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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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State v. Derry

The New Jersey Supreme Supreme Court affirmed the defendants’ murder convictions. First, the defendants were convicted in federal court of various drug offenses and the discharge of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. They received a sentence enhancement that applies if a victim was killed under…

State v. Derry
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Supreme Court affirmed the defendants’ murder convictions. First, the defendants were convicted in federal court of various drug offenses and the discharge of a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. They received a sentence enhancement that applies if a victim was killed under circumstances that would constitute murder.… Continue reading State v. Derry

In a mammoth 70-page opus, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a conviction for aggravated arson. The defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements he made during a custodial interrogation. He claimed that the interrogating officers did not inform him that he would be charged with aggravated arson… Continue reading State v. Cotto

Commonwealth v. Williams
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the defendant’s convictions for sexually assaulting a minor because the trial court erroneously permitted a staff member from the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) to testify that it is common for child victims to “under-disclose” sexual abuse to PCA interviewers. The PCA interviewer testified on redirect examination extensively regarding how and… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Williams

Commonwealth v. Fuentes
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s convictions but remanded because the trial court did not credit him for pretrial confinement. A jury convicted the defendant of committing sex crimes against a minor. The defendant raised six issues, including that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence, and the trial correct erred in… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Fuentes

State v. Gonzalez
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court vacated the defendant’s convictions, finding that the trial court erred when it denied her suppression motion. Defendant waived her Miranda rights and agreed to an interview with the police after their discovery that a child, whom the defendant babysat, had unexplained injuries. During the interview, before the defendant made any… Continue reading State v. Gonzalez

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

Steltz v. Meyers
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court because “the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial based on a single, unanswered question proposed to an expert witness.” Steltz sued Dr. Meyers and alleged the doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose and disclose the existence of a muscle tear, which… Continue reading Steltz v. Meyers

Commonwealth v. Williams
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Williams appealed after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder and related charges. On appeal, he made two primary arguments. First, Williams asserted the trial court erred when it denied his pretrial motion, which challenged the admissibility of the Commonwealth expert’s testimony regarding forensic video analysis. Second, Williams claimed the trial court erred when it… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Williams

Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.
New Jersey Appellate Division

In Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., two defendants appealed from a judgment, which awarded the plaintiffs $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages, and other orders entered by the trial court during the course of this litigation. The defendants’ primary argument on appeal was that the trial court erred by admitting expert testimony. The… Continue reading Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.

Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp., the defendants in a medical negligence matter appealed after a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants claimed that they should have been awarded a JNOV because the plaintiff’s expert did not testify “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty” that the defendants’ actions caused the injury.… Continue reading Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp.