Federal judge orders
attorney to pay legal fees
Kingston attorney Anthony J. Moses must pay legal fees to a law firm representing his opponents in a federal lawsuit after failing to set up a case-management conference as ordered by a federal judge, according to court documents filed Friday.
Moses is representing Robert C. Bolus Sr., a Scranton businessman who claims he was the victim of a conspiracy in which he was wrongly convicted of receiving stolen property. Bolus is suing the state Attorney General’s Office as well as two insurance companies and at least eight other people.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani ordered Moses to schedule a Dec. 5 case management teleconference, noting that “the placement of the telephone conference call is the responsibility of the plaintiff(s),” meaning Bolus and his attorney.
That conference between Moses, Mariani and attorneys for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company never took place, according to court documents, because the insurer’s lawyers could not reach Moses for required discussions before the conference.
Mariani filed an order on Dec. 20 instructing the insurance company’s lawyers to send him a bill indicating how much they spent preparing for the conference and trying to contact Moses.
The bill, submitted Friday, totalled $1,310, covering lawyers’ efforts to reach Moses on Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 2 and Dec. 4, court documents say.
According to Mariani’s order, the judge will review the fees “for their reasonableness” and then Moses will pay those costs “as sanctions” for his failure to abide by the judge’s previous order.
Plea date set in
credit card theft case
A Jan. 7 plea date has been scheduled in the case of a Scranton woman accused of making $5,000 in purchases using a credit card stolen from a woman in Kingston in January of this year.
An order issued Friday by Luzerne County Judge Richard M. Hughes III says Emilia Policare, 26, will be transported to the Penn Place building for the proceeding. It does not elaborate on what the plea will entail.
According to a police affidavit, the card was reported missing by a woman who said Policare had been helping care for her mother. The woman said records showed the card was used 37 times in January and February at locations in Lackawanna County she doesn’t visit, totalling $5,010 in purchases including gas, meals and a body piercing. The woman said $375 in cash was missing along with the card.
Policare faces four counts of theft by unlawful taking in the Luzerne County case. Records show she was charged in August in connection with a similar case in which she allegedly made more than $5,000 in purchases in April using a stolen credit card number.
Proof of insurance can
now be on smartphone
Gov. Tom Corbett last week signed legislation that will make it easier for motorists to show proof of insurance and allow insurers to offer policies that have a greater range of deductible amounts including zero deductible.
“Rather than having to dig through the glove box looking for their insurance card, this new law will allow motorists to use electronic devices, such as a smart phone or tablet, to show evidence of financial responsibility if pulled over by law enforcement,” Alex Hageli, of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said in a press release.
Hageli said such measures are “the wave of the future” and are in keeping with the way consumers use technology today, and the legislation is focused on offering consumers more choices and greater convenience.
At the beginning of 2013, just seven states permitted the use of electronic devices to display proof of insurance. However the issue became one the hottest insurance-related legislative trends and, as the year comes to an end, 30 states have adopted the practice.
In Pennsylvania, the insurance industry, Department of Insurance and lawmakers worked cooperatively on this legislation that modernizes the Commonwealth’s laws so that they better keep pace with consumer expectations.