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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 10-2187


Title 255—LOCAL


In the Matter of the Adoption and Amendment of Local Rules of Civil Procedure; Misc. Doc. 2010-4823

[40 Pa.B. 6641]
[Saturday, November 20, 2010]

Order Pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 239

 October 29th, 2010, It Is Hereby Ordered that the following Rules of the Court of Common Pleas of the 39th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Franklin and Fulton County Branches, Civil Division, are amended, rescinded or adopted as indicated this date, to be effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin:

 Local Rule of Civil Procedure 205.1(a) is adopted and Rule 205.1.2 is rescinded.

 Local Rules of Civil Procedure 211 and 212.7 are amended and shall now read as follows.

It Is Further Ordered that The District Court Administrator shall

 1. Distribute two (2) certified paper copies and one (1) computer diskette or CD-ROM copy to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 2. File seven (7) certified copies of the local rule changes with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

 3. File one (1) certified copy of the local rule changes with the Civil Procedural Rules Committee.

 4. Keep such local rule changes, as well as all local civil rules, continuously available for public inspection and copying in the Office of the Prothonotary of Franklin County and the Office or the Prothonotary of FultonCounty. Upon request and payment of reasonable costs of reproduction and mailing, the Prothonotary shall furnish to any person a copy of any local rule.

 5. Provide one (1) certified copy of the Local Rule changes to the Franklin County Law Library and one (1) certified copy to the Fulton County Law Library.

 6. Arrange to have the local rule changes published on the Franklin County Bar Association web site at www.

By the Court

President Judge

Local Rule 205.1(a). Filing Legal Papers. Presentation to the Court.

 A legal paper requiring the signature of, or action by a Judge may be filed, delivered or mailed to the Prothonotary as in Pa.R.C.P. 205.1. When such paper is received by the Prothonotary it shall be marked filed and then delivered to the Court Administrator for distribution to the appropriate Judge's Law Clerk for judicial consideration.

Local Rule 211. Oral Arguments.

39-211.1 Except as otherwise provided by the Court, arguments in the Franklin County Branch shall be held on the first Thursday of each month excluding August, except when that Thursday is a legal holiday, in which case the argument shall be held on as scheduled by the Court; and in the Fulton County Branch, arguments shall be held on days as established by the annual Court calendar or as scheduled by the Court.
39-211.2 In the Franklin County Branch, causes for argument shall be listed in the Prothonotary's office in a docket to be provided for that purpose, on or before the Thursday which is six (6) weeks preceding the day for argument. Any party may list a cause by filing a Praecipe directing the Prothonotary to list the cause for argument. In the Fulton County Branch, causes for argument may be listed in the Prothonotary's office in a docket to be provided for that purpose upon Praecipe of a party filed at least six (6) weeks before the argument is to be scheduled before the assigned judge. The party entering a cause for argument shall forthwith, by ordinary mail, notify all other parties that the cause has been listed for argument; and shall file proof of service of such notice. Failure to give such notice shall be grounds for striking the cause from the list upon Motion.
39-211.3 The parties may agree in writing to add a cause to the argument list at any time so long as service of briefs may be made in accordance with the time requirements of Rule 39-211.7. The Court may order a cause listed for argument at the next scheduled argument court or on such other day as it may direct and, in that event, it may set the time for service of briefs.
39-211.4 When the ascertainment of facts is necessary for the proper disposition of a cause listed for argument, such facts may be determined by deposition or as otherwise provided in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
39-211.5 The person seeking the order applied for shall argue first, and may also argue in rebuttal, if permitted by the Court, but such rebuttal shall be limited to answering arguments advanced by the opposing party. In causes where there is more than one responding party, the order of argument by the responding parties shall be as directed by the Court.
39-211.6 Each party shall furnish to every other party a typewritten brief in the form set forth in Local Rule 210, Form and content of Briefs.
39-211.7 When a case is listed for argument, the moving party shall file and serve a copy of his brief upon all other parties in the manner set forth in Pa.R.C.P. 440(a) to insure receipt by the responding party not later than the thirty-fifth (35th) day preceding the day scheduled for argument. The responding party shall, in return, serve a copy of his brief upon the moving party in the manner set forth in Pa.R.C.P. 440(a) to insure receipt by the moving party not later than the twenty-eighth (28th) day preceding the day scheduled for argument. At the time each party serves his brief, he shall furnish two copies thereof to the assigned judge.
39-211.8 Unless the time for filing and serving briefs is extended by the Court for cause shown, where briefs have not been timely filed and served as required by Rule 39-211.7, the Court may upon its own motion or upon request of a party:
(1) Deny the relief requested where the moving party has failed to comply;
(2) Grant the requested relief where the responding party has failed to comply;
(3) Permit oral argument, but only by the complying party;
(4) Grant such other relief or impose such other sanctions as it shall deem proper.
39-211.9 With the approval of the Court, oral argument may be dispensed with by agreement of the parties and the matter shall be submitted to the Court on briefs filed.
39-211.10 Cases shall be continued or stricken from the argument list only pursuant to order of Court. A party may request such an order of Court by petition setting forth the basis for the request. Such petition must include certification regarding concurrence or non-concurrence of all other parties as required by Local Rule 39-206.1.

Local Rule 39-212.7. Scheduling Conference and Case Management.

 (a) This Rule shall be applicable to all civil actions other than family law matters governed by Pa.R.C.P. 1901 through 1940.9, credit card collection cases, cases for and appeals from compulsory arbitration, administrative agency appeals, appeals from labor arbitration, landlord-tenant appeals, appeals from boards of view, mortgage foreclosures and cases in which judgment has been entered.

 (b) In all cases to which this rule is applicable, the plaintiff shall, not later than sixty (60) days after service of the complaint upon defendant(s), file and transmit to the assigned judge a proposed order of court in substantially the following form:

Order of Court

 (Date), the Complaint filed in this case having been served upon the Defendant(s),

 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Plaintiff shall initiate discussion among all parties who shall make a good faith effort to agree upon a proposed Joint Case Management Order which shall be submitted to the assigned judge not later than ______ . In the event that the parties cannot agree upon a proposed Joint Case Management Order, they shall submit separate proposed Case Management Orders to the assigned judge in chambers not later than the foregoing date. After the foregoing date, the assigned judge may enter a Case Management Order or may schedule a Case Management Conference.

 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in considering joint or separate proposed Case Management Orders, counsel and the parties shall be guided by the Court's guidelines set forth in the Note to Local Rule 212.7 and be prepared to support any requested deviation from such guidelines.

 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall begin engaging in discovery pending the entry of a Case Management Order if they have not already done so; and that the Plaintiff promptly serve copies of this order upon all other parties.

By the Court,

 (c) Not later than 14 days after the deadline for the completion of discovery pursuant to any Case Management Order, Plaintiff's counsel shall arrange with the chambers of the assigned judge for a telephone conference between the Court and counsel for all parties for the express purpose of (1) making a good faith estimate as to the number of trial days—excluding jury selection date—that will be required for trial; (2) securing trial dates; and (3) considering mediation as a settlement tool.

NOTE: The purpose of the Court in adopting this Rule providing for case management is to better assure the progress of cases through the judicial system without unreasonable delay by fixing deadlines for completion of the various stages of cases. Deadlines, for example, for completion of discovery, the filing of expert reports, and the filing of dispositive motions, will be set at the scheduling conference. Thereafter, a party seeking extension of a deadline will have the burden of establishing good cause for such extension.

The following are guidelines for various types of cases:

(e.g. admitted
liability, minimal discovery)
(e.g. motor
vehicle, contracts, some equity)
(e.g. product
liability, some
equity, extensive discovery)
Discovery Completion 5 months 9 months 12 months 12 months
Plaintiff Expert Reports 6 months 10 months 13 months 13 months
Defense Expert Reports 7 months 11 months 14 months 14 months
Dispositive Motions 8 months 12 months 15 months 15 months
Pretrial Conference 10 months 14 months 17 months 17 months
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 10-2187. Filed for public inspection November 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m.]

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