Like most events in our lives these days, Sheriff Sales of real estate have gone virtual. Bucks County, Pennsylvania has joined Philadelphia, Montgomery, Berks, Adams, and Monroe Counties in holding virtual county Sheriff Sales. An online auction company, Bid4Assets, is used by each of these counties to produce virtual sales. The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office has held two virtual town halls to introduce the platform and answer the public’s questions regarding the change.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Sales Moving to Online Platforms

The Philadelphia Municipal Court issued an Order stopping service of writs of possession and alias writs in residential eviction cases. On November 6, 2020, the court directed that any writs previously issued in any residential case cannot be served until after December 31, 2020. However, landlords can seek relief from the Order with a showing of good cause to serve the writs.

Continue Reading Another Setback for Pennsylvania Landlords

A lawsuit filed by Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Health Department (“ACHD”) against The Cracked Egg, LLC may be transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Cracked Egg is a restaurant located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Following an investigation by the ACHD in August, the restaurant was ordered to close because it did not comply with mask or facial coverings guidelines.

Continue Reading Restaurant’s Challenge to COVID-19 Declarations Could Go to Bankruptcy Court

On September 18, 2015, the Honorable Stephanie A. Mitterhoff, J.S.C. denied YMCA’s Motion for Reconsideration of the denial of its Motion for Summary Judgment as to whether it is a charitable organization and entitled to immunity pursuant to the Charitable Immunity Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:53-7 (see “CIA”). Judge Mitterhoff found that the core business of the “modern day YMCA” is a fitness center providing gym memberships including classes for various physical activities (e.g. aerobics and racquetball) for a fee.

A comprehensive analysis was conducted by Judge Mitterhoff to determine that the YMCA is not organized exclusively for religious or educational purposes, and that the sole basis for such an argument were documents such as the Articles of Incorporation, Certificates of Incorporation, and Mission Statements, which generally stated that it is an organization established to “promote a moral, spiritual, physical and mental welfare of the young men and boys of the community.”


Continue Reading No Charitable Immunity for YMCA

By way of a decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division in October 2015, a case was remanded for a new trial following the Trial Court’s granting of Motions under N.J.R.E. 702 and determining that the Emergency Medicine expert was “not qualified to render opinions as to the standards of care applicable to either defendant nurse.”

This arises out of the matter of Lauckhardt v. Jeges, 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2393. Plaintiff’s emergency medicine expert, Dr. James Bagnell, was offered to provide testimony as to the emergency room doctors and nurses. Even after Dr. Bagnell had substantially completed his testimony, both as to the doctor and the nurses, there was a Motion to bar his testimony as to the accepted standards of emergency nursing care. The Court granted the Motion pursuant to 702 based on the determination that plaintiff’s expert was “not qualified to render opinions of standards of care applicable to either defendant nurse.” The Court did not just strike the expert’s testimony regarding the nursing care, instead provided an instruction that read in substance:

Dr. Bagnell was qualified as an expert in the field of Emergency Medicine and in that regard he can render and did render opinions as to the deviations from the standards of care with regard to Dr. Jeges, but he cannot as a matter of law do that for either of the nurses…


Continue Reading An Emergency Medicine Expert Can Be Qualified to Offer Opinions as to Deviations by Emergency Room Nurses

If you were previously convicted of a crime and served your time, this will show up on your criminal record. Most employers require each job applicant undergo a criminal record check, which can mean the difference between securing a new job and losing the position to a competitor. One way to prevent this issue is to have the conviction removed from your criminal record through a process called expungement. While the law in Pennsylvania makes it difficult for individuals to have a past crime removed from their record, in some cases, it is possible.

Currently, Pennsylvania permits the expungement of misdemeanors or felonies where:

  1. The individual is 70 years of age and has been free of arrest or prosecution for 10 years following their final release from confinement or supervision; or
  2. The individual has been dead for 3 years; or
  3. The individual was convicted of a summary offense and has been free of arrest or prosecution for 5 years following the conviction.


Continue Reading Expungements in Pennsylvania

An initial meeting was held in late February 2015 to update classroom and behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers. The Advisory Committee for this meeting was formed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

In December 2014, the FMCSA initially announced that they would be forming a

In the case of Brown v. Trinidad, 2015 Pa. Super. 46 (2015), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed an $85,000 jury verdict in favor of a Plaintiff who had elected the limited tort option. In a March 9, 2015 opinion authored by Judge Lazarus, the court stated that the Philadelphia County jury’s determination that Plaintiff, Andrew Brown, sustained a serious impairment of bodily function as the result of a November 3, 2011 accident was proper.

At trial, Plaintiff presented testimony from medical expert Dr. Geoffrey Temple, who opined that Brown sustained a disc herniation at L5-S1 due to the subject accident. This injury was confirmed by MRI. Dr. Temple further testified that Brown’s injuries will have permanent effects on his life and he may require future medical treatment, including injections and/or surgery.

The jury was also presented with evidence that Brown began treatment with a chiropractor approximately three weeks after the accident when his pain became more severe. This treatment lasted for approximately five months, at which time Brown was informed that he had reached maximum medical improvement. Brown testified that he is no longer able to play with his daughter and that he has difficulty running and jumping due to his injuries.


Continue Reading Superior Court of Pennsylvania Affirms Limited Tort Verdict

In previous posts, I have written about the ever-evolving status of Facebook discovery in Pennsylvania. To briefly summarize, Pennsylvania Courts have generally held that the party seeking discovery of Facebook contents must make a threshold showing of relevance that an individual’s Facebook account is likely to contain relevant information before conducting further discovery. Such a showing is most commonly made through the discovery of relevant information within an individual’s public Facebook profile. A recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania lends some clarity regarding the limits of Facebook discovery even after a threshold showing of relevance has been made.

In the case of In re Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats, Civil Action No. 12-1011 (WD PA 2015), a class of Plaintiffs alleged that their dogs were harmed by treats manufactured by Milo’s. One such Plaintiff, Lisa Mazur, posted a Facebook entry on her public profile in which she allegedly blamed another manufacturer’s dog treat for the harm to her dog. Upon discovering this, Defendants sought further information from Mazur’s private Facebook profile.


Continue Reading Defendants Not Entitled to “Limitless” Access to Plaintiff’s Facebook Account