Rule Amendments and Court Opinions of Interest to ACBA Members

For past court capsules, please follow the corresponding link below. 
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March

US Supreme Court

Mar. 1, 2018 | Title 8 USC 1225(b), 1226(a), and 1226(c) do not give detained aliens the right to periodic bond hearings during the course of their detention. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 6, 2018 | The Ninth Circuit was right to review the Bankruptcy Court’s determination of non-statutory insider status for clear error (rather than de novo). Read the opinion here.

Mar. 21, 2018 | The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 did not strip state court of jurisdiction to adjudicate class actions alleging only 1933 Securities Act violations, nor did it authorize removing such suits from state to federal court. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Mar. 19, 2018 | Notice and an opportunity to respond are needed before a district court elects to decide factual disputes regarding exhaustion. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Mar. 5, 2018 | Have questions about the PA IOLTA Board? If so, visit their FAQ page located here.

Mar. 6, 2018 | The Disciplinary Board has amended its Rules of Organization and Procedure to modify Rule §91.173, pertaining to approval and termination of eligible institutions, and Rule §89.206, pertaining to transmission of the record by the Board to the Supreme Court. The modification to Rule §91.173 requires that in order to be approved as a depository for trust accounts, an eligible institution must agree to comply with IOLTA regulations. Further, failure of an eligible institution to comply with IOLTA regulations may be a cause for termination of the eligible institution. The modification to Rule §89.206 eliminates the requirement that the Board file a statement of taxable expenses with the Court at the time it transmits the record. Read more here.

Mar. 9, 2018 | The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is planning to recommend to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that it adopt amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement (''Pa.R.D.E.'') 219(k) relating to the administrative change in status from administrative suspension to inactive status. Read more here.

Mar. 14, 2018 | Do you have a new professional liability insurance status to report? If so, please use the form that’s available here.

Mar. 22, 2018 | The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Pa. Supreme Court amendments to Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.14, 1920.42, 1920.46, 1920.51, 1920.53, 1920.72, 1920.73, and 1920.74. Read more here.

Mar. 26, 2018 | Comments on the proposed amendments to Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement relating to annual registration of attorneys (status changes) are due 4/2. More info here.

Mar. 27, 2018 | Non-economic damages for items such as embarrassment, humiliation, loss of reputation and mental anguish are available to plaintiffs in actions brought under the whistleblower law. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 29, 2018 | The Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Court has been amended. Read the order here, the new policy here, and the explanatory report here.

Mar. 30, 2018 | Pa. Supreme Court examines the scope of a civil penalty applicable to violations of environmental protection statutes regulating the entry of contaminants into any of the waters of the Commonwealth. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Mar. 16, 2018 | Pa. Superior Court examines what proof is necessary to authenticate social media evidence, such as Facebook postings and communications. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 28, 2018 | Trial court erred in finding that the warrantless draw of Appellee’s blood was not justified by the exigent circumstances doctrine. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Mar. 12, 2018 | The most recent edition of the PLJ Opinions contains cases on a petition to open judgement, negligence and criminal appeals. Read it

Mar. 23, 2018 | Want to read recent opinions on criminal appeals issued by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas? If so, make sure to read the most recent edition of the PLJ Opinions here.

February

US Supreme Court

Feb. 1, 2018 | The Eleventh Circuit erred in basing its refusal to issue a certificate of appealability in petitioner’s habeas corpus case on the ground that jurists of reason couldn’t dispute that the District Court’s ruling on petitioner’s procedurally defaulted juror bias claim was correct.

Feb. 6, 2018 | Police officers had probable cause to arrest partygoers for holding a raucous, late-night party in a house they didn’t have permission to enter. Read the opinion here.

Feb. 21, 2018 | In interpreting an unambiguous collective-bargaining agreement, the Sixth Circuit should have employed ordinary principles of contract law instead of relying on inferences to presume that the agreement vested retiree benefits for life. Read the opinion here.

Feb. 27, 2018 |In cases governed by 42 USC 1997(e)(d), which provides that “a portion of [a prevailing prisoner’s civil rights] judgment (not to exceed 25 percent) shall be applied to satisfy the amount of attorney’s fees awarded against the defendant,” district courts must apply as much of the judgment as necessary, up to 25%, to satisfy the award. Read the opinion here.

Feb. 28, 2018 | When determining whether Bankruptcy Code 546(e)’s securities safe harbor saves a transfer that the trustee seeks to invalidate under the trustee’s “avoiding powers,” the only relevant transfer is the transfer that the trustee seeks to avoid, not the component parts of that transfer. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Feb. 7, 2018 | Attorneys’ fees may only be awarded as “costs” under Rule 41(d) when the substantive statute under which the lawsuit was filed defines costs to include attorneys’ fees. Read the opinion here.

Feb. 13, 2018 | A collection letter sent to collect a time-barred debt that makes a settlement offer to accept payment in settlement of the debt could violate the FDCPA’s general prohibition against any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Feb. 2, 2018 | On January 25, 2018, effective May 1, 2018, upon the recommendation of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee, the Pa. Supreme Court adopted new Rule 576.1 (Electronic Filing and Service of Legal Papers) and the amendment of Rules 113 (Criminal Case File and Docket Entries), 114 (Orders and Court Notices; Service; and Docket Entries), and 576 (Filing and Service by Parties) to provide procedures for the use of the statewide electronic filing system as a local option. Read the order here, the new rule here, and the final report here.

Feb. 5, 2018 | The Civil Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the adoption of Pa.R.C.P. No. 241 governing motions for award of counsel fees. More info here.

Feb. 9, 2018 | Rules 1915.1, 1915.4-3, 1940.2, and 1940.5 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Read the order here and the new rule here.

Feb. 12, 2018 | Rules 1910.16-2 (Support Guidelines. Calculation of Monthly Net Income), 1910.16-4 (Support Guidelines. Calculation of Support Obligation, Formula) and 1910.16-7 (Support Guidelines. Awards of Child Support When There are Multiple Families) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Read the order here, and the new rules here.

Feb. 16, 2018 | The Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee proposes the amendment of Rule 1151 to provide for the appointment of counsel for a dependent child 18 years of age or older. Read the notice of proposed rulemaking here.

Feb. 20, 2018 | Pa. Supreme Court adopts remedial redistricting plan which shall be implemented in preparation for the May 15, 2018 primary election. Read the opinion here, and view more information here.

Feb. 23, 2018 | A non-Pennsylvania resident may bring suit under the UTPCPL against a Commonwealth-headquartered business based on transactions that occurred out-of-state. Read the opinion here.

Feb. 26, 2018 | The Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the Amendment of Pa. O.C. Rules 2.1, 4.6, and 7. Read more here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Feb. 19, 2018 | A jury instruction containing an incorrect definition of a term critical to a disputed factual issue is fundamentally erroneous and entitles the affected party to a new trial. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Feb. 14, 2018 | The 2/16 PLJ Opinions is available and contains cases on criminal appeals and a case on the Historic Review Commission. Read it here.

January

US Supreme Court

Jan. 15, 2018 | 11th Circuit erred in basing its refusal to issue certificate of appealability in petitioner’s habeas corpus case on the ground that the jurists of reason could not dispute that the District Court’s ruling on petitioner’s procedurally defaulted juror bias claim was correct. Read the opinion here.

Jan. 26, 2018 | Title 28 U.S.C. 1367(d)’s instruction to “toll” a state limitations period while a supplemental state-law claim is pending in federal court means to hold it in abeyance, i.e., to stop the clock. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Jan. 2, 2018 | Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 462 is amended and the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 460 is revised. Read the order here, the new rule here, and the final report here.

Jan. 16, 2018 | Rule 205.6 (Confidential Information and Confidential Documents. Certification.) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure is adopted and Rules 229.2, 240, 1018, and 2028 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Read the order here, the rules here, and the explanatory comment here.

Jan. 17, 2018 | The Criminal Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Rules 403 (Contents of Citation), Rule 407 (Pleas in Response to Citation), 408 (Not Guilty Pleas -Notice of Trial), 409 (Guilty Pleas), 411 (Procedures Following Filing of Citation -Issuance of Summons), 412 (Pleas in Response to Summons), 413 (Not Guilty Pleas -Notice of Trial), 414 (Guilty Pleas), 422 (Pleas in Response to Citation), 423 (Not Guilty Pleas -Notice of Trial), 424 (Guilty Pleas), 454 (Trial in Summary Cases), 456 (Default Procedures: Restitution, Fines, and Costs), 470 (Procedures Related to License Suspension after Failure to Respond to Citation or Summons or Failure to Pay Fine and Costs). Comments due 2/23. Read more here.

Jan. 18, 2018 | There’s a proposed amendment to the index and appendix of Orphans’ Court and Register of Wills forms. Read more here.

Jan. 22, 2018 | The 2018 Poverty Income Guidelines are now available. View them here.

Jan. 23, 2018 | The prime rate for delay damages has been updated. Click here for more.

Jan. 24, 2018 | The Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Read the order here, the concurring/dissenting statement here, a dissenting statement here, and a dissenting statement here.

Jan. 25, 2018 | Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 590 is amended. Read the Order here, the rule here, and the report here.

Jan. 31, 2018 | There are proposed amendments of the Orphans’ Court rules. Read the proposed rules here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Jan. 3, 2018 | Effective 1/6, all documents filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that contain confidential information shall be filed in two versions, a redacted version and an unredacted version. Read more here.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Jan. 19, 2018 | The 1/19 PLJ Opinions is available and contains cases on criminal appeals. Read it here.


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