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The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has clarified the question of whether, under Pennsylvania law, an insured may transfer the right to recover damages against his or her insurance company in an insurance bad faith claim to a third party. In a recent decision in AllState Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Jared Wolfe, No. 39 MAP 2014, 2014 WL 7088147 (December 15, 2014), the Supreme Court ultimately decided that yes, an insured may assign their rights to pursue an insurance bad faith action to a third party.

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A federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that counterclaims against the whistleblower filed by the target of a whistleblower action can survive. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in United States of America ex rel. Lorraine Notorfransesco v. Surgical Monitoring Association, Inc., et al. (Tucker, C.J.) has denied a motion by the whistleblower, Lorraine Notorfransesco, to dismiss counterclaims made by her former employer, Surgical Monitoring Association (“SMA”).  While the recent ruling seems to suggest that potential whistleblowers would be dissuaded from “blowing the whistle” for fear of being retaliated, the ruling is not exactly as controversial as it seems.

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On September 23, 2014, in Potok v. Rebh, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas held that the corporate officers of Floorgraphics, an advertising company, were held liable for appropriating $12 million from a settlement deal from the sale of their company in 2009 to News America Marketing.

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On August 7, 2014, the Western District of Pennsylvania’s Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr. entered an order preliminary denying plaintiff’s motion to compel compliance with subpoena on counsel. In the case of Gary Miller Imports, Inc. v. Carter Dolittle, et al., plaintiff sought to compel the law firm of Macdonad Illig Jones & Britton, LLP to produce eight documents they felt did not fall under attorney-client privilege. Continue reading →

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Jason Guss, Esquire
By Jason Guss

Restrictive covenants are contractual clauses that limit an employee’s post-employment activities for a specified length of time and geographic area.  Their enforceability varies by state and by profession.  For example, restrictive covenants are unenforceable in the legal profession but are enforceable in the medical profession. The American Medical Association, however, discourages restrictive covenants between physicians. Yet it deems them ethical unless they are excessive in geographic scope or duration, or fail to reasonably accommodate patients’ choice of physician.

The determination of whether a restrictive covenant is reasonable is a factual one that is assessed on a case-by-case basis: courts weigh the competing interests of the employee versus the employer, and typically the burden is on the employer to demonstrate that the restrictive covenant protects the employer’s interests without posing an undue hardship on the employee.

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qtq80-HnVsL4-150x150In the August 21, 2017 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Henry Donner, Of Counsel at KHF, and David Dean, an associate of the firm, write on the Practitioners’ Guide to Navigating New Mechanics’ Lien Law Amendments.

By: Henry Donner and David Dean

Pennsylvania’s Mechanics Lien Law of 1963 was amended in late 2014 to require the commonwealth’s Department of General Services to create an internet-based State Construction Notices Directory. As required by the law, the directory went live on Dec. 31, 2016, providing a standardized, statewide, internet-based system for construction notices. This statutory scheme imposes new requirements on project owners, contractors, and subcontractors, compliance with which can drastically affect those parties’ rights under the Mechanics Lien Law. Practitioners representing any of the traditional parties in a construction matter should be sure to familiarize themselves with these new provisions, and advise their clients accordingly.

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Donner-272x300Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt is pleased to announce that Henry Donner, Of Counsel, has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018, one of the most respected peer-review publications in the profession.

Donner is once again named to the list for his well-regarded construction law practice.

Best Lawyers was founded in 1983 and is published in 70 countries and all 50 states. Its methodology employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. The 24th edition of The Best Lawyers in America highlights the top 5% of practicing attorneys in the United States, based on more than 7.4 million evaluations, recognizing attorneys in 140 practice areas.

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By David Scott

David R. ScottIn June, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced the largest fine ever imposed upon a beer wholesaler by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.[1]  The Hunterdon Brewing Company (“Hunterdon”) agreed to a fine of $2 million to avoid a suspension of its license in light of allegations that it committed trade practice violations.[2]  Beer wholesalers such as Hunterdon act as intermediaries between brewers and retailers by purchasing beer from craft breweries such as Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, and Avery and reselling the beer to retailers such as bars and restaurants.  Chief among Hunterdon’s alleged trade practice violations was its alleged sale of draft beer tap systems at “below fair market prices” in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:2-24.1.[3]

The regulations Hunterdon is said to have violated are part of a three-tier distribution system that was established by most states in the aftermath of prohibition.[4]  The three-tier distribution system, which traces its origins to a study entitled Toward Liquor Control that was financed by John D. Rockerfeller, Jr., a noted teetotaler, creates a separation between alcohol manufacturers and retailers.[5]  As a result, wholesalers like Hunterdon exist to act as intermediaries between brewers and bars for the sale of beer.

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Edward T. Kang, EsquireIn the July 27, 2017 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, KHF Managing Member Edward T. Kang writes on Being Careful What You Say in Settlement Discussions.

Be Careful What You Say in Settlement Discussions

By Edward T. Kang

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Three New Jersey Supreme Court committees have recently prohibited three online services that allow clients and lawyers to interact for a small fee. Certain Avvo, LegalZoom, and Rocket Lawyer products have been deemed to be in violation of ethical standards in the state and are currently blacklisted. Moreover, Avvo is under fire for its improper fee-splitting.

In the Joint Opinion issued by the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Committee on Attorney Advertising and Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (ACPE Opinion 732, CAA Opinion 44, UPL Opinion 54), the committees state that “New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the Avvo legal service programs because the programs improperly require the lawyer to share a legal fee with a nonlawyer…”

On the other hand, it adds, “The Committees further find that LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer appear to operate legal service plans through their websites but New Jersey lawyers may not participate in these plans because they are not registered with the Administrative Office of the Courts…” While these two services are permissible under RPC 7.3(e)(4), they are off limits due to the lack of registration.

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Edward T. Kang, EsquireIn the June 22, 2017 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, KHF Managing Member Edward T. Kang writes on How to Effectively Work With Millennials as Employees and Clients.

How to Effectively Work With Millennials as Employees and Clients

By Edward T. Kang

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Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt, a boutique business litigation firm with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ, congratulates Henry Donner, Of Counsel, on being selected as a notable practitioner for construction law in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

According to Chambers:  “The ‘outstanding’ Henry Donner is a highly experienced attorney who comes recommended for his work on behalf of architects, developers, contractors and engineers. He provides assured counsel in cost disputes and design error cases.”

Chambers notes that with Donner’s prior firm, his construction law team was known for “offering expertise on all aspects of the construction development process, including contract negotiations and litigation. Possesses extensive experience representing a broad client base, consisting of managers, contractors and design professionals.”

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“Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016—One-Year Later, Now What?” by Edward T. Kang | Legal Intelligencer

Following its enactment on May 11, 2016, there have been many cases filed in the US District Courts under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). In this publication with The Legal Intelligencer, Edward T. Kang discusses notable developments relating to the DTSA – such as the private right of action arising from a trade secret misappropriation that occurred before but continues after the act’s enactment, which is drastically different from the Uniform Trade Secrets Act adopted by most of the states.

Click here to read the full article about the updates on the DTSA.

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