westbar's blog

Supreme Court increases loan assistance to expand number of attorneys who serve the poor

From the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

HARRISBURG — In an effort to increase the pool of attorneys available to provide civil legal services to those who cannot afford them, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has increased support for a student debt loan program for attorneys who work for legal aid organizations.

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is not funded by tax dollars, but instead by pro hac vice admission fees which are paid by out-of-state attorneys who are not licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, but appear in Pennsylvania’s courts for a particular legal proceeding. Pro hac vice fee revenue has been on a steady decline, jeopardizing the sustainability of the loan program.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

President Judge McCormick, Jr. and Judges Marsili and Regoli will not be hearing civil nor orphans’ court motions on Friday, June 12, 2015, as they will be attending the Bench/Bar Conference. Counsel should make arrangements to present motions on a prior or subsequent Friday.

Medical malpractice case filings reach 14-year low

From the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

HARRISBURG
— The number of medical malpractice case filings dipped last year to the lowest point since statewide tracking began in 2000.

The latest available figures compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts show there were 1,463 new cases filed in Pennsylvania’s civil courts in 2014, marking the fewest ever recorded.

The latest filings represent a 46.5 percent decline from the number posted in the “base years” of 2000-2002. In Philadelphia, the state’s judicial district with the largest caseload, the decline has been 68.3 percent during the same period.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

Judge David Regoli will not be hearing civil nor orphans’ court motions on Friday, May 15, 2015.

President Judge McCormick, Jr. will not be hearing civil nor orphans’ court motions on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Counsel should make arrangements to present motions on a prior or subsequent Friday.

2,121 Pennsylvania Drivers Cited for “Distracted Driving” in 2014

From the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania drivers were cited 1,410 times in 2014 for texting while driving and 711 times for using headphones while driving, according to statistics compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC).

In Pennsylvania it is illegal for drivers to read, write or send a text message while driving. Pennsylvania’s “no texting” law, Title 75, Section 3316, took effect in March 2012. Since then, more than 3,940 tickets for texting while driving have been issued statewide. In fact, citations have increased each year:
2012 – 1,190
2013 – 1,340
2014 – 1,410

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

Judge Marsili will not be hearing civil or orphans' court motions on Friday, May 1, 2015. Counsel should make arrangements to present motions on a prior or subsequent Friday.

Westmoreland County Court Language Access Plan

The Westmoreland County Court Language Access Plan (LAP) required by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts became effective March 1, 2015. The goal of the LAP is to provide meaningful access to the court services for persons with limited English Proficiency (LEP) or who are deaf or hard of hearing. The forms to be utilized in implementing the LAP can be found on the Court Administration section of the Court's website.

Additional Info...

The Future of Legal Education--PBI's Ground-breaking "Virtual Town Hall"

On March 31, 2015, The Pennsylvania Bar Institute will initiate a dialog about the future of legal education.

Bringing together the organized bar, law schools, CLE providers, and leading practitioners from the private and corporate bar, this international webcast will focus on identifying specific knowledge, skills, competencies, and personal and character traits that epitomize exceptional lawyers in the 21st century. The remarkable panel will also discuss how we can best train lawyers, from the beginning of law school through retirement, to achieve these characteristics as early as possible in each lawyer’s career. Jon Delano, a Pittsburgh lawyer, television legal/business reporter and professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Public Policy and Management, moderates this look into the future. Celebrating its 50th year as a leader of the CLE community in Pennsylvania and nationally, PBI is dedicated to making learning dynamic. Each panelist brings exceptional knowledge and experience in training lawyers to this fascinating discussion.

Live Webcast Information
Start Time: March 31, 2015 12:00 PM Eastern
Estimated Length: 2 hours
Registration Fee: $50.00
Enter coupon code "townhall_nocredit" to take this course for free without CLE credit.
Registration link: http://catalog.pbi.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=38472

PA criminal case data now interactive and available online

Data dashboards identify court trends and serve as valuable resource for court management

HARRISBURG—Pennsylvania’s judiciary today unveiled criminal caseload “dashboards,” the latest in a series of interactive, web-based data visuals that allow the public, court staff and researchers to quickly analyze and interpret data related to criminal cases.

The new dashboards provide a detailed look at statewide criminal caseloads, and an overview of each county’s criminal case activity over the course of a calendar year.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

NOTICE: President Judge McCormick, Jr. will not be hearing civil or orphans’ court motions on Friday, April 10, 2015. Counsel should make arrangements to present motions on a prior or subsequent Friday.

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