The Superior Court’s recent decision in Vietri v. Delaware Valley High School, No. 648 EDA 012 (March 22, 2013), brings into sharp focus the intricacies of Pennsylvania post-trial practice and the need to proceed cautiously in preserving appellate rights.
The case features a complicated procedural history, initially stemming from the plaintiff’s incorrect filing of a post-trial motion after the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff also filed a timely notice of appeal. By letter to the plaintiff’s counsel, the Superior Court expressed concern over its jurisdiction, noting that the post-trial motion remained outstanding and that an appeal may not be taken until a valid post-trial motion has been decided. The letter did not address whether the post-trial motion had in fact been properly filed. The appellant’s counsel failed to respond to the Superior Court’s letter, and the Superior Court quashed the appeal.
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