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Articles Posted in Publications

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In the April 2021 Young Lawyers Issue of Law Practice Today, Kandis Kovalsky wrote “Zoom Court Appearances: Rising to the Occasion While Seated

On March 13, 2020, a national emergency was declared in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instantly, courts across the country were shuttered. Many courts, particularly the federal courts, quickly rallied and embraced Zoom as a means to continue to hold hearings and move the many criminal and civil cases on their dockets. Some lawyers reveled in the courts’ embracement of Zoom, as the legal profession is often criticized as being somewhat of a dinosaur. Others were initially less excited about having to use a webcam and embrace modern technology, and while appearing in court, no less. Indeed, some lawyers even exclaimed that using Zoom (e.g., the technology) is more stressful than participating in the hearing itself. Continue reading ›

Two rows of prescription pill bottles

The opioid epidemic was a perfect storm, caused by years of over-promotion, over-prescription and dangerous marketing campaigns. Integral to this “perfect storm” was not just the drug manufacturers’ conduct, but also third parties, such as private equity and consulting companies, who all played critical roles.

In the April 15, 2021 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Holding Third Parties Liable for Their Role in Perpetuating the Opioid Crisis.Continue reading ›

People in line impatiently

In the March 18, 2021 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “The Dilemma of Lengthy ‘Motion Pending’ Delays in Federal Courts.

We all know the phrase “justice delayed is justice denied.” Recently, I have been involved in a flurry of discussions with colleagues from the Philadelphia Bar Association relating to this issue. At a recent Federal Courts Committee discussion through the Philadelphia Bar Association, concerns were raised about what to do (or, more accurately, whether anything can be done) when federal court judges do not move a case for an extended (and unreasonably long) period, usually due to a pending motion to dismiss. Continue reading ›

In the January 21, 2021 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Antitrust Suits Against Google Shows Damage Inflicted on Businesses, Consumers.

In reading the spate of recent antitrust actions taken against all-powerful search behemoth Google, you do not have to go very far to see damage done to businesses in our own backyard. A locally based (Paoli, Pennsylvania) search engine upstart DuckDuckGo, best known for protecting the privacy of its end-users, is one such business affected by Google’s monopoly. Continue reading ›

Lock unlocked with 1's and 0's spilling out; hacker to the rightDespite the rules and security measures that many organizations put in place to protect the personal information of their clients or customers, sensitive information may still fall prey to hackers and other kinds of breaches.

In the November 25, 2020 edition of  The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote, “Data Breach Cases: An Analysis of Standing and Best Causes of Action.

Despite the rules and security measures that many organizations put in place to protect the personal information of their clients or customers, sensitive information may still fall prey to hackers and other kinds of breaches. Those affected may seek counsel to aid in bringing suit to hold an entity liable for its intermediary role when a third party commits a data breach.. While data breaches have become too common, case law and statutory law governing redress for data breaches is limited. This column explores standing and potential causes of action in data breach suits.

Org-Chart-1024x576In June, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted an appeal that could radically alter existing state law on corporate liability based on the veil-piercing theory. The case, arising from a dram shop tort action, is poised to test Pennsylvania law’s “strong presumption” against piercing the corporate veil.

In the November 5, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Pa. Supreme Court to Review Veil-Piercing Appeal Based on Enterprise Theory.

In June, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted an appeal that could radically alter existing state law on corporate liability based on the veil-piercing theory. The case, arising from a dram shop tort action, is poised to test Pennsylvania law’s “strong presumption” against piercing the corporate veil. Hoping to recover damages from an affiliated corporation that was not a defendant at trial, the plaintiff in Mortimer v. McCool, was granted an appeal on the basis of the so-called “single business enterprise” or “single entity” theory. See Mortimer v. McCool, Nos. 20 MAL 2020, (Pa. June 22, 2020). Not currently adopted in Pennsylvania, the theory may be applied to allow a plaintiff to reach the assets of one or more affiliated corporations of the debtor when those “corporations share common ownership and are, in reality, operating as a corporate combine.” See Miners v. Alpine Equipment, 722 A.2d 691,695 (Pa. Super. 1998). Courts discussing or adopting the enterprise theory have found its rightful target to be corporate entities that have integrated business ownership and assets to achieve a common business purpose. Thus, in an important sense, by operating what is essentially a “single business enterprise” split into multiple affiliated entities (often purely for the sake of avoiding liability), owners of such enterprises open the door for the courts to impose shared liability. In the past, I have written about veil-piercing in Pennsylvania generally, as well as in specific regard to LLCs and the “alter ego” theory. This column addresses the implications of the Mortimer appeal and the “enterprise” theory for Pennsylvania corporate liability law.

The courts have, in turn, opened their ears (and maybe their hearts, too) to the plight of American businesses that have suffered on a truly historic scale.

Drawing of business meeting, participants wearing masks
In the October 15, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Business-Interruption Claims in the COVID-19 Era: Litigators Find Hope.

While the coronavirus itself may be novel, business interruption insurance lawsuits are not. Accordingly, in the initial wave of lawsuits arising from the pandemic, both business owners and courts throughout the country seemed trapped in a fixed mindset about this new type of case. Reeling from loss and damage, business owners assumed that since their businesses had been interrupted by COVID-19, their claims had merit. Courts, meanwhile, reading insurance policies narrowly, dismissed claims related to the virus for lack of tangible alteration to business property. In recent months, however, litigators have embraced more creative arguments to persuade the courts to hear their cases. The courts have, in turn, opened their ears (and maybe their hearts, too) to the plight of American businesses that have suffered on a truly historic scale.

Clipboard and Chart overlay on modern buildingPiercing the veil of limited liability companies (LLCs) allows a court to disregard the separate corporate personality of the company and its member(s) to reach the assets of the members and hold them liable for all or part of the LLC’s debts under Pennsylvania law.

In the September 3, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Piercing the Corporate Veil of LLCs Under Pennsylvania Law.

Piercing the veil of limited liability companies (LLCs) allows a court to disregard the separate corporate personality of the company and its member(s) to reach the assets of the members and hold them liable for all or part of the LLC’s debts under Pennsylvania law. Previously, I’ve written on the general substantive and procedural requirements of piercing the corporate veil of an entity and alter ego jurisdiction over corporate groups. This column addresses the Pennsylvania law on the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil as applied to LLCs.

Diverse group of business people with arms foldedA recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan underscored the RICO “proximate cause” inquiry highlighting yet another, often overlooked, complexity in litigating such cases.

In the July 23, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “Civil RICO and Proximate Cause: A Tool for Defendants and Challenge for Plaintiffs.

In March 2018, I authored a column on civil RICO claims brought under 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(a) and (b). In that space, I explained the complexity of those sections within RICO cases. A recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan underscored the RICO “proximate cause” inquiry highlighting yet another, often overlooked, complexity in litigating such cases.

Laptop with various paper coming out of itWhile it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

In the July 2, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of Kang Haggerty wrote “The Future of Business Contracts Post-COVID-19.

Recently, I authored a column on force majeure clauses. In that space, I explained how many businesses have recently been turning to force majeure clauses in their contracts for protection in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

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