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NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf's efforts to fill two vacancies on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court collapsed Monday after one nominee withdrew his name from consideration following a controversy over an e-mail he sent and the other was left in political limbo. Centre County Court Judge Thomas K. Kistler said he was removing his name from consideration after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some viewed as racially insensitive. With Kistler's withdrawal, Senate Republicans moved swiftly to cancel the confirmation hearing for Wolf's second nominee, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Craig R. McCoy, and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
The fate of a Centre County Court judge whom Gov. Wolf nominated for Pennsylvania's highest court was unsettled Friday as legislators and others questioned whether an e-mail he sent was racially insensitive. Wolf told The Inquirer that he had not seen the e-mail forwarded by Judge Thomas K. Kistler. "We're looking into it, and I'll be making a decision once I'm confident that I know all the facts," Wolf said in Washington, where he was attending a governors' conference. At the same time, questions also emerged about a harassment complaint once filed against Wolf's other nominee for the high court, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Pennsylvania appellate court has temporarily halted imposition of nearly $1 million in penalties against defense lawyer Nancy Raynor, who was sanctioned last year for breaching a court order barring her witnesses from testifying that a woman suing for medical malpractice had been a longtime smoker. The Superior Court order, issued Wednesday, gave Raynor access to business accounts that had been frozen and halted garnishment of fees from insurance-industry clients. It also ordered Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto to hold a hearing on new evidence that Raynor's lawyers contend shows she took steps to ensure witnesses not offer precluded testimony.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - The investigation into alleged leaks of confidential information by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was conducted legally and should be allowed to proceed, the judge who oversaw the case argued in legal papers Wednesday. "The truth is crying to be heard," Montgomery County Court Judge William R. Carpenter wrote of the case against Kane. Carpenter's filing comes as Kane is asking the state Supreme Court to throw out criminal charges that a statewide grand jury recommended against her late last year.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | BY LARA WITT, Daily News Staff Writer wittl@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
Nicholas Coia wore a blue prison uniform, handcuffs and a blank expression yesterday as he was led into court for a resentencing hearing in the brutal 2003 murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney. Coia, 28, sat next to his lawyer, his back to the victim's parents Dawn and Paul Sweeney and his sister Melissa Vereb, who were among the witnesses called to testify at the hearing to determine whether Coia's life sentence should stand. "My precious baby boy had been beaten to death so brutally that I had to identify him by a fresh scar on his hand," Dawn Sweeney testified, tears streaming down her face.
SPORTS
February 13, 2015 | BY BOB COONEY, Daily News Staff Writer cooneyb@phillynews.com
BRETT BROWN spent much of his first season as the 76ers' head coach tutoring his prized, but injured, rookie. His sessions with Nerlens Noel took place for all to see, on the court hours before a game, the two working on the big man's shooting form. They worked before and after practices, in which Noel did not participate while recovering from knee surgery. All the while, the coach was envisioning Noel becoming a better shooter, more fluid at the foul line. Now, Brown looks at Noel in a completely different way. Yes, he still oversees the effort to correct the form of his shooting.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey on Monday slammed the judicial-evaluation process of the Pennsylvania Bar Association as "unethical, unprofessional, and less than forthright," contending that she was being pressured to drop her run for the state Supreme Court. Covey, of New Hope, said in a letter to association president Francis X. O'Connor that as a consequence of her treatment, Robert Morris, chairman of the Judicial Evaluation Commission, should resign. "I will not be a victim and I will not remain silent regarding the unethical and unprofessional activities I experienced with the . . . JEC," Covey wrote.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Controversy has nipped at Erik Arneson's heels over the nearly two decades he served as a spokesman for Senate Republicans. His first boss, Sen. David "Chip" Brightbill, became majority leader after his predecessor was sent to jail for corruption. Brightbill, of Lebanon County, was ousted in 2006 over an ill-fated legislative pay raise. And Arneson's last boss, Sen. Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County, was pushed out as majority leader in a coup last fall. But now Arneson, 44, for years the affable face of Senate Republicans, is at the center of his own high-profile storm.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Crowded with Washington-bound commuters, the Track 5 platform beneath 30th Street Station was swept by a cold wind as Ron Levine stamped his feet and blew into his hands to stay warm. On this unusually icy November day last year, Levine, a prominent white-collar defense lawyer and a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, and his colleague, Abe Rein, were on their way to the nation's capital. There, they would meet with other lawyers to fine-tune arguments in a Supreme Court case.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania's Superior Court has breathed new life into the all-but-dead civil suit brought by former CBS3 anchor Alycia Lane against the station and onetime coanchor Larry Mendte. The decision, filed Thursday, clears the way for Lane's case against Mendte and CBS3 to proceed to a trial, and revives a long-running saga with details that have fueled gossip pages and produced reams of legal filings for years. "We're back," Lane's attorney Paul R. Rosen sing-songed in an interview Friday, giving his best Poltergeist impression.
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