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Swartz Professional Liability Blog

  1. Disbarment for Not Paying Workers’ Compensation Lien and Lying About it - We briefly mentioned Norristown attorney Gregory Noonan in a previous blog post due to his arrest on charges of selling Oxycodone.  Noonan has just been disbarred on consent.  Noonan's disbarment, although it has copies of the Oxycodone arrest documents appended to it, has nothing to do with the alleged illegal ...
  2. Deweys and Don’ts - One of the malpractice avoidance tips I give in nearly every lecture is to not put anything into an e-mail you would not want to see blown-up as an exhibit at trial.  Yesterday brought added support for this maxim in the form of indictments against four of the former heads ...
  3. New Jersey Bill Seeks to Limit Statute of Limitations in Legal Malpractice Actions - NJ A1254 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee of the New Jersey State Assembly.  The bill seeks to make the statute of limitations for all professional liability actions two years, down from the current six for actions against professionals causing only economic damage.  The bill also seeks to return ...
  4. New CLE Ethics Requirement - Pa.R.C.L.E. 108 (e) has changed to increase the number of credits lawyers may earn by remote methods from four to six credits a year.  The ethics component of the annual CLE requirement was increased from one to two credit hours.  The total number of CLE credits required annually remains twelve ...
  5. $23.7 Million Settlement in Pennsylvania Legal Malpractice Lawsuit - K & L Gates and attorney Sanford Ferguson entered into a $23.7 million settlement with bankruptcy trustee Mark Kirschner late last month.  The legal malpractice action arose out of representation by K & L Gates to investigate the possibility of financial mismanagement of a company known as Le-Nature's Beverages, Inc. ...
  6. Suppression of Evidence in Mesothelioma Cases - On January 10, 2014, a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Hodges entered a sixty-five page "Order Estimating Aggregate Liability" for Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC.  Garlock manufactured asbestos gaskets, and became a frequent defendant in mesothelioma cases.  Judge Hodges noted that generally the gaskets were sealed under other asbestos, and "released asbestos ...
  7. Article About Assignment of Legal Malpractice Cases - Swartz Campbell partner, Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire, is the author of a Legal Intelligencer article on the law regarding assignment of legal malpractice cases in Pennsylvania.
  8. Pennsylvania Disciplinary Statistics for 2013 - It was another busy year for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.   Over the last year thirty-six attorneys were disbarred, fifty were suspended, five received public censure, and eleven were place on probation.  The Disciplinary Board also issued eighty informal admonitions and public and private reprimands.  The ...
  9. Attorneys Selling Drugs - The news yesterday that Malvern attorney Arthur D. Goldman was charged with selling high-end wine without a liquor license is somewhat unusual in that it involved 2,426 bottles of wine valued between $150,000 and $200,000.  What is not terribly unusual is an attorney's alleged involvement in the illegal sale of ...
  10. [/caption]Tippi Hedren, the actress best known for her part in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, recently had a nearly $1.5 legal malpractice verdict affirmed on appeal.  Ms. Hedren was injured on set in June 2006, when a">Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Legal Malpractice -

    Tippi Hedren

    Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren, the actress best known for her part in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, recently had a nearly $1.5 legal malpractice verdict affirmed on appeal.  Ms. Hedren was injured on set in June 2006, when a tarp holding a gallon of water gave way and ...

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Swartz Employee Blog

  1. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Split on Whether Physical Manifestations of Emotional Distress Qualifies as Bodily Injury for Insurance Purposes - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Split on Whether Physical Manifestations of Emotional Distress Qualifies as Bodily Injury for Insurance Purposes Whether a claimant’s physical symptoms associated with an emotional injury qualifies as a “bodily injury” is critical to determining available insurance policy limits for indemnification or, in some cases, whether a policyholder is entitled to a legal [...]
  2. PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT EXPANDS EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR LATENT OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE CLAIMS — TOOEY v A.K. STEEL DECISION MAY OPEN FLOODGATE OF ASBESTOS LAWSUITS AGAINST EMPLOYERS - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tooey v. A.K. Steel et al, No. 21 WAP 2011, 2013 WL 6150887 (Pa. Nov. 22, 2013) has newly created employer liability for long tail environmental exposure claims brought by employees, finding that the Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Act does not confer employer immunity for occupational disease claims that have manifested 300 [...]
  3. Supreme Court holds that the First Amendment Prohibits Unions From Forcing Non-members to Pay Agency Fees Subsidizing Political Speech - On June 20, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held that public sector unions must allow non-members an opportunity to opt out of special assessments and unexpected fee increases in the case of Knox v. Service Employees International Union. Specifically, the court held that a union’s failure to give non-members the opportunity to opt out of [...]
  4. NLRB Launches New Protected Activity Website - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently launched a website to raise employee awareness of protected activity. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act protects an employee’s protected concerted activity (PCA), which includes the right to discuss terms of employment and collectively express workplace concerns. The NLRB’s new website (http://www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity) describes the rights of [...]
  5. New Jersey Court Finds that Employees Have Privacy Rights for Facebook Posts - On May 30, 2012, the United States District Court of New Jersey ruled that an employee had protected privacy rights in regards to a post she had made on Facebook in the case of Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=18320919796635627349&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr) Ehling, a nurse and paramedic at Monmouth-Ocean Hospital, filed suit against Monmouth for gaining [...]
  6. National Labor Relations Board Issues Social Media Policy Report - On May 30, 2012,the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) (http://www.nlrb.gov) issued a social media report (http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d4580a375cd) summarizing the Acting General Counsel’s view on social media compliance with Sections 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act). In addition, this report provides guidance to assist employers on creating a social media policy that [...]
  7. EX-PHILADELPHIA POLICE CAPTAIN MIGHT HAVE PENSION REVOKED FOR PROTESTING AT OCCUPY PHILLY EVENT - Recently, Philadelphia retired former police captain Raymond Lewis has been in the news for having been arrested for protesting at an Occupy Wall Street event, while wearing his old uniform. According to the AP, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey sent a cease and desist letter to Lewis ordering him to stop wearing his uniform to [...]
  8. Obesity Discrimination- Has the ADAAA Opened the Door? - The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was enacted to restore Congressional intent to confer civil rights protection to persons with disabilities in the face of restrictive judicial rulings that limited the reach of the ADA to those with only the most severe physical or mental limitations. Under the expansive definition of disability conferred [...]
  9. “Ban the Box Legislation” - Employers in Philadelphia are now prohibited from requiring job applicants to disclose their criminal backgrounds until after the first employment interview. Signed into law today, the law permits employers to perform a background check or request the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history after the first interview. This legislation is aimed to prevent discrimination against [...]
  10. FLSA Anti-Retaliation Provision Protects Verbal Complaints - This term’s Supreme Court has dealt another wallop to employers, holding in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., — S.Ct. –, 2011 WL 977061 (decided March 22, 2011), that an employee can maintain an action under the FLSA for retaliation after making oral complaints. The FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision protects employees who “filed any complaint.” 29 [...]

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Swartz Auto Blog

  1. Social Networking Revisited - We have received considerable response to our initial foray into an analysis of the evidentiary value of social networking.  Plaintiffs may present one face to a defendant in bodily injury litigation and an entirely different face to friends and family on their social network page.  Let us assume that discovery ...
  2. So tell me where it hurts: Pennsylvania and Fibromyalgia Claims - A little bit of Latin makes people think you are smarter than you really are.  Maybe that is why judges, lawyers, professors and US Currency occasionally invoke a “dead language” to support an image of wisdom, stability and trustworthiness. Courts, defense attorneys and anyone who has ever cross-examined a doctor, will ...
  3. Fair Share Enacted - The Pennsylvania Legislature has now passed SB 1131, the Fair Share Act.  This bill reforms joint and several liability in Pennsylvania.  The hallmarks of the new law are as follows:  •           liability will continue to be assessed among defendants;  •           liability shall be several and not joint except where:  •           the claim seeks ...
  4. Fair share close to passage -  The Fair Share Bill, the reform of joint and several liability in Pennsylvania, is close to enactment.  The Pennsylvania House passed HB1, eliminating the 1 percent rule in Pennsylvania and making a defendant only jointly liable if the defendant is 60 percent or more responsible for the injury.  The matter then went ...
  5. Uniform rules needed in UM/UIM cases - In Pennsylvania, the adjudication of uninsured and underinsured motorist claims has undergone substantial change.  Previously, all uninsured and underinsured motorist disputes were litigated in mandatory arbitration proceedings before three lawyers chosen by counsel.  In 2005, in Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania v. Koken, the Supreme Court determined that the Insurance Department ...
  6. Joint and Several Reform Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania currently employs joint and several concepts with respect to contribution among joint tortfeasors.  As a result, a defendant found to be one percent negligent can be responsible for payment of the entire verdict in a tort claim.  This inequitable rule has come under fire. Reform efforts have been moving forward ...
  7. Philadelphia County Venue - A case which has caught the attention of the plaintiff’s bar is Silver v. Thompson, 2001 PA Super 114 ( 5/27/2011), in which Amicus briefs were filed on behalf of the plaintiff by the PA Association  of Justice and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. In Silver, plaintiff driver and passenger, ...
  8. Unmasking Plaintiffs on Facebook - The internet and social media websites have invited the real time disclosures of even the most intimate details of a user’s life. Frequently, success in defending a claim rests on attacking the plaintiff’s credibility. Plaintiffs just cannot resist the temptation to exaggerate and “over-reach” on damage claims when they talk ...
  9. Orsulak v. Penn National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company - In post-Koken auto cases, questions exist regarding joinder of tort and UIM claims, as well as the appropriate venue for the litigation of such matters.  In Orsulak v. Penn National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company, No. 12255-2010 (Luzerne 2011), Judge Joseph Van Jura addressed these issues in connection with the presentation ...
  10. Bingham v. Poswistilo, et al - In Post-Koken cases, questions arise regarding: (1) the consolidation of tort and UIM claims; and (2) the venue for UIM actions. In Bingham v. Poswistilo, et al., No. 10 CV 6026 (Lackawanna 2011), Judge Nealon of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County confronted these issues. In that case, ...

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Swartz Asbestos Blog

  1. “Every Fiber” Is Not a Substantial Causing Factor in Asbestos-related Diseases - In the case of Betz v. Pneumo Abex LLC,  the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs cannot rely on the theory that every fiber of inhaled asbestos was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s asbestos-related disease.  This decision overturns previous Superior Court decisions (Tragarz v. Keene Corp., Howard v. A.W. Chesterton Co. and Estate of Hicks), thus forcing [...]
  2. Pfizer May Now Face State Court Asbestos Liability Suits - On April 10th, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in In Re Quigley Company, Inc. decided that Pfizer can now face asbestos liability in state court over products once manufactured by its bankrupt subsidiary, Quigley, Co., thus continuing a dispute that has lasted for over 30 years. Quigley, Co. produced three [...]
  3. Pennsylvania Governor Signs “Fair Share Act” into law - On June 28, 2011, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 1131, also known as the “Fair Share Act”, which amends the Comparative Negligence Statute. The law will largely eliminate “joint-and-several” liability for all actions brought to recover damages for negligence in Pennsylvania. Under the Fair Share Act, a civil defendant found to [...]
  4. Hello world! - Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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