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 PA 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
In Commonwealth v. Johnson, an en banc panel of the Superior Court overruled Commonwealth v. Creese, which had required each notice of appeal to list only one docket number. This case, along with Commonwealth v. Larkin show the Superior Court at its worst–creating, changing and abridging rules that have nothing to do with the justice, seeking the … Read more
In Mid-American Salt v. Morris Co. Coop. Pricing Council, the 3rd Circuit reviewed a requirements contract under New Jersey law to determine whether a consortium of municipalities was required to purchase its rock salt from the plaintiff. The Court held that there was no binding contract because there was only a promise to pay a … 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
This case presents plenty of intrigue for appellate law experts. A special panel of judges was convened pursuant to the Rules of Judicial Administration to deal with a PCRA petitioner’s appeal. During the PCRA petitioner’s appeal from the denial of his first PCRA petition, Justice Eakin joined the majority to deny relief. In that case, … Read more