P.K. v. S.S., 2020 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 250 (Sept. 9, 2020).
In this action for annulment of an arranged marriage, Appellate Law Group LLC successfully represented Wife as the Appellee in an interlocutory appeal from an order of the Family Court Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
On behalf of Wife, trial counsel subpoenaed a third party for Husband’s mental health records, arguing that they were relevant to our client’s claim for an annulment based on fraud.
Husband moved for a protective order, arguing that the documents were medical records protected from discovery by the doctor-patient privilege. The trial court denied the motion for a protective order and husband filed an interlocutory appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Virginia McMichael briefed and argued the case to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
The Superior Court held that husband’s mental health records were relevant and discoverable but reversed and remanded to the trial court with instructions that the court enter a new order requiring production of the documents after redacting any attorney-client privileged communications.
In Hayman v. Hayman, 2453 EDA 2019 (Pa. Super. Oct. 9, 2020), a divorce action, Appellate Law Group obtained a reversal and remand of an order of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas that held our client in civil contempt and dismissed her petition for special relief.
After persuading the Superior Court that the contempt order on appeal was an interlocutory order appealable as of right under Pa.R.A.P. 311(a)(8), McMichael argued that the trial court erred when it held her client in contempt of court.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania agreed with McMichael that the trial court’s order was for indirect criminal contempt, not civil contempt, because it was punitive rather than coercive, and the action that led to the contempt did not take place in the presence of the court. The Court held that the trial court abused its discretion when it held wife in contempt and dismissed her petition for special relief. The Court reversed and remanded the matter to the trial court.
Karakelian v. LaVine, 3470 EDA 2015 (Pa. Super. 2015).
Appellate Law Group LLC represented the appellee in this appeal from an order for child support. The issue was whether the trial court failed to follow Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines when it awarded child support to our client.
Virginia McMichael, as counsel for the appellee, succeeded in persuading the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to affirm the trial court’s award.
H.Z. v. M.B., 1808 EDA 2018 (Pa. Super. 2019).
This paternity action had been litigated for over a decade. Appellate Law Group LLC was retained after the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas entered an order holding that our client was the father of the plaintiff’s child.
Under Pa.R.C.P. 1910.15(f), an order establishing paternity is not appealable as of right. But Virginia McMichael, working closely with trial counsel, persuaded the trial court to certify its order for an interlocutory appeal.
McMichael then briefed and argued the case to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
The Superior Court held that the decision was an abuse of discretion. The Court reversed and remanded the matter to the trial court for additional DNA testing.
The case was resolved after the additional DNA testing conclusively established that our client was not the child’s father.
I would highly recommend Virginia McMichael to anyone needing appellate work or advice. Virginia’s extensive background in appellate work shows in her knowledge and understanding of the appellate system and procedures. Virginia took the time to understand the narrow issues on appeal in my case and the factual and legal nuances of the underlying case. She understood and simplified a very complicated matter and her writing and advocacy skills are exemplary. What I appreciated the most was Virginia’s willingness to work with me and engage me in all aspects of the appellate process from beginning to end. In a very short time, she was able to grasp the dynamics in the underlying matter and, for the first time, I felt like I had an attorney who was truly advocating on my behalf. She brought this focus into oral argument, where she presented and argued the issues to the panel of Supreme Court Justices with calmness and clarity. I was very happy with the work that was done on my behalf from beginning to end.
Virginia stands as a consummate professional. And she does so with empathy and grace. My legal case faced slim odds for appeal. Yet Virginia devoted heart and soul to the challenge. And in spite of dim prospects, she prevailed. Smart and tenacious, but warm and caring. I am thankful that she was an integral part of my legal team.