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The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to present, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Judge Yvette Kane

Before the Court is a consolidated appeal docketed in this Court on December 18, 1997. Appellants are Patricia A. Staiano, United States Trustee (“U. S. Trustee”), and Sears, Roebuck & Co. (“Sears”). Pursuant to a briefing schedule set by the Court, Appellant U. S. Trustee filed a supporting brief on August 14, 1998, and an amended supporting brief on August 20, 1998. Appellant Sears filed its supporting brief on August 14, 1998. Appellee William G. Schwab, Trustee in Bankruptcy For John C. Maloney and Christine Maloney, filed no brief in opposition. On October 28, 1998, Judge McClure transferred the above-captioned matter to the undersigned.

This appeal seeks reversal of the Bankruptcy Court’s May 12, 1997 Opinion and Order denying the motion of Sears to compel the Chapter 7 Trustee to reconvene the Section 341(a) meeting of creditors to permit the examination of the debtors by Sears’ non-attorney representative. Because this Court finds that the court below erred in its legal conclusion that the examination of a debtor at a Section 341(a) meeting of creditors by a non-attorney representative of a creditor constitutes the unauthorized practice of law in Pennsylvania, the decision below will be reversed.

Judge Sylvia H. Rambo

The instant case is an employment discrimination action. Plaintiff John A. Rowles instituted this action by filing a three-count complaint alleging that Defendants Automated Production Systems, Inc. (“APS”) and William Donohue terminated his employment in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (Count I) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), 43 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 951-963 (Count II), and tortiously invaded his privacy (Count III). Plaintiff’s PHRA claim was dismissed by the court on August 13, 1998, pursuant to Defendants’ Rule 12(b) motion.

The plaintiff, Two Rivers Terminal, L.P., and the defendant, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (CUSA), are litigating the responsibility for the cleanup of environmental contamination at a gasoline and fuel oil terminal near Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

Two Rivers Terminal, L.P., has set forth claims under federal and state environmental statutes. The suit arises from petroleum contamination at a gasoline and fuel oil terminal formerly owned and operated by the defendant, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (CUSA), and now owned by the plaintiff.

This case is before the Court on remand from the Court of Appeals. In relevant synopsis, the procedural history of the case is as follows. On January 14, 1997, plaintiff, Jane T. Popko, filed a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination and retaliation action under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 (Law. Co-op. Supp. 1997) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), 43 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 951- 963 (1991 & Supp. 1997 ). On November 24, 1997, defendants Pennsylvania State University, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, James Adams, Tasna Kitch, and Suzanne Schick moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. On February 27, 1998, this Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On March 12, 1998, plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s February 27, 1998 Order. The motion alleged that the Court had erred in holding that plaintiff was not disabled and in not reaching the issue of retaliation. In a Memorandum and Order, filed June 16, 1998, the Court reaffirmed its determination that the plaintiff was not disabled and also reversed its prior decision not to reach the retaliation issue. In considering the merits, however, the Court granted defendants summary judgment on the retaliation issue as well. Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on July 9, 1998. On October 4, 1999 the Court of Appeals issued an Order, remanding the case to this Court “for further consideration of the claim based on epilepsy in light of Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc., 119 S. Ct. 2139 (June 22, 1999), Albertsons Inc. v. Kirkingburg, 119 S. Ct. 2162 (June 22, 1999), Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 119 S. Ct. 2133 (June 22, 1999), and Taylor v. Phoenexville School Dist., 1999 WL 649376 (3d Cir. Aug. 18, 1999). The court does not express any opinion as to the proper resolution of the issue. The district court may determine what procedures are appropriate for its consideration, and the decision should be returned to this panel for final determination of the appeal.” Popko v. Pennsylvania State Univ., No. 98-7403, slip op. at 2 (3d Cir. Oct. 4, 1999).