Executive Orders vs. De Facto Legislation; In-Home Personal Care Workers and Collective Bargaining

Markham v. Wolf, 147 A.3d 1259 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2016), 109 MAP 2016 (Direct appeal); Smith v. Wolf, 110 MAP 2016 (companion case, identical issues)

In these related cases Governor Wolf appeals from the Commonwealth Court’s orders declaring invalid and enjoining major portions of his Executive Order 2015-05, which focuses on individuals who receive, and direct care workers (DCWs) who provide, in-home personal care to help disabled and elderly Pennsylvanians live in their homes, rather than in nursing homes pursuant to the Attendant Care Services Act, 62 P.S. §§ 3051-3058 (Act 150), and federal Medicaid waiver programs.

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Search & Seizure; Scope of Consent

Commonwealth v. Valdivia, 145 A.3d 1156 (Pa. Super. 2016), 9 MAP 2017

The Supreme Court will hear argument on whether, in a case of first impression, the Superior Court erred in holding that a reasonable person would have understood that their consent to a roadside search of their vehicle would encompass a canine sniff of all of the packages contained inside the vehicle, and that said consent was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary where the police officers withheld pertinent information about the forthcoming search from Petitioner, including that the canine search would not start any sooner than an hour from when Petitioner’s consent was given?

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Child Support; High Income Guidelines; Deviations & Attorney’s Fees

Hanrahan v. Bakker, 151 A.3d 195 (Pa. Super. 2016), 19 MAP 2017 

The Supreme Court granted allocatur to determine issues related to a downward deviation awarded to Father in a High Income Child Support scenario, as well as an attorney fee award pursuant to the support agreement.

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Suppression of Evidence; First Amendment

Commonwealth v. Knox, 2016 WL 5379299 (Pa. Super.)(unreported), 3 WAP 2017

Is the question of whether the artistic creation of Petitioner constitutes protected free speech or a true threat punishable by criminal sanction . . . of such substantial importance as to require prompt and definitive resolution by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, even if the High Court must decide this question sua sponte?

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Action by Non-Resident under the Pennsylvania UTPCPL

Danganan v. Guardian Protection Svc., 2016 WL 3977488 (W.D. Pa.), 36 WAP 2017

Plaintiff in this Pennsylvania UTPCPL case appealed to the Third Circuit, which petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 3341 to decide questions of state law related to UTPCPL and choice of law contracting provisions.

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Clean Streams Law Discharge Penalties: Is the Violation Limited to the Initial Discharge into Water, or Continuing Until no Water Anywhere is Affected?

EQT Production Co v. DEP, 153 A.3d 424 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2017), 6 MAP 2017  (Direct appeal)

This case involves the reach of Section 301 of The Clean Streams Law, which prohibits a person or municipality from permitting industrial waste to flow or continue to flow “into any of the waters of the Commonwealth,” when industrial waste is discharged into the ground and initially affects groundwater.

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For more information, contact Kevin McKeon or Dennis Whitaker.