Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1496 Posts and Counting

Lawyer-Client Privilege Protects Us All

While a firestorm rages around the use of personal information voluntarily given on an insecure website, a much more serious issue is being raised by the raid on the office, home and hotel room of the President’s personal attorney.  This was accomplished after a judge heard argument by the Special Counsel, in private, that there was probable cause that such a raid would produce evidence of a crime. Of course, this was all done in secret, so we will not immediately know what was presented to the court.  Meanwhile, the Special Counsel has seized a treasure trove of documents, most of which have nothing to do with the Special Counsel’s mission. If it is later determined that the information was seized illegally, it will nevertheless be known to prosecutors, police and perhaps to the public.

Jump Like a Fish, Jump Like a Porpoise, all Join Hands and Habeas Corpus!

No. 1,449 The Great Writ is far outside my practice area .  Based upon the excellent article in the ACS blog which is linked here, its outside everybody’s practice area.  The author, who is referred to as Judge,  doesn’t pull any punches, even when criticizing the United States Supreme Court, which she does throughout. I presented […]

Supreme Court moves quickly on Congressional Redistricting. So, what happens when the Legislature and Governor almost certainly do not meet the deadline?

The majority struck down the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011, relying upon the Pennsylvania Constitution alone, enjoining the use of the existing districts in the upcoming primary election. Only the special election to fill the remaining term of Tim Murphy in the 18th Congressional District is exempt.

Congressional redistricting is on the docket in 2018.

No. 1,397 The  Pennsylvania Supreme Court has announced that it will promptly take up League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth,  which is the case involving the re-drawing of the map of Congressional  Districts. See our December 30, 2017 post on the subject. A decision is expected in February. Speed is of the essence here, since the […]


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court directed Judge Kenneth Brobson of the Commonwealth Court to conduct a non-jury trial and to find facts and recommend conclusions of law regarding the claim of the Petitioners, who included various registered voters in the Democratic Party, that the legislative reapportionment of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts was unconstitutional.

If You Think You Can’t Trademark a Vulgar Word . . .

No. 1,376 You’re wrong. Here’s a Bloomberg post on the subject. CLT

Vocabulary Word of the Day: Emolument.

No. 1,346 Two State Attorneys General have filed suit claiming that the President is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by operating hotels and taking profits from businesses operating in foreign countries after taking office. You probably haven’t used this word in your entire life.  So, what in the world is an emolument? Dictionary.com […]

None Dare Call It Unconstitutional.

No. 1,334 The State of California has a growing list of other states which it believes have enacted laws that discriminate against the LGBT. So says the Washington Post. One of the latest is Texas, which empowers adoption agencies to refuse to grant adoptions to persons believed to lack satisfactory religious convictions. The Texas provision is […]

Challenge to CFPB Constitutionality to be Reconsidered by Court en Banc

No. 1,326 As had been expected for some time, the challenge to the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be reconsidered by the full court of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in a suit brought by mortgage lender PHH.  A panel of the Court had ruled that the agency, as constituted with […]

Enhanced Penalty for Refusing Blood Sample in DUI Arrest in Pa. is illegal following Birchfield v North Dakota.

No. 1,309 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. MARIO GIRON, SUPERIOR COURT, NO. 1300 EDA 2016, FILED JANUARY 31, 2017 “Appellant, Mario Giron, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on April 15, 2016. In this case, we hold that, pursuant to Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016),[1] a defendant who refuses to provide a blood sample when […]

keep looking »


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.


    Click Here to Contact Cliff
  • Subscribe to our feed