Friday, April 25, 2008

Com. v. Johnson: Criminal Law

1. Criminal Law 1023(3)
Trial court’s order disqualifying defense counsel for violating court order regarding discovery of privileged mental health records of state’s witness was interlocutory order and was not immediately appealable in murder prosecution; post conviction review protected defendant’s right to counsel, since, if he established that removing counsel was an error, defendant was entitled to a new trial with his counsel of choice, and state had a compelling interest in prompt trials. U.S.C.A Const.Amend. 6.

2. Criminal Law 1023(2)
“Final order,” for purposes of appeal, is one that ends litigation or disposes of entire case. 42 Ps.C.S.A. § 742. See publication Words and Phrases for other judicial constructions and definitions.

3. Criminal Law 1023(10)
Defendant generally may appeal only from a judgment of sentence.

4. Criminal Law 1023(3)
Interlocutory order is considered final and immediately appealable, under exception for collateral orders, if (1) it is separable from and collateral to main cause of action; (2) right involved is too important to be denied review and (3) question presented is such that if review is postponed until final judgment in case, claimed right will be irreparably lost.

5. Criminal Law 641.10(1)
Defendant’s right to counsel of choice is not absolute. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 6.

6. Criminal Law 1023(3)
Trial court’s order removing counsel in a criminal case is interlocutory and not immediately appealable. U.S.C.A Const.Anend. 6.

John W. Packel, Helen A. Marino, Philadelphia, for Calvin Johnson.

Catherine Marshall, Louis C. Schoener, Child Advocate, Hugh B. Burns, Jr., Philadèlphia, for the Com.

Before, Flaherty, C.J., and Zappala, Cappy, Castille, Nigro and Newman, JJ.