Blog Posts

MMDC Organizational Changes

August 30, 2022

Musi, Merkins, Daubenberger & Clark is pleased to announce that our firm has recently undergone a number of organizational changes. Within the past couple of months, the firm has made a few changes in management to more effectively represent clients in these changing times, starting with the change of our firm name. The firm is no longer recognized as Musi, Malone & Daubenberger, but rather as Musi, Merkins, Daubenberger & Clark, LLP. We are pleased to add James Merkins, Esquire, a successful litigator with over twenty years of experience, as a named partner. In addition, we are delighted to name Lucas A. Clark, IV, Esquire as a partner to our law offices. Luke has been with the firm since 2005 when he began working as a paralegal while attending law school in the evening and now heads our family law division. As we navigate through these changes, we continue to focus on the many practice areas of law within our firm including, among others, personal injury, criminal defense, commercial litigation, construction law, family law, and estate planning. When suffering a car accident, slip and fall, or any type of personal injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation due to…

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Top Lawyers of Delaware County 2022

May 17, 2022

Thomas A. Musi, Jr., Richard C. Daubenberger, and Lucas A. Clark, IV, have been voted 2022 “Top Lawyers” of Delaware County. Thomas A. Musi, Jr. has been recognized for being a “Top Lawyer” in Personal Injury as well as Real Estate and Commercial Litigation. Richard C. Daubenberger earned the title of “Top Lawyer” in Criminal Law, and Lucas A. Clark, IV has been named a “Top Lawyer” in Family Law. “Top Lawyer” is known to be one of the oldest and most respected peer review publications that exists within the legal profession. The invitation to cast votes is given exclusively to lawyers who were recognized in the previous addition as well as allowing for an opportunity to acknowledge attorneys who have stood out among their peers in a year that was filled with enormous obstacles and constant uncertainty. The year of 2020 presented an unusual amount of change within the legal industry due to the pandemic being present. There was a multitude of employment shifts and movement among firms and locales within the area of Delaware County. Voting for “Top Lawyers” of 2022 began in February of 2021 when attorneys who were awarded by “Top Lawyers” from the previous year…

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Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets in Estate Planning

December 7, 2021

Cryptocurrency can be defined as the collection of binary data that is designed to work as a medium of exchange where individual coin ownership records are stored into computerized databases using cryptography in order to secure transaction records. One of the most common types of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Bitcoin has existed since 2009 but has recently been growing in popularity. Many more investors have invested in these cyber assets, but care needs to be taken when you are developing your estate plan. In an estate where cryptocurrency is held, an executor or administrator of this estate may be put into a tough situation where they have to choose how to secure control over these digital assets. This includes determining where all of the digital accounts are held, but most importantly locating all of the decedent’s private keys and passwords. A simple solution to an issue like this would be for the account holder to leave behind all of the detailed instructions of how someone can access the “coins.” If this was done, however, it would ultimately defeat the purpose of investing in these digital assets. Information like such would have to be stored in a way that would protect these…

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Superior Court Case Affirms That ARD Cannot Be Considered A Criminal Conviction

November 1, 2021

A Superior Court case, Commonwealth v. Richards, has affirmed the ruling in the case of Commonwealth v. Chichkin, 232 A.3d 959 (Pa. Super. 2020), that a prior ARD offense cannot, should not, and will not be considered a criminal offense and therefore a defendant should not be tried or sentenced as a second-time offender if they received ARD for a prior offense. Musi, Merkins, Daubenberger & Clark wanted to take the opportunity to inform readers about the facts of this case and how it worked to uphold the importance of the Chichkin case. During this case, the Defendant was charged on two counts of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and related summary offenses. Both of the DUI offenses Defendant was charged with were graded in the criminal information as second offenses because the Defendant had previously completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for a DUI offense in 2011. The Commonwealth had argued that the ruling in Chichkin allowed them to grade offenses based on the Defendant’s ARD DUI if it proved beyond a reasonable doubt at sentencing that the prior DUI offense had actually occurred. The Defendant had entered numerous motions to argue that after Chichkin, the Commonwealth was…

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Auto Accident? Full Tort or Limited Tort – Why it Matters

October 22, 2021

There are an overwhelming amount of car accidents occurring and this trend has been seen for a very long time. In total, there is in excess of two hundred fifty million vehicles that are registered in the United States. In the early 2000’s, we saw approximately six million car accidents in the first few years. There are many different causes of car accidents, but a majority of these accidents are solely the result of someone acting negligently. A number of these negligent acts include someone not adhering to a particular motor vehicle law. For example, 75 Pa.C.S.A. §3112 (a)(3) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code states that an individual must stop at an intersection if there is a solid red light. Failure to stop at this solid red light may cause an accident, and thus be considered negligent by the statute. This is just one example of a negligent act that can cause motor vehicle accidents. The millions of motor vehicle accidents that occur result in personal injury claims for recovery of economic and noneconomic damages. In turn, insurance companies have become overwhelmed with claims. Pennsylvania and New Jersey hold some of the highest insurance claims in the nation, with…

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