Federal Court in Wilkes-Barre Stops School from Disciplining Cheerleader for Off-campus Speech Yesterday, federal District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo issued a preliminary injunction forbidding the Mahanoy School District from punishing one of its cheerleaders for an off-campus Snapchat post. The minor plaintiff, identified as “B.L.” is a sophomore at the Mahanoy Area High School…

14th Amendment Requires Schools to Protect High School football players from concussion injuries On September 21, 2017, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals filed a precedential opinion ruling that high school football players have a constitutional right to be protected from further harm after suffering a concussion injury on the field. Ironically, the School District…

MCCF Suicide Mumun Barbaros committed suicide at the Monroe County Correctional Facility on March 22, 2009 while awaiting trial for criminal trespass. Barbaros choked to death from the remnants of a t-shirt lodged in his throat. Federal Lawsuit Barbaros’ estate sued in federal District Court in Scranton. The claim was that Barbaros committed suicide because he was…

On August 3, 2017, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a federal civil rights lawsuit victims filed against Ross Township, Pennsylvania officials. The victims sought recovery for their injuries and the deaths of their family members when Township resident Rockne Newell opened fire on innocent bystanders attending a  2013 Supervisors meeting. Three people were…

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in Fields v. City of Philadelphia that the 1st Amendment protects your right to film police officers. Judge Ambro wrote the decision and  began his opinion by referencing the Rodney King beating by the LA Police Department. He noted that with advances in technology and the widespread ownership…

Joseph De Ritis was an Assistant Public Defender for Delaware County, Pennsylvania. To explain a perceived demotion to judges, other attorneys, and county officials, De Ritis circulated a rumor he had heard that he was being punished for taking too many cases to trial. After the Public Defender fired De Ritis for those statements, De…

Is EZ-Pass really so easy? You’ve seen the infomercials. Buy “mighty putty,” the “GLH Hair System” or the “thigh master” for just 15 or more “easy” payments of $9.99.  It is so easy separating the consumer from his money. Toll booth authorities, no doubt taking a cue from Saturday morning TV, created the EZ-pass system, a…

There is a growing consensus among federal appeals courts that law enforcement can request tracking data from a user’s cellphone without a warrant and without violating the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The Supreme Court just decided this past Monday (6/5/17) in Carpenter v. USA to answer the question whether the Fourth…

On June 1, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Bauer v. Becerra, that a fee on firearms transfers to fund enforcement efforts against illegal firearm purchasers did not violate the Second Amendment. The California program, established in 2001, enforces California’s prohibitions on firearm possession by identifying “persons who have ownership or possession…

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a multi-million dollar verdict in a California shooting case. LA police had burst into a shack without a search warrant and grievously shot two people. At issue in County of LA v. Mendez was the 9th Circuit’s “Provocation” Rule which allows claims against officers…