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Supreme Court of Pennsylvania revises its internal operating procedures

February 20. 2013 1:42AM
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HARRISBURG — The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has revised its Internal Operating Procedures to clarify and expand guidelines used to direct jurists, attorneys and others in proceedings before the highest court in the Commonwealth.

The change marks the first extensive overhaul of the procedures since they were adopted in 1994. The amendments issued today in an order by the Supreme Court will take effect in 30 days.

“With the volume and complexity of cases that come before us, it seems prudent to review how we do business to ensure we can continue to effectively serve the Commonwealth’s citizens as well as manage our own internal processes, said Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille. These revisions promise to increase the overall efficiency with which the Court conducts its business by better organizing and defining standardized practices.”

The comprehensive rewrite grew out of a desire to have the procedures reflect certain needs, as seen by the Court’s justices since the formal procedures first were issued, and formally recognize existing practices.

Most of the changes largely are administrative: expanding from 60 to 90 days the target for circulation of allocatur reports among the Court’s justices (a petition for allocatur is a filing seeking permission to appeal a case to the Supreme Court); removing obsolete notification requirements regarding the progress of certain matters circulated among the Court; standardizing procedures for the entry of per curiam (a ruling made by the entire Court) and reconsideration orders; and clarifying guidelines for oral argument that set parameters for attorneys representing parties before the Court.

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