Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 71-10879, in case of James Pappas, individually and trading as Jim Pappas Associates v. David Stefan.
B. Jerome Shane, for appellant.
Raymond P. Forceno, with him Robert J. F. Brobyn, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Jones.
This is an appeal from a decree of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas granting a petition to open a default judgment. The lower court's decree also directed consolidation for trial of this case with James Pappas, individually and trading as Jim Pappas Associates Page 355} v. Lee Calhoun, M. Reese Mitchell and George Haasis, Civil No. 71-7744 (Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, filed June 29, 1971). Calhoun, Mitchell and Haasis are represented by Robert J. F. Brobyn, who is also counsel for this appellee.*fn1
On September 10, 1971, the appellant filed a complaint against David Stefan. The complaint alleged that Stefan, a former employee of Jim Pappas Associates ("Pappas"), and three other former employees, namely, Calhoun, Mitchell and Haasis, formed an association of management counseling and executive recruiting. It is alleged that the association of appellee, Calhoun, Mitchell and Haasis acquired confidential information about Pappas' clients and utilized the information to the benefit of appellee, and his associates, and the detriment of Pappas. Appellant's complaint against Stefan seeks the reimbursement of $5,180.00, an amount allegedly advanced to Stefan in connection with his Pappas employment, and $25,000 punitive damages. The complaint was personally served upon David Stefan on September 14, 1971.
Ten days after personal service of the Stefan complaint, Brobyn contacted the attorney for Pappas in connection with the case against Calhoun, Mitchell and Haasis to notify plaintiff's counsel that he, Brobyn, was going on vacation. Brobyn avers that while he vacationed, his office sent the following letter on September 27, 1971, to counsel for Pappas in connection with the Stefan matter:
"Mr. Brobyn is presently on vacation and will return October 4, 1971. Kindly give Mr. Brobyn an extension
of time and upon his return he will file an ...