Bernstein Law Firm Client Advisory 

In this quarterly issue of Bernstein Law Firm's client advisory, our attorneys keep you current on a number of issues vital to the health of many businesses through our blog. The articles in this advisory focus on Pennsylvania's new right-to-know law and it's effects in the discovery process, forum selection provisions in credit agreements and non-competition agreements in contracts. We encourage you to share these advisories with others who might benefit from the information.

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Patrick J. Doheny 
Pennsylvania's New Right-to-Know Law: A Powerful Tool in the Discovery Process
Patrick Doheny PhotoOn January 1, 2009, Pennsylvania's new Right-To-Know Law ("RTKL") took effect.  The new RTKL, which replaces a since-repealed law of the same name, makes it easier for a person or entity to obtain records from Pennsylvania state and local agencies.  Under the the new RTKL, codified at 65 P.S. 65.101 et seq., a party requesting records from a state or local agency no longer bears the burden of establishing why a record should be produced.  Under the new law, the agency to which a RTKL request is directed now bears the burden of establishing why a record should be withheld from production. 
Jack P. Bock, III
Be Careful What You Wish For: Forum Selection Provisions in Credit Agreements
attorneyIn the modern business world, the vast majority of contracts inevitably include a clause, commonly referred to as a "Forum Selection Clause".  This clause specifies the geographic locale, and in some cases the specific court, in which any lawsuit between the parties to the contract regarding its terms must be brought.
Maureen A. Dowd
Non-Competition Agreements: Reasonable is Key
Maureen DowdIt is a staple of contract law that the non-breaching party should be compensated for the "benefit of the bargain".  However, when the bargain is struck between an employer and an employee in an non-competition covenant, ordinary contract law principles may be outweighed by policy considerations.
Many of our friends and clients know that my wife, Ellie, has Multiple Sclerosis.  That leads us to many interesting adventures, not the least of which is the annual BikeMS, the 150 mile, two-day bicycle ride from Pittsburgh to Erie.  I get the "pleasure" of riding with my kids, Katie and Alex (or even just supporting them on their ride).  Our Team, The Big EL, has been a top fundraising team for several years due to the tremendous support from our clients and friends.  If are you are inclined, we would very much appreciate your support this year.  Ellie and I both serve on the Board of Trustees of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Because things are tight for many people, the NMSS has seen an increase in funding needs from families affected by MS.  Requests for funds for ramps, utility assistance, medical assistance, air-conditioner, cooling vests, etc., have increased significantly.   Please help as much as you can by making a contribution in support of our ride.  Go to or send a check payable to BikeMS and sent to me at the office.  We are very grateful.

Meet the Members of Bernstein Law Firm 
Every advisory we will be featuring a member of our firm.  You'll be able to get to know a little bit more about who we are!
This advisory we introduce: