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Between the allocatur, briefing and argument processes, it can take years for a case to be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. But it took the justices just over six months to dispose of the most recent appeal in Basile v. H&R Block Inc., a case that raises tough questions about how state law treats class decertification and appeals brought by non-aggrieved parties. In a paragraph-long per curiam order filed late Tuesday, the court vacated the Superior Court’s most recent holding in the marathon litigation and remanded with instructions to discuss precedent and rules concerning the matter’s two key issues. Defense counsel James Sargent of Lamb McErlane in West Chester said he believes that with the order, the justices are “certainly saying to the Superior Court, �Take another look at our rules. Take a look at your own decisions. You got it wrong.’” “This is really an extraordinary relief in the sense that I can remember only two summary grants of allocatur in the year that I was on the court,” said Sargent’s partner William Lamb, who was appointed an interim justice in 2003. Steven Angstreich of Levy Angstreich Finney Baldante Rubenstein & Coren in Philadelphia, who serves as plaintiffs counsel in Basile, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Basile is over 12 years old and has traveled up and down the ladder of state trial and appellate courts at length. According to opinions filed in the case, Sandra Basile had claimed in her 1993 complaint that the “rapid refund” Block had promised her when she hired them to prepare her tax returns in the early 1990s were actually short-term, high-interest loans. Read more about it in Thursday’s Legal.

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