Appellate Cases

Dave’s experience in handing appellate cases includes the following:

  • In re Estate of Anna Pettenati, 760 A.2d 1229, Pa Commonwealth Court, 2000 (which can be reviewed here). Attorney Zimmerman’s client died with a jointly owned bank account. Pennsylvania imposed inheritance tax on one-half of the value of the account. Attorney Zimmerman appealed to the trial court, which struck the tax. Pennsylvania appealed the decision to the appellate court, which confirmed that tax should not have been imposed. The case is cited in numerous secondary sources, including West's Pennsylvania Practice; American Jurisprudence; and Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence.
  • Gallaher v. Riddle and Dalessio, Pa Superior Court, 850 A.2d 748, 2004 (which can be reviewed here). Attorney Zimmerman sought to collect on a judgment he obtained for his client. The defendant claimed he had no assets. Upon inheriting money, he refused the inheritance. Attorney Zimmerman successfully requested the trial court to set aside the renunciation under the Pa Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The trial court ruled in Attorney Zimmerman’s favor and defendant appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court decision, and created new legal precedent by ruling that the renunciation was a fraudulent transfer, undertaken to improperly avoid paying the judgment. The case is cited in multiple subsequent court opinions and secondary sources, including Bogert - The Law of Trusts and Trustees; Corpus Juris Secundum; West’s Prebankruptcy Planning and Exemptions; West’s Pennsylvania Forms; Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence; Law Review Journal of the Vanderbilt University School of Law; American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education, and various publications of the American Bar Association’s American Law Institute.
  • Giannnilli v. NSRC and the City of Latrobe, Pa Commonwealth Court, 2014 WL 929488 (which can be reviewed here). This case involved the condemnation of a strip of property beside a Latrobe alley that separated the property and an active railway. In a separate condemnation, Attorney Zimmerman’s client and Latrobe agreed to an amicable taking of Latrobe’s interest in the alley, which Latrobe conveyed to the client. The property owners filed a de facto taking case, claiming that the condemnation of Latrobe’s interest in the alley affected their rights to the public way such that it was a condemnation of their property as well. The trial court ruled in the property owners’ favor. Attorney Zimmerman filed an appeal, and the Commonwealth Court overturned the trial court ruling and directed that the case be dismissed. The property owners tried to file an appeal with the Pa Supreme Court, but it refused to take the appeal.

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