Does Supreme Court's Order of Per Curiam Affirmance Mean That It Agrees With the Decision of the Lower Court ?
In Commonwealth v. Tilghman, 543 Pa. 578, 673 A.2d 898 (1996), noting "confusion within the Bar," our supreme court addressed whether per curiam orders of affirmance issued by the court indicate its adoption of the rationale employed by the lower court and whether a lower court's opinion, affirmed per curiam, has precedential value beyond law of the case, but is precedent as to unrelated parties in cases involving substantially similar facts pursuant to the rule of stare decisis.
The court concluded that "our entry of an order of per curiam affirmance on the basis of the lower court's opinion ... means that we agree with the lower court's rationale employed in reaching its final disposition." Id. at 589, 673 A.2d at 904.