Category: Litigation / Personal Injury

Burdens of Proof

When it comes to the burden of proof in a courtroom, two important questions arise:  What is the burden of proof, and who has it? In criminal cases the burden of proof is always on the prosecutor since the accused has a constitutional right to… Continue reading

What is Jurisdiction?

It seems you can sue anyone for almost anything these days – but you cannot sue them just anywhere. Before you can bring a claim against another person or entity the court that you are suing in must have jurisdiction. This seems simple enough –… Continue reading

Using Experts In Personal Injury Cases

The use of experts in personal injury cases is an important and valuable weapon in a lawyer’s arsenal to aggressively pursue recovery on behalf of an injured client. While the costs of experts can be significant, those costs are often more than justified by an… Continue reading

Small Claims Court

Pennsylvania’s small claims court system is a system of uniform statewide Magisterial District Justice courts. Each of the more than 500 Magisterial District Justices has exclusive jurisdiction over his or her specific geographic area. Civil claims can be brought in the district where the defendant… Continue reading

What is a Motion in Limine?

As a civil lawsuit becomes ready for trial the trial lawyers start to think about what evidence they intend to present to the jury to prove or defend their case. Evidence is typically developed during the discovery process where witnesses are deposed and documents, photographs… Continue reading

Strict Liability

In the law of torts, it is usually necessary to show that a person is negligent or otherwise at fault before that person can be found legally responsible for damages. If you slip on a banana peel and suffer injury, you must prove that the… Continue reading

What is Allocatur?

In simple terms, allocatur is a petition to an appellate court for permission to be allowed to file an appeal. An allocatur petition is generally filed where an automatic right to appeal does not exist. In Pennsylvania, a litigant has an absolute right to appeal… Continue reading

Are you Losing your Appeal?

The Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure are both precise, and unforgiving. If you wish to appeal a decision of a lower court (such as the County Court of Common Pleas), the general rule is that you have 30 days from the entry of the lower… Continue reading

What is “Strict Liability”?

Proving a criminal or civil case normally requires proving the mental state of the defendant, specifically showing that the defendant intended to commit the act for which he or she is being prosecuted. State of mind usually plays an important part in criminal or civil… Continue reading

Criminal Law: What is a Preliminary Hearing?

If you are arrested in Pennsylvania and charged with a serious crime, such as a misdemeanor or felony, a preliminary hearing before a magistrate will be scheduled promptly. In the first instance, the purpose of a preliminary hearing is to protect the right of the… Continue reading