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PA Supreme Court: Minor Deviations from Underinsured Motorist Coverage Rejection Form

by Patrick Casey

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: very minor deviations from underinsured motorist coverage rejection form permitted

In Ford v. American States Insurance Company, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently clarified that “de minimis,” or minor, deviations from the underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage rejection form set out in Section 1731 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law can nevertheless “specifically comply” with Section 1731.  Ford v. American States Ins. Co., No. 13 WAP 2016, 2017 WL 694744 (Pa. February 22, 2017).

Section 1731 requires that insurers obtain the signature of any insured wishing to reject UIM coverage on a form that contains specific language dictated by the General Assembly.  Continue reading

Representing the Military Client

By: Amelia Lolli, Esquire

Burlington County New Jersey is home to Joint Base MDL (JBMDL), which employs approximately 42,000 soldiers between the three bases (McGuire, Ft. Dix and Lakehurst).  Approximately 60,000 military retirees live within a 50 mile radius of JBMDL.  With such a dense population of active military and retirees, there is a good opportunity an attorney in the Central/Southern New Jersey region will represent current/former military personnel during the course of their legal career.  As an attorney, and also as the military member, individuals should be aware of several special considerations when it comes to providing or seeking legal counsel. Continue reading

Congratulations to Margaret E. Wenke, Michael S. Mikulski, Amelia M. Lolli and Angela B. Kosar

Margaret E. Wenke, Michael S. Mikulski, and Amelia M. Lolli were named as 2016 Top Lawyers by the SJ Magazine.

Margaret Wenke was nominated in the Automobile category. Michael Mikulski was nominated in the Litigation category. Amelia Lolli was nominated in the Insurance category.

For more information about the nominations, please visit: http://sjmagazine.net/cover-feature/top-attorneys-2016

Congratulations to William J. Weber, Monica Mathews Reynolds, and Elizabeth Zwaan Milne

William J. Weber, Monica Mathews Reynolds, and Elizabeth Zwaan Milne were named as 2016 Top Lawyers for the Main Line / Philadelphia region by Main Line Today.

William Weber was nominated in the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Business Law categories. Monica Reynolds was nominated in the Business Law and Civil Litigation categories.

Elizabeth Zwaan Milne was nominated in Elder Law, Tax, and Trusts & Wills categories.

For more information about the nominations, please visit: http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/August-2016/2016-Top-Lawyers/

Key Legislation for Realtors moves from PA House to Senate

Last week House Bill 1437 passed to the Senate Urban Action Committee for consideration. House Bill 1437 proposes to amend Pennsylvania Municipal Code and Ordinance Act, 68P.S.§1081, to:
(1) provide a more detailed definition of “unfit for habitation”
(2) define and differentiate between “substantial violation” from less severe “violations”
(3) place restrictions and requirements on municipalities to issue a certificate of occupancy based on any “substantial violations” or “violations”
(4) create and define new categories of temporary use and occupancy permits and temporary access certificates allowing sales to go forward, but requiring work to be corrected before new owner occupies the property. Continue reading

Determining Realty Or Personalty For Liability Under PA Subdivision Tort Claims Act

Determining Whether Something Is A Part Of Realty Or Personalty For Purposes Of Liability Under The Pennsylvania Subdivision Tort Claims Act

By: Steven M. Liero, Esquire

When an action is brought against a political subdivision, such as a school district or a municipality, a question arise whether the claim falls within an exception to the immunity enjoyed by the subdivision.

Most often claims are brought pursuant to the real estate exception contained in 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8542(b)(c). To invoke this section, the plaintiff must show that a) the injury resulted from a defective condition that b) stemmed from the care, custody or control of real estate, not personalty. Mellon v. City of Pittsburgh Zoo, 768 A.2d 921 (Pa. Cmwlth 2000). The question becomes more complicated when the real estate contains not only a building or grounds around the building, but a device attached to the building. As an example, a question arises whether a metal cleat, attached to a gym wall in a school on which a person is injured is part of the realty itself or simply an item of personalty. If the latter, the plaintiff’s injury would not fall within the real estate exception to immunity and that person could not recover for pain and suffering. Continue reading