Administrative Law

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Zoning Litigation





Representation of appellants and appellees in state and

federal appellate courts.

          The following are examples of our representation in this practice area:

            In a nationally recognized case, Sprague & Sprague was successful in obtaining a ruling from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania rejecting the adoption of a First Amendment-based neutral reportage privilege, and in convincing the Supreme Court of the United States to deny certiorari despite opposing amicus curiae filings by seventeen of the nationís most prominent media organizations.

            An association of county government officials came to the Firm for representation after a Pennsylvania county lost a case which resulted in a major source of its tax revenue being declared unconstitutional. We assumed representation of the county on the appeal, in which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversed the lower court and declared the tax at issue to be constitutional. We represented the county in successfully resisting a Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. On remand to the trial court, we represented the county in developing and implementing a program which resulted in the county, and other counties, being able to substantially preserve the benefits of the tax for the years at issue.

            We represented on appeal a large multinational manufacturer against whom a judgment had been entered in a class action with over $50 million at stake. We succeeded on appeal in persuading the appellate court to not only reverse the judgment, but to order the trial court to decertify the class.

            In another nationally recognized case, Sprague & Sprague successfully represented one of Pennsylvaniaís counties and obtained a ruling from a federal appeals court overturning a district court ruling on a habeas corpus petition that the petitioner, a convicted murderer, was "actually innocent" which set her free. As a result of the Firmís efforts, the murderer was returned to prison where she remains today.

            An intermediate appellate court voided a special purpose tax intended to fund a major public facility in the largest city in a Pennsylvania county. The city, the county and the authority charged with building the facility engaged Sprague & Sprague to appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania where we successfully achieved a reversal of the intermediate appellate court and, upon remand to the trial court, a complete victory for our clients.

            The Firm successfully represented before a federal court of appeals a male victim of sex discrimination by an Ivy League university in its hiring for an NCAA Division I head coach position.

            Acting pro bono, the Firm obtained a ruling from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania canceling elections for the offices of Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on the basis that the elections had been illegally scheduled in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution.