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 Pro Bono supplement, so be sure to give that a read.
The top story in today’s Legal is the opening of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex-abuse trial. As reporter Amaris Elliott-Engel writes, prosecutors Monday said that one of the two remaining defendants, Monsignor William J. Lynn, had three responsibilities: protecting the church, children and privacy of priests, but chose to protect the church. “Unfortunately, all three of those roles are mutually exclusive,” said prosecutor Jacqueline Coelho in her opening argument.
Also above the fold on Page 1, reporter Saranac Hale Spencer writes that a lawsuit against LexisNexis over background checks has been allowed to proceed by a federal judge. The suit is a class action stemming from claims that LexisNexis deemed the plaintiffs “noncompetitive” during background checks and the prospective workers didn’t have a chance to respond.
Below the fold on Page 1, reporters Zack Needles and Ben Present write that Lackawanna County Common Pleas Court Judge Trish Corbett explained that she refused to remove Lackawanna County guardian ad litem Danielle M. Ross from a custody case after an attorney raised concerns about media reports of a federal investigation into the county’s guardian ad litem program because she felt to do so would have been “premature.”
In more Regional News on Page 3, reporter Gina Passarella writes that pharmacy records are governed by the Medical Records Act and pharmacists are considered health care providers for purposes of the act, according to a Superior Court ruling that overturned and Allegheny County Common Pleas Court judge who compared pharmacists to yoga instructors rather than medical providers.
In a Commentary on Page 5, Walter M. Phillips Jr. and Doug Moak write that one way to deal with Philadelphia’s high fugitive rate (more than 30 percent of criminal defendants fail to appear in court) is to use trial in absentia.
In a Legal Marketing column on Page 7, Kimberly Alford Rice writes about the importance of following up when networking and trying to build business.
Today’s lead story in PLW is a look at the Marcellus Shale play, where small firms say that expertise is more important than size. As Zack Needles writes, some believe that the only way to handle the amount of work coming from major drillers is to have a huge staff, but the depth of knowledge of the area that some smaller firms offer can give them the advantage.
Below the fold on Page 1, Amaris Elliott-Engel writes that prosecutors are opposing a bill to expand innocence claims. The state Senate bill would expand chance for people who say they have been wrongfully convicted of crimes to raise their innocence claims, and backers say current law doesn’t always provide adequate means to do so. But the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and Gov. Tom Corbett oppose it.
On Page 3, Ben Present writes that financial discovery was denied in the case of a collapsing sidewalk, but the judge left open the possibility of punitive damages if the injured man amends his complaint.
There’s much more inside this week’s PLW, including Samuel C. Stretton’s Ethics Forum, in which he discusses asking a witness if another witness is lying; Jeff Jubelirer’s column on Public Relations, in which he discusses how to utilize social media; a panel deciding that a builder’s deceptive statement makes him personally liable; Sean Connolly’s column on State Government and the double standard existing against conservatives; and Daniel E. Cummins’ Civil Practice column on UM/UIM rejection form language.
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.