Philadelphia partner Alicia Hickok was quoted in the Law360 article, “Pennsylvania Cases to Watch in 2017.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for the first time since mid-2014, will have a full set of justices hear cases in 2017. Law360 profiled six of the major cases the court will be hearing in the New Year, which encompass issues ranging from legal ethics to state regulation of environmental issues.
Alicia commented on the potential implications of decisions in a pair of appeals from a trial court decision holding that the state’s Dragonetti Act unconstitutionally intruded on the Supreme Court’s disciplinary authority, explaining that the statute supplies an important alternative remedy.
Alicia also talked about another legal ethics case, one that centers on the standards judges should abide by when deciding whether or not to recuse more than one judge on a court. She said the Court’s ruling may come down to when parties should move for disqualification: “I just wonder whether you’re going to come away with a decision that says if there’s an issue such as this it has to be raised earlier on, rather than talking about under what circumstances you have to recuse an entire county bar.”
She also noted the Court’s ongoing interest in clarifying its decision in Robinson Township about the standard to use in evaluating government conduct under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.