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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 65135 Find in a Library
Title: ARBITRATION - COMPULSORY ARBITRATION IN PENNSYLVANIA ARBITRATION ACT - DE NOVO APPEALS
Journal: DUQUESNE LAW REVIEW  Volume:16  Dated:(1977-78)  Pages:443-455
Author(s): R L SLATER
Corporate Author: Duquesne University
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN THE WEBER V. LYNCH (1977) APPEAL FROM ARBITRATION CASE AND THE COURT'S DEFINITION OF THE PHRASE 'DE NOVO' AS IT PERTAINS TO CIVIL LITIGATION THROUGHOUT THE STATE ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE COURT HELD THAT A LOCAL COURT RULE PREVENTING A WITNESS WHO HAD NOT TESTIFIED AT AN ARBITRATION HEARING FROM TESTIFYING IN A SUBSEQUENT TRIAL ON APPEAL CONTRAVENED THE EXPRESS MANDATE OF THE ARBITRATION ACT THAT ALL APPEALS SHOULD BE DE NOVO; IT THUS EXCEEDED THE RULEMAKING AUTHORITY OF THE COMMON PLEAS COURTS. THE COURT EXAMINED PRIOR STATE DECISIONS IN VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY, DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN PROCEDURES THAT MUST BE FULFILLED IN ORDER TO BE GRANTED AN APPEAL TO THE JURY FROM AN ARBITRATION AWARD AND RESTRICTIONS ON THE SUBSEQUENT JURY TRIAL ITSELF. WHILE THE CASES HAVE CLEARLY PERMITTED PROCEDURAL RESTRICTIONS TO PERFECTING AN APPEAL, NONE HAVE SET EVIDENTIARY LIMITATIONS ON THE RESULTING JURY TRIAL. FURTHER, THE COURT FOUND THAT THE LEGISLATURE, IN PROVIDING FOR COMPULSORY ARBITRATION, DID NOT INTEND TO LIMIT THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT THE DE NOVO JURY TRIAL TO THAT PRESENTED BEFORE THE ARBITRATORS. THE COURT ALSO FOUND ITS DECISION IN WEBER TO BE CONSISTENT WITH COMMONWEALTH V. HARMON, IN WHICH THE COURT HELD THAT A CRIMINAL DEFENDANT WAS NOT DENIED HIS 'UNFETTERED RIGHT' TO A TRIAL BY JURY IN A CONSTITUTIONALLY GRANTED APPEAL DE NOVO EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO RELITIGATE A PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED PRETRIAL MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE. ALTHOUGH WEBER HAS CLARIFIED AN AREA OF UNCERTAINTY IN CIVIL LITIGATION IN PENNSYLVANIA, IT HAS ALSO CAUSED CONFUSION OVER THE SAME AREA IN CRIMINAL LITIGATION. ONE COURT JUSTICE NOTED THAT THE HOLDING IN WEBER COULD NOT BE RECONCILED WITH THE HOLDING OF THE MAJORITY IN HARMON BECAUSE THE CIVIL LITIGANT WAS AFFORDED A CLEAN SLATE IN A TRIAL DE NOVO WHILE A CRIMINAL DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE SAME RIGHT. EXTENSIVE FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Appeal procedures; Arbitration; Judicial decisions; Pennsylvania; Right to trial by jury; Rules of evidence; State supreme courts; Torts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65135

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