Recent Pennsylvania Superior Court Decision Highlights Importance of Objections to Preserving Issues for Appellate Review

The Superior Court recently held that an attorney’s failure to make timely or effective objections to the composition of a jury prevented a trial court from vacating a judgment and granting a mistrial. The Superior Court’s April 16, 2013 decision in Webber v. Ford Motor Co. is not precedential, but it bears attention because it demonstrates the need for trial counsel to be aware of potential appellate issues and to lodge proper objections in a timely fashion to preserve those issues for review.

Plaintiff George Webber and his wife sued several automotive brake product manufacturers after Mr. Webber was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. At the end of a five-week trial before eight jurors and one alternate, defense counsel proposed that the alternate juror participate in deliberations as a ninth juror, and plaintiffs’ counsel indicated that he did not object.

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