Duane Morris partner Robert L. Byer has been recognized by Best Lawyers® as the “2024 Appellate Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The recognition is given to only one attorney for each practice area and city. Lawyers are selected based on high marks received during peer-review assessments conducted by Best Lawyers each year. He also received this distinction in 2020, 2016 and 2011.
Rob Palumbos, partner and chair of the Appellate division of Duane Morris’ Trial Practice Group, was elected a member of the American Law Institute. Rob will further ALI’s work of clarifying the law through Restatements, Principles and Model Codes through the production of scholarly and scientific legal work.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, the American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. For more information, please visit the ALI website.
In a significant victory for California employers, the state Court of Appeal issued a decision on February 27, 2023, that provides them with a defense to wage statement penalties recoverable under Labor Code § 226 when they can show a “good faith” belief in their compliance with the Labor Code. See Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. (Feb. 27, 2023 Second District, Div. Four No. B256232) __Cal.App.5th __. Note: Duane Morris was counsel for the defendant in this appellate case.
Read the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.
The Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, or Westfall Act, amended the Federal Tort Claims Act to extend absolute immunity from personal tort liability to “any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment.”
Until recently, no federal court had squarely addressed whether the U.S. president is an employee of the government for purposes of the Westfall Act. This question of statutory interpretation controlled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s recent split decision in Carroll v. Trump.
The majority opinion in Carroll answered the question affirmatively, while the dissent disagreed. Remarkably, both opinions purported to apply the same tools of statutory interpretation to reach these disparate conclusions.
Duane Morris LLP partner Andrew R. Sperl has been appointed as a co-vice chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Committee. The committee promotes communication and cooperation between lawyers who practice before the state and federal appellate courts and members of the judiciary, and provides the opportunity to identify and address the means to achieving quality practice in all manner of appeals. It seeks to enhance the knowledge and professional capability of lawyers through focused educational programs. The committee also fosters dialogue between the bench and the bar, explores means and methods to improve and advance the appellate process, and may review and make recommendations concerning the rules of procedure that affect the appellate process.
To read the full text of this press release, please visit the firm website.
The 2021 Annual Report of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, John Asiello, to the Judges of the Court summarizing the work and accomplishments of the court during calendar year 2021 was recently released. It is his last, as he has announced his retirement. As with his prior reports, and those of his predecessors, it is a document crammed full of information that will be of interest not only to appellate practitioners and dedicated court watchers, but to anyone seeking to learn the role and operation of our state’s highest tribunal.
Appealability” is a threshold jurisdictional consideration that incorporates a requirement of “appealable paper” and relates to the issue of whether a direct appeal, either as of right or by permission, may be taken to the Appellate Division from the judgment or order in question. Judging by the volume of decisions dismissing appeals on the court’s own motion for lack of appealability, practitioners often overlook it before embarking upon the time and expense of an appeal.
On December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania handed down a landmark ruling on personal jurisdiction in Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Before this decision, the controlling rule had been that foreign corporations subject themselves to general personal jurisdiction by registering to do business in Pennsylvania. In Mallory, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed that rule and held that a foreign corporation’s registration to do business does not confer general personal jurisdiction over the corporation.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
Recently, we began to see real decisions being made by the appellate courts on COVID-19 Business Interruption issues. The U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals have established a uniformly favorable trend for insurance carriers – these courts have affirmed the district court decisions that have ruled in favor of the insurers, and in one case, the Sixth Circuit vacated a district court’s decision that ruled in favor of the policyholder. Since our original blog post on this issue in October, this trend continued in December with a Tenth Circuit decision.
To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Max H. Stern & Holden Benon, please visit the Duane Morris Insurance and Reinsurance Blog.
The first California state appellate decision on COVID-19 Business Interruption coverage is now in the books, and it’s one more victory for insurers. In The Inns by the Sea v. California Mutual Ins. Co., Case No. D079036 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist., Div. 1, Nov. 15, 2021), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District found there was no coverage, notwithstanding the absence of a virus exclusion in the relevant policy. The court’s 36-page opinion provides a thorough and careful analysis of several important COVID-19-related business interruption issues.