Commonwealth v. Jordan

A criminal defense attorney’s worst nightmare occurred, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed. The defendant was charged with a gunpoint robbery. He proceeded to a jury trial. But as is standard practice, he severed the gun charge because the Commonwealth must prove the defendant who possessed a gun and has been convicted of a prior … Read more

Commonwealth v. Banks

In Commonwealth v. Banks, the defendant appealed his convictions of DUI, VUFA, and related charges. On appeal, he claimed: 1. the evidence was insufficient to convict him of DUI, and 2. the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the VUFA charges on the grounds of double jeopardy and collateral estoppel in that … Read more

McGuire v. City of Pittsburgh

In McGuire v. City of Pittsburgh, McGuire appealed the trial court’s order denying his Motion for Post-Trial Relief. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed. The Court ruled that the trial court was not collaterally estopped from concluding that Neidig was not acting within the scope of his duties as a City police officer, thus precluding indemnification. … Read more

In re Appeal of Coatesville Area Sch. Dist.

In In re Appeal of Coatesville Area Sch. Dist., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did an admirable job of differentiating and explaining the two preclusion doctrines — res judicata and collateral estoppel — while simultaneously wading through a procedural minefield laid by unclear rulings in parallel taxation appeals. In this case, a landowner sought to appeal … Read more

Khalil v. Williams

Khalil v. Williams was a legal malpractice action based on the defendant-attorneys’ representation of the plaintiff in a premises liability suit. In the malpractice suit, the plaintiff’s complaint made five claims: (1)  legal malpractice based in negligence; (2) legal malpractice based in breach of contract; (3) negligent misrepresentation; (4) breach of contract; and (5) fraudulent … Read more

Commonwealth v. Rankin

When the Superior Court says it is going to employ “rationality and realism,” you know you’re in for a doozy. In Commonwealth v. Rankin, the Commonwealth charged the defendant with misdemeanors and summaries related to traffic tickets and poor driving. A jury acquitted him of the misdemeanor, but the trial judge immediately convicted him on … Read more