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Court Crier: Appellate Practice

In California Area School District v. California Area Education Association PSEA/NEA, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a trial court order vacating a public-sector labor arbitration award and remanding the matter to the arbitrator was a final appealable order. The court held the order was final and appealable because the dispute was ended when the award was set aside and remand of the matter was not permitted and therefore a legal nullity. (July 10, 2019)

In Bankers Life & Casualty v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether the employer’s petition for appeal was untimely under Section 501(e) of Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Law where the employer’s attorney testified that the petition was timely mailed, but the postage date on the mailing was unreadable and the petition was not timely received because the United States Postal Service, for unknown reasons, returned the mailing as undeliverable. The court held that the attorney’s testimony, along with the documentation he produced, was insufficient under the law to prove timely mailing, but it did establish that an administrative breakdown by the postal service was the cause of the untimely appeal, which satisfied the necessary elements to permit the filing of the appeal nunc pro tunc(June 27, 2019)

In T.L. v. Goldberg, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed whether the plain error rule entitled a party to a new trial based on the admission of evidence without objection. The court found that the circumstances did not cause prejudice to the party; therefore, the plain error standard did not compel a new trial. (June 10, 2019)

In Smith v. Berryhill, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether judicial review was available to a social security claimant after an administrative law judge denied his claim for social security benefits and later the Social Security Administration Appeals Council denied his administrative appeal because it was untimely. The Court held that the Council’s dismissal on timeliness grounds qualifies as a final decision made after a hearing so as to permit judicial review. (May 28, 2019)

In Robinson v. First State Community Action Agency, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether an error in a jury instruction allowing a former employee to claim damages under the American Disabilities Act for being regarded as having an impairment was waived by the employer. The court held that the employer waived the argument because the former employee routinely raised the “regarded as” claim throughout the litigation and the employer did not object until the appeal. (April 1, 2019)

In U.S. Bank N.A. v. Manu, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an order granting a property owner’s Motion to Redeem Premises and ordering the property owner to pay to the purchaser redemption costs plus interest by a date certain under the Municipal Claims and Tax Relief Act (Act) is an appealable “final order.” Because redemption was granted and payment ordered, all claims were disposed of and the order was final. The court further held that the payment procedure specified under the Act applies when a property owner files a Motion to Redeem Premises after a sheriff’s sale, but before the sheriff’s deed was acknowledged. (March 22, 20

In Tower Insurance Company of New York v. Artisan Silkscreen and Embroidery, Inc., the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed whether a party can appeal an order denying resettlement of an order or judgment. The court dismissed the appeal holding that “[n]o appeal lies from an order denying resettlement of the substantive portions of a judgment or order.” (March 5, 2019)

In Yovino v. Rizo, the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether a federal court may count the vote of a judge who dies before the court issues its decision. The Court held that the circuit court erred when it counted the deceased judge as a member of the majority. By statute, he was without power to participate in the en banc court’s decision at the time it was rendered. (February 25, 2019)

In Jacobs v. Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating, Inc., the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, addressed whether it had jurisdiction to consider a service company’s appeal when the service company was a party to a consent order that purported to preserve the service company’s right to appeal a previous adverse ruling. The court found that its review of the adverse ruling would constitute nothing more than an academic exercise since any ruling would not affect the settlement amount paid to the consumer. The court therefore dismissed the appeal. (February 20, 2019)

In Baynes v. Maple 3, LLC, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2d Department, addressed an appeal based on allegedly improper comments made by the opposing counsel during summation. The court held that this argument was not preserved for appellate review because the appellant failed to object to those comments at trial(February 13, 2019)

In Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that, if a party makes an application for attorneys’ fees following a Chancery Court verdict, the underlying trial court order is not final and appealable until the trial court rules on the application for attorneys’ fees. (February 12, 2019)

In Cook v. City of Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered the authority of a Philadelphia trial court—sitting as an appellate court reviewing the determination of the Civil Service Commissionto dismiss an appeal, sua sponte, for the appellant’s failure to timely file a brief in support of his appeal. The court held that Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 2188, which the trial court cited as authority in support of the sua sponte dismissal, (1) had not been adopted in Philadelphia County; and (2) did not authorize sua sponte dismissalof an appeal for the appellant’s failure to file a brief but rather required the appellee to move for dismissal on those grounds. (January 7, 2019)

In Wolk v. The School District of Lower Merion, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether the school district needed to file post-trial motions after the court granted taxpayer’s petition for injunctive relief filed as part of a pending civil action or whether it was permitted to seek an interlocutory appeal as of right as generally permitted for orders granting a permanent injunction. As this matter was a non-jury case, post-trial motions are only required when the court's decision disposes of all claims for relief. Since not all claims were disposed of in the decision granting injunctive relief, the school district was permitted to lodge an interlocutory appeal as of right. (December 11, 2018)

In Mitchell v. Milburn, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvaniaaddressed the trial court’s jurisdiction to enter an order after an appeal from the final judgment entered in the case. Because the order exceeded the scope of the trial court’s authority to correct mere formal errors, the court held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the order. (December 6, 2018)

In Wallace v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an arbitration award should be stricken based on the appellant’s claim that one of the arbitrators acted improperly, denying her due process. The court held that the appellant waived all issues for appeal based upon her failure to preserve her objection to the arbitrator’s participation in the first instance. (November 30, 2018)

In Lynch v. Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts addressed whether an interlocutory appeal lies from a trial court’s denial of summary judgment on a non-profit board member’s claim of immunity under Mass. Gen. Laws c. 231, § 85W. Dismissing the appeal, the court explained that an interlocutory appeal does not lie where a statute provides immunity only from liability, not suit. (November 30, 2018)

In Holmes v. Anderson, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts addressed timing concerns regarding an appeal of an order allowing attorney's fees. Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws c. 231, § 6F, the trial court awarded attorney’s fees for claims it deemed insubstantial, frivolous, and not advanced in good faith. It subsequently dismissed the notice of appeal of the award. Affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the notice of appeal, the court explained that, pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws c. 231, § 6G, the prescribed time for appeal runs ten days from the date of receipt of notice of the decision awarding attorney’s fees. (November 9, 2018)

In Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Company, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania considered the proper role of an appellate court when reviewing a non-jury decision where it deems the trial court’s opinion pursuant to Pa. R. App. P. 1925(a) inadequate and the trial judge is no longer available to provide a supplemental opinion. The court held that, under these circumstances, the appellate court could consider the legal issues raised on appeal and whether the factual findings implicated in the legal issues are supported by competent evidence. (October 17, 2018)

In Cup v. Ampco Pittsburgh Corporation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a district court's order compelling arbitration and administratively closing a case was a final order subject to appellate jurisdiction. This case involved a dispute over retiree healthcare benefits and the retiree requested arbitration under the Labor Management Relations Act, which was granted by the district court. The court noted that a mere administrative closure does not make an order compelling arbitration final and appealable. However, in this case the district court also dismissed all the other claims without prejudice which made it a final order because there was “nothing more for the court to do but execute judgment.” After holding that it had jurisdiction, the court held that the dispute over medical benefits was not subject to arbitration under the terms of the contract. (August 29, 2018)

In Personal Service Insurance Company v. Relievus, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, resolved a conflict between New Jersey laws regarding the time for appeal from an arbitrator's decision regarding personal injury protection benefits. The court held that the 45-day time period to file a summary action with the court is tolled if the appellant files an appeal within the 30-day time frame for appeal to a three-person panel. (August 3, 2018)

In In Re Accutane Litigation, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed the proper standard to determine the admissibility of scientific evidence in New Jersey. The court adopted the factors set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The court emphasized that it expects the trial court to assess both the methodology used by the expert to arrive at an opinion and the underlying data used in the formation of the opinion. The court further explained that although a trial court’s decision to admit or exclude evidence is subject to an abuse-of-discretion standard, a reviewing court owes “somewhat less deference” to determinations regarding expert testimony. (August 1, 2018)

In Kapcsos v. Benshoff, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, held that a procedural error was fatal to the court’s appellate jurisdiction in a partition action. Court rules require a trial court to determine whether a property is partitionable under law (Part 1) before moving on to an equitable ruling on how to partition or whether to sell the property (Part 2). Part 1 must be secured and recorded before a trial court has jurisdiction to proceed onto the Part 2 adjudication. A Part 2 order is not a final order on the merits of a case if not preceded by a secured and recorded Part 1 order and is therefore not appealable to an appellate court. (July 27, 2018)

In Shahin v. Sam’s Club East, the Superior Court of Delaware addressed the appellant’s burden under Court of Common Pleas Rule 59(e) to establish reversible error. The court explained that, under Rule 59(e), an appellant has an obligation to state the relevant facts and establish reversible error by demonstrating why the action at trial was contrary to either controlling precedent or persuasive decisional authority from other jurisdictions. The court further held that an appellant’s failure to support legal arguments with authority constitutes a waiver of the issue. The court found that the failure to cite to Rule 59(e) or offer authority interpreting the rule warrants dismissal of an appeal. (June 20, 2018)

In Tong-Summerford v. Abington Memorial Hospital, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a hospital waived its appellate issue by failing to specify the grounds of its evidentiary objection at trial. At trial and in its subsequent court-mandated concise statement of errors complained of on appeal, the hospital generally objected to the admission of an adverse event notification letter. For the first time in its appellate brief, the hospital objected to the letter’s admission because the Medical Care and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act prohibited the letters’ use as an admission of liability. The court found the MCARE-prohibition argument waived because it was not raised before appellate briefing. (June 13, 2018)

In Friends of Lackawanna v. Dunmore Borough Zoning Hearing, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that property owners had standing to appeal a zoning hearing board's decision to allow upward expansion of a landfill. The court found that the property owners demonstrated a direct, immediate and substantial interest in the landfill expansion required for standing because their residential property was within a half mile from the landfill and their complaints of rotting garbage odors, dust, bird droppings and truck traffic emanated from the landfill use. (May 7, 2018)

In Keystone ReLeaf LLC v. Pennsylvania Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed the viability of a challenge to the permitting process of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana (Department) under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (the Act) pending the petitioner’s administrative appeal of a permit application denial. Because the essence of the petitioner’s claim was a post-enforcement“as-applied” constitutional challenge to the Department’s permit denial, the court held that the petition was properly dismissed with prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (April 20, 2018)

In Navigators Insurance Company v. Murdock, the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed whether an insurance company was entitled to interlocutory appeal of a partial denial of its motion for summary judgment on whether Delaware law applied to the issues and whether Delaware public policy prohibited the insurer from paying for the insured’s fraud. The court held interlocutory appeal was not warranted because applications for interlocutory appeal are addressed to the sound discretion of the court and the “strict standards” for certification were not met. (April 6, 2018)

In G & G Investors, LLC v. Phillips Simmons Real Estate Holdings LLC, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania clarified when an appellant must file a post-trial motion following an in-court proceeding to preserve issues for appeal. In determining the issue, the court considers three factors: (1) the plain language of the statute, (2) case law, even when the statute is silent on the subject, and (3) whether practicing attorneys would reasonably expect a post-trial motion to be necessary. The court found that a post-trial motion was required after the trial court denied a petition for a conservator of real property following a hearing that included opening statements and presentment of testimony and other evidence. (April 4, 2018)

In Hall v. Hall, the United States Supreme Court addressed the finality of a decision rendered in a case consolidated under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a). The court explained that under Rule 42(a), when one of several consolidated cases is decided, that decision is immediately appealable regardless of the status of the other consolidated cases and whether or not those cases are pending resolution. (March 27, 2018)

In Haviland v. Kline & Specter, P.C., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that an order denying a motion seeking the recusal or disqualification of an arbitrator is not a final order, an interlocutory order appealable as of right, or a collateral order. (March 22, 2018)

In JR Factors, Inc. v. Astoria Equities, Inc., the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2d Department, dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal because of its failure to assemble a proper record on appeal. Specifically, the record filed by the appellant did not contain the summons and complaint or the entire trial transcript. The court determined that the record was inadequate to enable it to render an informed decision. (March 14,2018)

In Gem Holdco, LLC v. Changing World Tech., LP, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed whether doctrine of fugitive disentitlementshould apply to permit the dismissal of an appellant’s appeal. The doctrine applies “where the fugitive is a former New York resident who changed residency or otherwise fled to another state in a willful and deliberate effort to avoid the jurisdiction of the New York courts; was a resident of another state present in New York when an arrest warrant was issued who fled the state in order to avoid an arrest warrant; or . . . was wanted in New York pursuant to a warrant and refused to return to the state for fear of being arrested in defiance of a separate court order directing the fugitive to appear in court.” The court held that the doctrine did not apply in this case because the appellant “never resided in New York, was not present in New York when the arrest warrant was issued, has not appeared in New York to face the arrest warrant, and has not defied a separate order to appear.” (March 8, 2018)

In Bierley v. Kowalski, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed nunc pro tunc relief where it was unclear whether appellant’s delay in filing a statement of errors complained of on appeal was due to a breakdown in the trial court’s operations or the appellant’s lack of due diligence. The court held that nunc pro tunc relief is warranted only when there has been a breakdown in the process constituting “extraordinary circumstances,” which must be supported by findings of fact and conclusions regarding the appellant’s attempts to comply with the timely filing requirement and to obtain the trial transcript necessary to develop the statement. (March 2, 2018)

In Smith v. Hemphill, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that, while an attorney held a valid charging lien and therefore was entitled to funds from a supersedeas bond which was returned to his client following a successful appeal upholding a jury award in his client’s favor, the attorney only had a valid charging lien as to those amounts which constituted his contingent fee and expenses in the appeal at issue. The attorney could not seek recoupment of fees pertaining to four separate cases in which he represented the same client and had yet to be paid. (March 1, 2018)

In Hayes v. Turnersville Chrysler Jeep, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, determined that a judgment on the enforcement of an arbitration agreement involving the purchase of a vehicle was a final order subject to the 20-day time limitation for a motion for reconsideration. The court also held that the denial of the plaintiff's motion to compel enforcement of an arbitration was appealable by right but subject to the time limitations to file such an appeal. (February 16, 2018)

In New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Exxon Mobil, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, held that various environmental groups and individuals could not intervene at trial because they lacked standing. The court then determined that the Appellate Division alone can decide whether these individuals and groups have standing to appeal since the trial court lacks authority to make this determination. The court held that the environmental groups did have standing to appeal the consent order. In affirming the consent order, the court held that the appropriate standard of review under the Spill Act is whether the trial judge made a material error of law or a meaningful error of judgment in concluding a settlement was fair, reasonable, consistent with the Spill Act's goals, and in the public interest. (February 12, 2018)

In Blucas v. Agiovlasitis, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a trial court had jurisdiction to consider a motion for costs and prejudgment interest where the appellee failed to file a timely appeal from an arbitrators’ award. The court held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction since there was no timely appeal. The arbitrators’ decision was final and the subsequent judgment was entered correctly and should not be disturbed. (February 9, 2018)

In Tong-Summerford v. Abington Memorial Hospital, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the appellant-hospital waived several issues raised on appeal because it failed to include those issues – or state them with requisite specificity – in its Concise Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal(January 30, 2018)

In Shearer v. Hafer, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania considered whether an order, which analyzed whether counsel could be present while a party was undergoing a neuropsychologist examination by an opposing party’s doctor, is a collateral order which could be appealed prior to the adjudication of the whole case. The court found that the order was not of a magnitude of those issues which are “deeply rooted in public policy going beyond the particular litigation at hand” as to permit an immediate appeal. Further, the right to examination with counsel present was not irreparably lost because if an error is found after appeal, the plaintiff could be reexamined with counsel present. (January 18, 2018) 

In Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners, LP v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court addressed whether a fraudulent transfer claim relating to a license revocation is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The court found that the fraudulent transfer claim amounted to a challenge to the Commonwealth’s failure to return the value of the revoked license, and not a challenge to the legitimacy of the revocation as determined by state court. Accordingly, the court held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which generally deprives federal courts of jurisdiction over claims that are “essentially appeals from state-court judgments,” did not bar the claim. (January 11, 2018)

In Brandywine Village Associates v. East Brandywine Township Board of Supervisors, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania quashed an appeal arising from the construction of a mixed-use development plan based on the appellants’ lack of standing. The court found that the appellants, adjacent property owners who objected to the plan, were not “aggrieved” as required to establish standing because the trial court found deficiencies in the developer’s 2014 plan. The court further held that the possibility of future litigation regarding the developer’s 2015 plan was insufficient to establish injury for the purpose of standing(January 5, 2018)

In Thomas A. Robinson Family Limited Partnership v. Bioni, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether the grant of a permanent injunction, which alters the status quo, is immediately appealable as a matter of right. The court held that Rule of Appellate Procedure 311(a)(4)(ii) authorizes an appeal from an order that is not otherwise appealable if: (1) the order enjoins conduct previously allowed or allows conduct previously prohibited and (2) the injunction takes effect before entry of a final judgment. The court found that the clear purpose of the rule is to permit an immediate appeal if an immediately-effective permanent injunction changes the status quo. In reaching its decision, the court refused to find that the appellant is first required by Rule of Civil Procedure 227.1 to file a post-trial motion in order to preserve the issue for appellate review. (December 27, 2017)

In U.S. National Bank Association v. Thomas, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed a debtor’s right to appeal after entry of a default judgment in a mortgage foreclosure action. The court held that the debtor’s failure to move to vacate the default judgment precluded the appeal. The court alternatively held that the debtor failed to show that he had a justifiable excuse for his default and a meritorious defense to the foreclosure action.

In Salt River Project v. Solarcity Corporation, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to address whether orders denying state-action immunity to public entities are immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine(December 1, 2017)

In Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the United States Supreme Court held that the time prescribed by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4 to file an appeal is not jurisdictional. Unlike-statutorily prescribed deadlines, which are jurisdictional in nature, the court held that court rules are mandatory claim-processing rules that may be waived or forfeited. The Court reasoned that only Congress has the power to limit the jurisdictional reach of Article III courts. (November 10, 2017)

In Stapas v. Giant Eagle, Inc., the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted a Petition for Allowance of Appeal on the following issues:

1) Does the Superior Court’s decision to reverse the trial court’s finding of waiver, despite Giant Eagle’s failure to object to flawed jury instructions, flawed verdict slip and/or the problematic verdict, all of which contributed to the error complained of on appeal, conflict with this Court’s holding in Straub v. Cherne Indus., 583 Pa. 608, 880 A.2d 561 (2005), a case not considered by the Superior Court?

2) Does the Superior Court’s decision to excuse Giant Eagle’s failures to object to flawed jury instructions, flawed verdict slip and/or a problematic verdict, merely because the appeal is styled as a “challenge to the weight of the evidence,” conflict with the timely objection requirement of Dilliplaine v. Lehigh Valley Trust Co., 457 Pa. 255, 322 A.2d 114 (1974)? (September 26, 2017)

In Brown v. Zaken, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered whether it could hear the appeal of a prisoner whose complaint was dismissed as frivolous. In dismissing the prisoner’s complaint, the trial court failed to provide any explanation why the prisoner’s complaint was frivolous. The appellate court remanded the matter back to the trial court to issue a statement under Rule 1925(a) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure which explains its reasoning. (September 21, 2017)

In Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Company, Inc., the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted a petition for allowance of appeal to consider the question of the proper role of an appellate court in reviewing a non-jury decision where it deems the Pa. R. A. P. 1925(a) opinion inadequate but the trial judge is no longer available to provide a supplemental opinion. (September 11, 2017)

In O’Neill v. The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered whether a city councilperson has standing to appeal the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment’s grant of a variance to a developer. The court held that the councilperson did not have standing to appeal the decision under the Home Rule Act as he was neither an “aggrieved person” nor a “governing body” as contemplated by the Act. Further, the court held that, because the variance involved a private driveway not a city street, there was no usurpation of the councilperson’s official authority over streets. (August 30, 2017)

In Delaware RiverKeeper Network v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered whether the state agency’s order allowing an oil pipeline to be built in wetlands was a final order and a proper exercise of the agency’s authority. The court held that, as a threshold issue, the agency’s order permitting the construction of the pipeline was a final order which the court had authority to review. Upon review of the agency’s decision, the court found that the order was not arbitrary or capricious and the court extended to the state agency the same deference it applies to federal agency determinations. (August 30, 2017)

In Reason v. Kathryn’s Korner Thrift Shop, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that a notice of appeal was timely when it was filed within 30 days after the entry of judgment against the final defendant rather than the order granting summary judgment. (August 17, 2017)

In Capital Health System, Inc. v. Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc., the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed whether the Appellate Division erred in considering the merits of the plaintiff’s claims instead of solely considering whether the trial court abused its discretion in ruling on a discovery dispute. The court held that the Appellate Division exceeded its scope of review by assessing the merits of the claims and “second-guessing” the conclusions of the trial court on the discovery matter. (July 25, 2017)

In Seneca Resources Corporation v. Township of Highland, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, addressed whether the court had jurisdiction to review appeals from three non-parties to the case whose motion to intervene had been denied. The motion to intervene was premised upon the defense of a township ordinance that had since been repealed. The court determined the parties’ motion to intervene was now moot because there was no longer an ordinance to defend. Since their motion to intervene was moot, the parties lacked standing to challenge the district court’s consent decree. (July 17, 2017)

In FOP Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 v. City of Pittsburgh, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a direct appeal to the Commonwealth Court of an Act 111 interest arbitration award is only available under Section 252 of Act 47 if the award deviates from the Act 47 plan. The court quashed the appeal after determining that the award at issue did not deviate from the Act 47 plan at issue. Any challenge to the award should follow the normal appeals process to the common pleas. (July 17, 2017)

In the Matter of Dolomite Products Company, Inc. v. Town of Ballston, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 3d Department, addressed an intervenor’s right to appeal. The court noted that a successful intervenor becomes a party to the underlying proceeding for all purposes, but does not have the inherent right to take an appeal. Here, the intervenor was not personally aggrieved by the judgment from which it took the appeal. As such, the court dismissed the intervenor’s appeal. (June 15, 2017)

In Brittain v. Hope Enterprises Foundation Inc., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed potential fraud on the court as to the plaintiff's parental rights in a wrongful death suit. The plaintiff put herself forth as the decedent's biological mother. However after a verdict was rendered, the defendant discovered evidence that the decedent was adopted which would have terminated the biological mother’s legal standing to assert a wrongful death claim. The court held that the conduct alleged by the defendant warranted remanding the case for determination of the merits of the fraud claims. (May 17, 2017)

In Zokaites Properties, LP v. Butler Township UCC Board of Appeals, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered whether real estate developers waived their appellate issues by failing to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal as requested by the trial court. The developers asserted without substantiation that the trial court’s order requiring the statement was never delivered by the post office. The court found the appellate issues waived because the developers failed to establish good cause for failing to file the statement. (May 3, 2017)

In Ignelzi v. Ogg, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed its jurisdiction to entertain an appeal of a discovery order compelling production of confidential client files in a fee dispute between former law partners. The court held that the discovery order is not subject to interlocutory appeal under the Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 341(c) because it does not dispose of any claim or any party. The court also held the discovery order did not qualify as a collateral order under the Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 313 because, by focusing on the merits of the underlying claim, the appellant: (1) failed to make a prima facie showing of the applicability of the attorney-client privilege and (2) failed to establish the separability prong of the collateral order doctrine(April 19, 2017)

In Aiello v. Planning Board of Braintree, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts addressed whether an abutting property owner had standing to appeal the decision of a local planning board. The court held that the abutter had standing to appeal the modification of a special permit to remove conditions which benefited the abutter. (April 14, 2017)

In In Re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether an appeal of a dismissed lawsuit alleging a pay-for-delay scheme between a pharmaceutical company holding the patent on the drug Lipitor and the manufacturer of a generic version of the drug properly belonged in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The court determined that the appeal did not require transfer to the Federal Circuit as the end-payor plaintiffs’ allegations of fraudulent procurement and enforcement of the patents did not “arise under” federal patent law, 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1), thus taking the appeal out of the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit. (April 13, 2017)

In Blackburn v. King Investment Group, LLC, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a motion to modify the amount of a final, confessed judgment constitutes a final, appealable order. Because such a motion does not dispose of any actual claims, alter an appellant’s substantive rights, or annul the original judgment, it is not appealable. Rather, an appellant’s time for appeal begins to run upon an order denying its petition to open and/or strike the confessed judgment. (April 5, 2017)

In McLane Company v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Supreme Court of the United States considered the appropriate standard of review of a trial court’s decision as to whether to enforce or quash an EEOC subpoena. The Court held that an appellate court should review the trial court’s decision under an abuse of discretion standard rather than a de novo standard. (April 3, 2017)

In State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. JPC Group, Inc., the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered whether a party that appealed a motion in limine ruling deeming one party immune from liability under the Tort Claims Act directly to the Superior Court was first required to file post-trial motions. The court held that because there was no trial, post-trial motions were not required before seeking an appeal. The court also considered whether a demolition company was an “employee” of the City of Philadelphia so as to trigger governmental immunity, and found that the demolition company had sufficient independent control over the demolition process and that it was not a government employee. (March 9, 2017)

In Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, addressed whether a party is required, pursuant to Rule 2:6-1(a)(1), to include an appendix of all items presented to the trial court on an appeal of a denial of a motion for summary judgment. The court held that such an appendix is required to be provided for appeals from any disposition of a motion for summary judgment. (March 8, 2017)

In Deek Investment, L.P. v. Murray, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a pro se appellant failed to preserve his issues for appeal when he failed to file a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) statement of errors complained of on appeal. The appellant’s pro se co-appellant spouse had filed a 1925(b) statement on behalf of “Appellants,” which only she signed. The court held that this statement satisfied Rule 1925(b), and neither appellant had waived their issues complained of on appeal. (March 3, 2017)

In Board of Supervisors of Willistown Township v. Main Line Gardens, Inc., the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, addressed whether a party waives an issue raised in a post-trial motion if the party did not argue the issue in briefing requested by the court. The court held that the issue is not waived if the trial court chooses to overlook the party’s non-compliance by addressing the merits of that issue based on the party’s earlier motions and arguments on that same issue at an earlier stage of the litigation. (February 22, 2017)

In Zablocki v. Beining, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that it lacked jurisdiction over a trial court order, which directed the sale of real property, but was not a final order or an order directing partition that would permit an interlocutory appeal of right under Pa.R.A.P. 311(a)(7). (February 10, 2017)

In In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the class members’ petitions for panel rehearing and en banc rehearings were meritless because the class members had failed to address the district court’s denial of injunctive relief in their briefs on appeal and thus waived the issue, and because contrary to the class members’ assertions, the panel opinion did not create a circuit split. Further, the district court’s summary judgment decision did not preclude the class members from putting on evidence at trial. (January 10, 2017)

In Leoni v. Leoni, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an appellant’s supersedeas bond relieved the appellee’s lien against the appellant’s real property, thereby altering the lien priority. The court held that, because the supersedeas acted as the security for the judgments previously secured by the liens, the maintenance of the liens would provide double protection and, therefore, the bond relieved the appellant of the lien. (January 4, 2017)

In 915 2nd Pub, Inc. v. QBE Insurance Corporation, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed whether an insured was entitled to recover payment under its insurance policy for structural damage to the insured’s building caused by excavation work on an adjacent property. In holding that the insurer was not required to pay the insured’s claim, the court explained that, because the insured sold the damaged building to the entity that damaged the building, the insured violated the terms of the policy that required it to do nothing to impair the insurer’s subrogation rights. The court also held that the sale of the building violated the insured’s obligation to cooperate with the insurer in its investigation of the insured’s claim because immediately after the sale, the purchaser demolished the building, leaving nothing to investigate. (January 3, 2017)

In City of Wilmington v. Nationwide Insurance Company, the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed whether a losing party in an arbitrated subrogation dispute between an auto insurer and a self-insured may appeal de novo to the Superior Court of Delaware. The court held that the governing statute unambiguously allows for appeals from mandatory arbitration. (January 3, 2017)

In Nova Casualty v. Harleysville Worchester Insurance Company, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed whether an insurer was required to defend and indemnify a purported additional insured in an underlying personal injury action. The court found coverage because the insured’s subcontract with the additional insured expressly stated that the purported additional insured was to be included as an additional insured on the named insured’s insurance policy. (January 3, 2017)

In Stapas v. Giant Eagle, Inc., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that a premises owner in a personal injury action was entitled to a new trial on damages because the jury’s award for future wage loss was against the weight of the evidence. The court noted that, if the jury had followed the trial court’s instructions and returned a single sum verdict, it would not have been able to discern whether the jury awarded any part of that sum for future lost wages; however, on the record, the jury clearly allocated a sum for future lost wages that was unsupported by the evidence and which was specifically disclaimed by counsel for the plaintiff. (December 23, 2016)

In True Railroad Associates, L.P. v. Ames True Temper, Inc., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania considered whether an order entered in a declaratory judgment action was final notwithstanding a pending counterclaim. The court determined that the order declared all rights alleged in the complaint and, therefore, the order was final and appealable when entered. The court further held that the aggrieved party waived its right to appeal from the order by failing to timely appeal after its entry. (December 13, 2016)

In Huny & BH Associates Inc. v. Silberberg, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, examined whether a party is entitled to an interlocutory appeal as of right from a trial court order denying a motion to intervene on behalf of himself doing business as a sole proprietorship. The court noted that appeals as of right generally may be taken only from final judgments, and final judgments adjudicate all issues as to all parties. The court held that because the party will have a right to appeal at the conclusion of the litigation, he may not appeal as of right the denial of the motion to intervene on behalf of his sole proprietorship. (December 2, 2016)

In Halle v. West Penn Allegheny Health System Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the appeal of three opt-in plaintiffs of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action. The opt-in plaintiffs appealed the decision to decertify the three individuals as opt-in plaintiffs and dismiss them without prejudice; the named plaintiffs were permitted to proceed to trial. The court dismissed the appeal because there was no final order from which to appeal. The court determined that a dismissal without prejudice was not a final decision, and the opt-in plaintiffs lost no substantive or procedural rights, as they could file their own FLSA action. (November 18, 2016)

In Mark E. Kelley v. Laurie S. Pittman and Beacon Psychological Association of Pennsylvania, LLC, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania considered whether pre-trial discovery orders pertaining to the disclosure of non-party mental health recordswere appealable pursuant to the collateral order doctrine. Under Pa.R.A.P. 313, a discovery order that involves the dissemination of seemingly privileged or confidential material is appealable as collateral to the principal action. The court determined that the pre-trial discovery orders at issue were appealable as collateral orders under Pa.R.A.P. 313, and held that the requested information was irrelevant to the defamation and professional negligence claims at issue and confidential under the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S.A. §§6301 et seq. (November 4, 2016)

In Cubano v. Sheehan, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a patient’s untimely appeal from an order granting medical providers’ motion for summary judgment should be quashed. In making its determination, the court considered the fact that the patient filed her appeal two days beyond the time allowed for appeal under Pa.R.A.P. 903(a), and did not identify any extraordinary circumstances that prevented a timely filing of the appeal. The court held that under Pa.R.A.P. 903(a) the patient’s appeal was untimely and the Superior Court was divested of jurisdiction, and therefore the appeal must be quashed. (August 29, 2016)

In Frey v. Potorski, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the admission of a hematologist’s testimony under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE Act), regarding the standard of care of an interventional cardiologist was harmless error in light of the substantially similar testimony of another qualified expert regarding the same standard of care. (August 26, 2016)

In Tusino v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Douglas, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts addressed whether it had subject matter jurisdiction over a direct appeal from a district court decision in a zoning appeal under Mass. Gen. Laws c. 40A, § 17. Holding that it did not, the court explained that jurisdiction was proper within the Appellate Division of the District Court, not the Court of Appeals, as a result of the Legislature's adoption of the one trial system. (August 25, 2016)

In Constand v. Cosby, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed as moot an appeal to reseal confidential documents because the documents were already publicly available. The court felt that because the documents were so entrenched in the public domain, it would be impossible to further restrain the dissemination of publicly disclosed information, therefore leaving the court without the ability to provide meaningful relief. (August 15, 2016)

In Mahonski v. Engel, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that a Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal, which contained 87 issues for review in a breach of contract action, violated Pa.R.A.P. 1925, and, therefore, the appellant waived all issues on appeal. In a consolidated appeal, the court held that the plaintiff-seller’s claim of a failure to comprehend the signed agreement of sale was not sufficient to invoke the discovery rule and extend the two-year statute of limitations on a fraud claim. (August 8, 2016)

In Williams v. Penn Center, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania found that the plaintiff did not act with due diligence when he ordered, but ultimately failed to pay for, obtain, and cite to the Notes of Testimony in his post-trial motion in accordance with local rules. Because this neglect prevented both defendants and the trial court from conducting a meaningful and timely substantive review of the claims of error, the plaintiff’s post-trial motion was properly precluded. (July 5, 2016)

In Roberts v. Ferman, the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit addressed when dismissal is the proper remedy for failure to comply with Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which sets forth the procedure for recreating the trial record. While the trial judge was considering post-trial motions, it ordered the losing party to supplement the record per Rule 10 to include missing transcripts. The court approved the trial court’s dismissal of the post-trial motion for failure to prosecute since the losing party failed to promptly supplement the record. The failure to completely recreate the record pursuant to Rule 10(c) also foreclosed review of the merits of the appeal by the court. (June 17, 2016)

In Dougherty v. Heller, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether the denial of a motion for protective order involving a general privacy interest in non-dissemination of a videotaped deposition was a collateral order allowing for as-of-right appeal. The court held that a generalized claim that public disclosure of the video could infringe on the deponent’s privacy was not the kind of issue which is too important to be denied review under the collateral order doctrine. (June 14, 2016)

In Williams v. Pennsylvania, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice, Ronald Castille, should have recused himself from a case involving an appeal of a death row inmate because, as the District Attorney 30 years earlier, Chief Justice Castille made the decision to seek the death penalty against the defendant. A divided Supreme Court ruled that judges must recuse themselves from cases in which they had a “significant, personal” role in prosecuting the party before them. The Court held that, because Chief Justice Castille’s authorization to seek the death penalty amounted to a significant, personal in­volvement in a critical trial decision, his failure to recuse himself from the defendant’s subsequent appeal presented an unconstitutional risk of bias. (June 9, 2016)

In Drydren Mutual Insurance Company v. Goessl, the New York Court of Appealsaddressed New York’s highest court’s role in reviewing findings of fact. The issue before the court was which of two insurance policies should have provided coverage for an underlying tort action. The Appellate Division and Law Division reached opposite conclusions based on their own findings of fact. The court upheld the Appellate Division’s factual findings, holding that they more nearly comported with the weight of the evidence. (June 7, 2016)

In State National Insurance Company v. The County of Camden, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the issue of whether the parties’ stipulated dismissal of the case constituted a final judgment from which the thirty day time limit in Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(1)(A) began to run. The court held that a stipulation to dismiss is a final judgment, and deprives the district court of jurisdiction over the action. Therefore, the 30 days in which a party may file a notice of appeal begins to run the date the stipulation is filed. (May 24, 2016)

In College Hill Properties, LLC v. City of Worcester, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit addressed whether a property owner’s regulatory taking claim was barred, based on its failure to fulfill the ripeness requirement. The court held that the property owner waived this challenge by not developing an argument to the lower court’s conclusion on appeal. (May 11, 2016)

In Van Liew v. Stansfield, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts addressed whether an appeal from a District Court order allowing or denying a special motion to dismiss may be filed directly in the Appeals Court. The court also addressed whether speech concerning issues of local public concern would qualify as “fighting words” or “true threats,” and therefore be subject to a civil harassment prevention order. The court concluded that a party seeking to appeal the District Court order may file the appeal directly in the Appeals Court, and also held that the political speech at issue did not qualify as “fighting words” or “true threats,” and therefore a civil harassment prevention order should not have been issued. (March 30, 2016)

In Shinal v. Toms, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted a motion for allowance of appeal to address whether: (1) prospective jurors could be stricken for cause based on close familial, situational, or financial relationships with the defendant’s employer when the claimed negligence occurred in the course and scope of the defendant’s employment; (2) a panel of the Superior Court was permitted to create new law and require counsel to request an additional preemptory challenge each time a cause challenge for a potential juror is denied in order to preserve the issue for appeal; and (3) a court in a lack-of-informed-consent case may charge the jury that information received from non-physician “qualified staff” at the hospital can be considered in deciding whether the surgeon obtained informed consent before surgery? (March 23, 2016)

In S.B. v. Kindercare Learning Centers, LLC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered whether a plaintiff may appeal a dismissal without prejudice that imposed unreasonably onerous conditions on the right to refile the dismissed action. In a case of first impression, the court adopted the “legal prejudice exception” to the final judgment rule, allowing appeals from dismissals without prejudice where the District Court has attached “unreasonably onerous conditions” to the refiling of the complaint. The Court held that the exception was consistent with existing circuit case law that allows for appeals of dismissals without prejudice when the plaintiff’s ability to refile is foreclosed. (March 10, 2016)

In Oak Tree Condominium Association v. Greene, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that an impermissible motion for post-trial relief in a case where there had been no trial could not be treated as a proper motion for reconsideration where time to appeal and file for reconsideration had both expired. (February 3, 2016)

In James v. City of Boise, the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the Idaho Supreme Court was bound by the Court’s prior decision that 42 U.S.C. § 1988, the attorney fee provision for successful defendants in a Section 1983 civil rights lawsuit, is limited to actions that are frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation. The court held that the Idaho Supreme Court, like any other state or federal court, is bound by the court’s interpretation of federal law. (January 25, 2016)

In In Re: Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether it had jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s petition for a writ of mandamus seeking an order requiring the disqualification of a district judge in a number of related patent infringement actions. The court held that its authority to issue writs of mandamus extends only to situations in which doing so would be “in aid of” its jurisdiction and since the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals in patent infringement actions, the court held it did not have jurisdiction over plaintiff’s petition. (January 28, 2016)

In Lane v. Tyson, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed the requirements of raising arguments in the trial court before seeking appellate review. The pro se plaintiff raised certain legal arguments for the first time on appeal. The court held that those arguments were properly raised before the court as they were determinative and the record was sufficient to permit appellate review. (November 24, 2015)

In Granite State Insurance Company v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Company, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, addressed the issue of when a motion for reargument is appealable. Pursuant to CPLR 3211(b), AIG had moved to dismiss certain affirmative defenses asserted by defendant, Transatlantic. After the motion court denied the motion, AIG filed a motion for leave to reargue or renew which was also denied. The Appellate Division held that, although the motion court purported to deny AIG’s reargument motion, it addressed the merits, thus effectively granting reargument and making the order appealable. (October 15, 2015)

In Lees v. W.R. Capenos, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed the issue of preservation of the right to appeal an equity verdict absent timely-filed post-trial motions. The court held that a motion for post-trial relief, which is required to preserve the right to appeal, must be filed following the verdict, and that a Motion to Open the Record which was filed before the court’s verdict was insufficient to qualify as a motion for post-trial relief. (July 2, 2015)

In Black v. New Castle County Board of License, Inspection and Review, the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware confirmed that where the General Assembly has failed to provide a right of direct appeal to parties aggrieved by a Board decision, such as upholding the issuance of a certificate of change in use to a property owner, the Superior Court’s review through a petition for a writ of certiorari is not a substitute for a direct appeal. To the contrary, such a review is strictly limited and the reviewing court may not weigh evidence, review the Board’s factual findings, or consider the case on its merits. The review is limited to determining whether the Board exceeded its jurisdiction, proceeded illegally or manifestly contrary to law, or proceeded irregularly. (June 29, 2015)

In Malanchuk v. Sivchuk, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted a Petition for Allowance of Appeal on the following issue:

Did the Superior Court, en banc, err in quashing, as interlocutory, an appeal from an order granting summary judgment as to all claims and all defendants in one of two separate actions, consolidated under Pa.R.C.P. 213(a), where there was not a complete consolidation and merger of the actions? (May 27, 2015)

In Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, the United States Supreme Court addressed when a debtor may appeal a bankruptcy court’s order. The Court held that a bankruptcy court’s order denying confirmation of a debtor’s proposed repayment plan is not a final order because the order does not fix the parties’ rights and obligations. Accordingly, the debtor cannot immediately appeal. (May 4, 2015)

In Branch Banking and Trust Co. v. Eid, the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed whether a litigant, who due to lack of notice failed to timely file a notice of appeal, can use a motion to vacate final judgment as a tool to restart the thirty-day time limit to appeal. Absent any fault attributable to court personnel, the court held that Superior Court Rule 77(d) precludes a trial court from vacating final judgment to relieve a party’s failure to timely file an appeal due to lack of notice of the final judgment. The court also held that under the same rule, lack of notice of the entry by the Prothonotary does not affect the time for appeal, nor does lack of notice permit relief for failure to file a timely appeal. (May 4, 2015)

In Armstrong World Industries v. Travelers Indemnity Company, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed its jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal of an order overruling preliminary objections, which sought to compel alternative dispute resolution (ADR) under a provision of a prior settlement agreement. While a litigant may immediately appeal an order denying a request to compel arbitration, a litigant may not immediately appeal, as of right, an order refusing to compel other types of ADR such as mediation and negotiation. Since the settlement agreement broadly provided for a range of ADR options, the appeal was quashed. (May 6, 2015)

In Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. v. Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, L.P., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the implications of failing to include a hearing transcript necessary to evaluate an appellant’s principal claim in the appellate record. Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure requires an appellant to order necessary transcripts and he or she must include those transcripts in the record to show that the trial court’s conclusion is unsupported by evidence. The court held that the appellant violated Rule 10 when it failed to include in the appellate record a transcript necessary to evaluate its principal claim. Therefore, the claim was waived. (May 7, 2015)

In City of Philadelphia v. New Life Evangelistic Church, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that New Life Church waived all appealable issues by failing to file post-trial motions within ten days of the conclusion of the trial (Pa. R. Civ. P. No. 227.1). The court further noted that the injunction hearing which formed the basis of the appealable decisions had the hallmarks of trial because there was the opportunity to present evidence and examine witnesses and so the appeal timeframe set forth in Rule 227.1 was applicable. (April 24, 2015)

In Koller Concrete, Inc. v. Tube City IMS, LLC, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that, in a products liability case, the product seller’s failure to raise an issue regarding the application of attorney-client privilege as a basis for relief in its post-trial motion precluded the argument on appeal. The court also found that the product purchaser had sufficiently demonstrated the elements of fraud and negligent misrepresentations and, therefore, the product seller was not entitled to the “extreme remedy” of judgment notwithstanding the verdict. (April 21, 2015) 

In Angelichio v. Meyers, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether judgment against one defendant, as a sanction for repeatedly failing to appear at deposition, was appealable when there were remaining defendants in the case. The court held that the sanction order was interlocutory and not appealable because it did not dispose of the claims of all parties. (February 18, 2015)

In Kinderman v. Cunningham, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a personal injury plaintiff was entitled to a new trial on damages alone in a case involving hotly contested liability. The court held that while the verdict was low, it represented a compromise verdict and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a new trial on damages. (February 11, 2015)

In Rakocy v. Clinton Cty. Tax Claim Bureau and Saratoga Partners, LP, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an appellant’s filing of a statement of errors complained of on appeal one day after the expiration of an allotted twenty-one day period results in waiver of those issues on appeal.  The court determined that if a trial court directs an appellant to file such a statement within a specific period of time, the appellant’s failure to file the statement within the allotted time results in waiver of all issues on appeal. (January 23, 2015)

In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., the United States Supreme Court addressed what standard of review the Circuit Court must use when reviewing fact findings made by the trial court in the course of construing a patent claim, particularly whether the appellate court should apply a de novo standard or clear error standard. Relying on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a)(6), which states that findings of fact must not be set aside unless “clearly erroneous,” the Court held that the Circuit Court must apply this standard when reviewing a district court’s resolution of factual matters made in the course of its construction of a patent claim. (January 20, 2015)

In Hana Financial v. Hana Bank,the United States Supreme Court addressed whether a judge or jury should determine whether tacking is available in a trademark infringement case. The tacking doctrine allows trademark users to make modifications to their marks over time without losing priority, so long as the original and revised marks continue the same commercial impression, a.k.a. are “legal equivalents.” The Court held that, because the tacking inquiry operates from the perspective of an ordinary purchaser/consumer, the jury should make this determination. (January 21, 2015)

In Gelboim v. Bank of America Corp., the United States Supreme Court addressed the right of appeal from the dismissal of a class action that raised a single claim, when that case was consolidated for pretrial proceedings with over 60 other actions, some of which presented discrete claims which were not dismissed. The Court held that the order removed the dismissed class action from the consolidated proceeding, thereby triggering the right to appeal under Title 28 U.S.C. § 1291. (January 21, 2015)

In Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co. v. Greenville Gastroenterology, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to grant reconsideration of a trial court order more than 30 days after its entry. The court determined that the trial court had lost jurisdiction over a reconsideration motion because it failed to act within the 30 days prescribed by Section 5505 of the Judicial Code. Because there was no extraordinary cause such as fraud or some action by the court that would deny the losing party knowledge of a final order, the court refused to relax the 30-day rule. (January 22, 2015)

In In re: NFL Players Concussion Injury Litigation,the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether it had appellate jurisdiction to review a petition based upon a conditional class-certification ruling. The court held that an order that preliminarily or conditionally addresses class certification does not qualify as a reviewable order because it does not grant or deny class certification. (December 24, 2014)

In Modern Equipment v. Main Street America, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed appellate jurisdiction, when appellant’s alternative requests for relief set forth in its complaint were left unaddressed by the parties and unanswered by the trial court. Since these alternative requests were not addressed, the appealed order was not final and the appeal was quashed for lack of appellate jurisdiction. (December 15, 2014)

In Malanchuk v. Sivchuk, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an appellate court has jurisdiction over an appeal from an order granting summary judgment in favor of one defendant as to all counts pled in one of the consolidated actions, but only granting partial summary judgment for the defendant in the other action. The court held that the consolidation of separate actions did not affect the interlocutory nature of the summary judgment order, and it was therefore unappealable. (December 17, 2014)

In Burkey v. CCX, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed the proper time to file a notice of appeal. The court quashed the notice of appeal finding that the thirty-day time period ran from the filing of a Stipulation to Dismiss the remaining defendant and not the subsequently filed Order to Settle, Discontinue, and End. (December 3, 2014)In Henebema v. South Jersey Transportation Authority, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed whether on remand for a new trial, only the liability of the moving defendants needed to be reconsidered by the jury or if all parties’ liability must be reconsidered. The court held that only the liability of the public-entity defendants, who had won a new trial on appeal, needed to be retried as that was a separate and distinct issue from the liability of the other parties, including the plaintiff’s comparative negligence. (September 29, 2014)

In Griswold v. Coventry First LLC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether appellate jurisdiction existed in order for the court to review the denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of standing, and whether the lower court erred in denying a motion to compel arbitration. The court held that it lacked appellate jurisdiction to address the denial of the motion to dismiss, but did have jurisdiction to address the denial of the motion to compel arbitration and affirmed the lower court on this issue. (August 12, 2014)

In Spanier v. Freeh, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a trial court’s order to stay the filing of the complaint until the completion of the plaintiff’s criminal proceedings is immediately appealable. Defendants alleged that the stay prohibited them from removing the case to federal court. The court held that the order was not immediately appealable as a collateral order because defendants’ right to remove to federal court was not irreparably lost. (June 30, 2014)

In Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York v Grullon, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, addressed whether the school district can appeal the motion court’s dismissalsua sponte of a motion to vacate an arbitration award. The court held that a party may not appeal from an order issued sua sponte. However, a party may apply to vacate the order and then appeal from the denial of that motion. (May 20, 2014)

In Reifer v. Westport Insurance Company, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to compel an insurance carrier to pay a verdict arising out of a legal malpractice claim to a state resident in the amount of $4.2 million. The Court held that the issues in the case were purely state law issues and remanded the matter back to the state court. (April 29, 2014) 

In Seitel Data, Ltd. v. Center Township, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed the scope of its original jurisdiction under the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act (the Act). A corporation filed a petition for injunctive relief against three municipalities seeking to declare invalid or enjoin the enforcement of contractual agreements and/or resolutions that were alleged to be preempted by the Act. The court held that because none of the defendant-municipalities had enacted ordinances that regulated oil or gas operations in violation of the Act, the court lacked original jurisdiction to hear the corporation’s petition. (March 7, 2014)

In Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation v. Presque Isle Downs, Inc., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether appellants waived their right to appeal by failing to timely comply with the trial court’s order directing it to file within twenty-one days a concise statement of errors pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). The court stated it lacked discretion to review the merits of an untimely Rule 1925(b) statement even if the trial court relied upon appellant’s untimely Rule 1925(b) statements and addressed the merits of the issues raised therein. (March 11, 2014)

In The Borough of Chambersburg v. Keeler, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether a pro se litigant waived all appeal issues for failing to timely file a statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 1925(b). Applying a “bright-line rule,” the court determined that the docket established the untimeliness of the statement regardless of the litigant’s claims of delay due to service by mail. (February 10, 2014)

In Blue Diamond Group Corp. v. Klin Construction Group, Inc., the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, addressed the timeliness of a post trial motion to set aside a jury verdict on the issue of liability. Because the appellant failed to make her post trial motion within the permitted one month period, her motion to set aside the jury verdict was denied. (February 5, 2014)

In Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund of International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether a district court’s decision on the merits that leaves unresolved a request for contractual attorney’s fees is a “final decision” under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (final decisions of district courts). The Court held that, because it is not “inclined to adopt a disposition that requires the . . . status of each attorney’s fee provision to be clearly established before the time to appeal can be clearly known,” a decision on the merits is a "final decision" even if the award or amount of attorney’s fees remains to be determined. (January 15, 2014)

In McGlynn v. State of New Jersey, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division addressed whether the time to file an appeal begins to run when a case is marked closed for administrative purposes or rather, when a stipulation of dismissal is filed. The court held that the appeal was timely, finding the date a stipulation of dismissal is filed is the date of final judgment, triggering the start of a party’s time to file an appeal; marking a case closed for administrative purposes is simply not dispositive. (January 3, 2014)

In Eastman v. First Data Corporation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether the court should excuse an untimely filed petition to appeal an order denying class certification when counsel mistakenly believed that a rule providing three additional days to file a legal document applied to the petition. The court held that counsel’s mistake regarding the time to file an appeal of an order denying class certification does not constitute excusable neglect. (December 4, 2013)

In Stepanovich v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether the trial court’s failure to identify the plaintiff’s UIM carrier to the jury as a defendant in the lawsuit violated the plaintiff’s due process rights. The court held that, although the plaintiff may have been entitled to inform the jury of the carrier’s participation, the plaintiff was not prejudiced. (October 15, 2013)

In In Re: Estate of Boyle, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the appellants waived their right to an appeal of an Orphan’s Court order by failing to file a timely appeal. The trial court ordered appellants to file a statement of errors complained of on appeal within 21 days of the date of the order. Although appellants served a copy of their statement to the trial court, they did not file the statement with the court’s prothonotary until 9 days after that deadline expired. The court held that the there was a waiver of any appeal based upon non-compliance with the court’s order. (October 4, 2013)

In Al-Shahrani v. Hudson Auto Traders, Inc., the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, addressed the sufficiency of a record on appeal. The court noted that it is the appellant’s duty to assemble the record on appeal, and held that because the appellant failed to include in the record on appeal all papers submitted by defendant in support of its motion for summary judgment, the appeal must be dismissed. (October 9, 2013)

In Papotto v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether a remand order from the District Court to the Plan Administrator in an ERISA action constituted a “final” order for purposes of appeal. The remand order required fact-finding as to whether a causal connection existed between the insured’s intoxication and the loss for purposes of an accidental death policy, which excluded losses sustained while intoxicated. Because the remand order did not determine eligibility, the court held that the order was not immediately appealable as a final order. (September 26, 2013)

In NCAA v. Christie, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is constitutional. The court held that sports leagues have standing to challenge New Jersey's efforts to implement sports wagering, and further determined that PASPA is constitutional, thus prohibiting New Jersey's efforts to implement sports wagering. (September 17, 2013)

In Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil v. YLL, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit addressed the grounds on which the decision of an arbitration panel can be vacated or reconsidered. The court held that an appellant has a high burden when trying to vacate an arbitration award and must demonstrate “objective facts inconsistent with impartiality” or that the arbitration panel violated “fundamental fairness” in conducting the arbitration. As to reconsideration, the court held that an appellant must identify “an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” (August 30, 2013)

In Bowling v. Office of Open Records, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, under the Right–to-Know Law (RTKL) (65 P.S. §§ 67.101 – 67.3104), sought to determine the standard and scope of review that apply when a court reviews a final determination of the Office of Open Records. In a plurality decision, the majority found the standard of review is de novo and the scope of review is broad and plenary when hearing appeals from determinations made by appeals officers under the RTKL. (August 20, 2013)

In Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on the following issue: 

Whether a district court's decision on the merits that leaves unresolved a request for contractual attorney's fees is a “final decision,” and thus immediately appealable? (June 17, 2013)

In Schmader v. Cranberry Township Board of Supervisors, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed a zoning board’s decision to quash a zoning appeal based on a late filing. The court held that Section 1002-A of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code cannot be construed to completely eradicate an agency’s obligation to notify a party of the date of the mailing or in some fashion the date the appeal period begins. The due process exception in Section 1002-A requires notice of the date, even if the General Assembly otherwise mandated the mailing date as the start of the appeal period. (June 7, 2013)

In Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the United States Supreme Court determined whether a Federal Court has jurisdiction to entertain an appeal from an Administrative Law Judge concerning whether a farmer violated the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, which attempts to stabilize prices for agricultural commodities. After being assessed a fine, the farmers appealed the decision to the federal court which declined jurisdiction over the constitutional challenge that the fine represented an unconstitutional “taking” because the fine had not been paid. The Court held that the farmers could argue that the fine is an unconstitutional “taking” and could bring the “takings” claim in federal district court without first paying the fine. (June 10, 2013)

In Barnett v. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed the denial of an appeal by the Office of Open Record’s (OOP) with regard to a request made under the Right to Know Law (RTKL). The OOP denied the appeal because the requester did not specify the particular defects in the Department of Public Welfare’s denial of the RTKL Request. The court vacated the OOP's denial of the appeal, finding that there was adequate specificity in the appeal, especially when the objective of the RTKL is to afford citizens greater access to information concerning the activities of the government. (June 12, 2013)

In Billera v. DeSales University, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, in addressing the elements required for a breach of contract action, focused on the fact that issues not raised in the lower court are waived, cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, and that preservation of issues is foundational to proper appellate review. The court also noted the requirement that an appellant must forth, in the argument section of an appellate brief, a reference to the place in the record “where the matter referred to appears.” The court determined that the plaintiff could not survive summary judgment because of plaintiff’s failure to provide evidence to establish the elements for a breach of contract action, due in large part to plaintiff’s failure to properly preserve the trial record and adequately reference purported evidence. (June 5, 2013)

In Nicholas v. National Union Fire Insurance Company, the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed whether an appeal should be dismissed as untimely because the appellant’s attorney, while using the eFiling system, filed the notice of appeal in the Superior Court rather than in the Supreme Court. The court held that a notice of appeal should not be refused by the clerk if the intent to appeal is clear from the document filed. The court also held that Section 1902 of the Delaware Code allows the transfer of an appeal from the Superior Court to the Supreme Court despite the filing error. (May 20, 2013)

In Frankowski v. State Civil Service Commission (Department of Labor & Industry), the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered an order by the State Civil Service Commission (Commission), which directed removal of the petitioner’s name from eligibility lists for the position of intake interviewer. The court held that the Commission’s decision was not an “adjudication,” and therefore the petitioner had no right to appeal from the Commission’s decision. (May 7, 2013)

In Vietri v. Delaware Valley High School, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed the effect of filing an improvident post-trial motion on a party’s right to appeal after the applicable deadline (i.e., nunc pro tunc relief). The court found that, although a post-trial motion was an improper mechanism for preserving appellate rights after disposition of a summary judgment motion, such an error did not affect the substantial rights of the parties. As such, the trial court’s denial of the appellant’s application for nunc pro tunc relief was an abuse of discretion. (March 22, 2013)

In Jones v. Boykan, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts addressed the procedure by which a successful appellant in a civil rights case (for which attorney fees are provided by statute) is required to raise an attorney fee request. The court held that parties must request costs and attorney fees separately, but that each request must be made in the appellate brief. (February 6, 2013)

In Glenford Ragguette v. Premier Wine & Spirits, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the standard for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5). The court held that “excusable neglect” under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5) is not established when the failure to timely file a notice of appeal is due to avoidable attorney inadvertence. (August 15, 2012)

In In re Bridgeport Fire Litigation, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed its jurisdiction over an appeal from an order denying the motion of certain class plaintiffs for the recusal of the Honorable Steven T. O’Neill from continuing to preside over the litigation. The court quashed the appeal as premature, finding the order interlocutory because two unresolved motions were pending in the trial court. (August 14, 2012)

In Davis, Malm & D’Agostine v. Lahnston, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts addressed whether a method of preserving an issue for appellate review unique to the Boston Municipal Court and District Court departments (a “warrants” request) that had been abolished in 2008 remained a valid method of preserving an issue for appellate review after 2008. The court concluded that warrants requests are no longer a valid method of obtaining a ruling of law in modern civil practice. (July 25, 2012)

In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the United States Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the “Healthcare Reform Act.” The Court upheld the Act’s individual mandate, which requires most Americans to maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage, but declared the Act’s penalty provision relating to the expansion of Medicaid to be unconstitutional. Specifically, the Court held:

1.    the Anti-Injunction Act, which bars lawsuits relating to taxation until the tax is actually paid, did not bar this lawsuit;

2.    the Act’s individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause powers;

3.    the individual mandate is constitutional as a tax on those who do not have health insurance imposed within Congress’s powers under the Taxing Clause;

4.    the penalty imposed by the Act on states failing to comply with the Medicaid expansion provisions of the Act is unconstitutional “economic dragooning” beyond Congress’s powers under the Spending Clause; and,

5.    the Medicaid expansion penalty portion of the Act is severable from the remainder of the Act. (June 28, 2012)

In Elliot v. Archdiocese of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) requires a district court to expressly state that it has determined that there is no just reason for delay when the district court enters a judgment for one or more, but fewer than all the claims or parties in an action, to facilitate an immediate appeal. The court held that a district court must expressly state in its Rule 54(b) order that it has determined that there is no just reason for delay in entry of a final judgment. If a district court fails to do so, the court of appeals does not have jurisdiction over an appeal from that judgment. (June 12, 2012)

In Baker v. U.S. Gov’t Officials, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671, against the United States and various officials for personal injuries allegedly sustained from exposure to second-hand smoke while incarcerated in federal prison. The plaintiff did not receive notice of the dismissal until after the time for a motion to reopen or a motion for reconsideration had passed due to delays created by the prison system. The court held that because the timing requirements for filing a motion to reopen to take an appeal under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure are jurisdictional in nature, they cannot be relaxed even for delays caused by the prison system. (February 13, 2012)

In Snyder v. Blue Mountain School District, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether a student’s First Amendment right to free speech was violated when the student was suspended from school after creating a fictitious MySpace profile of the school principal, which included a photograph of the principal and sexually explicit and profane statements. The court held that the student’s rights were violated because the speech did not cause any substantial disruption to the school, and school authorities could not reasonably have predicted a substantial disruption in school as a result of the MySpace profile. On January 17, 2012, the United States Supreme Court denied review of this decision. (January 17, 2012)

In King v. Riverwatch Condominium Owners Association, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, considered an untimely post-trial motion after the lower court failed to provide the aggrieved party's counsel with notice of judgment. The court held that the attorney failed to enter his appearance of record, and thus there was no breakdown in the court system necessitating relief from the time period to file post-trial motions. (July 21, 2011)

In Sullivan v. The Mayor and Council of the Town of Elsmere, the Supreme Court of Delaware, addressed due process relating to the termination of a police chief where the panel voting to terminate him contained a biased member. The court held that the "Panel's error by not [disqualifying the biased member], in accord with the fundamental principles of due process, tainted the Panel's votes on the charges against [the police chief] and ordered a new hearing even though there were enough votes to terminate the police chief without counting the biased member's vote. (June 17, 2011)

In In Re: First Baptist Church of Spring Mill, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania considered an appeal of an Orphan's Court decision disapproving of a proposed payment of the substantial portion of proceeds of the sale of the Church's property to its pastor in accordance with the Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988, 15 Pa. C.S. §§ 5101 - 6145 pursuant to the Church's planned dissolution. The court quashed the Church's appeal as taken from a non-appealable interlocutory order because the dissolution process requires further proceedings and is subject to the court's supervision under the Nonprofit Corporation Law. (June 10, 2011)

In Bantum v. New Castle County Vo-Tech. Edu. Assoc., the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed whether Title 14, section 1056(h) of the Delaware Code, which provides immunity to school districts from tort suits under certain circumstances, provided immunity to a school district for a claim of negligent failure to inspect the premises where the plaintiff slipped and fell on ice on school property during an event held by another organization that temporarily leased the property. The court held that the school district was entitled to immunity under section 1056(h). Stephen Milewski of White and Williams represented the school district. (May 18, 2011)

In New Jersey v. Merrill Lynch & Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed whether a forum selection clause that provided "exclusive jurisdiction...shall lie in the appropriate courts of the State [of] New Jersey" prohibited a party from removing the case to the federal district courts in New Jersey. The court held that the clause did prohibit removal to the federal courts in New Jersey. (May 18, 2011)

In Shelly Enterprises v. Guadagnini, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed its jurisdiction where the trial court entered judgment on the pleadings and denied a later petition to open the judgment. The court quashed the appeal holding that it was without jurisdiction because the entry of judgment on the pleadings created a final judgment and the later petition served as an untimely collateral attack on a final judgment. (May 4, 2011)

In Kronstain v. Miller, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed whether an award of a new trial following a mistrial is appealable. The trial court initially declared a mistrial because, although the jury found the defendant negligent, it was deadlocked on issues of causation and damages. On post trial motion, the trial court granted a new trial on the issues of causation and damages only, but retained the jury's finding of negligence. The defendant appealed. The Superior Court quashed the appeal, reasoning that because the mistrial was declared prior to the trial court's order, a new trial would have followed as a matter of right. Therefore, the trial court's order could not grant a new trial as it purported to do. Rather than award a new trial, the court's order simply limited the scope of the retrial to causation and perhaps damages. (April 27, 2011)

In Newman Development Group v. Genuardi's, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed a dispute over a commercial lease agreement and waiver of issues for purposes of appeal. The underlying matter was tried, properly appealed, and remanded on the issue of proper damages with a subsequent verdict assessing damages. Appellant filed no post-trial motions after the remand and verdict, but rather filed a direct appeal. The Superior Court, noting the important role of post-trial motions, held that the circumstances required post-trial motions and as such found that the appellant waived their claims of trial court error. (March 18, 2011)

In GMAC v. Pittella v. Pine Belt Enterprises, Inc., the Supreme Court of New Jersey considered whether an order compelling arbitration as to one, but not all, claims and parties is final for purposes of appeal. The Court held that any order compelling or denying arbitration is deemed final and appealable as of right on the date entered, regardless of whether other claims or parties exist. The Court noted that all attorneys in New Jersey are now on notice that orders regarding arbitration are to be appealed immediately. (March 23, 2011)

In Virgin Islands v. Mills, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit examined whether a pro se notice of appeal satisfied the judgment-designation requirement where the notice erroneously referenced the docket number and trial date of an earlier case involving the same parties despite correctly identifying the parties to the appeal and the nature of the case. The court held that the notice of appeal was sufficient because the surrounding circumstances made clear which judgment was being appealed, and the appellee was not prejudiced by the errors contained in the notice. (February 9, 2011)

In Lombardi v. Masso, the Supreme Court of New Jersey granted a Petition for Certification of Appeal to consider the following question: "Under what circumstances may a panel of the Appellate Division overturn the decision of another panel in a prior interlocutory appeal in the same case? (October 21, 2010)

In Berg v. Nationwide, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided whether an appellant's failure to personally serve a trial judge with a court-ordered statement of errors complained of on appeal in accordance with Pa. R. A. P. 1925 results in waiver of all issues, where the court's order itself did not comply with Rule 1925. The court found that there was no waiver because the appellant substantially complied with the express terms of the trial court's order by attempting to file an original and one copy of the statement with the prothonotary (one for the court and one for the trial judge). (October 22, 2010)

In Nama Holdings, LLC v. World Market Center Venture, LLC, et al., the Supreme Court of Delaware addressed the test for when an order is final and, therefore, ripe for appeal. The Court held that an order is final when the trial court has clearly declared its intention that the order be the court's "final act." (August 2, 2010)

In Washington, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., et al., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania addressed a consolidated, procedurally complex appeal and considered whether the lower court violated the due process rights of individual plaintiffs by granting defendants' motion to: 1) transfer the venue of ten Philadelphia County cases to Allegheny County; 2) coordinate all cases with two related Allegheny court putative class action lawsuits; and 3) stay all state court matters pending disposition of a related district court class action lawsuit in Illinois. The plaintiffs in this consolidated appeal were 233 FedEx drivers from 42 different states. The plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that their employment contracts characterizing their relationships as independent contractors were invalid because, in reality, an employer-employee relationship exists. The plaintiffs have either opted out of pending class actions or, should the class actions be certified, intend to opt out of the class actions. The Superior Court affirmed the lower court's orders related to the transfer and coordination of the actions, reasoning that the plaintiffs' due process rights were not violated because their rights will not expire or be indefinitely delayed by waiting until the resolution of a related federal court class action lawsuit. Additionally, the plaintiffs were still permitted to file a motion to lift the stay so as to conduct limited discovery. With regard to coordinating the actions with the two related putative class action lawsuits, the Superior Court found that the plaintiffs' individual rights were not violated because they were not bound to the outcome of the class actions and were still entitled to opt out and pursue their individual theories. Further, transferring and coordinating related cases promotes judicial efficiency and avoids the waste of judicial resources. With respect to the order entering the stay, the court quashed the appeal. Orders staying proceedings are generally considered interlocutory and are appealable only if made so by statute, or if the effect of the stay is tantamount to a dismissal of the case, or amounts to a permanent denial of relief. The Superior Court found that no exceptions applied. (May 27, 2010) 

In Gormley v. Edgar, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania clarified that a plaintiff who places her mental health at issue in a civil action waives her entitlement to assert privilege or confidentiality protections with respect to her mental health treatment or records. The court first addressed whether orders compelling the disclosure of privileged documents or communications are immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine. Although the court acknowledged that the United States Supreme Court recently held that the federal collateral order doctrine does not apply to orders compelling the disclosure of privileged documents, the court nonetheless held that under Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 313, such orders are immediately appealable. The court then held that the defendant was entitled to discover the records of the plaintiff's mental health evaluation during an emergency room visit because she alleged in her complaint that, as a result of the defendant's negligence, she suffered anxiety and the loss of the enjoyment of life. (April 26, 2010) 

In Mohawk Indus., Inc. v. Carpenter, the Supreme Court of the United States held that orders compelling discovery of documents that contain information protected by the attorney-client privilege are not collateral orders subject to immediate appellate review. In Mohawk, an employee notified his employer that the company was employing undocumented immigrants. Unbeknownst to the employee, the employer was being sued in a class action for conspiring to drive down its legal employees' wages by knowingly hiring undocumented workers. The employer directed the employee to meet with its attorneys, who pressured the employee to recant his statements concerning undocumented workers. When the employee refused, he was allegedly terminated. After the employee filed suit against his employer for wrongful termination, the employee sought to discover information concerning his meeting with the employer's attorneys. The district court held that the employer had waived the attorney-client privilege and, thus, the documents were discoverable. The Eleventh Circuit dismissed the employer's appeal as interlocutory. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the employer's appeal, and held that orders compelling discovery of documents protected by the attorney-client privilege do not qualify as collateral orders subject to immediate appeal. (December 8, 2009)

In Janicky v. Point Bay Fuel, Inc., et al., the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division addressed the finality of a consent judgment, and whether a party can appeal an interlocutory order entered prior to the entry of a consent judgment. The court held that a party who enters into a settlement agreement memorialized by a final consent order for judgment cannot, thereafter, file a notice of appeal directed at a prior interlocutory order because the matter is no longer a justiciable controversy. Although a consent judgment may reserve the right of a party to appeal a prior interlocutory order, there was no such reservation in this case. (October 20, 2009)

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