Rule Amendments and Court Opinions of Interest to ACBA Members

For past court capsules, please follow the corresponding link below. 
Current | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

August

US Supreme Court

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Aug. 6, 2018 | Rules 1910.4, 1910.16, 1910.16-4, 1910.17, 1920.1, 1920.13, 1920.15, 1920.31, 1920.51, 1920.52, 1920.54, 1920.56, and 1920.74 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Read the order here and the new rules here.

Aug. 8, 2018 | The Civil Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 430 governing service by order of court, 1018.1 governing the notice to defend, and 1064 governing service in quiet title actions involving subsurface mineral, oil, and gas rights for the reasons set forth in the accompanying explanatory report. More information here.

Aug. 10, 2018 | Rule 1915.11-1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure is amended and Rules 1915.22 and 1915.23 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are adopted. More information here and here

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Aug. 16, 2018 | The Custody Act grants standing to grandparents to file for any form of physical or legal custody when their grandchild is substantially at risk due to parental behaviors. Read the opinion here.

Aug. 24, 2018 |A search warrant based on information provided by a confidential informant whose reliability has not been adequately corroborated, cannot supply the basis for either a search or an arrest. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Aug. 15, 2018 | The 8/17 PLJ Opinions is available and contains cases on criminal appeals. Read it here.

July

US Supreme Court

July 11, 2018 | There are proposed amendments to the Domestic Relations rules. Comments due 11/2. View the proposed amendments here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

July 5, 2018 | The Criminal Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the amendment of Rule 587 (Motions for Dismissal). Comments due 8/31. Read more here.

July 12, 2018 | There are proposed amendments to the Juvenile Rules. Comments due 8/31. More information here.

July 13, 2018 | Have questions about the PA IOLTA program? If so, read all about the program here.

July 18, 2018 | Pa. Supreme Court strikes Act 80 as violative of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

July 6, 2018 | A mandatory life maximum for a juvenile convicted of second-degree murder is not cruel and unusual punishment. Read the opinion here.

July 20, 2018 | Plaintiffs have two years from death of their loved ones to bring survival actions alleging medical professional negligence, even if injuries caused by alleged negligence didn't lead to death. Read the opinion here here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

June

US Supreme Court

June 18, 2018 | Minnesota’s ban on political apparel at polling places violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Read more here.

June 22, 2018 |The Government’s acquisition of petitioner’s cell-site records was a Fourth Amendment search. Read the opinion here.

June 25, 2018 | Employee stock options are not taxable “compensation” under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

June 4, 2018 | There are numerous changes to the Orphans’ Court rules. Read the order here, the new rules here and the committee report here.

June 5, 2018 | Rules 1901.3, 1901.6, 1905, 1910.4, 1910.7, 1910.11, 1910.27, 1915.3, 1915.4-4, 1915.7, 1915.15, 1915.17, 1920.13, 1920.15, 1920.31, 1920.33, 1920.75, 1930.1, 1930.6, 1953, and 1959 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Read the order here and the new rules here.

June 7, 2018 | There are proposed amendments of Pa. O.C. Rules 1.7, 2.5, 2.7, 3.7, 5.1, and 10.5. Read the proposed amendments here.

June 19, 2018 |Application of the high income child support guidelines found at Pa.R.C.P. 1910.16-3.1 requires discrete consideration of the reasonable needs of the children involved. Read the majority opinion here and the concurring opinion here.

June 21, 2018 |Pa. Supreme Court determines whether and to what extent a hospital and a health care staffing agency have a legal duty to prevent a terminated employee from causing harm to patients at another healthcare facility. Read the majority opinion here and the concurring/dissenting opinion here.

June 27, 2018 | An individual contracted to perform renovations for a restaurant doesn’t fall within the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

July 2, 2018 | Pa. Superior Court determines what forms of custody incarcerated parents retain under the 2011 revisions to Pennsylvania Custody Law. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

June 26, 2018 | The 6/22 PLJ Opinions is available and contains cases on oral agreements, landlord/tenant, and mortgage foreclosure. Read it here.

May

US Supreme Court

May 16, 2018 | The mere fact that a driver in lawful possession or control of a rental car is not listed on the rental agreement will not defeat his or her otherwise reasonable expectation of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. Read the opinion here.

May 17, 2018 | The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his defense and to insist that his/her counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experienced-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty. Read the opinion here.

May 29, 2018 | The Fourth Amendment’s automobile exception doesn’t permit the warrantless entry of a home or its curtilage in order to search a vehicle therein. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

May 3, 2018 | Find information about how attorneys can support IOLTA by clicking here.

May 7, 2018 | Pennsylvania Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure 191 is amended and the Comment to Pennsylvania Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure 140 is revised. Read the order here, the new rule/comment here and the final report here.

May 11, 2018 | Rule 403 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement (Emeritus Status) has been adopted. Read the order here and the new rule here.

May 14, 2018 |Are you interested in learning more about Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law? If so, click here.

May 21, 2018 | Court adopts new obligations for disposition of unclaimed or unidentifiable IOLTA Funds. Read more here.

May 22, 2018 | Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure 1601 and 1608 are amended. Read the order here, the new rule here and the final report here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

May 4, 2018 | Are you up-to-date on the latest Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas opinions? The Pittsburgh Legal Journal Opinions provide ACBA members with timely, precedent-setting, full text opinions, from various divisions of the Court of Common Pleas. View them here.

May 10, 2018 | The 5/11 PLJ Opinions is available and contains cases on criminal appeals. Read it here.

April

US Supreme Court

April 3, 2018 | Petitioner police officer is entitled to qualified immunity where his actions didn’t violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. Read the opinion here.

April 18, 2018 | Supreme Court affirms the Ninth Circuit’s judgment—that 18 USC 16(b), which defines violent felony for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s removal provisions, is unconstitutionally vague. Read the opinion here.

April 26, 2018 | Rules 3.1 and 3.6 of the Code of Judicial Conduct are amended. Read the new rules here.

April 27, 2018 | When the Patent Office institutes an inter partes review, it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner has challenged. Read the opinion here.

April 30, 2018 | U.S. Supreme Court affirms Second Circuit’s judgment that foreign corporations may not be defendants in suits brought under the Alien Tort Statute. Read the opinion here.

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

April 10, 2018 | Third Circuit decides a novel issue of constitutional law: Whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits a term-of-years sentence for the duration of a juvenile homicide offender’s life expectancy when the defendant’s “crimes reflect transient immaturity [and not] … irreparable corruption.” Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

April 2, 2018 | Have questions about the PA Lawyers Fund for Client Security? If so, please click here.

April 6, 2018 | Interested in viewing significant judicial decisions involving the Right-to-Know Law? View them here.

April 19, 2018 |The Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts has been amended. Click here, here, and here for more information.

April 24, 2018 | The Supreme Court amended Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure 409 to change the outcome from “termination of jurisdiction” to “dismissal of petition” when the court finds the juvenile is “not in need.” Read the order here, the new rule here, and the final report here.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

April 11, 2018 | Pa. Superior Court vacates $21 million insurance bad faith award. Read the opinion here and the dissenting opinion here.

April 16, 2018 | Like adult clients, effective representation of a child requires, at a minimum, attempting to ascertain the client’s position and advocating in a manner designed to effectuate that position. Read the opinion here.

April 25, 2018 | Rule of capture does not apply to hydraulic fracturing fissures that extend under unleased parcels. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

April 4, 2018 | The newest PLJ Opinions contains opinions on home rule, negligence, summary judgment and auto damages. Read it here.

April 12, 2018 | The 4/13 PLJ Opinions is available and contains numerous Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas opinions. Read it here.

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.


bit-x-bit