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.)
Also inside today’s paper is the Litigation: Medical Malpractice supplement, so be sure to give that a read.
The top story in today’s packed Legal is the Lackawanna County guardian ad litem being sued in federal court, along with the Lackawanna County Common Pleas Court. As reporters Ben Present and Zack Needles write, a Lackawanna County man is alleging the family court’s guardian program deprived litigants of constitutional rights and that the court’s sole guardian, Danielle M. Ross, “thoroughly misunderstood and misapplied her role.”
Also above the fold on Page 1, reporter Saranac Hale Spencer writes that a bill of more than $360,000 that was to be recovered by defendants for e-discovery costs has been slashed by more than 90 percent by 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Vanaskie. The judge said that organizing electronic files cannot be considered part of the copying expense.
Below the fold on Page 1, reporters Gina Passarella and Shannon Green write that the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed its general counsel, Timothy Coyne, on administrative leave in what appears to be a continued effort to bring in new outside and in-house legal counsel. A source indicated that Coyne is not expected to return to the role, which is set to be filled in the interim by a Conrad O’Brien attorney.
Also below the fold on Page 1, reporter Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that lawyers for the former Catholic archdiocese secretary of clergy, Monsignor William J. Lynn, have said that his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel would be violated if the archdiocese is able to assert an independent attorney-client privilege.
Also on Page 3, Gina Passarella writes that Lackawanna County businessman Louis DeNaples and members of his family will receive a break on some of the taxes from a $40.9 million settlement to take their land for the construction of a county highway.
In a Legal Marketing column on Page 5, Holly Lentz Kleeman writes about the search for meaning in marketing and business development.
In a column about the U.S. Supreme Court on Page 7, Stephen A. Miller and Diana Lin write that the justices are set to revisit affirmative action for universities.
Today’s lead story in PLW is a look at the Lackawanna County guardian ad litem, Danielle M. Ross, and the conflict that has arisen since she took the role in 2008. Zack Needles and Ben Present write that court records show several litigants have petitioned to have Ross removed from their cases.
Below the fold on Page 1, Ben Present writes that a split among the state Supreme Court justices let stand a Commonwealth Court ruling that gives workers’ compensation judges discretion in suspending benefits of workers who fail to attend a required physical examination after claiming workers’ compensation.
On Page 3, Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that a Philadelphia judge has held a lawyer-witness in contempt for making a comment to a juror while advocates in the case were engaged in a sidebar conference.
There’s much more inside this week’s PLW, including Samuel C. Stretton’s Ethics Forum, in which he discusses state rules governing legal advertising; a commentary on Family Law by Christian V. Badali, in which he wonders whether the 9th Circuit’s decision in Perry v. Brown is a success or a setback for same-sex marriage; the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office appealing a judge’s ARD grant; and a judge ruling that a police officer needs probable cause for a DUI stop.
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.