What is a Municipal Authority?
If you live in Pennsylvania, odds are that you’re within the service area of at least one municipal or joint municipal authority. It has been estimated that Pennsylvania has roughly 2,000 active municipal authorities. Whether for water distribution, wastewater treatment, sewer, school, hospital, mass transit, recreation, business development, or some other purpose, most citizens get […]
Political campaign signs in Pennsylvania: protected speech that’s not always protected
Political campaign signage has always been a point of significant controversy in PA, which has only intensified in the recent years. Because our democracy depends upon the free exchange of ideas, the First Amendment forbids laws “abridging the freedom of speech.” The Supreme Court has long interpreted that the Amendment has a very broad set […]
Changes in 2019 for PA Spousal Support Guidelines and APL – Who’s Affected?
If you only pay or get child support, the changes in the rules are relatively modest. In contrast, the shift in the approach to payment of spousal support or APL changes the amounts for all. Everyone has the right to ask the support orders be updated under the amended rules.
Stolen Employee Data: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision Breaks New Ground
In late 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that employees may sue employers for the release of stolen confidential employee data. The Court’s decision in the Dittman vs. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, allowed University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) employees to bring a class action for negligence after a data breach from UPMC’s computer […]
Is donation-based crowdfunding considered income? If so, how is it taxed?
January 8, 2019 An elderly man beaten with a brick on July 4th in Los Angeles is in critical condition. A German Shepherd is beaten and shot while protecting his young owner during a burglary. Then, there is the little girl born prematurely who needs tests, treatments, doctors and surgeries to survive. In each of […]
Ancillary probate: What is it and how to avoid it in estate planning
by Stephanie Henrick | December 4, 2018 As the weather turns colder and thousands of northeastern “snowbirds” prepare to head south to their winter homes, thoughts turn to warm gulf breezes, Christmas lights in palm trees, and, of course, what the heck to do about that looming ancillary probate problem. Well, maybe they’re not […]
What is garden leave?
by Thomas Rees, Esq. | October 31, 2018 What is garden leave (also known as ‘gardening leave’)? The term sounds pastoral, but its use is practical. Very simply, it is an agreed-upon period when an employer pays a departing key employee not to work before the employee joins a competitor. Originating in England, it […]
Teen driver safety in Pennsylvania
October 17, 2018 by Eric Marttila Having recently represented a teen driver who had received a traffic citation, I was presented with a letter she had received from the Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania covering traffic laws and driver safety. In that thoughtful letter, the Secretary of Transportation reminded her that “personal […]
Starting or Relocating a Business: Watch Out for Local Requirements!
September 11, 2018 By Kathleen M. Thomas Anyone who starts or relocates a business goes through exciting and challenging times. It is understandable that the business owner’s primary focus is getting established and meeting customer needs. It stands to reason that a business plan will include big picture items such as marketing strategy and customer […]
Small business owners: Beware these recent developments in PA law!
September 5, 2018 By Mark R. Fischer, Jr. For small business owners, the growth of a startup business can cause you to overlook the legal minutiae that come along the way. It is not unusual to see small businesses that started out using form contracts or invoices that may have done the trick at the […]
“How can I change my child’s school” – School Choice and Custody Issues
August 28, 2018 By Elizabeth C. Early, Esquire Every spring and summer, custody attorneys and the custody courts see a drastic increase in the amount of cases brought to the court for consideration regarding where the parties’ children will attend school in the next year. “School choice” cases, as those cases are typically called, are […]
Limited Tort! = Limited Recovery?
August 15, 2018 By Eric G. Marttila Pennsylvania drivers, when presented with car insurance coverage choices, are given the “Limited Tort Option” – at a discount of some 15% to 20% on annual premiums. While such savings may be appealing at first glance, such a decision can have far reaching adverse consequences – and our […]
Death, Debts and Taxes: What happens to a decedent’s debts?
August 7, 2018 A common concern of clients during the initial estate administration process is the debts of the decedent. Clients often wonder, who is responsible for paying the debts? Can the debt be forgiven? What happens if the estate does not have enough money to pay the debts? These questions are all valid The […]
New Grandparent and Third-Party Custody Law
August 1, 2018 By Brittany M. Yurchyk As of July 2018 a new law regarding grandparent and third party child rights took full effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Act 21 of 2018 expands the categories of people able to request custody of a child through the courts. Act 21 also clarifies when grandparents can […]
Don’t Forget! 2019 Tax Appeal Deadlines Are Approaching
July 25, 2018 By Stephen M. Zaffuto New assessment notices and tax bills have been arriving in property owners’ mailboxes throughout the spring and summer, and deadlines in a few counties in southeastern Pennsylvania are only a few cookouts or trips to the shore away. August 1 is the deadline for filing appeals in Montgomery […]
You Must be a Current Employee to Review your Personnel File!
July 18, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that only current employees have the right to review their personnel files under the Pennsylvania Personnel Files Act. This decision in Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 162 A.3d 384 (Pa. 2017), does not […]
Social Security Disability: Meeting the Financial and Medical Eligibility Requirements
July 10, 2018 By Linay L. Haubert Being diagnosed with a potentially disabling medical condition and not being able perform the work you used to do is not a guarantee that you will be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. There are stringent rules and requirements, both financial and medical, which must be met in […]
Watch out for Non-Hire and Anti-Poaching Agreements!
June 27, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire You are the CEO of Company A, a cutting-edge developer of new software. Over golf (or sushi), you agree with the CEO of equally cutting-edge Company B that each of you will not hire or try to hire away the other’s top talent. Is anything wrong with […]
Franchisee’s Struggle: Creating a Viable Business When Someone Else Calls the Shots on Your Social Media Presence
June 19, 2018 Social media has changed the way we see the world. From its modest beginnings as a way to connect people, social media has grown into an ever present force that cannot be ignored. We get the news (fake and otherwise), learn about new products, and keep in touch through social media. I’d […]
Be Prepared for Motorcycle Season
June 12, 2018 By Douglas Wayne As the long cold and rainy spring of 2018 fades into memory, motorcycle riders across the Commonwealth are taking out their bikes and getting ready for a glorious season of riding. However, the unfortunate truth is that motorcycle accidents can and do happen. Here are some thoughts about how […]