Are Attorneys Under Obligation to Inform Their Adversaries of Their Procedural Responsibilities ?

In Parkway Corporation v. Edelstein, 2004 PA Super 307, 861 A.2d 264 (Pa. Super 2004), the claimants brought suit against their former attorneys. When the claimants failed to file a timely certificate of merit, a judgment of non pros was entered. The trial court denied the claimants' application to open the judgment, and an appeal was taken to Superior Court. The claimants argued that the attorneys never raised the issue of a certificate of merit in the pleadings, in discovery or during a pre-trial conference. The Superior Court concurred that the attorneys did omit the issue of a certificate of merit, but held that the attorneys were under no obligation to inform the claimants of their procedural responsibilities. The Superior Court stated that "nothing requires the attorneys to point out to their adversaries potential procedural blunders or failure to fulfill unnoticed requirements." Parkway Corporation, 861 A.2d at 268. The Superior Court further noted that no notice had to be given prior to filing a praecipe for non pros under Pa. R.C.P. No. 1042.6.