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COMMITTEE SEVENTY ET AL. v. SHELDON ALBERT (12/15/77)

decided: December 15, 1977.

COMMITTEE OF SEVENTY ET AL.
v.
SHELDON ALBERT, ESQ., CITY SOLICITOR OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, ET AL. DONALD BARNHOUSE AND COMMITTEE OF SEVENTY, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Committee of Seventy and Donald Barnhouse v. Sheldon Albert, Esq., City Solicitor of the City of Philadelphia; William Klenk, City Controller of the City of Philadelphia; Lennox L. Moak, Director of Finance of the City of Philadelphia; and Robert L. Greenberg, City Treasurer of the City of Philadelphia, No. 1600 November Term, 1975.

COUNSEL

Robert J. Stern, with him Frederick L. Voigt, and Daniel P. Lynch, for appellants.

Tyler E. Wren, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Sheldon L. Albert, City Solicitor, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Judge Crumlish, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 45]

By a complaint in equity upon which a rule to show cause was issued, appellants initiated proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. They sought to preliminarily and permanently enjoin payment by the City of Philadelphia of attorney's fees incurred by the hiring of private counsel to represent F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Esquire, District Attorney

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 46]

    of the City of Philadelphia, in disciplinary proceedings before the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Board). The petition for discipline filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel contained thirteen charges of various allegations of misconduct. These charges, after extended hearings, were dismissed.

Section 4-400 of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter (Charter) provides in pertinent part:

The Law Department shall have the power and its duty shall be to perform the following functions:

(a) Legal Advice. It shall furnish legal advice . . . to all officers . . . concerning any matter or thing arising in connection with the exercise of their official duties. . . .

Section 8-410 of the Charter provides in pertinent part:

Whenever any officer . . . shall require legal advice concerning his . . . official business or whenever any legal question or dispute arises or litigation is commenced or to be commenced in which any officer . . . is officially concerned . . . it shall be the ...


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