Thomas D. Rees's Legal Insights

computer fraud law

US Supreme Court Limits Scope of Computer Fraud Law

On June 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision on the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). Van Buren v. United States, _ U.S. __, 141 S. Ct. 1648, 2021 WL 2229206, 2021 U.S. Lexis 2843. The Court held that the CFAA prohibited only the gathering of information […]

skyline PA Supreme Court Invalidates No-Hire Contracts

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Invalidates No-Hire Contracts

In 2018, I blogged about the Pennsylvania Superior Court decision in Pittsburgh Logistics Services v. Beemac Trucking, LLC, invalidating a no-hire contract between two transportation firms. Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court. See Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc. v. Beemac Trucking, LLC, _ A.3d , 2021 WL __, 2021 Pa. Lexis […]

US Supreme Court Rejects School District’s Sanctions Against Cheerleader Despite Outburst

US Supreme Court Rejects School District’s Sanctions Against Cheerleader Despite Outburst

By an 8-1 majority, the United States Supreme Court blocked a Pennsylvania school district from punishing a cheerleader for a profane off-campus, off-hours outburst on social media. Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., _ S. Ct. __, 2021 WL 2557069, 2012 U.S. Lexis 3395 (June 23, 2021). The Court’s decision sets limits on how far […]

pennsylvania employees should think twice about posting anything offensive on social media

Offensive Social Media Posts by Pennsylvania Employees Justify Termination

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” our parents told us. Two recent Pennsylvania employment termination cases give this same advice to adult social media users. In both cases, courts upheld terminations for employees’ mean-spirited off-duty social media comments. In Carr v. Commonwealth, 230 A.3d 1075 (Pa. 2020), a PennDOT employee […]

Ethical Issues for Lawyers in High Profile Cases

High profile legal matters can be exciting to handle. But these same cases present risks that can jeopardize a lawyer’s standing and reputation. At one time or another in our careers, many of us will handle legal matters with high public visibility. The recognition can build our reputation and our confidence. But high-profile work brings […]

signing a non-solicitation agreement with the help of an employment lawyer

Non-Solicitation Agreements- The Third Rail of Employee Mobility Law

When an ex-employee works for a competitor, the violation of a non-compete covenant is clear-cut. But few employment contracts define what it means to “solicit”. What is a non-solicitation agreement? Non-solicitation agreements prevent a departing employee from soliciting the old employer’s customers or workforce to do business or work with a new employer. These clauses […]

employer writing on tablet seeking an employment attorney to research after-acquired evidence

Employers Can Now Use After-Acquired Evidence in Court to Show Employee Wasn’t Qualified For the Job

The Anthony decision provides welcome support for employers who find that a discrimination plaintiff has concealed a lack of basic credentials to hold a job. In April 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employer can defeat an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim with after-acquired evidence that the ex-employee lacked a […]

How does the Relief For Workers Act Affect Unemployment Compensation Claims?

The new act removes restrictions on eligibility for unemployment compensation, raises the dollar benefit amount; and increases the maximum weeks for collection.

force majeure clause during coronavirus pandemic

Employers: Does a Force Majeure Clause in Your Contract Cover You During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The Coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives with little notice. Public events have stopped, schools and stores have closed, the financial markets have been volatile, and people are staying at home. Amid this chaos and uncertainty, how do contracts cover employer emergencies like the Coronavirus? The answer may depend on whether your contract has a […]

university of pittsburgh medical center data breach dittman ruling blog by High Swartz firm

Stolen Employee Data: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision Breaks New Ground

In late 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that employees may sue employers for the release of stolen confidential employee data. The Court’s decision in the Dittman vs. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, allowed University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) employees to bring a class action for negligence after a data breach from UPMC’s computer […]