westbar's blog

Distracted driving citations continue to rise in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG— Distracted driving citations increased by 52 percent statewide between 2014 and 2016 – with more men being cited (70 percent) than women (28 percent). In Pennsylvania all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, which includes sending, reading or writing a text-based message or email, and from wearing or using headphones or earphones while the car is in motion.

Data is based on the following state law: Title 75, sections 1621, 1622, 3316 (texting), and 3314 (headphones). The infographic below highlights key data and demographics about distracted drivers in Pennsylvania.

Distracted driving citations in Pennsylvania

May Civil Trial List - Civil Call Date Change for President Judge McCormick, Jr.

President Judge McCormick, Jr. will be holding his Civil Call of the list for the May jury trial term on April 24, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

President Judge McCormick will not be hearing Civil or Orphans' Court Motions on April 28, 2017. Counsel should present motions on an alternative Friday Motions Court date.

Women in the Pennsylvania judiciary

HARRISBURG — March is National Women’s History Month, an ideal time to look at the history of women in the Pennsylvania judiciary as well as those women currently serving.

It has been 87 years since the first woman, Sara M. Soffel (Allegheny), served as a judge in Pennsylvania. Today, 29 percent of Pennsylvania’s active judges are women who serve the courts at the appellate, trial and minor court levels. For the first time ever, three women sit on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania is also home to Juanita Kidd Stout (Philadelphia), the first African-American woman elected to a court of record in the United States, the first to sit on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the first appointed to any state Supreme Court.

Soliciting Comments on Proposed local rule on e-filing, Rule W205.4

Westmoreland County is soliciting comments, suggestions and input on implementation of our proposed local rule on e-filing, Rule W205.4.  Please direct any such correspondence to:

Amy DeMatt, Esq.
District Court Administrator for 10th Judicial District (Westmoreland County)
2 North Main Street, Mezzanine 3
Greensburg, PA  15601
(724) 830-3828

Comments must be submitted on or before April 3, 2017.  

Read full details of proposed rule

Senators Casey and Toomey Continue Bipartisan Partnership to Fill Federal Vacancies

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced today that they are accepting and reviewing applications for a presidential appointment to the positions of U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal in Pennsylvania. The Senators are continuing a bipartisan partnership to help select and vet candidates the president may nominate.

Pennsylvania has a long history of cooperation between its two U.S. senators on filling federal vacancies. Sens. Casey and Toomey intend to work with President- elect Trump to continue this tradition. Both senators share the goal of appointing U.S. Attorneys and Marshals who demonstrate intelligence, extensive prior experience, and unquestioned honesty and integrity.

State Bar of Arizona Offers Free Webinar on Lawyers and Dementia

 Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease — and it stands to reason that among those are actively practicing attorneys. On February 15, the State Bar of Arizona will hold a seminar on the topic of dementia (whether from Alzheimer’s or another cause) and how it affects lawyers and judges. The Arizona bar welcomes its peers from across the country to access the free webcast. For more information and to register, visit the bar's website.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

President Judge McCormick, Jr., Judge Marsili, and Judge Scherer will not be hearing civil or orphans’ court motions on the following Friday:

February 24, 2017

President Judge McCormick, Jr., will not be hearing civil or orphans’ court motions on the following Friday:

March 3, 2017

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

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

NOTICE: Judge Chris Scherer will not be hearing Civil or Orphans’ Court motions on Friday, January 13, 2017.
**Instead, Judge Scherer will hear motions on Thursday, January 12, 2017.** 

Disciplinary Board Proposes Anti-discrimination Rule: Comments Due 2/3/17

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published December 3, 2016, at 46 Pa.B. 7519, the Disciplinary Board has proposed an amendment to Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (Misconduct), adding a new subsection (g), which would make it professional misconduct and grounds for discipline for a lawyer to violate a federal, state or local antidiscrimination statute or ordinance. The Board has set a comment period running through February 3, 2017.

The full text of the proposed amendment adds the following language to the misconduct rule:

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to …

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