Thursday, January 2, 2014

Timeliness of Motion for Reconsideration Reviewed by Judge Nealon of Lackawanna County

The propriety of a Motion for Reconsideration beyond a 30 day period, the work product doctrine, and the attorney client privilege were all reviewed by Judge Terrence R. Nealon in his most recent decision handed down in the case of Brogan v. Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald, No. 2008 - CV - 6048 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Dec. 5, 2013 Nealon, J.).

Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas
As to the timeliness of a Motion for Reconsideration of a prior Order, Judge Nealon referred to 42 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5505 of the Judicial Code for the rule that such a motion must be filed within thirty days of the challenged order.  Under the rule, after the thirty day period, the trial court loses its discretion to modify its prior decision and the order can only be opened or vacated upon a showing of intrinsic fraud, lack of subject matter jurisdiction in the first place, a fatal defect in the record, or some other evidence of extraordinary cause justifying intervention by the court.

As the moving party in Brogan had not filed its Motion for Reconsideration within the thirty day time period, the court denied the Motion as untimely.  Judge Nealon went on to review the current status of the work product doctrine and the attorney-client privilege and noted that, even if the court had considered the merits of the Motion, it would have still been denied in any event.

The court provides a nice summary of the interrelationship between the work product doctrine and the attorney-client privilege as applied to discovery disputes and whether documents created by a party's attorney need be produced in discovery.

Anyone wishing to review this decision of Judge Nealon in the Brogan case may click HERE.

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