Articles + Updates

Handling Challenging Situations in Today’s Complex and Dynamic Work Environment

Employers face numerous risks on a day-to-day basis. In order to manage these risks effectively, employers must first be aware that they exist and then
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Employee Payroll Tax Withholding Deferral

Summary of Employee Payroll Tax Withholding Deferral Program On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary)
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Despite 21 Million Reasons, No Supreme Court Decision in Bad Faith Case

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was unable to reach a majority disposition in Berg v. Nationwide and dismissed the appeal, effectively upholding the Superior Court’s
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“Deems Expedient” Clause Results in Expedient Dismissal of Bad Faith Lawsuit Over Settlement of Claim

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims after finding that the insured’s claims
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FMCSA New Hours of Service Guidelines Issued for Truck Drivers

By Gilda M. Arroyo, Esq. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) has issued a Final Rule revising the hours of service regulations in an
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Citing ‘Shifting Landscape,’ Court Declares Regular Use Exclusion Invalid

The Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County recently granted an insured’s motion for partial summary judgment after holding that the regular use exclusions contained
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Employee Personal Travel During COVID-19

By Mary-Jo Rebelo, Esq. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is presenting challenging issues for employers as many employees and their families travel for summer vacations.
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PA Supreme Court Issues New Guidance for Employers Seeking to Enforce Restrictive Covenants

In a case decided on June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that for a restrictive covenant executed after the first day of
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Family Law

By Aleksandra J. Kocelko, Esq. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have most people telecommuting, purchasing essential items and practicing social distancing, the impact on family
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16 and Married No More and Other Changes from Act 18 to the Domestic Relations Statute

By Kerven M. Moon, Esq. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania General Assembly amended its Domestic Relations (title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes) statute with
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Household Exclusion Enforced: Gallagher Distinguished

The Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after holding that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Gallagher
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Analysis of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order Extending Immunity to Healthcare Professionals Responding to COVID-19

On May 6, 2020, Governor Wolf issued an Executive Order [hereinafter “Order”] to “Enhance Protections for Healthcare Professionals.” The Order decrees on two general areas:
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COVID-19 and Third Party Liability Claims in the Retail and Hospitality Industry

By Brian S. Kane, Esquire and Gerard Hornby One of the biggest risks posed to the retail and hospitality industry by the COVID-19 crisis is
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Coronavirus and the Americans with Disabilities Act: How Small and Mid-Size Businesses Can Help Protect Themselves from Litigation

By Mark T. Sottile, Esq. As the reported coronavirus death and hospitalization rates begin to level in the country’s most hard hit areas, a collective
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Despite Attorney Fee Award Six Times Greater than Contract Claim, Superior Court Affirms

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed an award of attorney’s fees in the amount of $34,850, holding that the trial court did not abuse
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Creating a Safe and Healthy Workplace for Employees During and After COVID-19

By Angela A. Cronk, Esquire Recently, the White House issued a set of federal guidelines for reopening the U.S. economy with a three-phase, state-by-state approach. 
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Returning Employees to the Office After COVID-19 Shutdowns

By Angela A. Cronk, Esquire COVID-19 has shuttered the doors of almost every business office in the Northeast. Employers have furloughed employees and cut salaries
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What is the “Standard of Care” in a Pandemic?: Medical Malpractice Defense in Response to a Public Health Emergency

By Megan B. Kelleher, Esquire In this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have been forced to walk a fine line between their longstanding and well-documented
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Superior Court Finds Reservation of Rights Letter Which Does Not Include Potential Exclusions to Be Ineffective

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently held that while reservation of rights letters from insurance companies do not need to list every potential defense to
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Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Trucking Industry and the Response From the FMCSA

Trucks move roughly 71.4% of the nation’s freight by weight.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of May 2019, the number of for-hire
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PA Supreme Court Finds Duty to Defend “Accidental” Shooting During Otherwise Intentional Acts

On April 22, 2020, in a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that an insurer had a duty to defend a Lawsuit that
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Breach of Contract Claim Dismissed in Class Action Regarding Application of New Jersey Fee Schedule, but UTPCPL Claim Proceeds

The Middle District of Pennsylvania recently dismissed a breach of contract claim against an insurer but allowed a UTPCPL claim to proceed in a putative
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Law Permitting Alcohol Home Delivery for Beer Breweries and Restaurants During, and After, the COVID-19 Crisis

By Joshua D. Brown, Esquire As with most Pennsylvania businesses, the present COVID-19 crisis has been enormously stressful and rapid fire for many restaurants, beer
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Summary Judgment Granted After Finding Insurer Reasonably Relied Upon An Independent Expert

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and dismissed a bad faith claim after finding that an insurer
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Estate Planning During COVID-19: Understanding the Basics

by Aleksandra J. Kocelko, Esquire The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increased interest in estate planning. While it’s always good to have a plan
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CARES Act’s Impact on the Bankruptcy Code

The CARES Act (see my prior posts online at Burns White's COVID Resource Center), signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, not
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Court Finds That An Insurer Does Not Act in Bad Faith by Revisiting an Acceptance of Coverage

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted a defendant insurer’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment to dismiss a bad faith claim after finding that an
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New Jersey Issues Executive Order 112 to Protect Healthcare Providers

On April 1, 2020, Governor Phil D. Murphy issued Executive Order 112. The broad-ranging decree was designed to provide legal protections to healthcare providers responding
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States Respond to COVID-19 to Protect Healthcare Workers

By Maria Granaudo Gesty, Esquire At least three states have responded to the COVID-19 state of emergency by enacting added protections for healthcare providers in
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U.S. Treasury Issues Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program

By William Buchanan, Esquire The U.S. Treasury has now issued an Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) on the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) created
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Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights COVID-19 Update – April 1, 2020

By William Buchanan, Esquire SUMMARY ON CURRENT FUNDING INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES IN THE CARES ACT AND PENNSYLVANIA COVID-19 ECONOMIC RELIEF EFFORTS Many businesses are stuck
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COVID-19 Shutdown: The Challenges and Options for Parties in the Process of Divorce

by Dorothy O'Neil, Esquire The COVID-19 shutdown has people asking a litany of questions, including what to do with children now that schools are closed,
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PA CARE Package Announced

On March 30, 2020, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the launch of the PA CARE Package. The program will focus on partnering with banks throughout
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Coronavirus Ethics Tips for Pennsylvania Lawyers

By Scott R. Eberle, Co-Chair of the Ethics and Legal Malpractice Practice Group The COVID-19 crisis has brought unique challenges to all lawyers, significantly changing
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District Court Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Extracontractual Claims for Failure to State a Claim

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss claims for statutory bad faith and violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and
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Courts Are Closed: How to Get Relief From Family Law Matters During Isolation

by Rachael C. Bowe, Esquire Due to current concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus, the Association of Pennsylvania Courts (“AOPC”) and Governor Wolf implemented procedures to
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Eastern District Court Grants Summary Judgment On Bad Faith Claim After Finding An Alleged Fifteen-Month Delay Is Not Bad Faith

A court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment after finding that the insurer did not act
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COVID-19: Impact on PA Construction Industry

COVID-19 is causing unprecedented disruption to the economy, including the construction industry. Governor Wolf’s March 19 Order came with a matrix* listing in some detail
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Custody in the Time of COVID-19: 5 Recommendations

by Aleksandra J. Kocelko, Esq. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have most people telecommuting, purchasing essential items and practicing social distancing, the impact on families
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COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know and FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been designated a pandemic. A pandemic is a global epidemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers
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Reducing Risk Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)

by Ryan J. King, Esquire Passed in 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) was intended to prevent emergency departments (EDs), and
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3rd Circuit Holds That Commercial Auto Policy Limiting UIM Coverage to Vehicles Owned by Named Insured Violates PA MVFRL

The Third Circuit recently held that an insurance policy provision limiting underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage was invalid and unenforceable to the extent that it conflicted
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PA Supreme Court Rules Allocation Scheme of Fair Share Act Doesn’t Apply to Strict Liability Asbestos Cases

by George "Jerry" S. Bobnak, Esq. and Michael H. Malin, Esq. On February 19, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion on the
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Divorce? Not Us: Understanding the Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement

by Kerven M. Moon, Esquire The term “prenuptial agreement,” often shortened to “prenup” or called a premarital agreement, often has a negative connotation. Our society
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Superior Court Confirms No Institutional Bad Faith, No UTPCPL Liability Arising From Claims Handling Misconduct

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently held that Pennsylvania does not recognize a separate cause of action for institutional bad faith under 42 Pa. C.S.
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PA Supreme Court to Provide Guidance on Application of the Mental Health Procedures Act

by Brett J. Engelkraut, Esquire Pennsylvania’s Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) provides limited liability protection for physicians, hospitals, and certain other providers who treat patients
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Brian Kane Offers Post-Tincher Updates in DRI’s The Voice

Trial attorney Brian Kane penned an article for Defense Research Institute's, The Voice, focusing on the impact that Tincher v. Omega Flex has had on
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Scrutinizing Cy Pres Class Action Settlements—Recent Court Trends

Article by Lyle Washowich, Esq. and Gerard Hornby Trial courts play a unique role in class action settlements.  Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23,
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Linde V. Linde: PA Superior Court’s Latest Take on the Business Judgment Rule

by Mary-Jo Rebelo, Esquire and Taylor Davis, Esquire Summary The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s recent opinion in Linde v. Linde, et al. offers a strong message
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PA Superior Court Holds that PTSD Could Be Covered as “Bodily Injury” if it Resulted from Physical Injury

On December 4, 2019, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a published opinion, held that post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) could be covered as “bodily injury”
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To Delete or Not Delete: When Can Patient Records be Modified?

By Courtney C. Barbacane, Esquire Maintaining complete and accurate patient records is a crucial component of quality assurance and clinical care. Whether a patient sees
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Duty to Defend – Third Circuit Reaffirms Four Corners Rule, Even if There is the Possibility of Facts Within Coverage

The Third Circuit recently held that an insurance carrier did not have a duty to defend a lawyer and his law firm against a former
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Seven Year Statute of Repose Ruled Unconstitutional

Article by Daniel J. Margonari, Esq. On October 31, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Yanakos v. UPMC, 10 WAP 2018 (Pa. 2019), removed the
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Western District Declines to Extend Gallagher Analysis to Regular Use Exclusion

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently held that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Gallagher v. GEICO does not
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Advanced Directives and Incapacity: When Should a Person’s Wishes be Overridden?

Article by Holli K. Bott, Esq. Burns White recently handled a matter in which a hospital sought to change a patient’s code from Full Code
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DataQs: How and Why Trucking Companies Should Challenge FMCSR Violations

Article by David R. Chludzinski, Esq. For most companies in the commercial trucking industry, managing safety and managing costs are two key priorities. Managing costs
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Listen to Tom Kelly Share Workers’ Compensation Defense Insights on WWDB-AM Labor Show

Hear Thomas C. Kelly's legal insights and discussion on defending Workers' Compensation matters in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a guest on
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Unlisted Resident Driver Exclusion

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently affirmed the Superior Court’s order holding that the unlisted resident driver exclusion (“URDE”) in an automobile insurance policy is
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Impact of ‘Berg v. Nationwide’: Will It Change Bad Faith Law in PA?

Article by Kathleen Dapper, Esq. and Daniel Twilla, Esq., published on the Legal Intelligencer   Published on August 16, 2019 On its face, the Supreme Court’s
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The Risk of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Opioid-Prescribing Physicians

Article by Andrew Hazi, Esq. As the nation’s opioid epidemic continues, physicians are increasingly facing scrutiny with regard to their prescription practices.  Prescription opioids are
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Middle District Holds That De Minimis Procedural Defect In Removal Does Not Require Remand

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently denied an insured’s motion to remand, holding that a de minimis procedural defect
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Eastern District Holds that Four Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Gallagher Claims

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held that the four year statute of limitations for breach of contract claims
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Off the Rails: Preparing for and Handling Derailment Claims

Article by Nicole Bazzy, Esq. July 2019 marks the sixth anniversary of one of the largest train derailment disasters in North American history. It happened
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O’Neil Explores ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ as a Trend in the US

Conscious uncoupling is not just for celebrities. Law firms are capitalizing on its current popularity, and recommending the process for anyone filing for divorce interested
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U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters Regarding FLSA Compliance

On July 1, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued three new opinion letters from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”), clarifying
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Eastern District Grants Summary Judgment to Insurer on Coverage and Bad Faith Claims

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to both the coverage and
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Superior Court Holds that Extrinsic Evidence Should Not Be Considered When Determining Duty to Defend

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently held that extrinsic evidence could not be used in determining whether an insurer had a duty to defend. See
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U.S. Supreme Court Holds Plaintiffs May Not Recover Punitive Damages In Maritime Unseaworthiness Cases

On June 24, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that a plaintiff may not recover punitive damages on a claim of unseaworthiness in a
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Crisis Management: Is Your Organization Prepared to Execute a Rapid Response?

By Stuart T. O'Neal III, Esquire and Anne Schmidt Frankel, Esquire Allegations of sexual assault. Violence in the workplace. Claims of professional misconduct. These incidents
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Proposed Changes to Medical Malpractice Venue Rules Met with Opposition; Decision Delayed for Now

Article by Ashley Griffin The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act, otherwise known as the MCARE Act, 40 P.S. §1303.101, et. seq., was
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Effective Hospital Policies Can Shield Nurses From Liability

Article by David Johnson, published on Law360 Posted on May 7, 2019 Nurses play a critical role in the provision of health care services. From
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Eastern District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Insured on Bad Faith Claim

Judge McHugh of The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted summary judgment in favor of an insured on a
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Pennsylvania’s New Cyber Security Landscape

Article by Taylor Wantz and Lyle Washowich, Esq. On November 21, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, holding that employers have a duty
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Grants Appeal in $21 Million Bad Faith Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted the petition for allowance of the appeal in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Inc., 2019 WL 1417141 (Pa.
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Injured Third Party Has No Standing to Argue No Coverage for Insured’s Defense Costs

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently found that, while an injured third party has standing to defend against declaratory
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Department of Labor Proposes New Law for Overtime Pay

On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would entitle an additional 1.3 million
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Conclusory Allegations of Bad Faith Are Insufficient to Meet Federal Pleading Standard

Several federal district courts in Pennsylvania recently held that a bad faith count in a complaint cannot survive a motion to dismiss where the claim
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How to Keep a Business Through a Divorce

By William J. Donovan and Dorothy C. O’Neil No one enters a marriage expecting it to end. Further, most people do not plan for their
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Mass Tort Refresher: Plaintiffs Attorneys Trolling for the Risk-Adverse Defendant

Article by Kevin Alexandersen, published in the Legal Intelligencer Posted on January 24, 2019 It has become commonplace in many jurisdictions for plaintiffs attorneys to make settlement demands
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Court Finds No Duty to Defend Unlisted Driver, Even Though Complaint Alleges Facts Suggesting Driver is Insured

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to an unlisted driver’s claims
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District Court Finds Bad Faith Claim Against Claims Adjuster Fraudulently Joined

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently denied the insureds’ motion to remand their lawsuit for breach of contract and
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It’s Not Always Black or White: How Hybrid Alternatives Are Changing ADR

Article by Joe Macerelli, published in the Legal Intelligencer  Posted on January 10, 2019 The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process consistently offers disputing parties an
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Arbitration-Related Discovery

Article by Jill Persico, Esq. Arbitration enforcement is key to transferring your case out of the Court System (and potentially a Plaintiff-friendly jury.) Before filing
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2018 Hospital Privilege Update

Article by Daniel Margonari, Esq. Once a lawsuit is brought against a hospital and the discovery process gets underway, hospitals have routinely relied on a
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Upcoming Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23

Article by Lyle Washowich, Esq. and Courtney Brennan Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23, governing class actions, will become effective December 1,
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David R. Johnson Delivers Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict for Gastroenterologist and Practice

An Allegheny County jury delivered a defense verdict in a case involving the death of a 62-year old woman from colon cancer, whose estate claimed
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Burns White Attorney Obtains Defense Verdict for Physician-Client Medical Malpractice Trial

Burns White lawyer David R. Johnson successfully defended a medical malpractice case recently in which the plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $12 million in
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Another Defense Verdict for Railroad Team, 5th in 5 Months

T.H. Lyda and Edwin Palmer received another defense verdict on behalf of a Fortune 100 railroad client after a two-week long jury trial in Erie
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Trump Administration May Have Triggered Process to Legalize Prescription Medical Marijuana

On October 10, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice for public comment on the impact of drug scheduling on the availability
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Burns White Attorneys Preserve Nominal Jury Award for Railroad in Derailment Litigation

Attorneys Dave Damico, Dan Donahoe and Nina Gusmar successfully preserved favorable trial court rulings and a minimal federal jury award for a plaintiff who sued the
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Burns White Attorneys Granted Judgment as a Matter of Law in Legal Professional Liability Action after Negotiating for and Winning a Three-Day Summary Trial of Underlying Civil Rights Action

Attorneys James R. Schadel and Kenneth N. Schott, III earned a defense verdict after successfully trying an underlying civil rights action that formed the factual
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Another Defense Verdict for Railroad Team, 5th in 5 Months

T.H. Lyda and Edwin Palmer received another defense verdict on behalf of a Fortune 100 railroad client after a two-week long jury trial in Erie
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Burns White Attorneys Granted Motion for Summary Judgment for Medical Center

Attorneys, Stuart O'Neal, Sean Maravich, Katherine Senior, and Amy Riley obtained a dismissal of the firm's client, a large regional medical center, pursuant to a
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Lyda, Railroad Team Secure Defense Verdict

T.H. Lyda, Dan Hampton, and Burns White’s Railroad Practice Group recently received a defense verdict in a multi-million dollar ride-quality case on behalf of a
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Railroad Group Secures Appellate Victory in Case Interpreting Release

The Burns White Transportation and Appellate Practice Groups recently won a significant victory in the Pennsylvania Superior Court in a case for a railroad client
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Medical Malpractice: Reginelli Peer Review Case Update

On March 27, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling significantly impacting Pennsylvania’s peer review protections. The Court in Reginelli v. Boggs held that
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Proposed Changes to H-4 Visas Could Impact Families

Recently proposed changes to immigration policies will undoubtedly impact many individuals currently in the United States with H1-B and H-4 visas. While many individuals are
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Attorneys Lyda and Palmer Obtain Defense Verdict for Railroad Clients

Following a jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, T.H. Lyda, Esquire and Edwin B. Palmer, Esquire obtained a defense
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2018 New Year’s Resolution: Get a Divorce?

By Dorothy Wolbert It’s an exciting time of year! Everywhere you turn, people are buzzing about their New Year’s resolutions, and the positive changes they’re
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How Will the New Tax Bill Affect Alimony and Child Support in Pennsylvania?

By Dorothy Wolbert With approval of the new tax bill, changes to the tax code could significantly affect parties going through a divorce or child
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The Holidays: A Time for Cheer or a Time for Jeer?

By Dorothy Wolbert The first signs have already appeared: there are lights strung up around businesses, wreaths lining the streets, holiday family pictures popping up
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Cyber Crime: Liability and Prevention in Retail and Hospitality

Attorney Stephanie Solomon's article, Cyber Crime: Liability and Prevention in Retail and Hospitality, was recently featured in DRI's The Voice. Read the full article to
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OSHA Temporarily Delays the Effective Date of the Beryllium Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has temporarily delayed the effective date of its final rule on occupational exposure to Beryllium from March 10, 2017
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ATTORNEY BLOG: What happens to a homeowner’s association’s unpaid assessments when the mortgage company forecloses against the unit?

By: Craig A. Goddy, Esq. One of the questions the Real Estate and Property Services team often gets asked by the homeowner’s associations and condominium
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LEGAL UPDATE: Here’s what you need to know about the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration

The Ohio Supreme Court held yesterday that abandoned mineral interests were not automatically extinguished under the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA).
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Tips for Preparing Pennsylvania Employers for Medical Marijuana Act Implementation

Article by Laura Benson On April 17, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (the Act), making Pennsylvania the 24th state
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GROUP BLOG: Are internship programs harming or helping your business?

During the summer, organizations across the country rely on interns to perform work that they would ordinarily pay an employee to perform. In his most
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LEGAL UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Labor announces interim final rules that will increase OSHA’s maximum civil penalties by 78%

By: Daivy P. Dambreville, Esq. The U.S. Department of Labor has announced two interim final rules to adjust civil penalty amounts, which include penalties assessed
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LEGAL UPDATE: Labor Department doubles overtime pay threshold for full-time employees

Associate Katherine J. McLay addresses the Labor Department's new final rule to increase the salary threshold for overtime coverage from $23,660 to $47,476. Click here
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LEGAL UPDATE: OSHA issues final rule requiring certain employers to provide injury and illness data for public disclosure

By: Daivy P. Dambreville, Esq. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on May 11, 2016, requiring
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GROUP BLOG: Eastern District Court says out-of-state employees working remotely fall under PA jurisdiction in breach of contract claim

In her latest post for the Employment Law Blotter, Associate Katherine J. McLay looks at a recent decision made by the U.S. District Court for
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Avoiding Unjust Enrichment Claims Using Two Simple Words

Article by Kenneth Schott, III Ford Motor Company has proven once again that well-worded employment contracts can prevent unfavorable results in court and protect valuable
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Constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Grandparent Statute under question in D.P. and B.P. vs. G.J.P and A.P.

This article was published in the March 18, 2016 issue of the Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyers Journal. On September 8, 2015, Judge Smail, Court of
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GROUP BLOG: EEOC proposes changes to employer EEO-1 reports

In her post for the Employment Law Blotter, Associate Katherine J. McLay addresses the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's proposed changes to its Employer Information
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GROUP BLOG: EEOC says sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination in two recently filed federal lawsuits

In his latest post for the Employment Law Blotter, Joshua A. Brand updates employers on two recent lawsuits filed by the EEOC under Title VII
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Evidence of employee misconduct acquired post-termination not a complete defense

Article by Laura Benson Suppose that during the discovery phase of a lawsuit against you by a former employee, you uncover evidence that this former
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Collaborative divorce is the future of family law

Family Law Co-Chair Dorothy Wolbert writes about the collaborative divorce process and its many benefits in her latest blog post on the family law website.
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GROUP BLOG: Third Circuit rules that temporary workers are entitled to protection under Title VII

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held in Faush vs. Tuesday Morning, Inc. that a temporary worker hired by a staffing company could sue
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GROUP BLOG: Third Circuit addresses whether meal period restrictions are violations under the FLSA in Babcock vs. Butler County

In his most recent post for the Employment Law Blotter, Associate Sammy Sugiura Jr. looks at the possible implications the ruling in Babcock vs. Butler
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ATTORNEY BLOG: How to choose your family law attorney

Co-Chair of the Family Law Group, Dorothy Wolbert, provides some pointers on what to keep in mind when looking for a family law attorney. Click
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LEGAL UPDATE: Ohio Supreme Court issues ODMA ruling

Energy Associate Sean W. Triskett examines the impact the Nov. 5, 2015 ruling of Chesapeake Exploration, LLC v. Buell will have in resolving the significant
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Employers Should Use Caution When Considering Unlimited Vacation Policies

Article by Angela Cronk LinkedIn recently announced that it is implementing an “unlimited vacation” policy, causing a flurry of media attention and leaving many employees
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GROUP BLOG: Class action lawsuits targeting healthcare facilities for missed meal breaks are on the rise

In his latest post for the Employment Law Blotter, Joseph Gordon examines the significant increase in wage and hour cases involving allegations that employees at
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GROUP BLOG: Third Circuit decision benefits employers in suspension with pay claims under Title VII

In Joshua Brand's most recent Employment Law Blotter post, he examines the Third Circuit Court's recent decision in Jones v. Southeastern Pa. Transp., Auth. (SEPTA)
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Recent decision in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District) muddles IRE process in Workers’ Compensation Act

By: Joseph C. Romano, Esq. In a significant and surprising decision in Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District), No. 1024 C.D. 2014 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2015),
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Questions remain regarding probate transfers as savings events under ODMA

Energy Associate Sean W. Triskett addresses some questions that remain regarding probate title transfers as savings events under ODMA in his latest blog post. Click
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Is a title opinion subject to attorney-client privilege?

Associate Brandon J. Lucki examines whether a title opinion is subject to attorney-client privilege in the following blog post.
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GROUP BLOG: Deliberate intent statute among changes made by WV legislature in 2015 session

In 2014, Republicans took the helm of both chambers in West Virginia, leading to monumental changes in the composition of its legislature. Further changes to
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GROUP BLOG: Where Did Abercrombie Go Wrong?

In a follow up blog post for the Employment Law Blotter, Associate Sasha E. Miller looks at the recent Supreme Court Ruling in Equal Employment
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Supreme Court rules for marriage equality of same-sex couples

In a historic ruling today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges, determining that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Click here to
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GROUP BLOG: EEOC says restricting a transgender employee’s access to female restroom until after sex reassignment surgery can be discrimination under Title VII

In Lusardi v. McHugh, Secretary of Army, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that a transgender employee was subject to disparate treatment because she was
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Existing Sex Discrimination Guidelines are About to Get a Makeover

Article by Laura Benson On January 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to rescind the current Sex Discrimination
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Family Law Co-Chair Named to Pennsylvania Rising Stars List

Family Law Group Co-Chair Dorothy C. Wolbert was selected for the 2015 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list, a distinction given to no more than 2.5% of the top
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GROUP BLOG: Health-contingent wellness programs offer greater incentive, pose greater risk

To many, employee wellness programs seem like a win-win for both employees and employers: employees are happier and healthier, and employers could decrease the cost
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GROUP BLOG: Poorly written social media policies can lead to NLRA violations

For better or worse, social media gives every person a powerful way to express his or her thoughts. Employers have been finding out recently how
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Objective performance evaluations and progressive discipline help minimize exposure

Article by Douglas Hart The soaring number of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and employment-related litigation claims initiated over the past
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GROUP BLOG: Tips for minimizing liability when disciplining an employee following a leave of absence under the FMLA

With increasing frequency, employees are bringing “FMLA retaliation” lawsuits against employers when they are disciplined, particularly when the discipline results in termination of employment. While
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LEGAL UPDATE: Proposal to amend PA Dormant Oil and Gas Act would benefit both landowners and drillers

By: Jennifer L. Beresky, Esq. On January 21, 2015, House Bill 67 was referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the Pennsylvania House
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GROUP BLOG: Must employees disclose their religion to their employers? It depends: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.

Later this month, Abercrombie & Fitch, the brand made for the “popular kids”, will have its chance to argue that without explicit notification from the
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GROUP BLOG: The EEOC’s mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims under question in EEOC v. Mach Mining

On Jan. 13, the Supreme Court heard arguments in EEOC v. Mach Mining, a case that could tame, what some employer groups have called, the
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ATTORNEY BLOG: OSHA may be expanding its recordkeeping requirements to match its five-year retention policy

By: Cressinda “Chris” D. Schlag, Esq. During the first week of December, OSHA held a meeting with the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Pa. Governor-elect’s policy changes to impact natural gas industry

By: Jennifer L. Beresky, Esq. In a decisive election this past November, Democrat Tom Wolf defeated sitting Pennsylvania governor and Republican, Tom Corbett, running on
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ATTORNEY BLOG: What you need to know about OSHA’s intensifying focus on fracking operations

By: Cressinda “Chris” D. Schlag, Esq. Over the past couple of years, OSHA has intensified its focus on the oil and gas industry, leading to
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GROUP BLOG: Compensable activities under FLSA still unclear after unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk

Federal law requires an employer to pay an employee for any activity that is integral and indispensable to the job they were hired to do.
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LEGAL UPDATE: Pennsylvania remains a Second Restatement jurisdiction: The impact of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc.

By: Stephanie Solomon, Esq. and Nichole Humes, Esq. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has politely declined an invitation to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products
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Intermittent Family Medical Leave: A Delicate Balance of Rights

Article by Angela Cronk The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 29 U.S. Code § 2601, et. seq, has been in effect for more
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GROUP BLOG: West Virginia Wage Payment Collection Act — Class actions can apply to out-of-state employers

As a follow up to a previous post, Ryan Mick provides a brief primer on class action claims brought under the West Virginia Wage Payment
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LEGAL UPDATE: OSHA accepting comments on proposed changes for regulations on chemical management and PELs

By: Cressinda D. Schlag On Oct. 9, 2014, OSHA published a Request for Information (RFI) on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) in the
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LEGAL UPDATE: OSHA announces top 10 violations for 2014

By: Cressinda D. Schlag At the end of September, OSHA released its list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards in violations resulting from
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NLRB Holds That a Jimmy John’s Franchisee had Unfair Labor Practices, Protects Employees’ Free Speech

Article by Laura Benson On April 21, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that a franchisee of the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain committed
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LEGAL UPDATE: OSHA tightens severe injury reporting requirements for employers in final rule

In the final rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements released on Sept. 11, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and
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GROUP BLOG: West Virginia’s Wage Payment Collection Act: Employers’ Failure to Pay Final Wages Can Be Costly

The West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA), at first glance, is relatively straightforward. However, scenarios can arise that will frustrate compliance for the
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ADA 101: Types of reasonable accommodations employers should make for four common disabilities

Article by Laura Benson Since July 26, 2014 marked the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), let’s take a more in-depth look
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Employers Should Tread Lightly When Searching Social Media in the Recruitment Process

Article by Douglas Hart Thanks to easier accessibility via smartphones and other mobile devices, social media is everywhere — in the home, at the grocery
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Two recent Commonwealth Court decisions show the need for thorough investigations involving alleged injuries sustained on employer premises

By: Joseph C. Romano, Esq. The Commonwealth Court recently issued two decisions relating to issues involving course and scope of employment and premises liability: Ace
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LEGAL UPDATE: Commonwealth Court of Pa. limits authority of PUC to regulate local oil and gas development

By: Kevin R. Green In a three-to-two split decision on July 17, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in Robinson Tp., Washington County v. Com.
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GROUP BLOG: The impact that Pa. Federal District Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage will have on private employers and businesses

On May 21, 2014, the federal district court in Harrisburg decided Whitewood v. Wolf. The District Court held that it was unconstitutional for Pennsylvania to
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GROUP BLOG: 10 million reasons for taking a well-reasoned approach to criminal screening policies

How much is a second chance worth? $10 million? Sixty cities and counties and twelve states currently comprise the growing “ban the box” movement in
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LEGAL UPDATE: FDA issues final rule and guidance on records access as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act

By: T.H. Lyda April 3, 2014 — Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the adoption of the interim final rule “Establishment, Maintenance, and
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LEGAL UPDATE: Pa. Supreme Court rejects reconsideration of Act 13 decision

By: Cressinda D. Schlag On February 21, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected lawyers' arguments on behalf of Commonwealth agencies and officials in Robinson Township
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LEGAL UPDATE: Pa. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Tooey v. AK Steel Corporation impacts asbestos litigation against employers

By: Nichole E. Humes, Esq. On November 22, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a ruling that dramatically impacts the nature of asbestos litigation
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Pa. Supreme Court accepts appeal addressing Restatements

By: John Cromer, Esq. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally accepted an appeal to directly address the question of the “Battle of the Restatements.” In
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ATTORNEY BLOG: The Third Circuit weighs in on the battle of the Restatements

By: Stephanie Solomon, Esq. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently declined a request to accept an interlocutory appeal on a question
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LEGAL UPDATE: New West Virginia business court opened on Oct. 10, 2012

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals voted 5-0 to approve a new trial court rule establishing a Business Court Division in West Virginia. The
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ATTORNEY BLOG: The Food Safety Modernization Act — where do we stand 20 months after its enactment?

By: T.H. Lyda, Esq. and Edwin B. Palmer, Esq. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4,
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Aug. 16, 2012 decision continues battle of the restatements in product liability actions

By: Stephanie Solomon, Esq. Lynn v. Yamaha Golf-Car Co., Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-01059 (W. D. Pa. Aug. 16, 2012) Pennsylvania state and federal courts have
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LEGAL UPDATE: Ohio legislators approve tougher oil and gas well regulations

On Thursday, May 24, the Ohio House and the Senate approved Senate Bill 315, an energy bill with provisions regulating the drilling and hydraulic fracturing
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ATTORNEY BLOG: PBA Annual Convention addresses need for bankers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder

By: Lyle D. Washowich, Esq. At the 2012 Pennsylvania Bankers Association (PBA) Annual Convention, consensus centered on the need for bankers to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in
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ATTORNEY BLOG: EPA study concludes that well water is safe to drink in Dimock, Pa.

By: T.H. Lyda, Esq. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that drinking water is safe to consume in Dimock, Pa., a town that has
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LEGAL UPDATE: FRSA Jury Awards $1 Million in Punitive Damages to Plaintiff

Last week, a jury awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages to plaintiff, Andy Barati in a Federal Rail Safety Act
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LEGAL UPDATE: Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose

Historically, the doctrine of nullum tempus occurit regi (time does not run against the king), provided a defense to the affirmative defense of the statute
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LEGAL UPDATE: U.S. EPA’s first draft report on effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water available for public comment

The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") just released its first comprehensive draft report examining whether the process of hydraulic fracturing contaminates drinking water supplies.
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Consumer financial protection bureau: Essential nuts and bolts for the residential mortgage markets

By: Lyle D. Washowich, Esq. While the history of its origin has been well-documented, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is finally here. Approximately sixty
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LEGAL UPDATE: The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision that reverberated through the natural gas industry

By: T.H. Lyda, Esq. and Jeffery D. Roberts, Esq. September 7, 2011 – The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision that reverberated through the natural gas
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LEGAL UPDATE: Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirms District Court decision in products liability lawsuit

July 15, 2011 – This week, The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a District Court decision in the case of
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LEGAL UPDATE: Governor Corbett signs tort reform bill limiting civil liability

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 28, 2011 – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed into law Senate Bill 1131, which limits the liability for the negligence of
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LEGAL UPDATE: Supreme Court defines proper standard of causation under FELA

By: T.H. Lyda, Esq. and Edwin B. Palmer, Esq. June 23, 2011 — The Supreme Court of the United States today announced its decision in the
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LEGAL UPDATE: What employers need to know about the new ADAAA

By: Dean F. Falavolito, Esq. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) officially took effect on May 24, 2011. The new law made significant changes
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ATTORNEY BLOG: An unfortunate trend – Immigration-related cases make up the largest category of federal crimes

By: Francis D. Wymard, Esq. About 36% of all criminal cases filed in federal district courts in late 2009 and early 2010 involved immigration-related offenses,
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LEGAL UPDATE: Supreme Court expands scope of employee discrimination cases

By: Dean F. Falavolito, Esq. Last week, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, a much-anticipated decision that will greatly expand
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LEGAL UPDATE: NLRB settles case regarding employee Facebook post

By: Dean F. Falavolito, Esq. When the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed suit against an employer in November of 2010 for terminating an employee
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ATTORNEY BLOG: Validating our support of alternative billing arrangements

By: David B. White, Esq. When our firm was founded in 1987, we sought to bring a progressive, pro-active approach to representing our clients, with
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ATTORNEY BLOG: U.S. financial crisis – the lost story?

By: Lyle Washowich, Esq. Arguably the "lost" story during the U.S. financial crisis is (and has been) the profound impact of this crisis on the
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2010 Employment Law Newsletter

Click here to download the 2010 Employment Law Newsletter
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Identify and Manage Risks Arising From the Use of BIM

By: Chad A. Wissinger, Esq & Michael J. Cremonese, Esq Complete article from the 2010 Legal Intelligencer Construction Supplement available in PDF form here
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US v Stricker et al

By: Medicare Team Recently the United States Government, on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), filed a recovery action against defendant
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Insurance Bad Faith Case Law Update

By: John B. Cromer, Esq. In an important procedural case, The Hon. R. Stanton Wettick, Jr., of the Court of Common Please of Allegheny County,
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Podcast – Medicare Attorney Talks About Medicare Compliance & Railroad Industry

From the Legal Talk Network - podcast available featuring Burns White Medicare attorney Benjamin Basista: "As of January 1, 2010, there will be new rules
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Genuine Science or Unscientific Speculation Offered by a Genuine Scientist?

By: Edwin B. Palmer, Esq. COURTS APPEAR TO BE TAKING A FIRM LINE AGAINST EXPERTS WHO OFFER OPINIONS IN TOXIC TORT CASES WITHOUT CONSIDERING EXPOSURE
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Superior Court puts limits on duties of insurance brokers

By: John B. Cromer, Esq. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued its decision in Wisniski v. Brown & Brown Ins. Co. of PA, No. 876
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Medicare to assess penalties for late eligibility filings beginning in summer 2009 for WC and liability cases

The attorneys at Burns White would like to bring to your attention an important Medicare issue that will be affecting liability and workers' compensation cases
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Supreme Court favors employees in setting new standard for the filing of retaliation claims against employers

By: Employment Law Team On June 22, 2006, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that greatly affects the landscape of employment law,
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