an argument on the subject, as appellate courts … Read more
Under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, the state police provided a heavily-redacted copy of investigation regulations to the ACLU along with a letter indicating that the redactions were necessary under the RTKL’s public-safety exception. The ACLU filed an appeal with the Office of Open Records, seeking an unredacted copy. The OOR received an unredacted version for in … Read more
Facebook provided a tip to law enforcement that two parties to a Facebook Live stream were engaging in sexual acts with a minor. After reviewing the transcript — but not the video stream — from Facebook, a law enforcement agent went to the defendant’s house and obtained a confession. At the defendant’s dispositional hearing, that … Read more
A beneficiary of a trust under the will of Augustus Ashton was entitled to a fixed sum each year. Other beneficiaries, such as the University of Pennsylvania, were entitled to far larger and variable sums under the same trust. The trustee filed interim accounts for about 35 years of administration of the trust and the … Read more