Know Your Judge – The Honorable Nicola Henry-Taylor

If you have a family law case in Allegheny County, PA, it is a good idea to hire legal counsel with experience in front of the Judges in the Allegheny County Family Division. Rosen Family Law Group practices exclusively in the Family Division and has extensive experience with the Judges, Hearing Officers, and Domestic Relations Officers of Family Division. We are known for working efficiently, effectively, and emphatically on behalf of our client’s best interests.

Today, we are discussing the Honorable Nicola Henry-Taylor. Please note that all of the following information is publicly available.

Judge Henry-Taylor is a judge in the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania. She assumed office on January 3, 2022. Her current term ends on January 5, 2032.

Each Allegheny County family law case has an individual number that appears at the top of every court document, called the “docket number.” The last thee digits of that number are the judicial suffix and correspond to a particular judge. Judge Henry-Taylor has Judicial Suffix 007. So, if your case number were 23-001234 007, your case would be with Judge Henry-Taylor.

Allegheny County has a “one judge/one family” rule. This means that every element of your case (divorce, custody, support, motions, PFA’s etc.) would be overseen by the same Judge. However, many court events (such as all support conferences and some custody hearings) involve people other than the Judge.

Judge Henry-Taylor’s chambers are located in the Family Law Center at Room 525, 440 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The phone number of her chambers is 412.350.1670. However, it is best for your counsel to deal with chambers. If you are self-represented, do NOT call or visit her chambers until you have first reviewed her rules and operating procedures. Also, ex parte communications are not permitted with the Court. An ex parte communication occurs when you have a substantive interaction with the Court while the opposing party (or opposing counsel) is not present. Also, you cannot argue your case to her chambers.

Judge Henry-Taylor ran for election for judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania as a member of the Democratic Party. She was endorsed by Real Justice, a nationwide organization dedicated to electing civil rights minded people to the court system. Judge Henry-Taylor won a set on the bench in the general election of November 2, 2021.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Henry-Taylor got her JD Degree from Duquesne University of Law in 1996. She has a BA in history from Slippery Rock University and studied English History at Oxford University in 1990.

Judge Henry-Taylor was an attorney in private practice beginning in 1997. She has worked at K&L Gates, Myers Law Group, as well as her own law practice. Judge Henry-Taylor had a litigation-based practice with an emphasis on criminal law, family law and social security disability. She has also acted as a guardian ad litem, parenting coordinator, and Parent Advocate Panel Attorney.

Judge Henry-Taylor practiced in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

Judge Henry-Taylor was the “Diversity Director” of the Duquesne University School of Law (a part time position) from 2018-2021. She is also a former secretary of the Allegheny County Bar Association.


One of the advantages of experienced counsel is that they will have interacted many times with the Judges, Hearing Officers and Domestic Relations Officers that may decide your case.

While no decision is ever certain, a good attorney can give you the odds of something happening with a particular judge and a particular set of circumstances. Contact us and let us put our experience to work for you.

Regarding your particular situation,each case is different, so consult your attorney concerning the personal facts of your case, the law that applies to your case and your Judge. It is important that your attorney know the “unwritten rules” of how things operate in Allegheny County Family Division. There are no shortcuts for that. But there are some important rules and procedures that apply to every case with Judge Nicola Henry-Taylor. All of these rules and procedures are publicly available through the Family Division.

Judge Henry-Taylor has extensive, individual, and detailed written procedures for litigating Family Division matters, such as Motions Practice, Discovery Practice, Custody, Protection from Abuse etc. These are too extensive and technical to list here. They run for 41 pages. So, you should speak with your attorney regarding how the Court may manage each particular area of your case.

However, there are some general rules for how to interact with Judge Henry-Taylor. These rules apply to almost every circumstance, and they come from the Judge herself.

  1. Everyone entering Judge Henry-Taylor’s Courtroom will be treated with dignity and respect and Judge Henry-Taylor expects anyone who enters the Courtroom to be respectful to the opposing party and opposing counsel.
  1. Last names and titles such as Mr., Ms., Dr., Principal, etc. shall be used to address all parties, witnesses, attorneys, and court personnel rather than first names.
  1. The Court requires in-person appearance in all matters and will not accept virtual participation unless the matter is scheduled by the Court on Microsoft TEAMS or special arrangements have been made with the Court in advance.
  1. Use of electronics in the courtroom is not acceptable unless permission from the Court is requested and granted.
  1. Neither colloquy nor argument between counsel and/or self-represented litigants is appropriate. All argument should be directed to the Court.
  1. All opposing parties/counsel MUST be copied on any email sent to the Court. The Court cannot and will not consider other documents or communications, unless otherwise permitted by the Judge’s procedures. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney shall handle all communications with the Court. The best way to contact chambers is by utilizing the chamber’s email rather than leaving a voicemail.
  1. All motions and consent orders must be sent to Judge Henry-Taylor’s motions address (henry-taylormotions@alleghenycourts.us) and all other emails must be directed to the chambers address (henry-taylorchambers@alleghenycourts.us) unless otherwise specified. Emails sent to the improper address will not be received.
  1. If the parties agree to extend deadlines for a Pre-Trial Statement or Brief, the new deadline must be communicated to, and approved by, the Court as soon as reasonably possible.
  1. Judge Henry-Taylor prefers a response that is in a “motion” format, instead of a traditional “civil” answer format (i.e.: only stating “admitted” or “denied” to the averments in the Motion).
  1. Orders will not be handed back to the Petitioner/Counsel in Court. All Orders will be sent via email after they are filed with the Department of Court Records. It is the responsibility of the party presenting the pleading to file that pleading with the Department of Court Records.
  1. Being unavailable when this Court is scheduled to hear Motions does not constitute an emergency for the purposes of how your motion is titled and the amount of Notice that you are required to provide opposing counsel/party. If you are withdrawing your motion, or do not oppose a motion, please communicate with chambers so that the motion can be removed from the list or handled accordingly.
  1. Plan to have collateral witnesses/clients testify in-person unless leave of court is given to allow them to testify on TEAMS.

For a complete list of Judge Henry-Taylor’s procedures, go to https://www.alleghenycourts.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Judge-Henry-Taylor-SOPs-Updated-9-7-23.pdf