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U.S. Third Circuit

3rd Circuit: Proposed Drug Safehouse in Philadelphia Violates Federal Law

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

While everyone agrees that the opioid crisis is causing significant harm to individuals, families, and communities across the nation, people disagree on the right response to reducing drug dependence. So far, unfortunately, little progress is being made. Over a hundred people die from a drug overdose every day. Countless more suffer job loss, broken relationships, and negative health consequences from opioid use.

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Federal Judge Finds Pennsylvania COVID-19 Restrictions Unconstitutional

By Laura Temme, Esq.

Pennsylvanians upset about having to stay at home due to COVID-19 can get out their party hats, thanks to a decision by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, has ruled that Governor Tom Wolf's emergency orders regarding the coronavirus violate residents' rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The decision overturns the state's stay-at-home order, restrictions on gatherings, and closing of "non-life-sustaining" businesses.

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Sherwin-Williams Primed for Legal Disputes, Third Circuit Says "Wait a Minute"

By Laura Temme, Esq.

A good offense may be the best defense, but you still need to have standing. Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams was primed and ready for lead paint litigation rumored to be pending in several Pennsylvania counties. However, in this case, getting ahead of the problem was not the best move. Sherwin-Williams Goes on the Offensive Lehigh and Montgomery Counties sued Sherwin-Williams in 2018 over its sale of lead-based paint, with both hiring the same law firm to work on a contingency basis.

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Pittsburgh's "Buffer Zone" Ordinance Does Not Prevent Sidewalk Counseling at Abortion Clinics

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

Outside of two Planned Parenthood clinics in Pittsburgh, pro-life advocates have long engaged in protests, demonstrations, and other activity designed to reduce the number of abortions performed. Routine escalations in the 90s led to 24-hour police surveillance, which was eventually eliminated due to budget constraints.

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Third Circuit Clarifies When Public Employees Speak as Private Citizens

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

It is not always clear when public employees are acting in an official capacity and when they are acting as private citizens. The issue can be important when determining whether public employees have a legitimate cause of action to file a lawsuit for a violation of their constitutional right of free speech. If they are acting in an official capacity, they do not have a First Amendment right and employers can retaliate against them.

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Third Circuit Halts FCC Plan to Deregulate Broadcast Ownership Rules

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq.

Netflix just bought the global streaming rights to Seinfeld for $500 million, proving that there is value in re-runs. That’s not necessarily the case for the Federal Communications Commission, however, for whom the fourth time wasn’t the charm for updating certain rules regarding ownership of broadcast stations. The FCC’s position under Ajit Pai is that the promulgation of internet companies has rendered existing rules opposing the consolidation of radio and broadcasting stations obsolete.

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