Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Pennsylvania’s “Super” Laws for HOAs

With the growth of organized housing communities, particularly condominiums, we have also seen an increase in the number of Homeowner Associations – or HOAs as they are widely referred.  HOAs generally own or control the common areas of a housing community and are charged with specific obligations under the HOA’s by-laws; such as, mowing the lawns, removing snow and ice, maintaining a club house or pool (if one exists) and enforcing the rules of the community.  To carry out its obligations, the HOA is also usually permitted to charge an assessment to the homeowners in the community.  The assessment becomes a personal obligation of the homeowner – once that can be enforced through legal measures if not paid. Read the rest of this entry »

Definition of “Spouse” Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Expanded to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that on February 25, 2015, it will issue a Final Rule that revises and expands the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Under the revised definition, “spouse” will include all individuals in legal marriages, including husband and wife, and individuals in same-sex and common-law marriages.  This change was made in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor570 U.S.___, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), which struck down that portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” as being limited to opposite-sex marriages.  The Final Rule is set to go into effect on March 27, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

Pennsylvania Deficiency Judgment Act Amended

The Deficiency Judgment Act establishes a procedure for a judgment creditor to petition a court to fix the fair market value of real property sold at a sheriff’s sale. Whenever any real property is sold, directly or indirectly, to a judgment creditor in execution proceedings and the price for which the property sold is not sufficient to satisfy the amount of the judgment, and the judgment creditor seeks to collect the balance due on the judgment, the judgment creditor must petition the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the real property is located to fix the fair market value of the real property sold. Read the rest of this entry »

Title III ADA Suits Are On the Rise

Since its passage twenty-five years ago, the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) has had a sizable impact on businesses both large and small. Although businesses are well-versed in the employment discrimination provisions of the ADA, which are contained in Title I, they must also be aware of the ADA’s accessibility requirements set forth in Title III. Read the rest of this entry »

Religious Garb and Employer Accommodation

On Wednesday, February 25, the United States Supreme Court will hear the case of a Muslim woman who claims the Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) clothing store illegally denied her a job because she wears a hijab. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Your Head Out of the Clouds!

The Cloud.  What is it?  Where is it?  Most of us don’t know, but we should learn, because companies are storing more and more electronically-stored information (“ESI”) in the cloud.  Read the rest of this entry »

Third Circuit’s Dismissal of Fraud Claims in Contract Actions

We have observed attorneys filing fraud claims in a myriad of factual scenarios (“You told me something that turned out to be not true – Fraud!”).  They do so because it can pay off handsomely to allege fraud.  Read the rest of this entry »

2014’s Top 10 Employment Discrimination Claims

According to a recent report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the number of workplace discrimination charges filed with the agency during fiscal year 2014 fell to 88,778—the lowest total since fiscal year 2007. This figure represents a 5% decrease from the number of charges filed in fiscal year 2013 and an 11% drop from the peak total filed in fiscal year 2010. In addition, the number of charges filed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide have declined during each of the past three years. Read the rest of this entry »

Banned Testimony, Mistrial = $1M Fine?!

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Paul P. Panepinto Jr., fined a Pennsylvania attorney nearly $1M for allowing her expert witness to inform the jury that the deceased was a smoker.  Read the rest of this entry »

New Brewery Sales Provision Moves Forward

On January 28, 2015, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board followed the recommendations of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”) and clarified a previously-issued regulation amending Section 3.93 of the Pa.L.C.B. regulations.  The IRRC had recommended that the Pa.L.C.B. follow the public comment of the Brewers of Pennsylvania clarifying that breweries could sell malt and brewed beverages owned by the brewery and not just beer which was produced on the premises.  While the Board notes which were published yesterday do not contain the detail, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board unanimously passed the exact language which was included in a proposed regulation offered by the Brewers of Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »