Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pennsylvania Superior Court Issues Cautions For Preserving Record and Issues for Appeal

In the case of Hassel v. Franzi, No. 2019 Pa. Super. 109 (Pa. Super. April 8, 2019 Stevens, P.J.E., Olson, J., Dubow, J.) (Op. by Stevens, P.J.E.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court noted that a failure to include record citations in party’s statement of issues in appellate filings, so that the appellate court could establish that the objections asserted were made and what was objected to, amounts to a waiver of the issues on appeal.  

The Superior Court noted that “[i]t is axiomatic that when a court has to guess what issues a Defendant is appealing, that is not enough for meaningful review.”  See Op. at 12.  

In this regard, the court noted that this matter involved an eight (8) day trial and that the appellate only initially provided the court with notes of testimony from portions of the trial.   The Superior Court noted that the Superior Court’s Prothonotary completed an extensive effort to ascertain the remaining notes of testimony.   In its Opinion, the court reminded the appellant of its duty to ensure that the Superior Court receives all of the documents necessary to review the issues raised on appeal.   See fn. 1 at p. 13.    

The court additionally noted in this Opinion that any objections concerning an expert exceeding the scope of an expert report and/or the scope of direct examination must be specifically stated or will be considered to be waived on appeal.  

This case arose out of a medical malpractice action.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.  

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