Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Public-Sector Unions

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court weakened public-sector unions by ruling that thousands of “partial public employee” home health care workers in Illinois do not have to pay mandatory “fair share” fees to cover the union’s cost of collective bargaining.  The Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn limits the viability of public-sector unions in the home-care industry, which has been a rare source of union growth over the past decade. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Concert Series – July Performance

Enjoy a night out and see A Few Good Men perform on Friday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Live at Riverside Summer Concert Series at Riverside Park, Easton.  School of Rock, Easton, is the special opening act! Norris McLaughlin is a proud sponsor of this great community event!

Supreme Court Rules for Employers on Contraceptive Mandate

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that could help ease the burdens placed on many employers by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores , the Court ruled that the federal government cannot force owners of closely-held, for-profit corporations to provide insurance coverage for certain types of contraception that violate their religious beliefs. Read the rest of this entry »

Inherited Individual Retirement Accounts Not Exempt from Bankruptcy Proceedings

On June 12, 2014, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Clark v. Rameker, effectively allowing bankruptcy creditors the ability to go after a debtor’s inherited individual retirement account (“IRA”).

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Same-Sex Couples Can Marry in Pennsylvania, but What Should They Do With Their Real Estate?

On May 20, 2014, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania found provisions of Pennsylvania law that banned same-sex marriage, and failed to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, to be unconstitutional.  Although the holding in Whitewood v. Wolf primarily invalidated the Pennsylvania laws banning same-sex marriage, the holding affected hundreds of other Pennsylvania laws, ranging from the laws governing hunting/fishing licenses to real estate laws.  This widespread effect evidences the many benefits afforded to married couples in Pennsylvania.  Similarly, the breadth of the impact serves to underscore the importance of the Whitewood decision.

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Craft beer makes its move

Click here to read an article that I was quoted in from the Reading Eagle on the explosion of growth in Pennsylvania’s craft beer market.

Overpayment of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Recoupment of an overpayment of workers’ compensation benefits to a claimant due to his receipt of offsetable benefits is not barred by equitable principles.  In the recent case of City of Pittsburgh v. W.C.A.B. (Wright), No. 329 C.D. 2014, the Commonwealth Court held that the judge erred in concluding that an employer must overcome a presumption of prejudice whenever it wishes to recoup an overpayment of offsetable benefits.  In this case, the claimant, who was receiving workers’ compensation benefits, also began receiving disability pension benefits.  The employer continued to pay the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits for a period of two months, then began to take an offset and a credit to recoup the overpayment to the claimant.  The workers’ compensation judge set aside the recoupment on the basis that the employer failed to prove that it did not prejudice the claimant.  The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board affirmed on the basis that the employer did not issue an LIBC-756, “Employee’s Report of Benefits for Offsets,” which it held was a condition precedent to recoup benefits.  The Court determined that both the Judge and the Board erred, and reversed the Board’s Opinion to the extent that it disallowed recoupment of the overpayment. Read the rest of this entry »

Confession of Judgment: A Powerful Tool

Can you have a judgment entered against a debtor without a hearing?  In most cases, the answer is no.  However, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that permit a creditor to use a mechanism known as a confession of judgment.   Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 2950, et seq., provides that one party to a contract can agree to allow the other party to enter judgment against him or her in the event of a default; this is known as a confession of judgment. This tool permits a creditor, or their attorney, to ask the court for an immediate judgment to be entered against a defaulting debtor without permitting the debtor to respond or contest the judgment. Read the rest of this entry »

End of Same-Sex Marriage Ban Not the End of Same-Sex Marriage Litigation in Pennsylvania

Although a recent ruling in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, this decision has not put an end to litigation arising from same-sex marriage issues.  In an ongoing lawsuit in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, widow Barbara Baus is petitioning the Court to find that Pennsylvania must retroactively recognize her same-sex marriage so she will not have to pay the inheritance tax on her spouse’s estate.  Pennsylvania does not impose an inheritance tax on spouses in a traditional marriage.  Baus and her late spouse had married in Connecticut in 2011, but had resided in Pennsylvania for years until her spouse’s 2012 death.  Throughout this time period, Pennsylvania did not recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states.  The lawsuit was filed in October 2013, prior to the federal ruling which struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.  However, it is unclear whether the ruling will apply to retroactively recognize same-sex marriages. Read the rest of this entry »

Julie Macomb Appointed to Hamilton District Main Street Program Board of Directors

We’d like to congratulate Julie Macomb on her appointment to the Board of Directors of the Hamilton District Main Street Program! She also serves on the Design Committee for the Program.  The Hamilton District Main Street Program is an initiative of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce.  Click here to read more.