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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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State v. Watson

The New Jersey Appellate Division concluded its 166-page opinion by stating that "to the extent we have not addressed them, any additional arguments raised by defendant lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in this opinion." The arguments the Court reviewed were critical criminal law issues. First, the Court held that…

The New Jersey Appellate Division concluded its 166-page opinion by stating that “to the extent we have not addressed them, any additional arguments raised by defendant lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in this opinion.” The arguments the Court reviewed were critical criminal law issues. First, the Court held that the trial court violated the… Continue reading State v. Watson

Commonwealth v. Taylor
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The lower court convicted the defendant of charges related to the sexual assault of a four-year-old. He raised numerous issues on appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which denied each argument. First, the Court held that the defendant was not entitled to relief on a claim that the lower court violated the coordinate jurisdiction rule… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Taylor

Commonwealth v. Lang
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the order granting the defendant’s post-sentence request for a new trial after his non-jury conviction of sexual crimes against a minor.  The crux of this appeal concerned the admission of evidence that the defendant searched for legal counsel on the internet before he was arrested or implicated as a suspect… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Lang

United States v. Hall
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit expounded on the due process and Federal Rules of Evidence standards governing the admission of voice identification evidence en route to affirming the defendant’s convictions for crimes related to filing false unemployment claims. At trial, the court permitted the defendant’s probation officer to testify that the voice in audio recordings was the… Continue reading United States v. Hall

State v. Williams
New Jersey Appellate Division

If you are a criminal defense attorney, read this summary. The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the defendant’s conviction and remanded for a new trial. A jury convicted the defendant of second-degree possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The issue on appeal was the propriety of the prosecutor’s comments during the State’s summation… Continue reading State v. Williams

Calisto v. Rodgers
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Seller’s use of his deceased mother’s name as an alias to sign three deeds satisfied the signature requirement of the statute of frauds. Seller sought to quiet title to three townhouses. The trial court determined that Seller delivered three executed deeds to Buyer. The… Continue reading Calisto v. Rodgers

Hauck v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review’s order affirming a Referee’s decision that denied unemployment compensation benefits after the claimant was fired for failing a drug test. The claimant made a timely hearsay objection to the admittance into evidence of the lab report from his failed drug test. The referee overruled… Continue reading Hauck v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

The New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that the trial court erred when it permitted certain DNA evidence to be admitted against the defendant in his trial that resulted in a murder conviction. Pre-trial, the defendant moved for a Frye hearing, as the State intended to introduce DNA evidence obtained through a technique known as low… Continue reading State v. Rochat

Commonwealth v. Gilbert
Pennsylvania Superior Court

A jury convicted the appellant of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of his wife. In affirming that verdict, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued several critical evidentiary rulings. First, the Court held that the trial court properly excluded the appellant from calling a psychiatrist who treated him weeks after the crime. The appellant claimed that… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Gilbert

State v. Gerena
New Jersey Supreme Court

In a per curium order, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s opinion. The Appellate Division held that it is within the purview of a lay witness to opine as to the ages of children the witness saw at a playground, without any more information than a sufficient opportunity to observe them.