Fact Finding Meetings – The Nondeliberative Exception to the Sunshine Act by Robert M. Tucker, Esquire

Since anyone can remember, Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act (“The Act”) has been the battleground for advocates of transparency in local government. The Act, with its allowances for executive sessions, seeks to balance transparency against the demands for confidentiality. But what about when deliberations take place behind closed doors? Otherwise known as a Smith fact-finding session –…

Executive Sessions Article by Andrew J. Bellwoar, Esquire and Jonathan P. Riba, Esquire Featured in Borough News Magazine

Siana Bellwoar proudly recognizes attorneys Andrew J. Bellwoar, Esquire and Jonathan P. Riba, Esquire for their recently featured article, Executive Sessions, What You Need to Know in the March 2018 issue of PSAB’s Borough News Magazine. Read the full article here: Exec sessions All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Siana…

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Christopher P. Gerber, Esquire Presents Proper Supervision of Municipal Police Departments Webinar

On February 21, 2018, Christopher P. Gerber, Esquire presented a webinar entitled, Proper Supervision of Municipal Police Departments on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. The purpose of the webinar was to raise awareness among elected officials, managers, chiefs of police and solicitors regarding their roles in properly managing municipal police departments; to provide a…

Eric M. Brown, Esquire Addresses Social Media Use by Municipalities in Webinar

On February 14, 2018, Siana Bellwoar Partner, Eric M. Brown, Esquire discussed social media usage by municipalities during a live webinar presented by Strafford Publications. He identified best management practices to consider when developing social media policies; the parameters within which a municipal employer may regulate the social media conduct of public employees both on…

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Cinching the Budgetary Belt: How to Reduce Costs in the Police Force without Bloating Municipal Legal Fees by Brian C. Conley, Esquire

It’s no secret that budgets are tight. Across the Commonwealth, municipalities face the challenge of balancing the budget while simultaneously providing for the needs of constituents. So what can a municipality do when faced with financial constraints? One option that municipalities have available to assist in this goal is to reduce the size of its police…

When Does First Amendment Speech Become Criminal Activity? by Carolyn N. Flynn, Esquire

In the wake of white nationalist protests and counter-protests across the nation, protesters and public safety officials should understand what speech is protected by the First Amendment and what speech constitutes criminal activity. What speech is protected? The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects free speech broadly. It generally prevents police officers from limiting public speech…