ACBA Court Capsules
Rule Amendments and Court Opinions of Interest to ACBA Members

As a member benefit, the ACBA gathers information regarding court rule amendments and important court opinions, then publishes this information and relevant links on this web page, under the appropriate court heading. When new information is added, the ACBA will share this news on Twitter and Facebook. Also look for summaries every Tuesday in the Pittsburgh Legal Journal. ACBA Court Capsules are presented by bit-x-bit.

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

US Supreme Court

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. 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.

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.

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.