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PMC Letter to the Editor (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

PMC published a letter to the editor in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review arguing that the problems with money in judicial elections cannot be fixed through the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Remembering Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen

On Monday, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen passed away at age 79 from lung cancer. He will probably be most remembered as the only Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice ever to be impeached.

New Law Helps Modernize and Save on Court Record Keeping

As a modern alternative method of storing and preserving court records, a new law provides Pennsylvania counties with the option to store records electronically. The electronic storage method could save significant tax dollars. The act was passed as an amendment to a House bill which was signed into law last month, and will take effect Friday.

New rules in PA advise judges when to step aside

The revised Code of Judicial Conduct, which went into effect July 1, requires Pennsylvania judges to step aside when hearing cases involving campaign donors who have made a donation of an amount that "would raise reasonable concern" about impartiality and fairness. However, the Code does not require disqualification or recusal where the contributions have come from a political action committee.

PMC Publishes Op-Ed Piece on Traffic Court Trial

Yesterday Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts’ own Lynn Marks and Suzanne Almeida published an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia titled “More lessons to learn from Traffic Court.”

New Anti-Nepotism Policy in Effect

Under a new anti-nepotism policy that went into effect last week, Allegheny County Common Pleas Court judges are now prevented from hiring their relatives, but those relatives currently employed may keep their jobs.

Traffic Court Defendants Not Guilty of Conspiracy or Fraud Convictions

Yesterday, after a day and a half of deliberation, the jury in the Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket-fixing trial returned a verdict. They found all defendants not guilty of fraud and conspiracy. The four former judges who were charged with perjury or lying to federal investigators were convicted on those charges.

Cheryl Krause Unanimously Confirmed to US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Cheryl Ann Krause has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. President Obama nominated Ms. Krause to the bench in February, months after Judge Dolores Sloviter and Judge Anthony Scirica both took senior status last year. The second seat on the bench has yet to receive a nomination.

New Pennsylvania Code of Judicial Conduct in Effect

The revised Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in January is now in effect. The revised Code was the result of nearly two years of work by a work group established by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as well as a committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.