Family Division litigants in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania are now subject
to a new requirement. As of June 22, 2015, all Motions must now include
a certififcation that the litigants have "met and conferred"
in an attempt to resolve the matter, prior to going to court.
As a matter of course, we generally attempt to work out matter prior to
litigation. So, this Order effects us less than many other practioners.
In fact, we informally call it the "everybody should be more like
Avram rule". Still, it may be a pain when opposing counsel (or the
opposing party) is unwilling or unable to confer. It remains to be seen
if this new rule "sticks", because some prior adminstrative
changes (involving Praeipe's for Appearance and citiation to legal
authority) have only been honored in the breech.
A copy of the Administrative Order is found below:
ADMINSTRATIVE ORDER OF COURT AND NOW, this 17th day of June 2015, it is
hereby ORDERED that effective June 22, 2015, litigants in matters heard
in the Family Division—Adult Section shall be required to meet and
confer prior to the filing and presentation of a motion as set forth below.
1. Litigants are to confer prior to the filing and/or presentation of any
motion before the Court and are to attempt, in good faith, to reach amicable
resolution of the issues involved. (Litigants include: Counsel representing
a party and parties who are self represented.)
2. Each Motion filed shall contain a certificate of compliance setting
forth a brief statement of the extrajudicial means employed to resolve
the dispute, in substantially the form attached.
3. Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanctions. Good faith
efforts toward amicable resolution shall be considered as a factor in
determining whether or not the requested relief is appropriate, the propriety
of sanctions, or in determining the exigency of circumstances, if relevant.
4. In the event that any party is self-represented in a matter where any
party involved in the matter is either a protected party in a PFA, or
has been the subject of domestic violence allegedly perpetrated by the
opposing party at any time within the past 24 months, the Party must state
so in their certificate and said reason shall be sufficient for purposes
of this rule in excusing the requirement to confer in advance.