In a recent case before the PA Supreme Court, the Appellant, Scott Bishop, argued that the PA Supreme Court “should interpret the provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution conferring upon individuals a right against self-incrimination to provide greater protection than the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the […]

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IS THAT WEED I SMELL, OR A CHANGE IN THE LAW? (Hint: The law in PA has not changed … yet.)

In the ever-evolving body of law surrounding the legalization of marijuana, the Pa. Superior Court has recently rejected the argument that, because marijuana is now medically available in Pennsylvania, police officers may no longer rely upon its smell as a factor for developing probable cause. In the case at issue, police received an anonymous tip that […]

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The PA Supreme Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Maguire, No. 41 MAP 2018 (Pa. August 22, 2019),holding that statutorily authorized warrantless inspections of commercial vehicles do not need to comply with the Tarbert/Blouse guidelines (which gauge the constitutionality of safety checkpoints to which the entire public are subjected); rather, they are to be […]

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NEXT BLOG: in ct … bored … judge yelling at me … blah blah blah … hahaha :) … gotta go … uh oh #seeyouin10days :(

The PA Superior Court today upheld the conviction of an Allegheny County Juvenile Court Probation Officer (JPO) for contempt of court, letting stand the 5-10 days sentence that was ultimately imposed by the trial court. The contemptuous conduct arose when the 19-year veteran JPO was sitting in the front row of the general seating area […]

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Defendant’s right to a public trial was violated when the trial court excluded his family members from voir dire.

In his trial for Conspiracy, Attempted Homicide and other related crimes, the Defendant, Dante Jordan, alleged that his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial was violated when the court closed the courtroom during voir dire.  Specifically, he argued the court erred in excluding his mother and stepfather from the proceedings, after a disturbance occurred the […]

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Failure to prove Sexual Offense precludes conviction of Felony Corruption of Minors (relating to sexual offenses)

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. James Duane Baker-Myers, No. 1398 WDA 2016 (May 21, 2019), holding that the Commonwealth failed to prove an essential element of Corruption of Minors (COM-Felony) after the jury acquitted Baker-Myers of Rape, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, and Indecent Assault. In this case, the […]

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