On-Demand Video

Pennsylvania Civil Procedure: A Primer

  • City:
  • Start Date:2022-10-31 20:00:00
  • End Date:2024-10-31 20:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Basic
  • Topics:Litigation

$149.00 ["ProPass"]

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Compliance with rules of procedure is a cause of anxiety for lawyers—especially for lawyers new to practice in Pennsylvania. 

What is a Praecipe? 
What are preliminary objections? 
What is a Prothonotary? 

Civil procedure in Pennsylvania’s state court system – questions, rules, and processes—are the focus of this new course designed especially for practitioners new to the Commonwealth. Even the most experienced will pick up valuable tips!

A panel of experienced civil litigators cover major topics and guide attendees on finding answers to procedural issues.

  • Court Structure
  • County Specific Practices
  • Commencement of Action by Writ of Summons 
  • Compulsory Arbitration
  • Pleadings 
  • Discovery 
  • Damages 
  • Experts 
  • Evidence
  • Motions 
  • Injunctions 
  • Petitions 

Co-sponsored with the PBA Civil Litigation Section and Large Law Firm Committee. PBA members save: Contact PBI’s customer experience team to receive a 25% discount for PBA members. Phone: 1-800-932-4637 or Email: info@pbi.org.

All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $20. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.

Recorded in November 2022.



Sara Austin Esq.

Ms. Austin is a partner with Austin Law Firm LLC in York. She has served as a president of the York County Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association, and is a member of the York County, Pennsylvania, and American Bar Associations. She is also a past chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Solo & Small Firm Section. Ms. Austin currently serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Board of Directors. Before entering private practice, Ms. Austin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ross W. Krumm, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Virginia. She received her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law (College of William & Mary) and her B.A. from the University of Virginia. Ms. Austin also was named as a 2009 – 2023 Super Lawyer for employment and labor law in Super Lawyers Magazine. Ms. Austin is a past chair of the Central PA Regional Council for the Community Association Institute’s Keystone Chapter.

Ronald Hicks Jr.

Mr. Hicks is a Partner with the firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP in its Pittsburgh office.  For more than three decades, Ron has handled complex and commercial litigation in trial and appellate courts at the state and federal level, and before arbitration and mediation panels throughout the Atlantic Coast and Midwest.  As a trial and appellate lawyer, his litigation practice focuses on claims involving misappropriation of trade secrets, intellectual property disputes, breach of restrictive covenants, business competition matters, partnership and business owner disputes, contract and warranty claims, creditors’ rights and fraudulent transfers, estate and fiduciary liability, insurance coverage, real estate title disputes, oil and gas litigation, and telemarketing and online marketing matters. Ron is member of the Allegheny County Academy of Trial Lawyers and a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America.  He has an AV Preeminent Rating from the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating Program and is listed in Best Lawyers® in the areas of Commercial, Bankruptcy, Construction, Intellectual Property and Real Estate Litigation.  Best Lawyers® selected him in 2022 as the “Lawyer of the Year” for Real Estate Litigation in Pittsburgh, and City & State PA selected him in 2021 for its inaugural “Top Fifty Over 50” list and in 2022 for its inaugural “Pittsburgh Power 100” and “Pride Power 100” lists.  He is also selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® list, included in Who’s Who in American Law, and named to the Order of the Barristers. In 1984, Ron graduated with distinction from Pennsylvania State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-law.  In 1987, he received his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.  He then returned to Pittsburgh and began his career as a commercial litigator.  

Matthew Haar Esq.

Mr. Haar draws on more than 20 years of experience as a litigator to handle corporate and commercial disputes, including cases involving insurance and reinsurance, energy and permitting, and clean energy. Beyond this industry-specific work, Mr. Haar represents companies across an array of industries, including real estate, government contracts and cannabis, in litigation in state, and federal trial and appeals courts, as well as before administrative bodies in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. His experience includes cases involving fraud, misrepresentation and negligence. He also handles disputes among owners and key employees of closely held businesses, including cases requiring arbitration and involving business break-ups. He also handles bid protests, challenges to licensing procedures, title insurance claims and statutory violations, including the Uniform Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and the Real Estate Sellers Disclosure Law. Insurance companies rely on Mr. Haar to represent them in coverage and contractual litigation, antitrust matters, rehabilitations and liquidations, and bad faith actions. The depth and breadth of Mr. Haar’s understanding of bad faith issues in particular is reflected in his work on a comprehensive 50-state survey, “Insurance Bad Faith: A Compendium of State Law.” Published by DRI Defense Library Series (4th. Ed 2015), Matt is the co-author and regional editor of this survey. Mr. Haar also routinely handles extra-contractual liability cases for other clients in the financial services industry such as real estate agents and brokers, banks, trusts, producers and credit card companies. Beyond his commercial litigation and insurance work, Matt litigates disputes related to exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas, in state and federal courts as well as Pennsylvania state administrative agencies. He also handles matters for clean energy companies. Additionally, Mr. Haar has been an adjunct professor at Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law where he teaches courses on problem solving.

David Wecht

David N. Wecht was elected to a ten-year term on The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November 2015, and began his service as a Supreme Court Justice in January 2016. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is the oldest appellate court in the United States of America and predates the nation’s independence by several decades. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was established by the Commonwealth’s Judiciary Act of 1722 and traces its roots to the Provincial Appellate Court created in 1684. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Wecht served as a Judge of The Superior Court of Pennsylvania from January 2012 to January 2016, and as a Judge on The Court of Common Pleas for Pennsylvania’s Fifth Judicial District from February 2003 to January 2012. From January 2009 to January 2011, Justice Wecht served by appointment of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District’s Family Division, which encompasses both domestic relations cases and cases of juvenile dependency and delinquency. As Administrative Judge, Justice Wecht designed and implemented several reforms and innovations, including the Unified Family Court, the local rule on parenting coordination, and improved conflict counsel appointments in juvenile cases. Prior to taking the bench, Justice Wecht was twice elected as the Allegheny County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court. In that capacity, he pioneered innovations that included creation of a free will consultation program for seniors and authorship of a state law that prevents accused murderers from controlling their victims’ estates. Justice Wecht is a 1984 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale, where he was a National Merit Scholar and earned Yale College Distinction in both history and political science. At Yale Law School, Justice Wecht was selected as Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and as an Editor of both the Yale Law & Policy Review and the Yale Journal of International Law. While a law student, he also volunteered as a certified legal intern in the Office of the State’s Attorney in New Haven, Connecticut, and provided pro bono legal assistance to inmates of the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville, New York. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1987, Justice Wecht served as Law Clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge George MacKinnon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C., and received the Award for Distinguished Service in that position. From January 1989 until taking the bench in February 2003, Justice Wecht continuously practiced law, first at Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, then at Katarincic & Salmon in Pittsburgh, PA, and finally at The Wecht Law Firm in Pittsburgh, PA. He was licensed to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and was admitted to the bar of numerous state and federal courts, including The Supreme Court of the United States. A frequent lecturer to bench, bar, and community groups throughout Pennsylvania and in several other states, Justice Wecht also has served for many years on the faculties of the Duquesne University School of Law and the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught at universities in China and Israel. Justice Wecht’s extra-judicial writings have appeared in a number of publications, including the Yale Law Journal, Gonzaga Law Review, Widener Commonwealth Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly, Pennsylvania Lawyer, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, Tablet, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Midstream, and others. Justice Wecht also serves or has served as a Fellow or Member of several professional organizations, including the American Law Institute, the Judicial Education Advisory Board of George Mason University’s Law & Economics Center, the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, and the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. He has volunteered his time to a number of governmental, civic, and community boards and groups, including the Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee of the Community College of Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission, and others. Justice Wecht was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill section, and attended Shady Side Academy, where he played football and lacrosse. Justice Wecht and his wife Valerie were married at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Congregation, on whose Board of Trustees he served. Justice Wecht and his wife continue to live in Allegheny County, where they raised four children, all of whom are now adults.

Dianne Wainwright Esq.

Ms. Wainwright is the Deputy Court Administrator for the Civil Division of the Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania. Working closely with the Division’s Administrative Judge, The Honorable Christine Ward, Ms. Wainwright administers and manages the operations of the Civil Division. Together, Ms. Wainwright and Judge Ward work to improve access to the Court of Common Pleas for all litigants, and provide efficient, effective and fair case management for all cases filed in the Division. Prior to joining the Fifth Judicial District, Ms. Wainwright practiced law handling a variety of commercial matters for corporations, sole proprietors and businesses. Ms. Wainwright’s practice area focused largely on representing professionals (accountants, attorneys, engineers/surveyors, insurance agents, insurers etc.) in numerous contract and professional liability matters. Ms. Wainwright is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, serving on the Board of Governors. She is a member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County where she serves on the Board of Governors, and as the Co-chair of the Diversity Committee. Ms. Wainwright serves as an ex-officio member of the State Civil Procedural Rules Committee and is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Court Managers. Ms. Wainwright also provides continuing education to professionals where her presentations focus on ethics/professionalism and reducing risks through improved practice management. 

Jonathan Huerta Esq.

Jonathan M. Huerta is a partner with the KingSpry Law Firm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Concentrating his practice in the areas of litigation and education law, Huerta is chair of the firm’s Tax Assessment Appeals Group. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the Northampton County and the Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He recently completed a two year term as Zone 2 Governor for the PBA and is a member of the Minority Committee as well as co-chair of the Membership Development Subcommittee. Huerta is a member of the Board of Governors of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, serves on the board of the Cancer Support Community of the Lehigh Valley and is a frequent volunteer with the pro-bono legal clinic at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center. Before joining KingSpry, Huerta was a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Emil Giordano at the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County and was an extern with the Honorable Renee Cohn Jubelirer at the Commonwealth Court. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Wesley Payne IV Esq.

Mr. Payne is a partner in the litigation department at White and Williams, LLP, in Philadelphia. He is also the immediate past chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee. He primarily focuses his practice in the areas of insurance defense, bad faith, extra-contractual damages, disability and coverage matters. Mr. Payne is a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and an AV Preeminent peer-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell with 30 years of experience representing insurance carriers and insureds in first- and third-party litigation matters. He has successfully defended wrongful death, extra-contractual damages, product liability, asbestos, toxic tort, environmental, mass tort, commercial auto, construction, insurance coverage, disability, ERISA and general liability cases. Prior to joining White and Williams, LLP, Mr. Payne managed an inhouse litigation office for a major insurance carrier. He is licensed to practice before all state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Payne has written and lectured on bad faith, extra-contractual damages, civil litigation and uninsured and underinsured motorist issues. He is the immediate past Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, a past Zone 1 Governor and Minority-At-Large Governor of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, past president of the Board of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), past president of the Conference of County Bar Leaders, past president of the Board of the Bethesda Project, a member of the Board of Directors of the Homeless Advocacy Project, a past co-president of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG) and a past president of the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel (PADC). Mr. Payne was recognized by the Legal Intelligencer as an “Unsung Hero” for his dedication and service to the pro bono community. He is the recipient of The Honorable William F. Hall Award, the Huey R. Burkett Service Award, the Multicultural Leadership Award, and most recently named Defense Attorney of the Year by the Pennsylvania Defense Institute. Mr. Payne was also named as one of the “Top 60 African American Attorneys in Philadelphia” by the Philadelphia Tribune. He has been selected to City & State Pennsylvania’s 2022 Law Power 100 (39) and City & States Philadelphia’s Power 100 (91) lists. Mr. Payne serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he served as the president of the Student Bar Association.

Kathleen Wilkinson, Esq.

Philadelphia lawyer Kathleen D. Wilkinson, a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, was the 2021-22 president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Ms. Wilkinson was the 2020-21 president-elect. From April 27 to May 20, 2021, she served as president due to the resignation of the previous president. Her recent efforts to support the organized bar have focused on issues related to attorney wellness and wellbeing in the legal profession as well as issues dealing with the ongoing pandemic. She served on the PBA COVID-19 Task Force that provided timely information to assist lawyers in their practices during the pandemic. She was a member of the Joint Task Force on Continuity of Delivery of Legal Services that issued a comprehensive report offering recommendations such as technology enhancements so that citizens have access to justice during the current pandemic and future emergencies. Ms. Wilkinson is the current co-chair of the Legislative Committee of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession. She also is a PBA appointed delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and has served as an ABA delegate for many years. Ms. Wilkinson has represented Philadelphia lawyers on the PBA Board of Governors. She has served in the PBA House of Delegates and has been a member of numerous PBA committees and sections. She is the chair of educational programs for the Federal Practice Committee Executive Council, past co-vice chair of the PBA Planning Committee, a co-chair and past co-vice chair of the PBA Quality of Life/Balance Committee, past co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession Quality of Life Committee, past co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession and past chair of the PBA Civil Litigation Section. Ms. Wilkinson is a member of other committees, including the Bylaws, Membership Development and Minority Bar committees. She was chair of the PBA Membership Engagement Blue Ribbon Panel on Millennials, Mothers and Minorities. In addition, Ms. Wilkinson served on the board of directors for PBI (Pennsylvania Bar Institute) and was a zone one director for the PABAR-PAC, the PBA’s political action committee, and co-chair of the 2007 PBA Midyear Meeting. She is a Life Fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the PBA, and previously served as the foundation’s zone one director. In 2013, Ms. Wilkinson served as the 86th chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, only the sixth woman to serve in that position in the association’s history. She has filled a variety of leadership roles in the Philadelphia Bar Association since 1998 when she co-chaired the association’s Women in the Profession Committee, and later when she chaired the State Civil Litigation Section in 2005, for which she was one of the founding members in 2004. She was the bar association’s secretary, vice chancellor, chancellor-elect and a member of the bar association’s cabinet. She served on the Board of Governors for a total of 16 years. Ms. Wilkinson was the 2019 chair of the Federal Courts Committee. Ms. Wilkinson received the 2023 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Third Circuit. Ms. Wilkinson was named by named on the Power 100 2022 List of Pennsylvania attorneys by City & State PA, and as a “Power Woman,” and received an award from Main Line Magazine in 2021. Ms. Wilkinson is the recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 2019 Sandra Day O’Connor Award, which is presented to a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community. In 2019, Ms. Wilkinson received the C. Dale McClain Quality of Life/Balance Award, an annual award presented by the PBA Quality of Life Balance Committee that recognizes the substantial contributions made by Pennsylvania attorneys in identifying issues relevant to balancing the professional and personal lives of their peers, as well as the progress made in assisting attorneys in maintaining and improving their overall quality of life. She received the Gilbert Nurick Award from the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders in 2014 for outstanding service to local bar associations. She was the recipient of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Anne X. Alpern Award in 2008 for her demonstrated leadership in the legal profession and professional impact on women in the law. The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly named her “Woman of the Year” in 2007-2008. Ms. Wilkinson has been named as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for many years. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Kean University, which named her “Alumni of the Year” in 2010. She received her juris doctorate from the Villanova University School of Law. In 2013, the Villanova Law Alumni Association named her the recipient of the Gerald Abraham Alumni Association Award for service to the law school. She is also a member of the Alumni Association Board of Advisors of the law school. Ms. Wilkinson was a member of the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, a division of the ABA, from 2013 to 2016, and remains an active member of the NCBP Program and Diversity Committees. Wilkinson served on the boards of directors for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP) and Philadelphia Defender Association. She served on the board of the Forum of Executive Women from July 2014 until June 2016 and was the program chair. She has served on other boards in the community. Ms. Wilkinson is a member of the Chester County Bar Association, Delaware County Bar Association (honorary) and the Montgomery Bar Association. She has been a board member, secretary, and most recently vice-president of programs for the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel in 2020-2021, which presented her with the William J. O’Brien Award for achievements in legal advocacy and improvements in the legal profession in 2016. She is a founding member of Villanova University’s School of Law J. Willard O’Brien Inn of Court, was its first woman president in 2004 and serves as an Honorary Member of the Inn. Ms. Wilkinson received the Inn’s J. Clayton Undercofler III Award for exemplary leadership, integrity and dedication to the rule of law in 2013. Ms. Wilkinson is also a member of the Villanova Law School Alumni Board. A civil litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Wilkinson is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, defends complex cases involving employment, professional liability, construction, products, toxic tort, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She also serves as a judge pro tem and special master in state and federal court. Ms. Wilkinson has been a member of Wilson Elser’s Women Attorneys Valued and Empowered (WAVE) initiative that focuses on advancement and well-being of women in the profession.

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