By Jaime Bochet
Of the Legal Staff
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.)
Leading today's paper is a 3rd Circuit class action case by U.S. Courthouse Correspondent Shannon P. Duffy: In a setback for cable television giant Comcast Corp., a federal appeals court has refused to de-certify a class action antitrust suit brought by consumers who claim the company set out to establish a monopoly in the Philadelphia market. The suit alleges that Comcast and its would-be competitors struck a series of deals in which they "swapped" assets and customers so that each company would have "clusters" of markets. Those deals gave Comcast monopoly power, the suit says, because its market share of subscribers in the Philadelphia area increased from 23.9 percent in 1998 to 77.8 percent by 2002.
Below the fold, reporter Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that a complaint against Kline & Specter filed with the Disciplinary Board has been dismissed, according to the plaintiffs law firm and its ex-associate who raised the matter. What was alleged in the complaint is unknown, but its existence was revealed during litigation between Kline & Specter and attorney Robert F. Englert Jr. over his departure from the firm. When the matter was referred to, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. closed the courtroom.
Our Page 3 Regional News story today is another class action article, this time from our New Jersey affiliate, the New Jersey Law Journal: A class action suit under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can proceed against a mortgage bank and a Cherry Hill, N.J., law firm for sending payment-due notices that included fees for a yet-to-be filed foreclosure. Judge Jerome Simandle of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey held on Aug. 18 in DeHart v. U.S. Bank that the allegations against the Udren Law Offices and its client, U.S. Bank, were sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss.
The Legal's contributed columns begin on Page 5, with the second of two "Legal Marketing" articles by Gina F. Rubel on sorting out social media for lawyers. "It's important to remember that there are hundreds of ways to interact online. The tools outlined in this article stand out as leading contenders for lawyers and law firms as they relate to networking, search engine optimization and marketing."
Page 7 is our "Young Lawyer" or "YL" page, which features an article from the The Legal's YL Editorial Board. They write, "We were saddened to learn about a 32-year-old corporate associate who passed away in June of an apparent heart attack. Some commentators have suggested a connection between her premature death and her workload, which had been especially severe in the weeks immediately preceding her death. Let us all be reminded to make sure that neither we nor our colleagues are placing ourselves at risk through an unsustainable, demanding workload."
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!