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This Just In: Board Issues Public Discipline Press Releases to Local Media

From the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Historically, the publication of news of the disbarment or suspension of attorneys has been low-key. Notices were issued to newspapers in the area where the lawyer practiced, for publication in the little-read legal notices section of the classified ads. Public discipline is also posted on the Board’s website. The Disciplinary Board believes that communities should know when discipline is imposed on one of their bar, so that practice is changing. The Disciplinary Board has begun issuing press releases of disbarment and suspension cases to media outlets in the market where the disciplined lawyer practices.

“As members of the Disciplinary Board, our duty is to assist the Supreme Court in protecting the public, preserving the integrity of the legal profession and safeguarding the reputation of our courts and the legal system,” said R. Burke McLemore, Jr., Chair of the Disciplinary Board. “By raising awareness of attorney discipline, we highlight our commitment to achieving these goals by demonstrating to the public how the profession is policing itself.”

The decision to focus additional efforts on raising public awareness of such actions arose in part from an incident earlier this year when a Dauphin County lawyer failed to notify his clients that he was forced to surrender his law license.

2015 Civil Court Calendars

NOTICE: The 2015 Civil Court Calendars are available in the Court Administrator’s Office, Civil Division Room M10.

Civil trial lists on the Web coming soon

 Notice from the Court Administrator

Beginning with January, 2015, the Civil Trial Lists will be posted on the Court’s Web Page, and updated one week prior to the trial term. Copies of the trial lists will no longer be mailed to litigants and attorneys.

Once a Certificate of Readiness is filed, all objections decided, and a Pretrial Conference Set, the parties will be responsible for checking the trial lists posted at www.co.westmoreland.pa.us.  That posting will be the only Notice you receive.

Free Casemaker Webinars This Fall

 From the Pennsylvania Bar Association

Casemaker legal research
Casemaker, the PBA's online legal research "Preferred Partner," is offering free, one-hour webinars this fall geared specifically to the Pennsylvania lawyer. Click on any of the following dates to sign up for a webinar: 
Tuesday, Sept. 23, noon to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 14, noon to 1 p.m. Casemaker is free to PBA members, and the webinars are being made available to non-members so they can see what they're missing in Casemaker's easy-to-use suite of premium services. Lawyer non-members, find out more about Casemaker in these tutorial videos, read about all the benefits of PBA membership, including free online legal research, and join the PBA now.

In re: Publication of Social Security Numbers

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS of WESTMORELAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 
CIVIL DIVISION 
CRIMINAL DIVISION
ORPHANS’ COURT
Number 3 of 2014

IN RE: PUBLICATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

ORDER

AND NOW this 28TH day of August, 2014, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the order dated August 21, 2014, IN RE: Publication of Social Security Numbers and Confidential Information, is RESCINDED.

From this date forward, the Westmoreland County Prothonotary, Register of Wills and Clerk of Courts will make a copy of any filing that contains a Social Security Number and redact the Social Security Number on the copy prior to scanning the copy for public view. The un-redacted original shall be filed in the official case file.

In the event a party requests the removal of a Social Security Number from an already scanned document, the appropriate Records’ Office shall, without further Order of Court, remove the scanned document and replace it with a scanned redacted copy. The un-redacted original shall be filed in the official case file.

BY THE COURT:
/s/ Richard E. McCormick, Jr., PJ

Notice on audit of accounts

All audits scheduled for Tuesday, September 9, 2014, are continued to Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

Judge Marsili will not be hearing civil or orphans’ court motions on Friday, September 26, 2014. Counsel should make arrangements to present motions on a prior or subsequent Friday.

Notice on civil/orphans' court motions

President Judge McCormick, Jr. will not be hearing civil and orphans’ court motions on September 5, 12, and 19, 2014.

Judge Anthony Marsili will hear motions scheduled on September 12, 2014, only, for President Judge McCormick, Jr.

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

Updated guide issued for child dependency matters

From the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is issuing an updated resource used by judges and others to help strengthen families and protect children.

The Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook first distributed in 2010 guides family court judges, hearing masters, attorneys and child welfare professionals through the maze of legal issues and needs of abused and neglected children.

“New and experienced judges across the Commonwealth have embraced the benchbook as a valuable resource, as have lawyers in their court rooms,” said Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, a former administrative judge of family court in Allegheny County. “Unlike other treatises on child welfare which once completed are rarely updated, the Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook is a living document.”

New judicial assignments and courtrooms announced

JUDGES

COURTROOM #

PHONE #

Bilik-DeFazio, Meagan

1
Criminal

724-830-3835
Fax 724-850-6134

Bononi, Michele G.

8
Family

724-830-3365
Fax 724-830-3090

Driscoll, John J.
(Senior Judge)

11 
Family

724-830-3483
Fax 724-830-3930

Feliciani, Chris A.

5
Criminal

724-830-3803
Fax 724-830-3084

Hathaway, Rita D.

7
Criminal

724-853-2140
Fax 724-853-2206

Marsili, Anthony

4
Civil/Orphans'

724-830-3489
Fax 724-830-3681

McCormick, Jr., Richard E.
President Judge

2
Civil/Orphans'

724-830-3492
Fax 724-853-4650

Pezze, Debra A.

3
Criminal

724-830-3782
Fax 724-830-3194

Regoli, David A.

6
Civil/Orphans'

724-830-3805
Fax 724-850-3975

Scherer, Christian F.

9
Family

724-853-2202
Fax 724-830-3819

Smail, Jr., Harry F.

10 
Family

724-830-3814
Fax 724-853-2208

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