Appellate Opinions

A few of the published cases that Michael has won in the Pennsylvania appellate courts:

Commonwealth v. $301,360, ___ A.3d ____ (Pa. Commonwealth Court 2018)
This case involved the police stopping a car they thought was “suspicious,” searching it without having a reason, and finding a lot of money. No crime was alleged to have occurred and no one was charged, but the police claimed the money must be from drug sales and tried to keep it. The appeals court held that the search was illegal and the police could not keep the money.

Commonwealth v. $15,000, 31 A.3d. 768 (Pa. Commonwealth Court 2011)
Another case involving police grabbing money they didn’t have the right to take. The appeals court held that they did not have that right, and the money was returned.

In the Interest of A.B., 987 A.2d 769 (Pa. Superior Court, 2009)
The District Attorney objected to Michael’s petition to have a juvenile’s record expunged because the DA thought the crime was too serious. The appellate court held that the law allowed the expungement if certain criteria was met, and the DA has no discretion. The juvenile was allowed to clean his record.

Commonwealth v. Surovcik, 933 A.2d 651 (Pa. Superior Court 2007)
The Commonwealth dropped charges against the Defendant when she cooperated, but when her ex-husband (who was in jail) demanded they be refiled, they did so. Michael appealed the fact that the DA had refiled the charges past the deadline according to her rights, and the appellate court agreed and threw out the case.

Commonwealth v. McCarthy, 820 A.2d 757 (Pa. Superior Court 2003)
Police were investigating a theft and took the Defendant aside and told her that if she did not confess, she would be immediately arrested and taken to jail in front of all her co-workers. The appellate court held that such a confession was clearly not made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily and threw out the confession. Absent the confession, there was no evidence whatsoever that she was the thief and so the charges were thrown out.

Commonwealth v. Rouse, 782 A.2d 1041 (Pa. Superior Court 2001)
The Defendant had been the victim of an unscrupulous car repair site and cancelled her payment. The car repair site convinced the police to charge her with “Bad Checks,” and when the lower court held that Michael was not allowed to tell the jury why the check had been cancelled, Michael appealed and won. The District Attorney dropped the case.