Resources

What kinds of cases will I hear as a juror?

Jurors hear either criminal or civil cases.

In criminal cases, a district attorney acting on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania prosecutes a case against an individual or an entity accused of a crime. The district attorney is also referred to as

Philadelphia Bail Watch Report

Findings and Recommendations based on 611 Bail Hearings

Presented by the Philadelphia Bail Fund & Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

October 15, 2018

The Philadelphia Bail Fund and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts launched Philadelphia Bail Watch in April

All of Pennsylvania's courts are part of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania. There are three basic levels to the Pennsylvania Court System: minor courts, Courts of Common Pleas, and statewide intermediate appellate courts, which are called the Commonwealth Court and the Superior Court. The

Federal courts only hear two types of cases. The rest must be heard in state courts.

  1. Cases involving federal law
  2. Both Plaintiff and Defendant are from different states AND the case is for more than $75,000

United States District Courts

The United States District Courts are the lowest

What is the difference between state court and federal court?

Pennsylvania's state courts decide cases involving child custody, divorce, most crimes, contract disputes, and traffic violations just to name a few! These courts can also hear cases that are appeals from state or local agencies.

The jury system must be preserved if our American justice system is to thrive. The whole notion of a jury a group of randomly selected citizen decision makers is a reflection of our communal trust in democracy. It embodies our historic reluctance to centralize power in any one source. The jury

Modernizing with the Media

Christina Gallagher, Winner of PMC's 2017 Law Student Writing Competition

Today, as a former journalist and soon-to-be attorney, I view legal news from a unique perspective. Significantly, I find that mainstream journalists fail to report the full context of legal

PMC released this report because we perceived a need to re-examine Pennsylvania's judicial disciplinary system. Our concern stemmed from the reported misconduct of three Supreme Court justices: Joan Orie Melvin, Seamus McCaffery, and Michael Eakin, and the disciplinary cases surrounding that alleged

In the years preceding the publication of this report, the news was filled with many stories of Pennsylvania judges engaging in unethical behavior, violating the Code of Judicial Conduct ("the Judicial Code"), and even engaging in criminal conduct. Public trust and confidence in our courts is

This article, published in the Fordham Urban Law Journal in 2006, describes the history of judicial selection in the state of Pennsylvania. It describes the judicial selection reform movement and growth of the organization Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, which devises solutions to meet the various