Category: Litigation / Personal Injury

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

What is Interpleader? (Stuck in the Middle Again…

Interpleader is a legal remedy designed to protect a stakeholder caught between two competing claimants who have sued or threatened to sue the stakeholder to recover money or other property.  Easy to say but not always easy to comprehend. Perhaps the best way to understand… Continue reading

Statutes of Limitation

A statute of limitation is a law or rule that requires specific types of claims to be brought in court within a certain time frame, or be forever barred.  Some limitation periods are short; others can be longer.  Here is a chart showing the applicable… Continue reading

Sidewalk Trip-and-Fall — Who’s Liable?

Although the public has a right-of-way to use a sidewalk adjacent to a homeowner’s residence, the homeowner has an obligation to maintain the sidewalk so that pedestrians using it will not be at risk.  This includes removing ice or snow within a reasonable period after… Continue reading

Pennsylvania’s Deficiency Judgment Act

When a real estate mortgage is foreclosed the underlying property is typically sold at a sheriff’s sale by the mortgage lender.  The lender hopes to sell the property for a high enough price to cover the loan balance owed by the borrower.  Sometimes, however, the… Continue reading