July 29, 2016 |
A Philadelphia judge has denied a motion by lawyers for real estate speculator Richard Basciano to move the Sept. 6 civil trial in the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse out of Southeastern Pennsylvania because of pretrial publicity. The one-page order, without explanation, was filed Tuesday by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. She is the newly appointed trial judge for the consolidated lawsuits resulting from the June 13, 2013, collapse of an unsupported and partly demolished wall.
July 16, 2016 |
The Philadelphia judge who presided over the landmark 2012 Catholic clergy sex-abuse trial has been assigned to handle what is expected to be the biggest civil trial in years - the Sept. 6 trial of lawsuits from the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse. Court records show Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was assigned Thursday to preside over what is expected to be a four-week jury trial of suits against real estate speculator Richard Basciano, several of his companies, the Salvation Army, and others on behalf of six people killed and 13 injured June 5, 2013.
April 13, 2016 |
In 2014, Kareem Alleyne was acquitted of killing an off-duty Philadelphia police officer by hitting him with his car. On Monday, Alleyne's lawyers told a jury that he never should have been charged with vehicular homicide in the first place. They said police investigators overlooked or downplayed damning evidence against their deceased colleague, including that the officer, Marc Brady, had been stalking and harassing Alleyne for dating his ex-girlfriend. "They had made up their minds," said lawyer Lori Mach.
March 3, 2016 |
Salma's canine rage Salma Hayek is deeply distressed and angry that police in the Washington state hamlet where she keeps a ranch have closed their investigation into the shooting death of Mozart Hayek without making an arrest, TMZ says. Mozart, a 9-year-old pet dog, was shot and killed by a neighbor for allegedly trespassing on the adjoining property. The actor was so determined to investigate the death, she had a necropsy performed. Death was caused by a pellet gun. Hayek insists Mozart never crossed onto the other property, but the caretaker of her ranch told cops that's not strictly true.
February 7, 2016 |
When Mark Calzaretta watches a jury hearing evidence in a high-stakes lawsuit, it isn't necessarily an impartial panel of citizen peers he sees. Rather, Calzaretta sees 10 human beings with emotional biases that, if studied diligently, can help lawyers predict with startling accuracy the outcome of a case, often before it is tried. Calzaretta is a founding member of Magna Legal Services, a Center City firm that specializes in modeling juror behavior for lawyers who want to squeeze every advantage out of their arguments.
February 6, 2016
Rafael Robb, the former University of Pennsylvania professor sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for killing his wife in their Upper Merion home in 2006, is again coming up for parole - and stirring a new round of opposition. Ellen Gregory Robb's family members, who have successfully argued in the past to reverse a parole board decision to release Robb, plan to renew their concerns in a meeting with the board next Tuesday. "We will collectively show that Robb remains controlling, manipulative, and unremorseful for his horrific actions," her brother Gary Gregory said in a statement Thursday.
February 5, 2016
BILL COSBY'S LUCK ran out on a dark and rainy Wednesday in a Norristown courthouse. He lost the legal battle, but I suspect, unhappily, that he will win the war. Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill nixed Cosby's motion to dismiss the sexual-assault charges brought against him in December. The 78-year-old entertainer argued that he was shielded by a promise to not prosecute made a decade ago by then-Montgomery County D.A. Bruce Castor. My colleague Jenice Armstrong fumed Wednesday that Castor didn't prosecute Cos and seemed to be blaming the victim.
December 3, 2015 |
Jury selection began Tuesday in the civil trial of a lawsuit brought by a woman in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that a vaginal mesh device made by the company failed after she had it surgically implanted, causing extreme pain and requiring multiple corrective surgeries. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against J&J - one of the world's biggest makers of health-care products - and other pelvic mesh manufacturers contending that the devices were poorly tested and that the companies failed to disclose information showing the risks.
December 2, 2015 |
A Philadelphia judge has ordered that North Philadelphia demolition contractor Griffin Campbell be questioned under oath by lawyers preparing for next September's civil trial on behalf of those killed and injured in the 2013 Center City building collapse. Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein ruled Monday that a deposition would not infringe on Campbell's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Campbell, 51, was found guilty in October of six counts of involuntary manslaughter in the June 5, 2013, collapse of a Salvation Army thrift store at 22d and Market Streets.
November 21, 2015 |
The lawyer for demolition contractor Griffin Campbell said Thursday that he would oppose a move to question Campbell under oath ahead of next year's trial in a suit filed on behalf of the victims in the deadly 2013 collapse of a Salvation Army building in Center City. Lawyers seeking damages for the six killed and 13 injured in the June 5, 2013, disaster at 22d and Market Streets want to depose Campbell under oath for five days in January. Campbell testified in his defense in the criminal trial last month, in which he was found guilty of six counts of involuntary manslaughter and other charges.