Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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

1410 Posts and Counting

US Supreme Court holds that juries must render unanimous decisions in state criminal cases

No. 1,641 RAMOS v LOUISIANA https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/18-5924 The US Supreme Court reversed precedent that had approved the long-standing practice in the states of Louisiana and Oregon of criminal convictions with  a 10 – 2 verdict.  The Court held that the Sixth Amendment required this result by the term  “trial by an impartial jury” as understood by […]

What is a Unicorn?

No. 1,632 I’ve been running across references to unicorns in books, blog posts and even in the funny papers. Sometimes the author assumes we know what she is talking about or explains the term in a cursory fashion. In her book, Insight, therapist Tasha Urich used the term “unicorns” to discuss people who greatly improve […]

Investigative Grand Juries and the Right to Reputation

No. 1,592 The Fortieth Investigative Grand Jury stirred a tsunami of public outrage, but has not resulted in a single prosecution.  Among the many consequences flowing from this momentous historic event, one unforeseen by almost everyone and not yet fully appreciated, has begun to unfold on December 3, 2018.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made permanent […]

PA Supreme Court: Temporary Redaction of Names of Accused Priests Becomes Permanent to Protect Constitutional Right to Reputation for Lack of a Better Remedy

No. 1,591 IN RE: FORTIETH STATEWIDE INVESTIGATING GRAND JURY, NO. 75, 77-82, 84, 86-87, 89 WM 2018 (December 3, 2018)  On July 27, 2018, the Supreme Court temporarily redacted the names of eleven current and former Catholic priests who had been named in the Report of the Fortieth Investigating Grand Jury (Report 1).  The prior […]

Right to Know v. Right to Reputation

No. 1,531 IN RE: FORTIETH STATEWIDE INVESTIGATIVE GRAND JURY The Pennsylvania Constitution contains a provision guaranteeing the right to reputation. It has been applied in a number of cases.  The PA Supreme Court is about to shed additional light on this little known state constitutional right. In January 2016, a Statewide Grand Jury was convened […]

Its Time to Step Aside and Let the System Work.

No. 1,520 During the crisis over the police shooting of Antwon Rose, there was admirable restraint on all sides (including, with one exception, motorists) when protesters literally took to the streets.  Drivers were patient and understanding. Peaceful assembly to state a grievance is always appropriate.  It is a right protected by the First Amendment.  But […]

Due Process in America is for Everyone.

No. 1,511 At this point in our history, there shouldn’t be much disagreement on the proposition that aliens who are physically in the United States are entitled to due process under the Constitution.  The Supreme Court so held a generation ago in Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding, 344 US 590 (1953). Due process means that […]

Supreme Court Says States May Require Sales Tax Payment On Internet Sales By Merchants with No Presence in the State.

No. 1,508 SOUTH DAKOTA v. WAYFAIR, INC., ET AL., NO. 17-494, 585 U.S._____  (DECIDED JUNE 21, 2018) [NOTE: Full Opinion is linked above. Verbatim excerpts from the opinion are reprinted below in bold italics.  Consult the link for the full text.] The Supreme Court revisited its interpretation of the Commerce Clause in two prior cases, […]

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 […]

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 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.

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