1 Pennsylvania AFL-CIO 2015 Appellate Courts Questionnaire Name: David Norman Wecht Date and place of birth: May 20, 1962 Baltimore, Maryland Party: Residence Address: Business Address: Democrat 424 Hartwood Trail Pittsburgh, PA (412) Superior Court Chambers One Oxford Centre Suite Grant Street Pittsburgh, PA (412) (412) (fax) Campaign Office Address: Wecht Penn Avenue Suite 404 Pittsburgh, PA (412) (412) (fax) 1. Please specify judicial offices held, dates and length of terms and indicate whether you were elected or appointed to office. Current Judge, The Superior Court of Pennsylvania (statewide intermediate appellate court; jurisdiction over all appeals from the Courts of Common Pleas, other than those matters assigned to The Commonwealth Court). Elected to a ten-year term November Commissioned January Former Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Allegheny County) (general jurisdiction state trial court). Appointed and Commissioned February Elected to a ten-year term November Appointed by Supreme Court of
2 Pennsylvania as Administrative Judge, Family Division, January In January 2011, I concluded my second year as Administrative Judge and transferred to the Civil Division. I served there until assuming my duties as Superior Court Judge in January In addition, prior to becoming a Judge in February 2003, I served the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas by appointment as a Trustee and Special Master in two large class action cases in the Civil Division. The cases, in both of which my Recommendations were affirmed by the Court, were: Savikas v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., GD , and Musisko, et al. v. Equitable Life Assurance Society, AR From January 1998-February 2003, I served by election as the Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court for Allegheny County. In addition to other functions, that office included an adjudicative role, inasmuch as I presided at Register's hearings to take evidence on the record and decide will contests and other probate disputes. A sample decision from my tenure there can be found at In re: Schott Estate, 2001 WL , 21 Fiduc. Rep. 2d 336, 58 Pa. D.&C. 4th 533 (2001). 2. Have you ever held public office other than judicial? Yes. If yes, please specify offices held, dates and length of terms and indicate whether you were elected or appointed to office. Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court, County of Allegheny, Pittsburgh, PA (elected 1997, reelected 1999) (served January February 2003) (resigned February 2003 to accept judicial appointment) (note: as stated above, my duties as Register included an adjudicative role). Pennsylvania Democratic Party, State Vice Chair (elected) (June February 2001). Pennsylvania Democratic Committee, Elected Member (43 rd Senatorial District) (May February 2001). Member, Democratic National Committee (June February 2001) (by reason of State Vice-Chairpersonship). Delegate, Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles, CA (August 2000) (by operation of DNC by-laws). Member, City of Pittsburgh Cable Communications Advisory Committee ( ) (by appointment of Council of the City of Pittsburgh). 3. Please list colleges and universities attended, degrees obtained and dates of attendance. YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, CT, J.D., The Yale Law School, June 1987 Notes Editor, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 96 ( ). Editor, Yale Journal of International Law ( ). Editor, Yale Law and Policy Review ( ).
3 Legal Intern, Career Criminal Division, Office of the State s Attorney (New Haven Judicial District), New Haven, CT ( ). Yale Moot Court of Appeals ( ). Volunteer, Green Haven Prison Project of The Yale Law School (legal counseling and instruction to inmates of New York medium/maximum security state correctional facility) ( ). Research Assistant to Jerry L. Mashaw, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law (Area of Research: Judicial Review of Safety Regulation by Federal Administrative Agencies) ( ). Yale Association of International Law ( ). YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, CT, B.A., Yale College, June 1984 Summa Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa. Yale College Distinction in The Major: History. Yale College Distinction in The Major: Political Science (with concentration in International Relations). Richard King Mellon National Merit Scholar. State Finalist (Pennsylvania), Rhodes Scholarship Competition Charles Garside Award, for the Outstanding Student of History in Timothy Dwight College, Yale University. Op-Ed Contributor, Yale Daily News. Chair, Yale Friends of Israel. Yale Lacrosse. Yale International Relations, Inc. Yale Political Union. Co-Captain, Branford and Timothy Dwight College Teams, Yale Intracollegiate Tackle Football League. 4. Please list all membership organizations. Member, The American Law Institute (October Present). Member, American Bar Association. Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association. Member, Appellate Advocacy Committee. Fellow, Allegheny County Bar Foundation ( Present). Advisory Committee, Sexual Violence Benchbook (Pa. Coalition Against Rape) (3rd ed. forthcoming). Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ( ) (appointed by Order of Supreme Court). Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission (ex officio) (March January 2011). Chair, Changing The Culture Of Custody Task Force, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas (January January 2011). Childrens Leadership Roundtable 1 (Regional) Committee (March January 2011). Participant, AOPC Pennsylvania Statewide Children s Leadership Roundtable Meetings (May January 2012).
4 Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges (February January 2012). Member, Executive Committee ( ). Member, Judicial Security Committee, ). Greenbook Initiative: Domestic Violence, Court Rules Subcommittee ( ). Advisory Committee, Children s Playrooms, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania ( ). Member, National Conference Of Juvenile and Family Court Judges ( ). Member, Board of Elections, Allegheny County (May 2007 Election). Child Custody Task Force, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division - Adult/ Juvenile (2005). Master, American Inns of Court, Matrimonial Section (Pittsburgh Chapter) ( ). Executive Committee ( ). Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court Association of Pennsylvania ( ). Annual State Convention Host (July 2001). Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association ( ). Certified, Commercial Arbitrator Training. Court-Appointed Special Master and Trustee, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas ( ). Special Counsel (pro bono) for Inquests, Allegheny County Coroner s Office ( ). Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association ( ). Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association ( ). Barrister, American Inns of Court (Pittsburgh Chapter) ( ). Allegheny County Bar Association ( Present). Family Division Sound-Off Panelist, Annual Bench Bar Conference ( ). Health Law Section ( ). Elected Member, Health Law Council (ca ). Young Lawyers Council ( ). Panel Member, Lawyer Referral Service ( ). Volunteer for KDKA Radio Call-In Legal Advice Show ( ). Volunteer Law Instructor for Pittsburgh Public Schools ( ). Panel of Arbitrators, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas ( ). International Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists (Board of Governors) ( ). Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center, Pittsburgh, PA (Board Of Directors, Present) (non-profit organization serving families of children with disabilities and special health care needs). The Pennsylvania Society (Member, Present). Jewish Relief Agency, Pittsburgh, PA (Volunteer, Present). Fox Chapel Center For Jewish Life (Member, Present). Adat Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA (Member, Present). Volunteer Coach, Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse ( ). Volunteer Coach, Fox Chapel Area Youth Soccer, Inc. ( ). Public Safety Advisory Committee, Pennsylvania Commission On Crime And Delinquency (Member, ). American Jewish Committee, Pittsburgh Chapter (Board Of Directors, June June 2004; Member, January Present). Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Community College Of Allegheny County (Member, ). The Amen Corner, Pittsburgh, PA (Board Of Governors; ; Advisory Board, ).
5 Jewish National Fund, Pittsburgh Region, Board Of Directors (Member, ). Beth Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA (Member, ). Regional Development Funding Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA (non-profit SBA lending agency) (Board Of Directors, ). Audubon Society Of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA (Board Of Directors, June June 2002). National Young Leadership Cabinet, United Jewish Appeal (Member, ). Holocaust Center Of Greater Pittsburgh (Board Member, ). Yom Hashoah Community-Wide Observance (Chair, 1998). Steering Committee, Legal Division, State Of Israel Bonds, Tri-State Region (Member, ca ). United Jewish Federation Of Pittsburgh, Mission To Israel (Co-Chair, 1994). Tree Of Life Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA (Member, ) (Board Of Directors, ) (Personnel Committee, ). Zionist Organization Of America (Pittsburgh District) (Board Member, ). Yale University Alumni Schools Committee (Pittsburgh, PA Chapter) (Volunteer, ). National New Leadership Board, State Of Israel Bonds (Member, ). B nai B rith Hillel Foundation, American University, Washington, D.C. (Mentor, 1993). Advisory Council, The College Admissions Institute Of America (Member, ). Jewish Institute For National Security Affairs (Member, ). American Israel Public Affairs Committee ( ). 5. Are you now an officer or director of a business enterprise or non profit entity or otherwise engaged in the management of a business enterprise or non profit entity? Yes, I am on The Board of Directors of The Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center, Pittsburgh, PA (Board Of Directors, Present) (non-profit organization serving families of children with disabilities and special health care needs). 6. Please list all courts and/or jurisdictions in which you have admitted to practice and dates of admission. a. State Bar Admissions: New York (1988); District of Columbia (1989); Pennsylvania (1993). b. Court Admissions: United States Supreme Court (1992); U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1989), Eighth (1990) and Third Circuits (1993); U.S. District Courts for the Districts of D.C. (1989), Maryland (1989), the Western District of Pennsylvania (1993) and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2002); State of New York Appellate Division, 3d Department (1988), District of Columbia Court of Appeals (1989), Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1993); numerous pro hac vice admissions during my years of practice.
6 7. Please describe the general character of your law practice currently or, as appropriate, prior to serving as a Justice or Judge on Pennsylvania appellate courts. The Wecht Law Firm, Pittsburgh, PA (October February 2003), Partner Katarincic & Salmon, Pittsburgh, PA (August September 1996), Associate Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C. (January July 1993), Associate Adjunct Professor, Duquesne University School of Law (teach courses in Deposition Skills and Adjudication & Advocacy) ( Present). Adjunct Instructor, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (teach course in Emerging Legal Issues) ( Present). Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court, County of Allegheny, Pittsburgh, PA (January February 2003) (included, among other functions, conducting record hearings and adjudicating will contests under the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code). Adjunct Instructor, Point Park College (taught course in county government) (January January 2001). Director, The Chubb Fellowship in Government, Timothy Dwight College, Yale University, New Haven, CT (May May 1987). I began my legal career as Law Clerk to the Honorable MacKinnon of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. My clerkship, which lasted from , included work on appellate cases in panel and en banc, as well as assistance to Judge McKinnon in his capacity as a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission as well as in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Special Division of the Court that appointed and supervised Independent Counsel pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. At the conclusion of my clerkship, I was awarded the Certificate for Distinguished Service. Following my judicial clerkship, I joined Williams & Connolly (Washington, D.C.) as an associate. I practiced as a litigator at that large firm from January 1989 to July I did extensive work in the areas of accounting malpractice, business torts, contract disputes, personal injury, medical and dental malpractice, defamation, health law, and securities litigation. In most of these areas, I had the opportunity to represent both plaintiffs and defendants, and both individual and organizational litigants. I also did criminal defense work, mostly white collar. I helped to write two or three petitions for writs of certiorari and parts of briefs in the Supreme Court of the United States. I practiced in both federal and state courts. In the summer of 1993, I moved back to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, having accepted an offer of employment from a litigation boutique firm, Katarincic & Salmon. I practiced as a litigator with that firm from August 1993 through September I continued to do work similar to that which I had done in Washington, D.C. I also tried a number of criminal cases to verdict on my own, and also handled many civil trials, hearings, and litigations as first or second chair. In the fall of 1993, I took advantage of an entrepreneurial opportunity to open a law firm with my parents. I practiced as an equity partner in The Wecht Law Firm from October 1996 to February 2003, when I became a Judge. During my years at The Wecht Law Firm, the character of my work remained fairly consistent with the general litigation practice I had maintained up to that time. The proportion of my practice that involved representation of individuals (rather than organizations) increased over time, particularly medical malpractice plaintiffs and criminal
7 defendants. During my career, I also did dispute resolution work, serving as an Arbitrator for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and also as a certified American Arbitration Association Arbitrator. In addition, I also served by appointment as Special Master in the Court s Civil Division, assisting in disposition of two large class action cases (. During my career as a lawyer, my practice was approximately 90% litigation. The ten percent that was not litigation included miscellaneous consulting, counseling, and contract negotiation. I appeared in court frequently, both state and federal. At Williams & Connolly, my court work was approximately 80% federal, 15% state and 5% administrative agency, and the work was approximately 90% civil and 10% criminal; at Katarincic & Salmon, my court work was approximately 50% federal and 50% state, and was approximately 75% civil and 25% criminal; at the Wecht Law Firm, my court work was approximately 35% federal and 65% state, and was approximately 75% civil and 25% criminal. I would estimate that I tried approximately twenty-five cases to verdict, judgment or final decision in courts of record. I was sole counsel on several of these, first chair on others, and second or third chair on others. I would estimate that approximately half of these cases were jury trials, and approximately half were non-jury proceedings. 8. Please describe your prior typical clients and indicate the area(s), is any, in which you have concentrated your practice. Please see response to Question 7 above. 9. Please list any special honors or recognition, including academic distinction, you have received throughout your career. Awards and Scholastic Honors Received at Yale University: Summa Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa. Yale College Distinction in the Major: History. Yale College Distinction in the Major: Political Science (with Concentration in International Relations). Richard King Mellon National Merit Scholar. State Finalist (Pennsylvania), Rhodes Scholarship Competition. Charles Garside Award (for Outstanding Student of History in Timothy Dwight College, Yale University). Selected as Notes Editor, The Yale Law Journal. Selected as Editor, Yale Law and Policy Review. Selected as Editor, Yale Journal of International Law. Selected as Legal Intern, Career Criminal Division, Office of the State s Attorney, New Haven Judicial District. Selected as Research Assistant to Jerry L. Mashaw, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law.
8 Awards Received Since Graduation From The Yale Law School Certificate Of Recognition, YouthWorks, Job Shadowing Day (2008). Certificate Of Recognition, YouthWorks, Job Shadowing Day (2007). Humanitarian Award, J.N.L. Club (2003). Certificate Of Recognition, Regional Development Funding Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA (November 2001, March 2000). United States Marine Corps Reserve, Commander s Award, Toys For Tots (2001). Certificate Of Recognition, Variety Club, The Children s Charity, Pittsburgh, PA (May 2000). Honorary Citizenship, City Of Harrisburg, PA (March 2000). The Fabulous Forty Under Forty, Featuring Forty Young Leaders, Pittsburgh Magazine (April 1999). Pittsburgh s Fifty Finest Award, Featuring Fifty Young Leaders, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (1997). Certificate Of Distinguished Service, United States Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit (Service As Law Clerk To The Honorable George E. MacKinnon, United States Circuit Judge) (February 1989). 10. Have you, to your knowledge, been under federal, state or local investigation for possible violations of a criminal statute? No. 11.Have you, to your knowledge, ever been charged with a violation of the rules of professional conduct or its predecessors or the judicial conduct rules or their predecessors? No. 12. Did you serve a judicial clerkship during or subsequent to law school? Yes. Law Clerk to The Honorable George E. MacKinnon, Judge, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, D.C. (September September 1988) (assisted Judge in disposition of appellate matters before Court, and in his responsibilities as Member of U.S. Sentencing Commission and as Presiding Judge of Special Division for the Purpose of Appointing Independent Counsel pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act) (awarded Certificate of Distinguished Service, February 10, 1989). 13. Please list names, addresses, and dates of service of all law firms or law offices, companies, and/or government agencies with which you have been associated since law school. Please see Responses to Questions 7 and 12 above. 14. Please list any major lectures or conferences in which you have participated within the last five years dealing with subject matter which would be of importance to the Pennsylvania labor movement and indicate your participation with respect to the issues discussed.
9 I have been an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University School Of Law since January For approximately eleven years, I designed and taught a course in Deposition Skills. For the last several years I have designed and taught a course called Adjudication & Advocacy. I have been an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public and International Affairs since August I designed, and I teach, a course on Emerging Legal Issues. From approximately January 1998 to January 2001, I was an Adjunct Instructor at Point Park College, teaching a course in county government. While enrolled at The Yale Law School, I served as a Teaching Fellow for two undergraduate courses, as follows: History 131a, American Political History, (Professor Steven Gillon), Yale College, New Haven, CT (September January 1987); and Sociology 240a, The Sociology Of American Political Life (Professor Jonathan Rieder), Yale College, New Haven, CT (September December 1985). I also served as an Instructor for a Law School Admissions Test Preparation Course operated by Amity Testing Center / National Center for Educational Testing, New Haven, CT (September June 1986). Throughout my career as a Judge and as a lawyer, I have been very actively engaged in teaching, particularly as an invited, unpaid faculty member for continuing legal education classes. A list of these additional teaching activities is as follows: Commentator / Author Interview, Harlow Giles Unger: John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation, The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA (Forthcoming December 15, 2014). Speaker, Appellate Advocacy Tips, The Monroe County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference 2014, Shawnee On Delaware, PA (October 16, 2014). Commentator / Author Interview, Richard Brookhiser: Abraham Lincoln, Founder s Son, The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA (October 15, 2014). Speaker, An Introduction To Pennsylvania s Judicial System, Sewickley YMCA Senior Mens Group, Sewickley, PA (July 18, 2014). Speaker, Trends In Evidence And Appellate Practice, The Northwest Pennsylvania American Inn Of Court For Crawford And Erie Counties, Conneaut Lake, PA (May 28, 2014). Speaker, Minding Your Ps & Qs: Professionalism & Ethics In The Courtroom, The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2014 Spring Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (May 16, 2014). Speaker, Appellate Law - Lunch & Learn Program, Law Firm Of Burns White, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA (March 25, 2014). Speaker, Special Court Judges Association Of Pennsylvania, Quarterly Meeting, Harrisburg, PA (February 12, 2014). Panelist / Speaker, Pay Per View: A Prize Fight For The Legal Minds, Family Law Section WInter Meeting, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (January 18, 2014). Speaker, Appellate Courts Committee Meeting, Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA (January 17, 2014). Panelist / Speaker, Writing Appellate Briefs, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA (November 26, 2013).
10 Panelist / Speaker, Appellate Practice Tips From The Judges, Solo And Small Firm Conference Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Beford Springs, PA (August 1, 2013). Panelist / Speaker, Relocation and Custody Rules, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Section Summer Meeting, National Harbor, MD (July 13, 2013). Panelist / Speaker, Nuts And Bolts Of Appellate Practice, W. Edward Sell Chapter, American Inns of Court, Pittsburgh, PA (January 24, 2013). Panelist / Speaker, Appellate Oral Argument Competition, University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law Moot Court Board, Pittsburgh, PA (November 15, 2012). Panelist / Speaker, Oral Argument From The Inside Out, Philadelphia Bench Bar & Annual Conference, The Revel, Atlantic City, NJ (October 6, 2012). Panelist / Speaker, The Role Of Parent Coordinators Under The New Custody Law, Solo And Small Firm Conference Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Bedford Springs, PA (July 17, 2012). Panelist / Speaker, Appellate Practice In Pennsylvania, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, The Superior Court of Pennsylvania / The Lackawanna Bar Association / The Wilkes-Barre Law And Library Association, Wilkes-Barre, PA (May 14, 2012). Panelist / Speaker, What Family Court Judges Want You To Know, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, National Business Institute, Inc., Pittsburgh PA (November 18, 2011). Panelist / Speaker, Breakfast With The Judges, Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, Seven Springs, PA, Allegheny County Bar Association (June 17, 2011). Judge, Mock Trial, University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Advanced Family Law Advocacy Program (March 2011). Panelist / Speaker, Breakfast With The Judges, What Is A Lawyer To Do? Pre-Trials, Conciliations In Equitable Distribution, And Alimony - Family Division Sound-Off / Workshop, State Of Affairs Of Allegheny County Children s Court And The Unified Family Court - Juvenile Law Sound-Off, Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, Allegheny County Bar Association, Seven Springs, PA (June 18, 2010). Speaker, Behavioral Science Evidence In Divorce And Custody Cases, Cyril H. Wecht Institute Of Forensic Science And Law, Duquesne University (June 4, 2010). Speaker, Parenting Coordination Training - Understanding High Conflict Families And Resolving Their Disputes, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA (May 14, 2010). Speaker, The Children s Roundtable: Building A Better System For Our Children And Families, Children s Hospital Fifth Annual Hope And Healing Conference (April 29, 2010). Speaker / Panelist, Current Issues For Child Advocates, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA (April 16, 2010). Speaker / Invited Testimony Before Pennsylvania House of Representatives Judiciary Committee On House Bill 1140 Paternity Law Legislation, Harrisburg, PA (March 11, 2010). Speaker, The Court s Role In Domestic Abuse And Shelter Cases, Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (March 4, 2010). Panelist / Speaker, Yale Club Of Pittsburgh s Lunch With The Judges, Allegheny Harvard Yale Princeton Club, Pittsburgh, PA (March 2, 2010). Panelist / Speaker, Domestic Violence 2010: Era Of Change, Jewish Domestic Abuse Task Force, Rodef Shalom Temple, Pittsburgh, PA (February 1, 2010). Panelist, Analysis Of A Support Case, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Hershey, PA (January 16, 2010). Speaker, Child Support Topics Of Choice, 2009 Fall Domestic Relations Section Directors Meeting, The Pennsylvania Bureau Of Child Support Enforcement, State College, PA (October 29, 2009).
11 Panelist / Speaker, Breakfast With The Judges, State Of Family Division - Family Division Sound-Off, State of Affairs Of Allegheny County Children s Court -- Juvenile Law Sound-Off, Allegheny County Bench Bar Conference, Allegheny County Bar Association, Seven Springs, PA (June 19, 2009). Panelist, An Officer And A Parent: Custody Cases In The Aftermath Of New Military Legislation, ACBA Family Law Section Children s Issues Sub-Committee (May 18, 2009). Speaker, Children s Court Permanency Forum - Children s Fast Track Rules (May 15, 2009). Speaker, The State of Allegheny County s Judiciary, Allegheny County Bar Association (April 23, 2009). Speaker, The Children s Roundtable: Building A Better System For Our Children And Families, Children s Hospital Fourth Annual Hope And Healing Conference (April 23, 2009). Panelist, You Can t Fire Me, I Quit! The Proper Way To Extricate Oneself From Representing A Client, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (March 18, 2009). Panel Lecturer, Family Law Section - Handling High Conflict Custody Cases, Pennsylvania Conference Of State Trial Judges Annual Mid-Winter Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (February 19, 2009). Panelist, Lending A Hand: Parent Coordinators - Who & How, Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (January 17, 2009). Panelist, Parenting Coordination - Is Pennsylvania Ready?, Continuing Legal Education Program, Pennsylvania Psychological Association / Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA (November 24, 2008). Panelist, What Family Court Judges Want You To Know, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, National Business Institute, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (November 13, 2008). Speaker, Paternity Cases In Pennsylvania, Continuing Legal Education Program, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Pittsburgh, PA (June 27, 2008). Panelist, Family Division Sound-Off / Workshop, 46 th Annual Bench Bar Conference, Allegheny County Bar Association, Seven Springs, PA (June 20, 2008). Panelist, How To Follow The Rules Of Evidence In Family Court, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (December 4, 2007). Speaker, Firearms, Constitutional Law, & Jewish Law, Adat Shalom Congregation Discussion Program, Pittsburgh, PA (May 2007). Judge, Mock Trial, University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Advanced Family Law Advocacy Program (February 13, 2007). Panelist, Evidence, American Inns Of Court (Matrimonial Section), Pittsburgh Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA (January 30, 2007). Judges Roundtable On Family Law, Administrative Office Of The Pennsylvania Courts, Mechanicsburg, PA (December 11, 2006). Panel Lecturer, Parent Coordinators - What They Are And How They Can Be Used In Allegheny County, Children s Issues Committee, Family Law Section, Allegheny County Bar Association (November 21, 2006). Discussion Leader, You Be The Judge, Jewish Learning Institute, Pittsburgh, PA (November 8, 2006). Panel Lecturer, Family Law And The Military: Avoiding The Landmines, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (October 19, 2006). Panel Lecturer, Parent Coordinators In Pennsylvania: Handling High Conflict Custody Cases, Pennsylvania Psychological Association / Pennsylvania Bar Association (September 15, 2006). Lecturer, Divorce, IRS Investigations, Bankruptcy And Ethics, Continuing Legal Education Seminar For Lawyers & CPAs, Pennsylvania Institute Of Certified Public Accountants / Allegheny County Bar Association - Tax Section (May 17, 2006).
12 Panel Lecturer, Handling The Problematic Custody Case, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association - Family Law Section (April 20, 2006). Lecturer, Custody Law Update , Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (December 9, 2005). Panel Lecturer, The UCCJEA: Oh The Times They Are A Changin - Substantive Statutory And Case Law Changes In Child Custody Jurisdiction, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (February 3, 2005). Lecturer, Scientific Evidence In Court: Perspectives From The Bench, Duquesne University Panel Lecturer, Eighth Annual Family Law Update, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Continuing Legal Education Program, Pittsburgh, PA (October 13, 2004). Panel Lecturer, Boundaries Between Therapist And Evaluator, The Second Child Custody Roundtable, Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Middletown, PA (April 23, 2004). Panelist, A Day In The Life Of A Family Court Judge, American Inns Of Court (Martimonial Section), Pittsburgh Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA (April 20, 2004). Panel Lecturer, Counsel Fees, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (April 20, 2004). Panel Lecturer, The Battle Of The Experts - Is It Necessary Or Worth It?, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (October 22, 2003). Course Planner, Elder Law, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Duquesne University School Of Law (March 2003). Lecturer / Instructor, Deposition Skills, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, Pittsburgh, PA (March 7, 2001). Lecturer / Instructor, Practice Before The Register Of Wills, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Allegheny County Bar Association (January 2001). Lecturer / Instructor, Pittsburgh Paralegal Association, Pittsburgh, PA (December 13, 2000). Teaching Faculty, Conference On Forensic Science And The Law, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (October 2000). Lecturer, Theos Foundation Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (July 2000). Lecturer, Continuing Education Course For Probate & Estate Paralegals, Half Moon Seminars, Pittsburgh, PA (October 1999, October 2000). Public Speaker, AARP and other Citizen Groups, Allegheny County, PA ( ). Lecturer, AIDS: Medical, Legal and Social Concerns, Conference On Forensic Evidence And Legal Medicine, Quinnipiac College School Of Law, Hamden, CT (October 26-27, 1995). Lecturer and Co-Organizer, Corporate Criminal Liability Seminar, Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, PA (March 1995). Judge, Duquesne University School Of Law Student Moot Court Competition, Pittsburgh, PA ( ). Judge, University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law Student Moot Court Competition, Pittsburgh, PA ( ). Lecturer, Developments In Civil And Criminal Litigation Relating To AIDS, Annual Winter Medical-Legal Seminar Of Pittsburgh Institute Of Legal Medicine ( ). Judge, Georgetown University Law Center Student Moot Court Competition, Washington, D.C. ( ). 15. Please describe your accomplishments in promoting the concept of equal access to justice for all people.
13 As a Judge of The Superior Court of Pennsylvania since January 2, 2012, I have written hundreds of precedential opinions and non-precedential memorandum decisions, disposing of appeals in all areas of law. In 2014 alone, I wrote over 420 opinions/memoranda, the highest individual judicial output on the entire court. In some three years on the appellate bench, I have adjudicated all manner of criminal, civil, domestic relations, juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency, and decedents' estates-related appeals. In each of my decisions, and in all of my work, I have evinced a commitment to justice, due process, and fair hearing for all, regardless of wealth, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other characteristic. From January 2011-January 2012, I served in the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas. I presided diligently over many jury and non-jury trials, as well as numerous hearings, motions arguments, and other proceedings. From February January 2011, I served in the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. Because I served in a metropolitan family court, I had the responsibility and the opportunity to adjudicate thousands of cases, and to work daily with people from all walks of life. As Administrative Judge of the Family Division from , I also was responsible for managing the largest Division of the second largest trial Court in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and for supervising the work of fourteen other Judges, a number of Masters and Hearing officers, and hundreds of employees. During my tenure as Administrative Judge, I conceived, developed, and implemented a Unified Family Court. This was a collaborative innovation among the Judges of the Family Division that made the "One Judge One Family" principle a best practice reality and that continues to build crosscompetencies on the bench and to ensure equal access and fair process for families and children. In addition, during my tenure as Administrative Judge, I initiated and obtained passage of an Allegheny County Local Rule and Model Order for parenting coordination. Through writing, teaching, committee and task force collaboration, and other work, I participated in the development and evolution of parenting coordination in Pennsylvania. As Administrative Judge, I also enhanced and systematized legal representation alternatives in juvenile dependency and delinquency cases by bringing the Office of Conflict Counsel to the Family Division. In awarding me its highest rating ( Highly Recommended ), the Pennsylvania Bar Association has recognized my commitment to the cause of justice under law. See Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation 16.Please describe any particular qualification you possess which was developed either through your career or in your community that would enhance your ability to fairly adjudicate all cases that may come before you as a Justice or Judge on a Pennsylvania Appellate Court. I enjoy the work of judging. I have dedicated my career to it. I believe that I have the intellect, temperament, and experience to render effective service on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. I combine some nine years of experience on a busy trial bench with some three years of experience on what is perhaps the nation s busiest appellate court. I have adjudicated
14 thousands of cases across the broadest landscape of the law. I have advocated and fought for reforms and improvements in our judicial system, including greater transparency and responsiveness. I have also served in county government, and have judged many probate contests as the elected Register of Wills. I have written and lectured widely, and I continue to teach students at both the law school and college levels. I have served, and I do serve, on a number of professional associations and committees, and I have worked diligently to improve the law and its administration. I am active in my community, and I dedicate personal time to helping those in need. With respect to administration, I worked for two years as Administrative Judge of a busy and demanding Division of the Common Pleas Court, and I gained valuable experience in law and in life from that role. The strengths that I bring to bear include a love of jurisprudence, intellectual curiosity, diligence, a strong work ethic, patience and proper demeanor with all litigants, and strong writing ability. I am a student of Hand and Frankfurter. I subscribe to a philosophy of judicial restraint, and I am inclined to resist easy certainties. I believe these are useful attributes for an appellate judge. I wish to offer a steady hand, an energetic spirit, an open mind, and a commitment to collegiality, collaboration, and integrity to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In addition to the extensive writing I do every day as an appellate judge, I have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the profession and community by writing about legal or other issues on a volunteer, unpaid basis. I have intellectual curioisity, and I love to explore the law and how it works for people. A list of publications follows: When The Wall Came Tumbling Down: Mary Elise Sarotte Charts The Cold War's Sudden End, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Book Review) (November 23, 2014). Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and The Politics Of Justice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Book Review) (October 26, 2014). Little Failure: Growing Up Russian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Book Review) (July 14, 2014). The True American: Murder and Mercy In Texas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Book Review) (May 16, 2014). Demon Camp: A Revealing Look At The Torment Of A War Veteran, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Book Review) (February 28, 2014). Thanksgivukkah, The Spark Magazine (Winter 2013). Dallas 1963: Two Texas Writers Examine The Toxic Stew Of That Year, Pittsburgh Post- Gazette (Book Review) (November 17, 2013). A Name Proposal For Children s Cases, 35:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 52 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (May 2013). A Multi-Factor Test Would Aid Paternity Decisions, 82:3 Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (co-authored with Jennifer Forbes, Esq.) (July 2011). Some Reservations About Sealing Divorce Records, 33:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (co-authored with Jennifer Forbes, Esq.) (June 2011). Some Tips For New Lawyers... And Some Reminders For Veteran Lawyers, 33:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (co-authored with Jennifer Forbes, Esq.) (December 2010). Discipline of Pennsylvania Psychologists Relies Upon An Unlawful Delegation of Rulemaking Authority, 32:4 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (coauthored with Jennifer Forbes, Esq.) (December 2010). Parenting Coordinators Revisited, 32:3 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 146 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (September 2010).
15 Haste Can Make Waste: Speedy Trials and Custody 32:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (co-authored with Jennifer Forbes, Esq.) (June 2010). The Unified Family Court, 32:1 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 28 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (March 2010). Court of Common Pleas Family Division Launches New Unified Family Court, Lawyers Journal (Allegheny County Bar Association) (February 26, 2010). Allegheny Courts Launch Initiative to Better Help Families, AOPC Connected (Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts) (Issue 1, 2010). Child Interviews In Custody Cases Involving Pro Se Parents, 31:3 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 106 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (October 2009). Revisiting The Gruber Test: The Whimsy Of The Momentary Whim, 31:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (May 2009). A Judge s Comment On Trial Aids, 31:2 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (May 2009). Overseas Deployments, 31:1 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (March 2009). How Unfettered Advocates Distort Child Care Cases, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (32 PLW 125) (February 2, 2009). A Disregard For Sensitivity, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (31 PLW 1373) (December 22, 2008). Back To Debtor s Prison, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (31 PLW 1270) (November 24, 2008). The Discipline of Rules, 29:4 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (December 2007). AIDS and the Law: Some Contemporary Developments, LXXVIII:3 Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly 134 (co-authored with C.H. Wecht) (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (July 2007). Crimes, Counseling and Custody, 29:1 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 22 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (May 2007). Parent Coordinators in Pennsylvania: Some Initial Thoughts, 28:4 Pennsylvania Family Lawyer 109 (Pennsylvania Bar Association) (December 2006). So You Are Involved In A Lawsuit - What Happens Now, (co-authored with C.H. Wecht, D.A. Berman and B.H. Adler) (Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co.) (2003). AIDS: Medical, Legal and Societal Concerns, in Forensic Sciences (Chapter 29D) (C.H. Wecht ed., 2002). A Proposal for Reform of Pennsylvania Slayer s Act: Protecting Innocent Family Members of Slain Victims, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (23 PLW 613) (June 12, 2000). [Note: Judge Wecht s bill was signed into law in December 2000]. Helpful Tips for Preparing Your Client for a Deposition, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (23 PLW 509), May 15, [republished at 13:1 The Advocate 11 (W. Pa. Trial. Lawyers Association) (September/October 2000)]. Reform Needed On Personal Care Homes, Pittsburgh Legal Journal 1 (December 27, 1996) (Daily Edition). Change in Order for Local Rule on Summary Judgment Oppositions, 121:118 Pittsburgh Legal Journal 1 (June 23, 1995) (Daily Edition). HIV Testing: Health Care Workers Obligations, 1993 Internal Medicine (co-authored with C.H. Wecht) (November 1993). HIV Testing: To Whom Can You Provide Results?, 1993 Internal Medicine (co-authored with C.H. Wecht) (September 1993). Obtaining Informed Consent to HIV Testing, 1993 Internal Medicine (co-authored with C.H. Wecht) (August 1993).
16 Update on AIDS: Medical, Legal and Societal Concerns, 25 Scalpel and Quill 3:1 (1991) (coauthored with C.H. Wecht) [republished in Legal Medicine 1992 (Butterworth, 1993) and in Forensic Sciences (Matthew Bender, 1993)]. Jordan: Confronting the Reality, 38 Midstream 2 (1992). Legal Aspects of AIDS and the Practice of Medicine, 1 Legal Medicine Perspectives 1 (coauthored with C.H. Wecht) (American College of Legal Medicine, 1992). Note, Breaking the Code of Deference: Judicial Review of Private Prisons, 96 The Yale Law Journal 815 (March 1987). 17. Please describe any experience or background you have in or with the following issues: Public and/or Private Sector Collective Bargaining * Unemployment Insurance * Workers Compensation * Prevailing Wage * Workplace Safety and Health Issues * Products Liability * School Vouchers * Labor Management Relations * Employee Benefits, Benefit Plans, or Plan Design * Workplace Discrimination Matters * Wage and Hour Issues * Privatization of Public Functions. Please Include any other issues which you believe would be pertinent to our orgainzation. Space and time limitations impose restraints, so I will be illlustrative. As a lawyer in private practice, I represented injured workers (including unionized school personnel) in workers compensation proceedings on more than one occasion. As a judge, I have presided in numerous workplace safety and health cases. For example, in the Decker and Gillingham cases brought against CONSOL Energy for serious bodily harms that occurred on CONSOL s corporate premises, I presided over one of the largest jury verdicts returned for injured plaintiffs in In the Nelson v. Airco case decided by the Superior Court in 2013, I dissented vigorously from the majority s decision to take away a 14.5 million dollar verdict awarded to the survivors of a union worker who died of asbestos disease. I have ruled for injured plaintiffs in numerous other product liability appeals. I have challenged school vouchers, and have often argued that parents who wish to send their children to private schools should pay for it rather than diverting public tax money for that purpose. I have long questioned privatization of public functions, dating all the way back to my article addressing judicial review of private prisons, which was published in The Yale Law Journal in 1987 (please see Response to Question 16 above). 18. In a management/labor dispute, what is the procedure a Justice or Judge should follow when confronted with review of a petition for injunctive relief regarding picketing and/or other forms of associated labor relations conduct? The jurist should recognize above all that workers have a right to organize and to picket and to express themselves, and should hold those seeking injunctive relief to the appropriate burden of proof under the law. 19. In your view, what criteria should a court use to determine the number of strikers permitted to picket during a management/labor dispute? Generally, the number should not be restricted. The law recognizes that public safety and access may permit reasonable limits in some circumstances.
17 20. Do you favor the election or merit selection process for Pennsylvania Appellate Courts? I favor Election. Please explain your views and any activities in which you have participated that promoted your position. Reasonable people can (and do) disagree on this. Reasonable arguments can (and are) made for and against both views. The burden of proof remains upon those who would amend our Constitution to deprive citizens of their right to vote. To date, I do not believe that burden has been carried. The appointive process (as we see in the federal context) is politics by other means. Judicial rogues may be found in federal and state systems alike. The remedy for bad judges would seem to be better organizing for better candidates, rather than taking away the choice from the many and handing it to the select few. I articulated these views publicly most recently at the Supreme Court Democratic Candidates Forum at Chatham University in Pittsburgh on Sunday, January 25, Yes. 21. Do you seek the endorsement of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO? If yes, please state why you believe the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO should endorse your candidacy. I support the rights of women and men to organize, to bargain collectively, to earn a living wage, to receive the fruits of their labor, to seek and obtain redress for injuries and harms, and to advocate for their views and policies in the public arena and in all branches of our government. My career demonstrates my commitment to law and to justice, which protect the rights of the many against the tyranny of the few. I would bear these values and traditions in mind as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and I would be proud to have the support of the women and men of organized labor. 22.What do you see as the appropriate contours and limitations, if any, on legislative power to modify retirement benefits and/or eligibility for current public employees? Without addressing the specifics of any matter that would be likely to come before the Court, I will say that contractual promises must be upheld. There is a compact that arises when a person agrees to serve the public. Part of that compact includes solemn expectations concerning retirement benefits, upon which so much depends. In return for a person s years of dedicated service, the government must always make good on its promises. 23. What are the appropriate limitations on the right of public school teachers to strike? Should the same rules apply to teachers at taxpayer-funded charter schools?
18 Public school teachers have a right to strike. The right to strike is guaranteed by our Constitution and laws ( See, e.g., Act 88 of 1992). It is part of the collective bargaining process, and has been for well over a hundred years. Any efforts to remove or compromise that right should be viewed with great skepticism. I am concerned that the portion of your question concerning charter schools will likely come before me on the Supreme Court. Accordingly, I will decline to answer that as a response here could lead to a motion for my recusal. 24.Under what circumstances should liability be imposed upon unions for the acts, errors or omissions of their individual members? Under settled principles of law, such liability can be imposed only in circumstances where control or authorization is proven. 25. What is your view of the relationship between the right of public sector workers to organize and bargain collectively and those of private sector workers? Like public sector employees, private sector employees have the right to organize and to bargain collectively. The NLRA guarantees this right. Abuses that led to horrors such as The Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire occurred in the private sector. Employees in that sector have the right to organize for their safety and welfare and fair compensation as do their public counterparts. 26.What limitations, if any, do you see on employers to take action regarding the employment rights of employees who file claims for Unemployment Compensation? Pennsylvania Human Relations Act? Wage and Hour Laws? Employers may not retaliate against employees for exercising their rights under the law. retaliation may subject an employer to civil and/or criminal liability. Such 27. What is the appropriate limitation on disclosure of data by employers under the Pennsylvania Chemical Right to Know Law? What is the appropriate measure of balancing among the proprietary interests of employers, their suppliers/vendors, their employees and affected government agencies? Public employees have a right under our law to know about hazardous chemicals to which they might be exposed on the job. This law is a protection of critical importance. Trade secrets should be limited and construed strictly in order to prioritize worker health, and enforcement should be rigorous. 28. What is the appropriate level of judicial scrutiny to be applied to legislative limitations on voting rights? What is the foundation for your answer?
19 The appropriate level is strict scrutiny. The foundation of my answer is that voting is a fundamental right, protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions. 29. What is the proper role of Pennsylvania state government in the oversight of the operation and administration of unions and labor organizations? Since its creation by the PLRA in 1937, the PLRB administers and enforces the laws of this Commonwealth concerning labor organizations and their relations with management. Organizing activity may not be precluded by the state government. 30. What is the proper role of Pennsylvania state government in the oversight of the operation and administration of corporations operating in our Commonwealth? The oversight of corporations includes a key role for the judicial system, which applies and interprets Pennsylvania s statutes, as well as the common law of torts and contracts. As well, corporations must comply with regulations prescribed and enforced by Pennsylvania s Secretary of State. 31. What limitations, if any, exist with respect to state and local funding of non-public secular and/or parochial schools? What is the basis for your answer? Please see my response to Question 17 above. Beyond that, I am concerned that the remainder of your question could call upon me to forecast a view on the lawfulness of current or future legislative actions that would likely come before me for review on the Supreme Court. Accordingly, I will decline to answer that as a response here could lead to a motion for my recusal. 32. What is the appropriate role of the Judiciary in reviewing the applicability and/or enforceability of provisions of an existing Collective Bargaining Agreement? Do you view the judicial role differently in the private vs. the Public Sector? Please describe. Generally, these matters are reviewed according to the terms of the NLRA and PLRA, respectively. Judicial review in matters such as this is governed by principles of administrative law. Without more information, it is difficult to discern a principled basis for distinguishing the judicial role as between private and public sector CBA s in the abstract.
20 REPRESENTATIVE DECISIONS I have written a large number of opinions over the years. Listed below are several of my more significant opinions in various areas of the law. If the AFL-CIO would like paper copies of these or other opinions, I would be happy to submit them upon request. i. Family Law: Green v. Green, 69 A.3d 282 (Pa. Super. June 11, 2013) (affirming trial court s holding in disposition of property case; holding that wife s trial aid averments were not properly admitted in the absence of testimonial or documentary evidence of record). In re: S.H.J., 78 A.3d 1158 (Pa. Super. Oct. 21, 2013) (affirming trial court s holding that maternal aunt of subject children lacked standing to intervene in dependency proceedings). P.H.D. v. R.R.D., 56 A.3d 702 (Pa. Super. Nov. 13, 2012) (holding that a trial court erred by sua sponte modifying an existing custody order during contempt proceedings). Suzanne D. v. Stephen W., 65 A.3d 965 (Pa. Super. Apr. 22, 2013) (reviewing and affirming various child support recommendations from post-divorce proceedings). ii.civil Litigation: AmerisourceBergen Corporation v. Does, 81 A.3d 921 (Pa. Super. Nov. 8, 2013) (quashing an appeal for lack of final order and determining that alleged First Amendment issues did not require immediate review in a lawsuit to uncover identity of an Internet commenter). Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., 76 A.3d 1 (Pa. Super. July 10, 2013) (holding as a matter of first impression in case concerning nuclear energy hazards that an insured is not bound by an insurer s choice of reserved defenses). Fessenden v. Robert Packer Hospital, et al., 97 A.3d 1225 (Pa. Super. Sept. 25, 2014) (reversing trial court and holding that patient in medical malpractice suit was entitled to an inference of negligence and causation pursuant to res ipsa loquitur where surgical sponge was left inside plaintiff s abdomen following surgery). Huber v. Etkin, 58 A.3d 772 (Pa. Super. Nov. 26, 2012) (en banc) (holding that contingency fees from cases that began during a legal partnership were the property of the partnership). International Diamond Importers, Ltd., et al. v. Singularity Clark, L.P., 40 A.3d 1261 (Pa. Super. Mar. 22, 2012) (affirming in part and reversing in part trial court s orders regarding various evidentiary issues in a breach of contract case respecting a commercial lease). Joyce v. Erie Insurance Exchange, et al., 74 A.3d 157 (Pa. Super. Jul. 9, 2013) (holding that plaintiff convicted of fraud in connection with collecting insurance proceeds was barred from proceeding with his own fraud claims against insurance company and other driver).