Recent Cases

Murder Exoneration
Commonwealth v. I.S.
This was a case that involved a robbery conviction related to one victim and a separate second-degree murder conviction that related to a different victim, both resulting in a sentence of thirty years to life imprisonment. Our client was a seventeen-year old female who was wrongfully convicted based on an illegally coerced confession elicited from her by a now-exposed corrupt detective; false testimony from another juvenile, and fatally flawed identification testimony from two eyewitnesses. During the course of this PCRA litigation, which spanned over four years, we engaged the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Our firm uncovered and presented cell-phone records that established an alibi for our client, presented alibi testimony at one of several PCRA hearings; presented favorable evidence that the prosecution failed to disclose at the time of trial; and comprehensively and definitively refuted each piece of “evidence” that was used to convict our client. After nearly thirteen years of incarceration, our client’s convictions were vacated and she is now home with her family.
Extensive details about this case are detailed in the chronicles of the National Registry of Exonerations, found at
Mr. Mosser’s Post Hearing Brief can be reviewed here: Download PDF.

Right to Counsel of Choice
Commonwealth v. N.L.

In this highly publicized case, our client was alleged to have fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic rifle at several police officers during a lengthy armed standoff. During the confrontation, several officers were audio recorded as having mocked our client and encouraging him to commit suicide. Our client’s first lawyer improperly released these recordings to the media, and because of this misconduct, was removed from representing our client against his
wishes. Our client was subsequently convicted of several counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to 28 1/2 to 57 years incarceration.

Our firm was hired to litigate the appeal, and we successfully argued that our client’s constitutional right to retain the lawyer of his choosing was violated, thus causing a structural error in the trial. After our briefing and Mr. Mosser’s presentation of oral argument, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed our client’s convictions. The Court’s published opinion can be found here: Download PDF

Financial Fraud Lawsuit
DYKWYPA, et al, v. MLPFS
In this federal civil lawsuit, Mr. Mosser represented a number of plaintiffs who sued a large broker-dealer for fraud, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty related to the mishandling of the clients’ funds.  After having successfully argued for punitive damages to be permissible in this case, the matter settled on the eve of trial for an amount that was over four times the client’s actual damages. 

First Degree Murder
In this PCRA litigation that spanned nearly four years, Mr. Mosser represented a client who had been convicted of first degree murder in Philadelphia.  After an extensive investigation, it was discovered that a key witness for the Commonwealth was paid $20,000.00 after testifying against our client.  Mr. Mosser uncovered the check receipts from the witness’ bank and the records from the City that showed that a now disgraced homicide detective had facilitated the payment. During Mr. Mosser’s investigation, prosecutorial misconduct was also uncovered that demonstrated that the Commonwealth withheld crucial evidence from the defense.  The murder and related convictions were vacated after arguments and briefing in the PCRA court. 

First Degree Murder
C.W. v. N.W.
Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA petition alleging newly discovered evidence in the form of a witness statement.  This witness relayed what another witness had said about the shooting at issue, but this person had died by the time the statement was relayed to the defense.  The PCRA court dismissed the petition, reasoning that the statement from the deceased was hearsay.  Mr. Mosser argued on appeal that the statement at issue was an excited utterance, which is an exception to the hearsay rule.  The Superior Court agreed and remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the circumstances of the statement met the requirements for the evidentiary exception.  After litigating the hearing in the PCRA court, the PCRA petition was granted.

Sentence Reduction
Commonwealth v. J.S.
In this case, our client was initially sentenced to thirty to sixty years years’ incarceration for attempted murder and firearms charges.  The sentence contained a maximum sentence for attempted murder of twenty to forty years.  However, that sentence was illegal because no serious bodily injury happened in this case.  None of our client’s prior lawyers identified this issue so it was never litigated until we were retained.  Since over a decade had passed since our client had been sentenced, PCRA litigation raising this issue was deemed untimely.  Ms. Hockensmith and Mr. Mosser then filed a complex motion to modify the sentence, and the District Attorney’s Office agreed that our client should be resentenced such that the illegal sentence would be removed.  At the sentencing hearing, the Commonwealth again argued for a lengthy sentence.  However, after Mr. Mosser’s arguments were made, the Court sentenced Defendant to a total of nine to eighteen years incarceration with no probation to follow.  By that point, our client had already served seventeen years of his sentence, and as such, was immediately eligible for parole.

Right to an appeal
Commonwealth v. A.C.
In this case, our client was convicted of robbery based on scant facts and weak evidence.  His lawyers initially filed an appeal, but withdrew the appeal because they thought it was meritless and that a different strategy should have been pursued.  Mr. Mosser was retained and discovered that there was in fact a meritorious issue to pursue on appeal.  Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA petition and a supporting brief, and argued that our client’s appeal rights should be restored.  The Court agreed, and reinstated our client’s appeal rights, such that we can now pursue a strong appeal in the Superior Court. 

Right to Counsel
Commonwealth v. M.C.

In this case, our client was charged with aggravated assault, strangulation, and other serious offenses. Prior to trial, he was represented by court appointed counsel. That lawyer was granted permission by the Court to withdraw from the case when our client obtained menial employment allowing him to barely pay for his cost of living expenses. The court insisted that our client could afford private counsel, despite our client’s repeated pleas with the court to recognize that he could not do so. The Court forced our client to go to trial without a lawyer. At the trial, our client stood mute because he had no knowledge of the legal process, and was then convicted of all charges and sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration. On appeal, Mr. Mosser argued that our client was denied his fundamental constitutional rights to counsel. In a published opinion, the Superior Court agreed and reversed our client’s convictions and remanded the case for a new trial and ordered the trial court to protect our client’s right to counsel.

First Degree Murder

In this case, we argued in PCRA litigation that a corrupt detective tainted a homicide investigation that led to our client’s conviction for first degree murder.  After proving that the detective fabricated evidence, our client was granted a new trial.  Mr. Mosser continued to represent our client pro bono for the next two years, and convinced the District Attorney’s Office to withdraw the charges after we showed that the key evidence in the case, a photo array prepared by the corrupt detective which included our client, was improperly suggestive.  Our client, having served eleven years of a life sentence, is now home with his family.  News coverage of the case can be found here.

Commercial Litigation Appeal
D.B. v. Metro Real Estate

In this case, the trial court entered a judgment for the Plaintiff against our client for unpaid rent. We argued on appeal that the claim was barred by res judicata because it had previously been rejected by another court. The Superior Court agreed and ruled in favor of our client. The decision was set forth in a published Opinion which establishes legal precedent in the Commonwealth.

Wrongful Death
S.C. v. Brenntag Northeast

In this appeal, we successfully argued that the wrongful death claim was improperly dismissed by the trial court as untimely. The Superior Court agreed with our argument that res judicata was inapplicable and reversed the trial court.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Commonwealth v. K.B.

This was a DUI appeal wherein we argued that the sentence imposed was unconstitutional. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with our argument and as a result, our client’s sentence of imprisonment has been vacated.

Commonwealth Court Appeal
S.C./ Estate of G.C. v. Armstrong World Industries

This was a Worker’s Compensation appeal stemming from toxic exposure to TCE. The litigation spanned over a decade. In the appeal to the Commonwealth Court, we successfully argued that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the Worker’s Compensation Judge’s finding that our client was entitled to a substantial damages award. The subject matter was highly technical and was centered on complex expert testimony that established a causal link between the toxic substance and the decedent’s death.

Indecent Assault
Commonwealth v. A.S.

At trial, the Commonwealth presented a prosecutor as a witness to improperly testify that she thought the alleged victim in this case was credible.  We took an appeal to the Superior Court and argued that this testimony illegally bolstered the alleged victim’s testimony, and that this wrongly took the credibility finding function away from the jury.  The Superior Court agreed with the arguments we presented in our brief and remanded the case.” 

Aggravated Assault
Commonwealth v. J.S.

Our client was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to a lengthy term of incarceration.  After the sentence was imposed, we learned that the Commonwealth had previously offered a negotiated plea to our client before trial, but prior counsel did not inform or advise our client about this.  We filed a PCRA petition and alleged that prior counsel was ineffective.  After extensive briefing and being ready to present multiple witnesses, on the day of the hearing the Commonwealth chose not to proceed and instead re-offered the pre-trial deal to our client.  The result was a substantial reduction in our client’s sentence.”

Habeas Corpus
U.S.A. v. A.P

In this case our client received a sentence in federal court for a white collar crime. His prior counsel did not file an appeal, though the client asked for an appeal to be filed.  We filed a federal habeas corpus petition and alleged that prior counsel was ineffective for failing to perfect the appeal.  After an evidentiary hearing where the client and his wife testified and we introduced relevant phone records, and in which we extensively cross examined prior counsel, the federal judge agreed with our position and granted our petition.  The client’s appeal rights have been reinstated so that his appeal can be litigated. 

1st Degree Murder
Commonwealth v. D.T

Our client was convicted of first degree murder in 2008.  The key evidence against him was a statement taken by a Philadelphia homicide detective from a friend of our client.  The statement claimed that our client had the motive, means, and opportunity to commit the shooting.  At trial, the witness who provided the statement claimed that the detective fabricated it and made him sign it after the detective physically assaulted him and told him he would ensure that the witnesses child would be taken away from him.  After an extensive investigation, we found ten other people throughout Philadelphia that had previously testified to strikingly similar experiences with this detective. We filed a PCRA petition and subsequently presented testimony from these people to establish that the detective has a habit and pattern of securing false witness statements.  The PCRA Court agreed that these witnesses established that this detective uses habitually coercive tactics in his interactions with witnesses.  The Court vacated our client’s conviction and ordered a new trial.  At a new trial, the witness statement is now in admissible.  The PCRA Court also agreed with our argument that prior counsel was ineffective for failing to secure a mistrial after this detective provided grossly inflammatory and improper testimony at the first trial


PCRA appeal
Commonwealth v. K.P

We had previously secured PCRA relief for our client in the form of his right to file a post sentence motion being reinstated nunc pro tunc.  This was crucial because the sentencing court tripled his previously imposed sentence.  After we won in the PCRA court, the Commonwealth appealed.  We persuaded the Superior Court that the relief granted to our client was proper and legally required.  The Court agreed with our arguments and affirmed the lower court’s decision.  We are now able to attack the client’s grossly unfair sentence.

Child Custody
S.B. v. J.B.

We appealed an adverse order modifying child custody entered against our client.  The lower court’s modification order was issued after motions for reconsideration were filed by the opposing party, and granted the opposing party more custodial time and compelled our client to reimburse him for what he had previously paid for supervised visitation.  On appeal, we argued that the order was improper because neither the opposing party or the lower court followed the correct procedures for post trial motion litigation.  The Superior Court agreed with us and vacated the lower court’s modification order in its entirety.

First Degree Murder
Commonwealth v. W.S.

Our client was convicted of first degree murder and had served seventeen years of a life sentence. The case arose from a shooting in West Philadelphia.  Our client maintained that he had acted in self-defense when another person started firing his weapon at him.  We were hired to pursue a newly discovered evidence claim under the PCRA. 

The investigation revealed that there was a ten year old boy that saw the incident in question nearly twenty years ago. Now in his late twenties, this witness explained that he had seen the decedent pull his weapon first and started firing.  The evidence also showed that there were several shell casings surrounding the decedent’s body that did not match the weapon that our client had fired.  The police never located the gun that the decedent had fired.  However, our witness explained that immediately after the shooting, friends of the deceased took his gun and disposed of it. 

After a two day, hotly contested evidentiary hearing, the court ruled in our client’s favor and vacated his first degree murder conviction.  Our client has been granted a new trial and now has a strong chance of avoiding a life sentence and instead coming home soon.

Commonwealth v. K.B

This was a DUI case where our client refused to submit to a blood draw after having been stopped for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol.  The client was convicted of DUI, and was subjected to enhanced penalties for her refusal to submit to the blood draw.  These penalties included a period of incarceration and fines.  On appeal we argued that, based on recent United States Supreme Court precedent, the enhanced penalties were unconstitutional because our client’s refusal to have her blood drawn was actually an exercise of her constitutional rights.  The Superior Court agreed, and vacated our client’s sentence such that no period of incarceration would be permitted.

Commonwealth v. D.S

This was a third degree murder case where Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA petition on behalf of our client who had been convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to 29-62 years of incarceration.  Mr. Mosser argued that the client’s former appeal lawyer was constitutionally ineffective for failing to raise on appeal that the trial court erred by refusing to give an involuntary manslaughter instruction to the jury.  The PCRA Court dismissed his petition.  He took an appeal to the the Superior Court, and the Court agreed with his argument and reversed the matter for an evidentiary hearing to determine if our client is entitled to a new trial.

P.A. v. H.N.

In this child custody matter, Mr. Mosser persuaded the Superior Court to reverse the trial court’s restriction on our client’s constitutional right to expose his child to his religion.

United States v. T.V.

In this federal habeas corpus action, Mr. Mosser persuaded the federal appeals court to exercise its discretionary review to consider a case where we have alleged that plea counsel was ineffective for failing to disclose favorable evidence to the client, thus rendering the client’s guilty plea invalid.

NLG v. 9197-5904 Q.I.

Mr. Mosser successfully briefed a motion to reconsider an $8 million punitive damages award levied against our client.  After his briefing was completed, the award was reduced over 90 percent.

Quebec Inc. v. NLG

Mr. Mosser was asked to represent an international company in the Southern District of New York. He successfully had the case against our client dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

J.F. v. Detective L.S.

Confidential settlement.

This was a civil rights case that Mr. Mosser filed against a Philadelphia police detective.  Our client was wrongfully incarcerated for sixteen months for a robbery he did not commit.  He was found not guilty at trial because video evidence showed that someone else committed the crime, and the victim repeatedly told the government that our client was not the culprit.  After our client was found not guilty, we sued the assigned detective for malicious prosecution.  After Mr. Mosser took the detective’s deposition, the city chose to settle the case rather than go to trial.

Commonwealth v. M.L

In this case, the client was wrongfully advised by a prior lawyer to accept a plea offer on a charge that he violated his probation, even though there really was no probation violation.  Unfortunately, the sentence that was imposed required that he be deported.  Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA petition alleging that the client’s prior lawyer was constitutionally ineffective, and that as such, the client was entitled to re-set the case to the pre-plea posture.  The PCRA petition was successful, and the client now no longer faces deportation because of an extremely favorable plea deal negotiated by Mr. Mosser.

D.T. v. City of Philadelphia Police Department

Confidential settlement.

This was a civil rights case we filed on behalf of a nineteen year old client who was present at the scene of a fight in North Philadelphia.  One of the responding officers arrested him, cuffed the client’s hands behind his back, shoved him to the ground, and repeatedly stepped on our client’s forearm. This caused the client to suffer a broken wrist.  We sued the responsible officer for excessive force, and after the officer was deposed, the City settled the case for a confidential amount.

Commonwealth v. L.S.R.

Our client was permanently deported to Mexico after agreeing to plead guilty to a simple theft charge.  We filed a petition for error coram nobis in York County, PA, and alleged that trial counsel had been ineffective in failing to advise her of the deportation consequences to pleading guilty.  The coram nobis petition is an extremely rare filing that most lawyers are unaware of.

After the issues were briefed and oral argument was held, the court granted the petition, and re-fashioned the client’s sentence so that she could legally re-enter the United States and remain here with her family.

Commonwealth v. K.A.

This case was an appeal of a gun conviction.  Specifically, the client was found in possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and convicted of tampering with the serial number. Mr. Mosser successfully argued on appeal to the Superior Court that the mere possession of the firearm was not sufficient to prove that the client had himself altered the serial number. The conviction and sentence were thus reversed.

Commonwealth v. T.O.

In this case, the client’s prior lawyer failed to file an appeal, and claimed that his client never asked him to file one.  We filed a PCRA petition alleging that the client had specifically instructed his lawyer to file an appeal.  After a lengthy evidentiary hearing that included testimony from the client and Mr. Mosser’s cross examination of the prior lawyer, the PCRA court found our client to be credible, the prior lawyer to have not been credible, and granted the PCRA petition. The client’s rights to file an appeal were restored, and the case is currently on appeal

Commonwealth v. K.P.

This case involved a client who wished to challenge his sentence. Unfortunately, despite telling his lawyer he wanted to appeal his sentence, that lawyer did not file the required motion to preserve the issue.  

Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA petition, had the client and the former lawyer testify, and convinced the judge that the client was entitled to have his right to file a post sentence motion restored so that he could have an appeal about his sentence.

R.S. v. T.T.

Our client’s shared custody of his young son was taken away after a custody trial. On appeal, Mr. Mosser successfully argued that the trial court abused its discretion by not balancing all the proper factors required by law. The Superior Court agreed with his argument, and reversed the trial court’s order and reinstated our client’s shared custody of his son. The Superior Court’s opinion is published case law, which establishes favorable legal precedent for similarly situated litigants in Pennsylvania.

Commonwealth v. D.T.

Our client was sentenced to a mandatory five to ten years incarceration for his conviction of possessing a firearm in close proximity to drugs. On appeal, Mr. Mosser argued that the sentence was unconstitutional in light of US Supreme Court precedent. The Superior Court agreed and vacated the sentence.

Commonwealth v. B.H.

Our client was convicted of committing an aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to a mandatory term of five to ten years incarceration. On appeal, Mr. Mosser argued that the sentence was unconstitutional as it violated his due process rights. The Superior Court agreed and vacated the sentence.

Commonwealth v. R.S.

Our client was charged with drug possession. After filing a legal brief and presenting oral argument, Mr. Mosser convinced the court that the SEPTA officer responsible for our client’s arrest lacked the legal authority to arrest him because he was acting outside his jurisdiction. The court agreed and dismissed all the charges.

Commonwealth v. S.R.

Our client was charged with DUI. Mr. Mosser filed a motion to suppress and argued that the officer lacked probable cause to arrest her. After hearing oral argument, the court agreed, granted the suppression motion, and dismissed the charges.

Commonwealth v. R.F.

Our client was sentenced to seven and one half to fifteen years incarceration for stealing a car and leading the police on a high speed chase. On appeal, Mr. Mosser argued that the sentence was improperly excessive because the judge did not apply the applicable sentencing guidelines. The Superior Court agreed, vacated his sentence and sent the case back to the lower court for re-sentencing.

Commonwealth v. R.S.

Our client was charged with drug possession after heroin was allegedly found in his pocket. During Mr. Mosser’s cross examination of the arresting officer, she admitted that she actually had no idea where the heroin came from, and that it might have actually belonged to someone else. Our client was found not guilty of all charges.

Child pornography/ PCRA
Commonwealth v. P.M.
In this case, our client entered a nolo contendre plea to possession of child pornography after being represented by prior counsel who was woefully unprepared to go to trial.  Mr. Mosser filed a PCRA Petition, alleging among other things, that the Court should have allowed the plea to be withdrawn because the Commonwealth breached the plea agreement by arguing for specific terms of sentencing  and that prior counsel was ineffective for failing to raise this issue.  The PCRA court agreed and allowed our client to withdraw his plea so that our client can proceed to trial with adequate counsel. 

Child Custody
S.C.B. v. J.B.
In a published opinion that establishes precedent in Pennsylvania, the Superior Court reversed the lower court’s child custody order.  Mr. Mosser argued that the lower court improperly failed to address all of the custody factors that are required to be addressed by statutory law and the Superior Court agreed.

Federal Habeas
Bellon v. Ferguson
In this federal habeas case, Mr. Mosser and Ms. Hockensmith argued that Bellon’s sentence for narcotics dealing was illegal because it exceeded the statutory maximum term allowed by law.  The federal court agreed, and vacated Bellon’s sentence and ordered that he be re-sentenced. 
Mosser Legal, PLLC
448 N. 10th Street, Suite 502
Philadelphia, PA 19123
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Todd M. Mosser
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