Welcome to your Tuesday morning round-up of stories in today’s edition of The Legal Intelligencer, which also includes this week’s edition of Pennsylvania Law Weekly. All of the links below will take you directly to today’s stories, or you can head straight over to The Legal’s homepage. (Some stories may require registration or a paid subscription.)
Today’s top story recaps the $1.79 million in funds spent by the First Judicial District for expenses related to the nascent family court project. As reporter Amaris Elliott-Engel writes, a review of family court project bank account statements, bills and contractual agreements shows the details of funds spent on the project from August 2010 to October 2011. This comes after The Legal reported prior to the summer of 2010 that the court had paid at least $1.9 million in legal fees.
On the bottom of Page 1 today, reporter Zack Needles takes a look at a recent letter from the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official that suggests relations between the two are still contentious. The letter called federal regulators’ understanding of a local well water contamination issue “rudimentary.”
In other regional news, reporter Gina Passarella writes on Page 3 about a qui tam action against Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals which was voided. A federal judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the company’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after plaintiff Bentley Hollander was found to have standing to file his false marking qui tam action against the company.
On Page 5 is today’s Legal Marketing column, in which Rita V. DeCaria and Jennifer L. Smuts warn not to overlook the opportunities available in a shifting legal marketplace.
Today’s Litigation column is on Page 7, as Madeline M. Sherry and Stephen J. Finley Jr. write that a state Superior Court case has broadened protection for communications between an attorney and his or her expert. The opinion in Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital has wide implications for Pennsylvania’s work-product privilege.
As it is Tuesday, it’s also your chance to read this week’s Pennsylvania Law Weekly. The lead story for PLW comes from reporter Ben Present, who takes a look at the state attorney general race, in which the Democrats see a unique opportunity. All three Democratic candidates said this year’s race presents a better opportunity than usual for a Democrat to win the seat of Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor for the first time in history.
On the bottom of Page 1, Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that legal aid in the state faces a midyear 10 percent state funding cut after the judiciary rejected a budget “freeze” plan. Legal services for Pennsylvanians too poor to afford their own lawyers are facing a cut of almost $274,000 in state funding.
This week’s Page 3 story details an en banc panel of the state Superior Court allowing trustees of an employee benefits fund to proceed with mechanics’ lien claims against a developer for money owed to two unions for whom the trustees are agents.
There’s much more inside this week’s PLW, including Samuel C. Stretton’s Ethics Forum, in which he tackles whether unsolicited e-mails from nonclients are confidential; Matthew T. Mangino’s Crime & Punishment column, in which he writes that the application of “castle doctrine” is far from precise; and articles about corporate negligence theory against a dental provider and the high court saying that a medical imaging machine is subject to sales tax.
If you have questions or comments about any of today's stories, or our coverage as a whole, we invite you to e-mail any of the reporters directly. We hope you'll enjoy today's Legal.