Searching a Vehicle for Officer Safety

VEHICLE SEARCH BASED ON OFFICER SAFETY The Pennsylvania Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Arrington, holding that a traffic stop late at night in a high crime-area without more is not reasonable suspicion to search a vehicle based on concern for officer safety. This is an important decision since it limits the […]

Jury or Waiver Trial

COMMONWEALTH V. ROSENTHAL The Pennsylvania Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Rosenthal, No. 1401 WDA 2018, holding that general racial animus or stereotyping is insufficient to overturn a jury verdict.  For a jury verdict to be overturned due to racial bias, the animus must be directed at the defendant or his witnesses.  […]

Coronavirus Rent Protections

TO OUR VALUED CLIENTS AND FRIENDS Since March 16, 2020 the world has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.  According to Philadelphia City Council 1.9 million Pennsylvanians have applied for unemployment assistance; 120,000 Philadelphians have applied for unemployment; there is a backlog of 5,000 eviction cases; and the city must cut approximately $649 million dollars […]

Violation of Probation Hearings

PA SUPER. COURT: VOP REQUIRES VIOLATION OF SPECIFIC CONDITION/NEW CRIME The Pennsylvania Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Giliam, No. 3882 EDA 2016.  In this case the Superior Court held that to violate probation a defendant must either; 1.) violate a specific condition of probation; or 2.) commit a new crime.  It […]

Philly Renters Rights

On October 26, 2011 Philadelphia City Council passed § 9-804 of the Philadelphia Code.  The Ordinance provides renters with certain rights in Philadelphia Landlord/Tenant Court to contest evictions.  It is important that landlords and tenants are aware of these rights as they are increasingly enforced by the Philadelphia courts.  The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code, Pennsylvania […]

Mark D. Copoulos

Drafting a Notice to Vacate

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF A NOTICE TO VACATE? In Pennsylvania a landlord must terminate a lease by providing the defendant a notice to vacate.  The notice must be delivered to the tenant.  The notice must state whether the tenant is being terminated for; 1.) breach of the lease; 2.) nonpayment of rent; or […]

Pennsylvania Superior Court Changes DUI Law

DUI-FIRST OFFENSE FOR OFFENDERS WHO ACCEPT ARD The Pennsylvania Superior Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Chichkin, 2020 Pa. Super 121, No. 3475 EDA 2018.  In this decision the Superior Court held that prior acceptance of ARD does not constitute a prior offense under the DUI statute.  The Court held that prior […]