Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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

1410 Posts and Counting

What Not To Look For When Hiring A Lawyer.

Hiring a lawyer is very personal. True, you are looking for a professional to perform a task. But in order to do it, you must establish a relationship. The relationship between a lawyer and client is like no other. It requires a high level of mutual trust, often to be established on the spot. The lawyer you select should be the best available match for you and for the task at hand.

Don’t use Google Scholar, use Google Scholar Advanced Scholar Search.

No. 632 If you’ve been disappointed by Google Scholar for legal research, try the advanced version.  It enables you to select jurisdictions, such as Third Circuit and Pennsylvania Courts. Once you find a case you like, click on the “How Cited” tab. Of course, there is no statute search, but you may be able to […]


So, the word is out. After a long loveless marriage to Microsoft, lawyers are deserting hers for a fling with you-know-who. In particular, the iPad According to the blog Legal iPad, iPads are reaching a tipping point. The POTUS uses one. So does Queen Elizabeth and Justice Scalia. “iPads are the perfect device for content […]

On-line Law School Anyone?

Above the Law found an article on the internet about a 16 year old who graduated from Washington State University with a high GPA and now wants to go to law school on-line. In the inimitable ATL style, they called her stupid.

The Pro Bono Case Next Door.

Corine Tampas, the Philadelphia lawyer who calls herself “an Onshore Outsource Attorney”, tells the story in her blog about her attempt to volunteer to provide free legal services. The most recent issue of the Attorney Disciplinary Board’s Newsletter focused on Chief Justice Castille’s call for Pennsylvania attorneys to volunteer free legal service to those who need counsel but cannot afford to pay the going rate. Fired-up with enthusiasm, Corinne (who is a very experience lawyer) dropped in at the office of an organization providing assistance to indigent debtors (a tautology?) in bankruptcy cases. The doorman wouldn’t let her in, saying that she should leave a resume so that they could determine whether she was qualified. Corinne, however, is nothing if not persistent. She managed to talk to the director of the organization on the phone while still standing at the door. After she explained that she was an experienced lawyer who had volunteered before, the director told her to leave a resume with the doorman so that they could determine whether she was qualified.

Murder, Hypothetically Speaking.

No. 580 A tenured Weidner University Law Professor has been suspended and banned from campus because students complained about using the name of the black female dean in a hypothetical classroom murder scenario.  So reports Volokh Conspiracy. CLT

The Super Bowl Effect.

Judge Jeffrey Manning ordered jury selection in the Orie trial delayed from February 7 to February 8 because the Steelers play in the Super Bowl the night before. The Judge’s stated reason was that there might be celebrations occurring that day. The unstated reason, of course, is that there might be celebrations occurring the night before and it is hard enough to get up on a cold February Monday when you haven’t been drinking and raising hell the night before. That applies to judges and court personnel as well as jurors.

Don’t Expect Privacy for Messages Sent on Your Employer’s Email System.

‘ve preached this sermon before, but its an important one. Don’t use the company’s email to send a communication containing your own private business. That is, unless you don’t care whether the company and everyone else in the world finds out your secret.


No. 567 The Solo Attorney’s Practitioner’s Forum on Linked-In is all lit up with comments about AVVO.  Many lawyers who have claimed their AVVO accounts (like me) have seen their AVVO ratings go down since the beginning of the year (like me). They usually complain that there has been no change in the data, or […]

A New Years Resolution: Smite the Rude! [Updated With Response Below]

Corrine A. Tampas, a lawyer who primarily works as a consultant to other lawyers, sent me a comment on the Bitter Lawyer piece (2 down) in which she set forth her New Years resolution: “I will be a bitch on wheels to anyone who is not nice and/or is rude in the New Year”.

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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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