By Jaime Bochet
Of the Legal Staff
Good Monday morning, and welcome to your daily round-up of stories in today's edition of The Legal Intelligencer. Click the links below to access stories directly, or head to The Legal homepage. (Some stories may require registration or a paid subscription.)
The lead story on today's front page is a piece by reporters Zack Needles and Ben Present and editor-in-chief Hank Grezlak: A Lackawanna County judge e-mailed fellow Democrats in 2004 advising them how to oppose a county voting redistricting plan and urging them to not "tell anyone this petition has been assigned to me." The redistricting plan had been proposed by a Republican county administration. The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the story Aug. 18 regarding Lackawanna County Common Pleas Court Judge Terrence R. Nealon's December 2004 e-mail. In the article, Nealon admitted to writing the e-mail and to having committed "a lapse in ethical judgment." The newspaper also posted the e-mail on its website.
Also sharing the top of the page, senior reporter Gina Passarella writes that legendary Philadelphia attorney, humanitarian and former American Bar Association president Jerome J. Shestack has died at 88 from renal failure. A dean of the Philadelphia bar and advocate up to the end of his life, Shestack most recently worked as a retired partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, the firm he left in 1991 to join Wolf Block and rejoined after Wolf Block's collapse in 2009.
Below the fold, U.S. Courthouse Correspondent Shannon P. Duffy writes that a lawyer who claims that his addiction to video games caused him to botch the handling of 17 cases has been suspended from practicing law for three years by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Our Page 3 Regional News story today is a business of law story from Gina: Contingency fees not yet realized at the time of a law firm partnership dissolution must still be shared among the former partners, a divided Pennsylvania Superior Court panel has ruled. The court said in Huber v. Etkin that, under the Uniform Partnership Act, the trial court was correct to rely on the legal principle that "contingency fees realized after dissolution of a partnership are subject to distribution pursuant to each partner's share in the net profits after factoring in all proper charges or costs."
The Legal's contributed columns begin on Page 5, with our "Health Care Law" column by Vasilios J. Kalogredis and Karilynn Bayus of Kalogredis Sansweet Dearden & Burke: Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an advisory opinion (No. 2011-01) approving under the federal Physician Self-Referral statute (commonly referred to as the Stark Law) a physician recruitment arrangement that included a non-competition clause.
Page 7 is our "Public Interest" page, which features two articles: One by Baruch Kintisch of the Education Law Center, who writes that Pennsylvania lacks a long-term plan for preserving and strengthening its 3,300 public schools, which serve 1.8 million children in the commonwealth; and one by Mark J. Murphy of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, who writes that people with disabilities have been hurt by state budget cuts.
Have questions or comments about any of today's stories, or our coverage as a whole? E-mail me or any of the reporters directly. We hope you'll enjoy today's Legal!