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.)
The second supplement of 2012, Banking & Accounting, is also inside the pages of today's Legal, so be sure to check it out.
Today’s top story is the growth of Dechert’s revenue for the first time in four years. As reporter Gina Passarella writes, the firm bumped its revenue from $648.5 million in 2010 to $671 million last year. Dechert also saw growth in metrics such as revenue per lawyer, profits per equity partner and average compensation for all partners.
On the bottom of Page 1, reporter Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said the majority of “bad acts” evidence will be admitted in the priest abuse case. Sarmina ruled that all but six instances of priests who were reported to have committed sexual abuse or other improprieties can be admitted in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, who allegedly endangered the welfare of two youths whom Lynn’s co-defendants are accused of sexually abusing.
In more Regional News on Page 3, reporter Zack Needles writes that recorders of deeds may not reject gas lease documents. The Commonwealth Court has ruled that counties’ recorders are required by statute to record all lease documents presented to them, in what attorneys said is a significant win for natural gas drillers.
On Page 5 is today’s Litigation column, as William E. Harris writes about projecting wage growth and inflation in today’s economic climate.
In a Business of Law column on Page 7, Frank Michael D’Amore writes about the top areas where law firms differ from each other in the first article of a series he will write.
As it is Tuesday, it’s also your chance to read this week’s Pennsylvania Law Weekly. The lead story for PLW comes from Zack Needles, who writes that a Northampton County trial judge has found that talking on a cellphone while driving is not egregious enough to warrant punitive damages in a motor vehicle accident case. “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that punitive damages are an ‘extreme remedy,’ available in only the most exceptional matters,” said Northampton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leonard N. Zito.
On the bottom of Page 1, Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives has moved to cap punitives in nursing home cases. The House passed a bill to cap punitive damages in lawsuits against personal care homes, assisted living communities, long-term care nursing facilities, home care agencies, home health care agencies and hospices at 200 percent of compensatory damages awarded in such lawsuits.
On Page 3, Gina Passarella writes that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a car accident caused by a box left on the road can generate uninsured motorist benefits.
There’s much more inside this week’s PLW, including Samuel C. Stretton’s Ethics Forum, in which he discusses how a heavy dose of trial work can help a young lawyer; Matthew Weisberg’s commentary on the legal profession, in which he writes about attorney fees as consequential damages in legal malpractice actions; a criminal practice article in which the state Supreme Court has ruled that robbery was not needed as a predicate offense for a murder conviction; and the Commonwealth Court ruling that a Chester, Pa., ordinance making it illegal to loiter in “high drug activity” areas is too vague and unconstitutional.
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.