United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

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Western District of Pennsylvania
Third Circuit
PA-WD.gif
Chief:Joy ContiJudges:7
Posts:10Vacancies:3
Active judges
BissoonCerconeFischerGibsonHornakSchwab
Senior Judges
AmbroseBlochCohillDiamondMcVerrySimmonsStandish
Magistrate Judges
BaxterBissoonHayLenihanMitchellPesto
Former Judges
Key:
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
0%0%-10%
10%-25%25%-40%
More than 40%
Contents
1 Court
1.1 Vacancy warning level
1.2 Jurisdiction
1.2.1 Cases heard
1.2.2 Case load
1.3 Clerk's office
1.4 History
1.4.1 Court history
1.4.2 Judicial posts
1.4.3 Notable decisions
1.4.4 Federal courthouse
1.5 Major news
1.6 See also
1.7 External links
1.8 References
2 Judges

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania is a United States district court composed of ten judges as authorized by federal law. Chief Judge Sean McLaughlin presides over the court's administration and operations.

The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is David J. Hickton .[1]

When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals based in Downtown Philadelphia at the James Byrne Courthouse.

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania's vacancy warning level is currently set at orange. The court currently has three vacancies.

Jurisdiction

The Counties of the Western District of Pennsylvania (click for larger map)

The geographic jurisdiction of the Western District of Pennsylvania consists of all the following counties in the western part of the state of Pennsylvania.

Cases heard

The Western District of Pennsylvania has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

Case load

Federal Court Case Load Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2012 2833320560383273 276513.46.684 (4.1%)1.118
2011 2777313159083096 281217763 (3.0%)22.819
2010 2919301259313162 276915.66.958 (2.9%)1219
2009 2815320460193114 290511765 (3.1%)1219
2008 2774330260763289 278710.66.982 (3.9%)1222
20072797315359503348260210.87.484 (4%)1129
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.    **Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.    ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
PAW Terminations Filed.jpg PAW Median Times.jpg

Clerk's office

The Western District of Pennsylvania has three separate divisions. The official clerk of court is Robert V. Barth, Jr.. Offices are open 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday - Friday excluding federal holidays. Please consult the chart below for more information:

Branch Location Address Mailing Address Phone number
Erie Division U.S. Courthouse

17 South Park Row Erie, PA 16501

U.S. Courthouse

PO Box 1820 Erie, PA 16507

(814)464-9600
Johnstown Division 208 Penn Traffic Building

319 Washington Street Johnstown, PA 15901

(814)533-4504
Pittsburgh Division U.S. Courthouse

700 Grant Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219

U.S. Courthouse

PO Box 1805 Pittsburgh, PA 15230

(412)208-7500
[2]

History

Court history

The District of Pennsylvania was established by Congress on September 24, 1789 with one post to cover the entire state. On April 20, 1818 Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Western District of Pennsylvania with one post each. On March 2, 1901, Congress again redefined the boundaries of the district, transitioning a portion of both districts to the newly formed Middle District of Pennsylvania. Over time 9 additional judicial posts were added to the Western District of Pennsylvania for a total of 10 current posts.[3]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of Virginia:

Year Statute Total Seats
September 24, 1789 1 Stat. 73 1 (Whole state)
April 20, 1818 3 Stat. 462 1
February 26, 1909 35 Stat. 656 2
September 14, 1922 42 Stat. 837 3(1 permanent)
August 19, 1935 49 Stat. 659 3
July 24, 1946 60 Stat. 654 4(1 shared temporary)
August 3, 1949 63 Stat. 493 5(1 shared temporary, 1 temporary)
February 10, 1954 68 Stat. 8 7(1 shared temporary, 1 temporary)
1955 Reassignment 6(1 temporary)
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 8
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 10
[3]


Notable cases

This page is missing notable case information.



For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Federal courthouse

There are three federal courthouses that serve the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Major news

For new stories and other related material see Pennsylvania judicial news.

See also

External links

References

Western District of Pennsylvania
Third Circuit
PA-WD.gif
Chief:Joy ContiJudges:7
Posts:10Vacancies:3
Active judges
BissoonCerconeFischerGibsonHornakSchwab
Senior Judges
AmbroseBlochCohillDiamondMcVerrySimmonsStandish
Magistrate Judges
BaxterBissoonHayLenihanMitchellPesto
Former Judges
Key:
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
0%0%-10%
10%-25%25%-40%
More than 40%
Contents
1 Court
2 Judges
2.1 Active Judges
2.1.1 Article III judges
2.1.2 Pending appointments
2.1.3 Senior judges
2.2 Past judges
2.2.1 Former Chief judges
2.2.2 Former judges

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Nora Fischer1951Homestead, PAW. Bush 04/02/2007 - PresentRobert CindrichSt. Mary's College, B.A., 1973Notre Dame Law, J.D., 1976
Judge Arthur Schwab1946Pittsburgh, PAW. Bush 09/17/2002 - PresentMaurice Cohill, Jr.Grove City College, Pennsylvania, A.B., 1968U. of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1972
Judge David Cercone1952Pittsburgh, PAW. Bush 08/02/2002 - PresentDonald LeeWestminster College, B.A., 1974Duquesne U. Law, J.D., 1977
Judge Kim Gibson1948Trenton, NJW. Bush 09/24/2003 - PresentBrooks SmithUnited States Military Academy, West Point, B.S., 1970Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 1975
Chief Judge Joy Conti1948Kane, PAW. Bush 07/31/2002 - Present8/17/2013-PresentAlan BlochDuquesne U., B.A., 1970Duquesne U. Law, J.D., 1973
Judge Cathy Bissoon1968Brooklyn, NYObama 10/17/2011 - PresentThomas HardimanAlfred U., B.A., 1990Harvard Law, J.D., 1993
Judge Mark Raymond Hornak1956Homestead, PAObama 10/19/2011 - PresentDonetta AmbroseU. of Pittsburgh '78U. of Pittsburgh Law '81


Pending appointments

There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Donetta AmbroseClinton 11/24/1993 - 11/04/20102002 - 200911/05/2010 - PresentDuquesne U., B.A., 1967Duquesne U. Law, J.D., 1970
Senior Judge Alan BlochCarter 11/02/1979 - 04/11/199704/12/1997 - PresentU. of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1953U. of Pittsburgh Law, J.D., 1958
Senior Judge Maurice CohillFord 05/21/1976 - 11/27/19941985 - 199211/28/1994 - PresentPrinceton, A.B., 1951U. of Pittsburgh Law, LL.B., 1956
Senior Judge Gustave DiamondCarter 05/02/1978 - 01/30/19941992 - 199401/31/1994 - PresentDuke U., A.B., 1951Duquesne U. Law, J.D., 1956
Senior Judge William StandishReagan 11/06/1987 - 02/28/200203/01/2002 - PresentYale, B.A., 1953U. of Virginia School of Law, LL.B., 1956
Judge Terrence McVerryW. Bush 09/04/2002 - 09/30/201310/1/2013 - PresentDuquesne U., B.A., 1965Duquesne U. Law, J.D., 1968
Senior Judge Paul SimmonsCarter 04/07/1978 - 05/31/199006/01/1990 - PresentU. of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1946Harvard Law , J.D., 1949


Magistrate judges

JudgeActiveBachelorsLaw
Magistrate Judge Keith Pesto03/01/1994 - PresentJohns Hopkins U., B.A., 1980U. of Pennsylvania Law, J.D., 1983
Magistrate Judge (Recalled) Robert Mitchell1975 - 2005Dartmouth College, A.B., 1962U. of Pittsburgh Law, J.D., 1967
Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan04/02/2004 - PresentU. of Pittsburgh, 1980U. of Pittsburgh Law, J.D., 1983
Magistrate Judge Susan Baxter01/20/1995 - PresentPennsylvania State U., B.S., 1978Temple U. Law, J.D., 1983
Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly06/13/2011 - PresentNotre DameDuquesne U. Law
Magistrate Judge Cynthia EddyCurrent


Past judges

Former Chief judges

Former Chief JudgesTerm
Donald Ziegler1994 - 2001
Gerald Weber1976 - 1982
Hubert Teitelbaum1982 - 1985
Herbert Sorg1975 - 1976
Rabe Marsh1969 - 1975
Wallace Gourley1951 - 1969
Nelson McVicar1949 - 1951
Gary Lancaster2009 - 2013
Gustave Diamond1992 - 1994
Maurice Cohill1985 - 1992
Donetta Ambrose2002 - 2009
Robert Murray Gibson1948 - 1949

In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[1][2]



Former judges

Seat 1Seat 2Seat 3
JudgeTerm
Simmons04/07/1978 - 05/31/1990
Stewart4/25/1951 - 4/9/1953
Scalera11/20/1971 - 5/1/1976
Miller5/20/1954 - 9/30/1971
McVicar12/17/1928 - 2/1/1951
Thomson7/21/1914 - 2/20/1928
Young1/22/1908 - 2/25/1914
Ewing12/11/1906 - 1/31/1908
Reed2/20/1891 - 1/15/1892
Lewis10/9/1992 - 6/30/1999
Buffington12/11/1906 - 10/21/1947
Acheson6/16/1891 - 6/21/1906
Ketcham6/26/1876 - 12/6/1879
McCandless2/8/1859 - 7/24/1876
Irwin3/21/1832 - 1/4/1859
Wilkins5/12/1824 - 4/14/1831
Walker4/20/1818 - 3/23/1824
JudgeTerm
Ziegler5/2/1978 - 10/1/2001
Marsh6/8/1950 - 1/31/1977
McVerry09/04/2002 - 09/30/2013
Gibson7/24/1922 - 1/31/1949
Orr4/8/1909 - 5/16/1922
JudgeTerm
Lee3/12/1990 - 4/5/2000
Teitelbaum12/12/1970 - 7/2/1985
Gourley11/29/1945 - 8/4/1969
Schoonmaker12/22/1922 - 9/5/1945
Cercone08/02/2002 - Present
Seat 4Seat 5Seat 6
There are no current judges in this category.
JudgeTerm
Willson7/15/1953 - 10/17/1968
Snyder4/17/1973 - 5/11/1980
Mencer3/18/1982 - 4/17/1994
Burns3/9/1950 - 10/26/1952
McLaughlin10/11/1994 - 8/16/2013
Weis1970-1973
JudgeTerm
Hornak10/19/2011 - Present
Weber9/15/1964 - 12/31/1988
McIlvaine8/1/1955 - 7/1/1963
Ambrose11/24/1993 - 11/04/2010
Seat 7Seat 8Seat 9
JudgeTerm
Dumbauld8/3/1961 - 12/30/1976
Cindrich10/7/1994 - 1/30/2004
Fischer04/02/2007 - Present
Diamond05/02/1978 - 01/30/1994
JudgeTerm
Rosenberg7/12/1962 - 1/4/1976
Schwab09/17/2002 - Present
Cohill05/21/1976 - 11/27/1994
JudgeTerm
Mansmann4/4/1985 - 3/9/2002
Gibson09/24/2003 - Present
Smith1988-2002
Knox10/14/1970 - 8/39/1981
Seat 10
JudgeTerm
McCune12/18/1970 - 4/1/1985
Standish11/06/1987 - 02/28/2002
Hardiman2003 - 2007
  


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