Obermayer Team Wins Allowance of Appeal from Pennsylvania Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently granted Obermayer’s petition for allowance of appeal in a legal malpractice case, a major victory since the Court only grants about five percent of the petitions it receives per year.
The Obermayer team, led by Bill Leonard, Matt Olesh, and Melissa Blanco, filed the petition on behalf of the Philadelphia Defender Association and Patrice Langenbach, who was appointed as a guardian ad litem to a minor. Recently, the minor’s parents sued Langenbach for legal malpractice, and Langenbach and the Defender responded that they are shielded from liability based on quasi-judicial immunity. When the trial court agreed with Langenbach and the Defender, the minor’s parents appealed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which concluded it was not permitted to rule on the issue as a matter of first impression.
In response, Obermayer filed a petition of allowance of appeal with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, urging the Court to hear the case because of the importance of the question of applicability of quasi-judicial immunity to guardian ad items. It is expected that the appeal will focus in large part on this issue.