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Selected Cases Resulting in Published Opinions

Meade v. City of Philadelphia, 65 A.3d 1031 (Commw. 2013)(en banc)(BRT II)
Stein v. Magarity, 2014 Pa. Super. 239, 102 A.3d 1010 (2014)
BRT v. City of Philadelphia, 4 A.3d 610 (Pa. 2010)
Vallone v. Creech, 820 A.2d 760 (Pa. Super. 2003)
Maritrans GP Inc. v. Pepper, Hamilton & Sheetz, 602 A.2d 1277 (Pa. 1992)
McHugh v. Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow & Young, 574 A.2d 1040 (Pa. 1990)
Rogers v. Johnson & Johnson Products Inc., 565 A.2d 751 (Pa.Super.1988)
Mitzelfelt v. Kamrin, 549 A.2d 935 (Pa. Super. 1988)
Richard A. Sprague v. Walter, 543 A.2d 1078 (Pa. 1988)
Hatchard v. Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, 532 A.2d 346 (Pa. 1987).

Coughlin v. Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable, Inc., 476 U.S. 1187 (1986)(Opinion of Chief Justice Burger dissenting from denial of cert., joined by Rehnquist, J.)(quoted below)*
Hill v. Borough, 445 F.3d 225 (3d Cir. 2006)
Terra Nova Insurance v. 900 Bar, Inc., 887 F.2d 1213 (3d Cir. 1989)
Simone v. Golden Nugget, 844 F.2d 1031 (3d Cir. 1988)
Senator Paul Laxalt v. McClatchy, 809 F.2d 885 (D.C. Cir. 1987)
Coughlin v. Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable, Inc., 689 F. Supp. 483 (E.D. Pa. 1988)


Petitioner and his wife filed a libel suit in District Court. He alleged that even a minimal investigation of the events of that evening would have revealed that he was a rookie policeman, patrolling alone for the first time on October 11, 1981; that early in his shift, he was ordered to investigate a vandalism complaint at the bar; that after talking to the bar's steward, he returned to the patrol car and filled out his incident report book; and that he was not required to wear his jacket or hat while on patrol. Petitioner further alleged that the purported "envelope" was in fact nothing other than his incident report book. The District Court concluded that petitioner had raised a genuine issue of material fact concerning the truth of the allegedly defamatory statements and that the broadcast was capable of a defamatory interpretation. 603 F.Supp. 377 (ED Pa.1985). Applying our decision in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, however, the District Court concluded that petitioner had not introduced sufficient evidence of "actual malice" on the part of respondent to withstand a motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that the District Court had properly evaluated petitioner's evidence of actual malice. 780 F.2d 340 (CA3 1985). One judge concurred, observing that "[t]he New York Times standard makes it hard enough for a public figure to win a libel suit, even when faced, as here, with what any fair observer must agree is egregious conduct on the part of the media." Id., at 349 (Becker, J.).

Petitioner has raised an important federal question that we should review. He has been accused of accepting a bribe on the basis of a cursory investigation, yet his libel suit to clear his name has been found to be constitutionally barred. The District Court observed: "An issue . . . exists as to whether [respondent], with a minimum of effort, could have discovered the truth. The Supreme Court's mandate, however, is clear: 'reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published, or would have investigated before publishing.' " 603 F.Supp., at 388 (quoting St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727, 731, 88 S.Ct. 1323, 1325, 20 L.Ed.2d 262 (1968)). I would grant certiorari and set this case for argument to determine whether the Court's "mandate" remains an appropriate one.

Areas Of Practice

General and complex Civil Litigation in federal and state court, including personal injury, suits involving governmental units and media, civil rights, fiduciary litigation (estates), contract and employment matters.

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