ACBA Legal Tweet Service
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. The ACBA Legal Tweet Service is sponsored by bit-x-bit.

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

US Supreme Court

Mar. 22, 2017 | A feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection only if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work—either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression—if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated. Read the opinion here

Mar. 22, 2017 |To meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 21, 2017 | Pretrial detention can violate the Fourth Amendment not only when it precedes, but also when it follows, the start of legal process. Read the opinion here

Mar. 21, 2017 | Laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for damages brought within the Patent Act §286’s 6-year limitations period. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 6, 2017 | Recusal is required when, objectively speaking, “the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge or decisionmaker is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.” Read the opinion here.

Mar. 6, 2017 | The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, including §4B1.2(a)’s residual clause, are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due Process Clause. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 6, 2017 | Where a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror’s statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 2, 2017 | U.S. Supreme Court rules that district court employed incorrect legal standard in determining that race didn’t predominate in 11 of 12 new state legislative districts drawn by the Virginia State Legislature. Read the opinion here

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Mar. 9, 2017 | Homeowners Protection Act requires ending of PMI obligation remain tied to the initial purchase price of the home. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 7, 2017 | Ex-resident can bring private causes of action for sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. against a private teaching hospital operating a residency program. Read the opinion here.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Mar. 23, 2017 | The Criminal Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the adoption of new Rule 490.1 (Procedures for Obtaining Expungement of Truancy Cases; Expungement Order). Comments due May 5. For more information click here.

Mar. 14, 2017 | There are proposed amendments to Pa.R.Crim.P. 522 (Detention of Witnesses) and proposed revisions to the comments of Pa.Rs.Crim.P. 150 (Bench Warrants) and 151 (Bench Warrant Procedures When Witness is under Age of18 Years). For more information click here

Mar. 1, 2017 | Pa. Rules of Evidence 803.1 and 804 have been amended, and the comment to Rule 613 has been revised. Read the order here, the amended rules here, and the final report here

Pennsylvania Superior Court

Mar. 23, 2017 | Court erred in ordering without a hearing that reunification with Mother is ruled out and that the DHS goal be changed to adoption. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 13, 2017 | Error in suppressing drugs that were found in a pair of pants lying on the ground in a house being searched pursuant to a valid warrant. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 8, 2017 | Mother bringing Appellee to the police station and advising him to tell the truth cannot be reasonably interpreted to rise to the level of coercion such that suppression of statements is warranted. Read the opinion here and the dissenting opinion here.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Mar. 17, 2017 | Claimant’s average weekly wage must be calculated based on how wages were earned on the date of injury, not at some other point during employment with Employer. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 13, 2017 | Inquiry of whether claimant is a temporary seasonal worker focuses on the nature of the work rather than on the period during which the business operates. Read the opinion here.

Mar. 9, 2017 | WCAB erred in applying Act 46 retroactively to resurrect a claim that had extinguished under law governing at the time of Decedent’s injury/death. Read the opinion here.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Mar. 20, 2017 | Latest PLJ Opinions contains opinions on liquor law, personal injury and criminal appeals. Read it here.

Mar. 1, 2017 | The 3/3 PLJ Opinions is available and contains numerous opinions on criminal appeals. Read it here