from the Order Entered May 24, 2016 In the Court of Common
Pleas of Bucks County Civil Division at No(s): 2007-01129
BEFORE: MOULTON, J., RANSOM, J., and FITZGERALD, J. [*]
Edward Moser, appeals from the order entered May 24, 2016,
denying his petition to open and/or strike a confession of
judgment entered against Appellant in favor of Appellee,
Robert Lechowicz, pursuant to a judgment note arising out of
legal services rendered to Appellant. We affirm.
relevant facts and procedural history are as follows. Moser
retained Lechowicz to represent him in a variety of business
litigation matters, including: Knox v. Moser, Mont.
Cty. CCP No. 1998-01833; The Moser Group v. Staufer;
Bucks Cty. CCP No. 1997-08307; The Moser Group v. David
Cavalier; Mont. Cty. CCP No. 1997-21186; Moser
Construction Company v. OCAL, Mont. Cty. CCP No.
1997-21179; and the "Lynn Rose Plaza Matter."
See Petition to Open and/or Strike Judgment,
9/12/2014, at ¶ 12 (hereinafter "Petition").
In addition, Moser engaged Lechowicz as defense counsel
against allegations brought by Timoney Knox LLP to collect
legal fees for services rendered by Attorney John Knox during
Moser's divorce (hereinafter "the Knox
litigation"). See id. at ¶¶ 13-15. In
February 2004, Moser executed a judgment note confessing $55,
000.00 in favor of Lechowicz and an affidavit waiving any
rights or defenses. See Affidavit Accompanying
Judgment Note, 2/9/2004.
February 2007, Lechowicz filed a complaint for confession of
judgment in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. The court
promptly entered judgment for $55, 000.00 against Moser. In
November 2013, Lechowicz filed a writ to revive the judgment.
The court entered a judgment on the docket in the revived
amount of $89, 257.16. Thereafter, in September 2014, Moser
filed a petition to open and/or strike the judgment that was
accompanied by a memorandum of law. Following additional
briefing and oral argument, the court denied and dismissed
Moser's petition to open and/or strike. See
Order, 5/24/2016. Moser timely filed a notice of appeal and
court-ordered 1925(b) statement. The court issued a
appeal, Moser raises the following issues:
1. Did the [court] err when it held that the issue of time
was dispositive regarding the [p]etition to [o]pen/[s]trike
2. Did the [court] err when considering the consumer nature
of the transaction when it held that [Appellant] failed to
[show a defect on the face of the record or] a bona fide
defense on the merits, namely that the use of judgment by
confession was per se illegal?
3. Did the [court] err when it failed to open judgment to
allow [Appellant] to contest the reasonableness and amount of
claimed legal fees as it is a matter of law that the issues
of reasonableness and amount of legal fees is always open to
Appellant's Br. at 7-8 (reordered for ease of
appeals from the order denying his petition to open and/or
strike a confession of judgment. Our standard of review is as
We review a trial court's order denying a petition to
strike a confessed judgment to determine whether the record
is sufficient to sustain the judgment. First Union
National Bank v. Portside Refrigerated Services, 827
A.2d 1224, 1227 (Pa. Super. 2003). A petition to strike a
judgment may be granted only if a fatal defect or
irregularity appears on the face of the record. [First
Union Nat'l Bank, 827 A.2d at 1227]. Similarly, we
review the order denying Appellant's petition to open the
confessed judgment for an abuse of discretion. Id.;
PNC Bank v. Kerr, 802 A.2d 634, 638 (Pa. Super.
2002) ("A petition to open judgment is an appeal to the