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State of the Commonwealth's Courts

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its State of the Commonwealth's Courts report, focusing on the critical issue of funding for the judicial system.  The Report, in keeping with a theme heralded by the American Bar Association, focused on the need for adequate c

Editorial Supports Responsible Use of “Smartphones” in PA Courts

An editorial by Gayle Sproul and Michael Berry in yesterday’s Legal Intelligencer (subscription required) opposes the Pennsylvania Criminal Procedural Rules Committee’s proposed ban on th

Senate Advisory Panel Hears Proposals for Reform

A state Senate advisory panel composed of legal professionals, judges and academics heard testimony on April 23, 2012 regarding proposals to overhaul the Philadelphia criminal justice system. Veteran former prosecutor and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts board member Walter M. Phillips, Jr.

It's Election Day

Today is election day.  Don't forget to vote!

Appearance of Nepotism Weakens System

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported on April 21, 2012 that jury room supervisor Lindsay Hildenbrand recently received a raise of approximately 11 percent. The raise comes nearly four months after Hildenbrand was promoted from her positio

Disciplinary Complaint Filed Against Former District Judge

Pennsylvania's Judicial Conduct Board filed a formal disciplinary complaint on Friday against former Allegheny County Magisterial District Judge Ross C. Cioppa.

No Contempt if Voluntarily Surrender

Certain criminal defendants have received a brief respite from the new First Judicial District fugitive rules. For the first two weeks of the program, criminal defendants who surrender voluntarily on bench warrants will not face contempt proceedings. Defendants who are involuntarily picked up, however, will face potential contempt proceedings immediately.

Pennsylvanians Deserve the Facts

The Sunday Currents Section of the Philadelphia Inquirer features a letter to the editor (scroll to the bottom) from PMC.

Philly Courts Crack Down on “No-Show” Defendants

Responding to a “toxic culture” of fugitive defendants and missed court appearances, Philadelphia’s courts are pinning their hopes on a new strategy of private bail and harsher consequences for violators.

PMC Submits Comments on Proposed “Smartphone” Ban in Courts

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts has submitted comments on the PA Criminal Procedural Rules Committee’s proposed rule changes regarding the use of personal communications device