We Listen.

Can An Employer Review An Employee’s Digital and Electronic Communications?

By: Amanda Sundquist The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in City of Ontario v. Quon, regarding whether a member of the police SWAT team had a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages transmitted on a SWAT pager. The Court’s decision in this case may have wide spread impact on …

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Are Charter Schools Subject To Real Estate Taxes?

In an opinion and order dated March 16, 2010, the Commonwealth Court concluded that a property leased by a Pennsylvania charter school was not eligible for an exemption from the payment of real estate taxes. In the case of In Re: Appeal of Collegium Foundation and Collegium Charter School, the court concluded that …

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Municipalities and Developers: Take A Closer Look At Settlement Agreements

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in BPG Real Estate Investors v. Newtown Township may cause developers and townships to more carefully consider whether settlement agreements are reaching too far. The ultimate result may be courts refusing to approve such settlements. In the BPG decision, the Commonwealth Court determined that a settlement agreement between …

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Township Pursues Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

By: Amanda Sundquist Westfall Township is believed to be the first Pennsylvania municipality to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The Township sought Chapter 9 protection to force negotiations on a $20 million federal judgment entered in favor of a developer. Chapter 9 was used to reduce the award to $6 million, which …

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The Rise of Wind Power – Changing Landscapes in Pennsylvania

The use of windmills as an energy source is on the rise and rapidly growing in Pennsylvania, even in residential neighborhoods. While windmill farms can be an interesting and peaceful sight from afar, the construction of a windmill in a backyard in a residential neighborhood may not be as welcoming. In the case Tink-Wing Mountain …

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Public Park and Field Users Beware:  Commonwealth Court Affirms Governmental Immunity 

By: Andrew D.H. Rau In a recent case involving a broken ankle suffered during a flag football game in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Commonwealth Court has broadly construed governmental immunity from certain lawsuits.  In Davis v. City of Philadelphia, the Court found that the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act (RULWA) protected the …

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DEP Employees Found Unprotected by Sovereign Immunity

By: Amanda Sundquist In an unusual verdict, a jury for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in MFS, Inc. v Dilazaro, has found four Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection employees individually liable for $6.5 million dollars in damages. Typically, government workers are protected by the doctrine of …

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Doing Business with Local Governments in Pennsylvania

Selling to and purchasing for local governments in Pennsylvania poses unique challenges because local government in Pennsylvania is very local. The Brookings Institution has calculated that Pennsylvania has 2,566 municipalities: 56 cities; 962 boroughs; 91 first class townships, and; 1,457 second class townships. This does not include Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts, …

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Free Speech Decisions

By: Amanda J. Sundquist The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has issued new, and competing student free speech decisions.  The cases names are becoming familiar to school districts across the region: Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District.  Both cases address the …

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New Earned Income Tax Consolidation Resources

By: Amanda J. Sundquist The Department of Community and Economic Development has released its report “Earned Income Tax Consolidation Best Practices Report.” This resource may be helpful to school districts and municipalities which are navigating through the consolidation of the earned income tax collection system. For assistance utilizing information in the Report or …

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West Chester, PA
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P.O. BOX 515
West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 692-1371
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120 Gay Street
P.O. Box 289
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-8069