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

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March 6 is deadline to comment on proposed change to Criminal Rule 701 which would require Commonwealth agreement to consolidate cases for guilty plea and sentencing

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February 27 is deadline to comment on proposed rule setting qualifications for private and court appointed counsel in capital cases

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February 28 is effective date for amendments to rules on appellate briefs and contents of petitions for allowance of appeal

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Click for rules on Petitions for Allowance of Appeal

February 13 is deadline to comment on new rules of evidence on attorney privilege

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AOPC seeks public input on public access policy on appellate and trial court case records

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Governor Wolf nominates Dean Ken Gormley and Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler to Supreme Court

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Dean Gormley and Judge Kistler 

Governor Tom Wolf has nominated Duquesne University law school Dean Ken Gormley and Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

The nominations are subject to confirmation by a two-thirds majority of the state Senate.

Gormley has been a member of the Duquesne University School of Law faculty since 1994 and specializes in constitutional issues. He is a Harvard University Law School graduate and lives in Forest Hills, Allegheny County, where he has served as mayor.

Kistler was elected judge in Centre County in 1997 and led efforts to improve safety for children involved in family court proceedings as a result of domestic violence. Kistler, who lives in Potter Township, Centre County, is a graduate of Penn State University and Dickinson Law School.

They will fill seats formerly held by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice Seamus P. McCaffery.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gormley and Kistler would serve until January, when newly elected justices will begin 10-year terms.

Session Schedule

Senate

February 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

March 2, 3, 4

April 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

February 9, 10, 11, 23, 24, 25

March 2, 3, 4, 30, 31

April 1, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Bills Moving

House

Raising Judicial Retirement Age: House Bill 90 (Harper-R-Montgomery) raising the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 (cosponsor summary) and House Bill 89 (Harper-R-Montgomery) constitutional amendment raising the retirement age for judges from 70 to 75 were reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and are now on the House Calendar for action.

Abuse Of Care Dependent Persons: House Bill 215 (Gingrich-R-Lebanon) further providing for the offense of neglect of care-dependent persons (sponsor summary) was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Senate

Jury Duty Exemption: Senate Bill 210 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) further providing exemptions from jury duty (sponsor summary) was passed by the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration.

Criminal History: Senate Bill 166 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) providing for the expungement of criminal history in certain circumstances (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Weeks Ahead

February 10– House Judiciary Committee holds informational meeting to hear a presentation from the Juvenile Court Judges Commission.  Room 205 Ryan Building. 10 a.m.

February 11– House Children and Youth Committee informational meeting on recent changes to the Child Protective Services Law. Room 60 East Wing.  9:30 a.m.

February 11– Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on best practices for law enforcement.  Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh. 10:30 p.m.

February 24– CANCELED. Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to discuss the collateral consequences of being convicted of a crime.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.  10:30.

March 3 — Governor’s Budget Address (tentative).

March 17– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 9:30 a.m.- Attorney General, 1 p..m.- State Treasurer, 3 p.m.- Auditor General.  Hearing Room 1 North Office Building.

March 18– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 9:30 a.m.- Judiciary, 1 p.m.- State Police, Homeland Security, 3: p.m.- Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Hearing Room 1 North Office Building.

March 18– House Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 9:30 a.m.- State Police/ Homeland Security, 11 a.m.- Dept. Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole, 1:30 p.m.- State Court System.  Room 140 Main Capitol.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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