A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

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The Honorable Correale F. Stevens, President Judge of Superior Court, addressed the Appellate Courts Committee on March 8.

He spoke at length about technology. President Judge Stevens said that Superior Court is moving towards efiling. However, the efiling of briefs and records will not be happening “for a while.” He cited concerns that the printing would place a burden on the Judicial chambers.

Among techology issues being considered by the Superior Court, is whether lawyers should be able to bring laptops inside argument court and tweet during sessions. He said that he did not want technology to give an advantage to some lawyers over other lawyers.

President Judge Stevens said that Superior Court handles 8,000 appeals a year. In about 78 per cent of the cases, the trial courts are affirmed. He encouraged lawyers to petition for reargument. He said about seven per cent of petitions for reargument are granted. However, the Superior Court is reversed in about half the cases heard by the Supreme Court. He said that the Supreme Court takes cases for reversal.

President Judge Stevens said one of the biggest problems lawyers have in oral argument is their failure to listen to and respond to questions from the Court. He said that if a Judge asks a lot of questions, he or she is most likely the Judge who has been assigned to write the opinion.

President Judge Stevens announced a program of building bridges to members of the legislative and executive branches of government. They are being invited to meet with the Superior Court and sit on the bench during oral argument. This practice helps members of the legislative and executive branches to understand what is happening.

President Judge Stevens thanked the bar for its support of judicial independence.

Free legal research available on State and Federal court appointed cases from the Student Research Center. http://www.philadelphiabar.org/page/CJResearch?appNum=4

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